on July 31st 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Source: Personal Copy
You can call me arrogant as much as you want. But when you're the best at what you do and have the hottest restaurant on the west coast, with enough Michelin stars to make Gordon Ramsay's head spin, you've earned the right to your confidence.
When I give an instruction in the kitchen, it's not a suggestion--it's an order. So when a new chef thinks she can do things her way, and dares to say so to my face, even her sharp wit and gorgeous pouty lips don't make it okay.
But I have to admit, she's got talent. She's creative in the kitchen and not even that double-breasted chef jacket can hide her perfect body. As I get to know her, I can't help wanting to know everything she thinks. I've never met a more talented chef. And I've never met a sassier and sexier woman in my life.
There's only one way this push and pull can end.
With her in my bed, begging for more.
I’m an aspirational foodie at best. I like to pretend I know what’s going on, but at the end of the day, I’m easily overwhelmed by anything more complex than pizza or tacos. (Tonight’s dinner is popcorn and red wine). So that’s why I was surprised when I picked-up Cocky Chef. But lo and behold though, I became victim to well-deserved reviews, a new-to-me author, and a $0.99 sale.
Willow is off to a rough start during her first week as a line cook at Knife, L.A.’s hottest restaurant, when she accidentally substitutes lemon thyme for regular thyme (I’ll take J.D. Hawkin’s word that this is a significant thing. Who knew there was more than one type of thyme?). Famed chef and Knife owner Cole Chambers just happens to be in the restaurant the night of the thyme-incident-that-will-not-be-named and summons Willow to his table. He becomes victim to his own insta-lust and decides to give her a second chance.
Cocky Chef was a solid romance that steadily moved along. Outside of a few too-good-to-be-true Cinderella moments, the book was generally entertaining and I’d read another one of J.D. Hawkins’s books in the future. I finished Cocky Chef a few days ago and here’s what stands out:
What I Loved:
- A Chef that wasn’t a Gordon-Ramsey knock-off. I’ve read a few Chef-type books before and it seems easy to character-type the main guy into a Gordon-Ramsay, big attitude, foul mouthed character. Hawkin’s avoided the stereotype and in fact, it was utterly charming how hard he fell for Willow.
- This book was food porn. Pure and simple. I spent half the book drooling and the other half suggestively eyeing up my Dove chocolate stash and wishing for something far more decadent. And props to J.D. Hawkins because the descriptions were on point. I can only imagine that a less than descriptive book involving food would be… boring? Really, this was the highlight for me.
What I Can’t Get Over:
- The Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Friend. Willow was a pretty sharp gal, but for the life of me I can’t figure out why she likes Tony. He’s whiny, borderline manipulative, and his main communication style is guilt tripping. No way would I be friends with someone like that, let alone consider going into business with them.
- The Super Abrupt Ending. There is a free epilog if you sign up for the author’s newsletter, but I still feel like the last chapter of the book was held hostage. I don’t need a huge resolution or over-the-top romantic conclusion, but it wasn’t even kiss and fade-to-black. It felt more like kiss and oops – we forgot to publish the last few paragraphs.
Overall, Cocky Chef was a good, solid book with a few pitfalls. The food description was on point and the romance strong, but there were a few issues that I still can’t get over a week after finishing. I’d read another J.D. Hawkins’s book again, but probably not for more than the $0.99 paid. (Note: This book is free for those with Kindle Unlimited! I don’t have KU, but could see me using my Lending Library privileges for this author in the future)
P.S. Can we talk about this cover?
I didn’t include this in the “formal” review because well, you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover, but this one deserves some sass. 1) This man looks like an athlete, not a chef or even a successful business owner. It screams out-of-place stock photo 2) This man is eating his shirt. Eww. I get dry mouth every time I look at it.