A Taste of Pleasure
Series: Deliciously Dechamps #2
Publisher: Harlequin Kimani Romance
Release date: June 19th 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Add to TBR: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon UK | Amazon US | The Book Depository | iBooks | Kobo
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Italy is the perfect place for new career beginnings—at least that’s what chef Danica Nillson hopes. But one look at sexy single dad Antonio Dante Lorenzetti, and her plan to keep romance out of her kitchen goes up in flames. The millionaire restaurateur wants stability. Not unbridled passion that makes him lose his senses. Is this beautiful, talented and headstrong chef the one he’s been waiting for?
The Faerie Queen’s review
Who loves food? Who loves Italian food? Because mmmmmmm. This book made me HUNGRY. For food… and for Toni.
A Taste of Pleasure describes the way this book started off. Dani and Toni meet at their friends’ wedding, where Dani has done the catering and Toni has provided the wines. They have a night of pleasure – one they both need with their respective recent romantic experiences. Dani was in a weird sexual relationship with her boss, while Toni was just divorced from his wife (and mother of his daughter). The morning after their encounter, Dani sneaks away, not wanting any awkwardness.
It’s not until a year later, when Dani’s career has blown up in her face (she catches the boss cheating, big surprise) and she takes a break with her mom in Milan, where she began her career has a chef. In a weird twist of fate, Dani shows up just when Toni needs her, both in the kitchen…and it seems in his bed. The two had such a strong connection, and not just physically. They made a great team professionally, and Dani was an instant good influence on Toni’s daughter.
I enjoyed a number of things about this book. First, YES for Dani being curvy! She’s a chef, and she enjoys her food. We even get a clothing size at the beginning: size 16! And Toni celebrates her curves, calling her beautiful and relating her to the women of Botticelli’s paintings. I also loved Dani’s drive and determination in her career. The descriptions of food were all drool-worthy, and I have a massive craving for pasta now.
But on the flipside, I didn’t always feel the chemistry, though it was there on the page. I wanted to be able to sink into the feelings a bit more, but Dani and Toni rushed into the heat without enough build-up for me, especially at the end, when instead of sighing happily, I thought it was all rushed and driven by lust more than anything. Sometimes the plot also seemed to jump, seeming a little too convenient.
All in all, though, if you’re looking for a celebration of food with some gorgeous, sensual heat, this is one for you!
Dani picked her jaw up from the floor and froze. She couldn’t believe that Toni was standing in front of her, and that his first image of her since the wedding was like this—frazzled and sweating.
“Buona sera, Chef. It’s good to see you.”
His voice washed over her and for a second she’d forgotten that they weren’t the only two people in the room, until one of the line cooks jolted her out of her head.
“Chef? The mazzancolle?” The young man slid a plate in front of her and scurried away. She looked down at the bright orange prawns, then back to Toni.
“What…how…what are you doing here?”
“I could ask you the same.”
Liam clapped his hands and steepled them as if in prayer. “But we have no time for reunions. Sir, please, my table.”
Toni’s curt nod was followed by a look Dani interpreted, as “we’re not done.” And by the aggressive way her blood was pumping through her veins, they weren’t done. Not by a long shot.
Dani turned back to her dish, but her mind was on the man that was opening the wine locker. How did he have keys to Marcello’s wine locker? More images of the two of them in Brazil had her sending out the dish with the server, then calling it back when she forgot the sprig of parsley. She needed to get it together. On a deep inhale she focused on the spices in the air again. Oregano, red pepper, sultry musk…huh?
Dani whipped around and there was Toni leaning against the stainless steel counter, his arms and ankles lightly crossed, smiling. He looked gorgeous, maybe a little leaner than she saw him last, but his facial hair was perfectly trimmed, his navy suit over the white T-shirt was impeccable, and his sandy-blond hair was just the right kind of messy.
Liam was shouting a thank-you to the heavens and waving around bottles of Lafite.
She wanted to go to the bathroom and freshen up. She wanted to kiss that smile right off his face.
“How is this possible?” he said, his gaze roaming down her front, then behind her to the entrées at her back.
“You tell me. How do you have keys to Marcello’s locker?”
“We own this restaurant. How are you standing here cooking for my guests?”
“I came to visit Marcello. What do you mean we own? This is Marcello’s.”
“And his family’s. I am his nephew. How do you know him?”
“I used to be his sous-chef.”
Toni jumped up. “Here? When?”
“It’s been eight years now.”
“I was in London at school then.” Toni’s eyes narrowed. “How did this never come up at the wedding?”
Dani’s eyes darted around the room before she spoke.
“We didn’t do much talking.”
His wicked smile took Dani’s breath away. “No, I guess we didn’t.” He shook his head. “I can’t believe you are the one saving our asses.”