Maya Vaughn, the hottest young pastry chef to emerge from the reality television machine, enjoys spending time with men and women alike. When she takes a turn as a judge on the very show that launched her career, she expects to find a nice change of scenery and a little diversion.
A late-bloomer at forty-two years old, Shannon Hayes is finally on the precipice of achieving her dreams. She has one shot to prove she can compete with chefs half her age with much more experience. Engaging in a fling with a judge fourteen years her junior would almost certainly kill that chance.
I’m not much of a reality TV fan so I can’t say I’ve ever seen a reality cooking show, but this book is so wonderful at describing the on camera and back stage at one it really piqued my interest. Maya and Shannon are well drawn characters and both very appealing in their own right, together they are dynamite. Maya has gone from previous contestant to celebrity mentor on the show and it’s clear the show’s producers have a very specific role they expect of her; personal issues or personal growth be damned. Shannon has a grown daughter and a great job at Drake’s Cakes but wants to take on this challenge with something to prove.
The awkward start in meeting your celebrity crush passes as Maya and Shannon become friendly then flirty. Their situation couldn’t be more complicated, they’ve got cameras on them all day, the press eager for any story at night and in the midst two people trying to figure out if there’s more than just a passing fling. The slow romantic burn is great, the sex is both sweet and steamy. The banter between Maya and Shannon was wonderful, the sexual tension on camera paired with the flirting off camera made this a really enjoyable read.
Initially I was a bit confused at why the secondary characters, Sawyer and Jori were so heavily featured. I mean they were interesting enough but it seemed a bit out of place. As it turns out they were the main characters in A Place to Rest so for those who read that book having an update on where they are now and the status of their relationship was probably welcome. It looks like I need to go back and read that one to see how Drake’s Cakes got it’s start.
A most enjoyable read, well worth the time.