Can't Stand the Heat
Will Cook For Love #3
by Peggy Jaeger
Genre: Contemporary Romance
In Peggy Jaeger’s delectable series, delicious food is just an appetizer for life’s main course: the kind of love that feeds your soul.
With three successful TV series under her belt, including her cousin Kandy’s, executive producer Stacy Peters is ready to helm her own show. But to make that happen, she has to do her network boss one favor first—spend two months on a ranch in Montana wrangling the notoriously difficult director of Beef Battles. Apparently, he eats producers for breakfast. Yet all Stacy can think when she meets the lean, rugged man is how hungry he makes her . . .
Dominic Stamp—Nikko to his very few friends—has had enough interference from TV newbies. And when Stacy climbs out of the car in Montana, he’s not convinced she’s even old enough to drive, much less produce his show. But he can’t deny that the long-legged blonde with the stubborn will and the dazzling smile whets his appetite. And as Stacy proves her talent with the crew and the budget alike, Nikko vows to prove to her that love is on the menu for both of them...
Look for exclusive recipes in each book!
An emotional, fun, and ardent story set in the middle of a television cooking show.
I have enjoyed immensely Peggy Jaeger's Will Cook For Love series. The way she tells a story it pulls you in the middle of the heat, so to speak. It is alluring, making it impossible to put the book down until the end. You are engaged with the character, you are cheering for them, and you will want to know their destiny, how they will work things out, will they be able to do the hard things, and open their mind and hearts to love.
I absolutely loved Stacy Peters. She is a true warrior, she is a peacemaker, she is Switzerland, she is a caring, confident, kind person, so easy to like. She knows what she wants in life, she is not afraid to go after it, she is talented, organized, structural, a person of order... I admired her, I liked her, I wanted her to get all her heart desires. She has had it rough growing up, there are deep wounds in her mind that she needed to work with, but she is resilient, she has the will and ability to overcome the biggest hurdles, and that just made me respect her even more.
Her relationship with the young Melora, Nikko's daughter, was heartfelt and sweet. I loved the bond between them, the honesty they had with each other, the witty dialog, and the teenage angst mixed with the sweetness, and feeling lost, it was all done so incredibly well. Melora's eating disorder, wow, the raw honesty the author brings to the table, and to the tale, just floored me and touched my heart. So so real, heartbreaking, and factual the battle Melora fights, even the way Nikko wrestled with his daughter's disorder, just truly authentic and true.
Now, Nikko, umm... I had to admit, as much as the story enticed me, he, not so much. As a father, yes, but as a lover, the hero, I struggled with him. When the hero is a completely arrogant and rude jerk most of the story, it is always a risk an author takes, to balance all the audacity with positive vibes so that the readers will connect with him. I might be, most likely am, in the minority here, but I needed more, wanted more, from him, to show that he really is worthy of Stacy. For me, this just tells how much I was emotionally invested in the tale, in the characters, and in their wellbeing.
There's another point with Nikko, or the relationship, that I wished would have happened. There's the fact that he is the boss of Stacey, and they end up in a physical affair. I was expecting and waiting for the conversation about consent, what will happen with her already turbulent job if things do not work in between them? The thoughts go through his and her mind, but the conversation was never materialized. I wish it would have.
So, Nikko could have worked a bit harder to win my heart, but he and Stacey heat up the pages, allure each other in a sensual and sizzling tale. Add the drama of the teenage mind with Melora, the trouble, and challenges in the television world, and you have a tale with lots of heat, heart, laughter, and love. This series is not to be missed by any romance fans, especially the foodie romance readers.
~ Four Spoons
“I wish you’d do that more often,” he said, his hand circling her upper arm as he turned her, slowly, back to face him.
He stared at her a beat, the line between his brows deepening. “Smile.”
Flabbergasted, she stood, rooted.
“More specifically,” he added, “smile at me. You do at everyone else. From Dixon, to his son; the crew. Even Melora. Everyone, but me.”
His grip tightened a little as he pulled her in closer, their torsos almost touching.
“Why? Why can you show everyone else that little piece of yourself, but not me?”
“I…I don’t know how to answer that,” she said. “I know I was thrust on you without you wanting me here. I know you don’t like me, I—“
“That’s not true. I didn’t want to like you,” he admitted. “There’s a difference. You’re a producer. A bottom line watcher. An annoying necessity. Liking you goes against the grain.”
At that she did smile, because she knew it was true.
“See now,” he said, as he slid his other hand up her arm to settle on the back of her neck, fingers curling up into her hair to hold on. “When you do that? When you smile at me like that, so openly, so…freely? I can’t think about anything else.”
A gentle tug and he had her head pillowed in his spread palms as he bent his own down to hers.
Through her glasses she watched the fine whiskey in his eyes blend with the ink of his pupils as they dilated.
“I haven’t been able to think clearly about anything for the past few days.” His mouth was a whisper from hers. His gaze skimmed from her eyes to her mouth and back again in one slow string of heat. “Except for this.”
She thought she’d be prepared for the feel of his lips on hers again. After all, she’d done little else but reminisce about their texture and taste for days. But she was wrong.
Nothing could have ever prepared her for the way the slight pressure he placed on the back of her neck as he brought her closer sent a shiver of such carnal delight down her spine she almost hummed. Or the way his breath, warm and full, felt as it washed over her cheeks. And she certainly wasn’t prepared for the onslaught of emotions he released within her when he quite expertly parted her lips and deepened the kiss, pulling at her very soul.
No, nothing in her life had equipped her with how to deal with Nikko Stamp’s kiss.
So she simply let go of all thought, fear, and concern, and surrendered to it.
Peggy Jaeger is a contemporary romance author who writes about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can't live without them. Peggy holds a master's degree in Nursing Administration and first found publication with several articles she authored on Alzheimer's Disease during her time running an Alzheimer's in patient care unit during the 1990s. A lifelong and avid romance reader and writer, she is a member of RWA and is the Secretary of her local New Hampshire RWA Chapter. When she’s not writing she can be found cooking. With over 100 cookbooks, dog eared and well loved, her passion for writing is only seconded by her desire to create the perfect meal for those she loves.
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