SUSPICIOUS MINDS – Leanne Burroughs – Burroughs starts this impressive anthology off to a great start with her SUSPICIOUS MINDS story. In combining all the elements needed for an emotional, passionate story, with a wee dram of humor in special moments when lines from Elvis
Presley songs would mysteriously pop out of a spooky juke box at the
precise moment needed to keep everyone on track. A truly delicious
start to this anthology with a bonus recipe at the end of this story
for Butterscotch Squares looking awfully yummy, too!
A SPAGHETTI KIND OF LOVE – Michelle McGinnis - Mama Mia, or better yet
Great Grandma Carmella’s red sauce; you have to admit if the way to a
man’s heart is through his stomach, shouldn’t women have equal rights,
too? Well it wasn’t just for Dave’s grandmother’s sauce recipe, but I
loved the pure honesty of how Dave went about showing and telling
Meggin how much she meant to him and how he wanted their future to
progress. This one was a short, sweet story complete with a
beautifully romantic declaration of love.
A HEART’S HUNGER – Anne Elizabeth – Memories are like stealthy fun
loving puppies, biting you on your heels to remind you to remember
what is best not forgotten. The author uses this vehicle with Carolyn
and her friend Tina as she and her best friend chat over shared
memories as well as sharing the chores of putting together a family
meal. The reader sees no matter how much Carolyn wanted to forget her
roots, they were always there, especially when every prospective male
she met was measured up against Bennett and they all fell short of
expectation. This was a sweet story, with a lovely romance stirred
into the pot.
KISSING KATE – Jaquelin Lorin – While this is a very common plot line
where the boy runs away from home to seek fame and fortune leaving
behind a trail of broken hearts, the authors puts a very sentimental
and heart tugging emotional spin on it to reveal facts of the true
reasons why Nick left and what events led him to stay away. She
revealed Kate’s inner turmoil over still loving him so much, in such a
way that this reader shed tears as if I were the one left behind who
didn’t want to get hurt again. This was a perfectly lovely story, and
I can’t wait to try out Kate’s ‘peach cobbler’ recipe!
BIRTHDAY BLUES – Amy Blizzard – This was a very sweet, witty and
clever story. Claudia was an extremely up-tight and suspicious woman
who was surprised at her door by a very handsome dude who could have
been a molester or burglar and her reactions to him were completely
plausible. Nick, the chef, wasn’t quite sure what he’d gotten himself
into by doing a favor for her friend Dawn but when Claudia let her
hair down, he was ready to prepare any dish she wanted. The dialogs
were yummy as is the recipe for Sweet N Simple Fruit Salad.
CLAM CHOWDER FOR SAMANTHA’S SOUL – by Jill and Julia – Well, I’m not
sure about the recipe for ‘Whitaker’s Clam Chowder’ recipe at the end
of this delightful short story, but the story itself was mighty tasty.
Admittedly, Mitch acted like a real ass when he assumed all the wrong
things about Samantha, but thankfully the introduction of a delightful
wise-cracking gnome-chick by the name of Lola, gave him the
inspiration to save his butt and not let Samantha, the next best thing
to ice cream, get away!
THE TROUBLE WITH BELGIAN WAFFLES – Kristi Ahlers – I so enjoyed this
story! Not only was the author able to make you laugh out loud with
Claire’s disastrous attempts in the culinary arts, but you had to love
her klutziness as well. Detective Drake definitely noticed his
neighbor, obviously not for her culinary talents, but as one very sexy
looking young woman he would really like to taste. The pacing was just
right in this, the dialogs were lovely and the obvious attraction both
felt for one another was ‘smoking’ – just like Claire’s attempts at
cooking! Loved the proposal and had a tear in my eye. Superb!
KEEPING HANNAH SAFE – Billie Warren Chai – In one short story this
author managed to grab hold of your attention with a very funny
kitchen disaster, spark it up with a wild attraction, toss in a twist
or two with a little bit of suspense and have it all come together in
one totally enjoyable and heady romance. Excellent characterizations
and with so much going on in this tale, I’d love to have seen this as
a full length story!
RECIPE FOR DISASTER – Bobbi Dumas – The author paints Jason as all
that is kind, considerate and loving – anyone’s ideal of a special
person in their life. She also paints a complex guilt ridden heroine
who has loved Jason from childhood and relished her summer vacations
to visit. This was a very good, sweet and emotionally touching story
where the author explained and showed the guilt parents could load up
on a young child. Thank goodness for happy and wonderfully romantic
endings and a terrific dessert.
SOUP d’AMOUR – M.J. Sager – Both Connor and Layla were very well
defined and giving Layla a gift of sight where she immediately saw
herself married and making love to this stranger made this short story
all the more enjoyable. What Connor’s matchmaking Uncle Leo couldn’t
do in his life was to arrange to have the two people he knew were
soulmates to get together once and for all after his death.
Well-written, humorous and sensual with a wonderful recipe for my
SWEET SAUERKRAUT – Gerri Bowen – There’s nothing more I like than a
sweet Regency tale and though this was short and sweet it combined all
the elements I look for in a historical read with humor and a little
bit of silliness to toss in the pot. The idea of a Regency lady
wanting to cook was clever and original. During that period, it was
one thing to cook privately in the home, but to enter a contest where
the judges would be from the upper echelons of society, now that is
original! Very well done, but just can’t say I have a fondness for
sauerkraut, sweetened or otherwise!
THE MAN HAS A SWEET TOOTH – Diane Davis White – Sadie the Shady Angel
and her mentor Pricilla are back into the swing of things to help two
strangers make a match. The dialogs are witty, and the sexual
attraction is strong making the reader smile from start to finish and
the recipe for Easy Raspberry Brownies sounds positively decadent!
THE PUMPKIN PIE MURDER – Victoria Houseman – This was sweet, and the
old cliché of ‘love at first sight’ was beautifully played out under
this author’s well-written hand. Both characters, Detective Sara Stone
and Silas Edwards were very well fleshed out and with a tad bit of
humor added into the pot, you couldn’t ask for more – except maybe one
of Silas’s pastries!
CHICKEN WHAT DU HELL – Deborah MacGillivray – Remy (aka Royce Torqhill
Remington Kinross, the 13th Marquis of Dunmoor and Seafeld) and his
cat Bubba were not scoring points with the gifts Bubba was dropping
off at their beautiful neighbor Catonia’s house. Remy when he turned
on his Cajun accent was a sensual delight, with his wonderfully
delicious ‘pick-up’ lines. All the characters were well-developed and
this short story was simmering with sensuality. What a wonderful story
to end this beautiful collection of short stories all featuring some