Lovin' los libros

A book blog dedicated to young adult and new adult novels

ARC Review: All Fired Up by Kate Meader

By 12:24 PM , , , , , ,

All Fired Up (Hot in the Kitchen #2)
   by: Kate Meader

Publication Date: Nov. 5, 2013
Publisher: Forever
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: Adult
Source: e-ARC provided by NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Page Count: 333 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 3/5 stars

Her sweetest mistake . . .

Cool as a Chicago winter, private events planner Cara DeLuca is a model of self-control . . . until she meets the one temptation she can't resist: Shane Doyle. The sexy, Irish pastry chef is too hot, too sure, too young, and after a crazy night in Vegas-her new husband. While at first Cara wants nothing more than a way out of her sham marriage to Shane, she soon finds that beneath his farm boy demeanor lies a man who can match her drive, both in and out of the bedroom. How can the wrong guy feel so deliciously right?

. . . Tastes so, so good

Shane has carefully structured his career and life around one goal: connecting with the family that doesn't know he exists. Marrying a woman with more issues than a magazine stand wasn't part of the plan, but melting Cara's icy exterior is so worth the detour. Now as the annulment date nears and long-buried secrets are revealed, Shane will have to fight for the one thing guaranteeing the perfect life he craves . . . the current Mrs. Shane Doyle.

This sounded like such a cute read, so naturally I had to pick it up! While I ended up enjoying this one, I really struggled to get into it. I can't quite pinpoint what exactly gave me so much trouble- this book can be read as a stand-alone, but when characters from previous novels show up and there is history- I just felt a bit out of the loop. I also felt like I was on information overload. Meader does a great job with her descriptions, but I think I felt it was a bit much too fast. I also struggled with the back and forth between Shane and Cara's voice. One minute we would have Shane's thoughts and then I felt we would abruptly switch to Cara's. As a result, I just found I had a hard time losing myself in the books' pages like I usually do.
However, as the story progressed, things started clicking for me and I began to understand the history and family background of the novel. I also got used to the alternating POV's, and I felt I wasn't as overloaded with information. I began enjoying the romance and the story surrounding it.
Cara and Shane were a great couple and they had me laughing at them quite often. Cara and Shane are complete opposites. Cara is obsessed with control, can be uptight, and has been nicknamed Lemon Tart at the restaurant she works at. However, when you learn Cara's reasons for control, it absolutely breaks your heart. She has not confided in anyone about what she has gone through, suffered, and eventually overcome. With all this in mind- it'd be pure craziness that this control freak of a woman would get hitched to a stranger in Vegas, right? Mm, maybe not so crazy...
Shane Doyle is the new pastry chef at the restaurant Cara works for. He is immensely talented and successful, which begs the question- why work for a restaurant in Chicago when we could own his own? Shane has secrets that he keeps close as well, and while his motivations for coming to Chicago might not have been the most positive, meeting Cara, her family and friends, has brought new revelations to his life. Saying yes to a strange woman asking him to marry her is also pretty crazy. While Cara talks of annulment, Shane really starts to question if that's what he wants- the two clearly have some killer chemistry. Shane is fun-loving, adorkable, and completely irresistible. He won't give up on his new wife just yet. He wants to get to know her and the more he pushes himself into her life, the more he realizes he doesn't want to ever leave it.
I liked how hard Cara fought against Shane. It was cute, but that girl didn't have a chance in hell at resisting the Irish ginger who could make orgasmic desserts. Letting him in and confessing her deepest, darkest secret was a huge deal for her and Shane handled it amazingly. He didn't pity her, didn't look at her differently, he simply saw her for what she was: beautiful.
The characters that were introduced in Meader's first book of the series, Feel the Heat, play a significant role in this story. Lili is Cara's younger sister, who is engaged to Jack Kilroy, owner of the restaurant Cara party plans for. Jules, Jack's sister, is important to the plot as well, considering the next book will be about her. She has an infant, Evan, but is also a single mom. There is some definite interest between her and Lili and Cara's cousin Tad, and I am very curious to see how their story will play out.
Cara's family has overcome some pretty big obstacles. Her mother is a survivor of cancer and instead of helping out and being there for her mom, Cara was the one to hide away in her work, unsure of how to deal. This is part of the reason, the family doesn't expect Cara to be nurturing or good with kids. However, the opposite couldn't be more true. Cara secretly yearns for a husband and a family to call her own. She brushes off their remarks and acts the part of the successful career woman.
Shane can see right through her, however, and he can see how vulnerable she really is. He wants her to confide in him, yet he can't bring himself to do the same with her. This hurts her deeply, especially since she's shared things with him she has with no one else. Shane eventually comes clean to her about his past, but he doesn't divulge the true reason he has come to Chicago. However, the real reason just may threaten his and Cara's new relationship, as well as some of the friendships he's made along the way. Shane had no idea coming to Chicago would bring so much into his life and he really begins to feel guilty about deceiving the people he's coming to love and cherish.
As I said, I ended up really enjoying this one and I really liked watching Shane and Cara's relationship develop into something deeper. What may have started as a crazy night in Vegas, certainly ended in something much more.

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  1. Wow, your review blew me away! I also have trouble getting swept away in a story when there are too many view points switching back and forth, and too much going on. I'm glad that it got better though! I love stories with secrets, and love how Shane acted great, and didn't treat her any different when her secret came out. Shane sounds very swoon-worthy!

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

    1. Thanks Lindy! <3 Shane was SO swoon worthy! I really loved him! And I am really glad I got into this, even though it was hard at first. But I've been in a reading slump so it could have been that.

  2. I'm glad you liked thus, despite not feeling a strong connection. Shane seems pretty special.
    Nice review!

    1. Thanks Andrea! He definitely was a great book boyfriend!


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