Lovin' los libros

A book blog dedicated to young adult and new adult novels

Review: Recipe for Temptation by Gina Gordon

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Recipe for Temptation (Madewood Brothers #4)
    by: Gina Gordon

Publication Date: Aug. 11, 2015
Publisher: Entangled: Brazen
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: Adult
Source: e-ARC received via the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Page Count: 189 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 2.5/5 stars

She's the woman he loves to hate.

Penn Foster wants a lot of things. She wants a spot on the board of a charitable foundation. She wants to win the stupid, plastic family trophy. And more than anything, she wants her tall, hot, and brooding boss naked in her bed. Now, on a Hawaiian vacation with her family, she's desperately trying not to think about how he'd sound whispering dirty things in her ear.

He's the man she can't have...or can she?

Cole Murphy keeps himself locked down, away from the press and out of the spotlight. Still haunted by a traumatic childhood, his ability to trust has been decimated. Penn, with her sexy body and confidence, is the only person able to drag him out of his shell. Which is why he crashes her vacation and accepts her proposition for no-strings sex. But is the inescapable heat building between them a delicious temptation, or will it end in total disaster?

When I first picked up this book for review, I had not realized it was the fourth in a series. However, when it comes to Brazens that usually isn't a problem, as they all serve as stand-alones. Unfortunately, after reading this one, I never truly felt I got a firm grasp of the characters and I failed to see a connection between them beyond sex. While I like that the book jumps right in to Penn and Cole's story, I really needed more background first.
It was nice to see the role reversal here though, with Penn being the more confident one and Cole being less aggressive. Cole has a past and that was definitely a factor in that role reversal. He doesn't divulge his past to Penn until late in the book, and I just felt there should have been more communicating instead of sexing away the problems at hand.
The book revolves primarily around Penn's family's competition, which is being held in Hawaii. Penn has never won the trophy, having always been paired with a cousin or whatnot because of her single status. This year however, Cole decides to come join in the family fun and is determined to help her win the trophy. I wasn't too keen on Penn's family and their competitiveness because it really showed us an ugly side to them and I was pretty angry for the entire book that they would treat her the way they did. I did like that Gordon resolved things with Penn's family and that they finally saw her for who she really was and how successful she was.
I really wish I would have liked this one more, but being such a character driven reader, if I don't feel a connection there, then the plot isn't enough to make the book work for me on its own. Had I read the previous books in this series, I might have felt more attached to the characters and understood them a bit better, but this book wasn't enough to do so on its own.

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  1. Aww boo Brazens are usually such a given so its a shame this one didn't work for you. Great review!

  2. Wow. This is too funny. Because I loved this one and you felt like the couple was all lust and no emotional connection. But with Consumed by you, which we also both read this week, YOU loved it and I'M the one that felt like the couple on that one were all lust and no emotional connection :D

    Anyway. I did agree with you, since I also started with book 4 here, that I kind of felt like I was missing a build up to Cole and Penn but instead of pushing me away it made me really want to go back and read the other 3 books.

    Well too bad this one didn't work for you :( At least I won't have to fight to stake my claim on Cole :D!! Haha

  3. Aww! That sucks that you couldn't connect with the characters but that would definitely prevent me from enjoying the book too. I struggle with Brazen books where you can't connect with the characters or see their emotional connection beyond sex. I do like the role reversal in this one though.
    Sorry this was a disappointment, Jess.

  4. Yeah, if I couldn't connect with the characters or didn't have much background story, I wouldn't enjoy it either. Totally understandable.

    Majanka @ I Heart Reading

  5. I'm sorry this one was a miss! If there's that missing connection, especially with the short length of brazens, it's just tough to be invested in the couple! Too bad this didn't work :(


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