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How steamy is it? Simmering

Publisher's Summary

In downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Lou works tirelessly to build her beloved yet struggling French restaurant, Luella's, into a success. She cheerfully balances her demanding business and even more demanding fiancé...until the morning she discovers him in the buff - with an intern.

Witty yet gruff British transplant Al is keeping himself employed and entertained by writing scathing reviews of local restaurants in the Milwaukee newspaper under a pseudonym. When an anonymous tip sends him to Luella's, little does he know that he's arrived on the worst day of the chef's life. The review practically writes itself: underdone fish, scorched sauce, distracted service - he unleashes his worst.

The day that Al's mean-spirited review of Luella's runs, Lou and Al cross paths in a pub. As they chat, Al playfully challenges Lou to show him the best of Milwaukee, and she's game - but only if they never discuss work, which Al readily agrees to. As they explore the city's local delicacies and their mutual attraction, Lou's restaurant faces closure, while Al's column gains popularity. It's only a matter of time before the two fall in love...but when the truth comes out, can Lou overlook the past to chase her future?

©2015 Amy Reichert (P)2015 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Deliciously entertaining!" (Meg Donohue, author of Dog Crazy)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    195
  • 4 Stars
    147
  • 3 Stars
    77
  • 2 Stars
    16
  • 1 Stars
    6

Performance

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    181
  • 4 Stars
    123
  • 3 Stars
    61
  • 2 Stars
    25
  • 1 Stars
    13

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    174
  • 4 Stars
    137
  • 3 Stars
    68
  • 2 Stars
    17
  • 1 Stars
    7
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A Delightful Read

Although the plot is similar to others, e.g. "You've Got Mail", and the ending was obvious, it was a fun diversion and a nice change from murder mysteries, dysfunctional families, and war. My only complaint was the narrator. Her voice was nice but she read without expression and mispronounced quite a few words.
If you want a light, fun read, look no further.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Two foodies

The story was a bit predictable, but still enjoyable. I kept thinking ‘this is going to be bad’—you know when someone lies and/or keeps the truth hidden and then it comes out. It was hidden, hidden, hidden and then bam. The main female showed strength of character over and over. It was a good story. Hope you enjoy it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Story great, narration not so much

Dear Narrator, Listen, if you don’t know how to do an English accent, don’t do one, Guvnuh. I’m enjoying the story, going along, and all of a sudden Al has to speak. Ugh. Bad.

Narration aside, this is a cute, intriguing story, albeit predictable. But it’s a romance—a bit of predictability is the expectation. Ironically, the concept is a good metaphor for this book: the character is trying too hard to be a French chef, and would find more success being herself. This book tries to too hard to be “Literature.” It feels like the author is trying to be what she thinks a “good” writer is. The descriptions take themselves too seriously, and are used for the sake of being descriptive. This is a cute little plot and told reasonably well! Don’t mess it up with cliched phrases that add nothing to the plot, character, or setting. If she would just be herself, the story wouldn’t feel forced.

Overall, this is a cute story told in cliches, which could be overlooked if the narrator was better.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Cute story, terrible narrator

This is a good comfort read, but the narrator was very monotone and mispronounced many words.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Ready to cook

Adorable and warm story, delicious food I want to try to recreate. Also, enjoyed the narration.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Cute Little Weekend Read

Although this story was a tad predictable like some other readers have pointed out, that doesn't mean it's not a good story. I loved this cute romance. I felt for the characters, teared up a little at the obvious sad part, and loved the food descriptions! It's a lovely read to unwind with at the end of the day.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

loved the story and the characters

I felt I was in the city sampling wonderful recipes meeting intriguing people and learning about love

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Robotic narration

The male voices are jarring and there is an overall monotone in narration. It’s more of a reading aloud vs bringing the story to life.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jane
  • Chicago, IL, United States
  • 07-06-18

Nice escape. Very enjoyable.

It’s a slow buildup of romance. There is a happy ending. And of course, it’s done in 3rd person -- my comfort read.

I was surprised at the suspense. I was on the edge of my seat for much of the book wondering what would happen and how Lou would find out the secret. It was good suspense. (The secret is in the book blurb so this is not a spoiler.) Al is the newspaper restaurant critic who writes a scathing review about Lou’s restaurant. When they meet and start seeing each other, Lou does not know Al is the critic since he uses a pen name, and Al does not know Lou is the owner of the restaurant he reviewed.

There is a lot of talk about food. Made me want to go to the fictional Milwaukee places and eat.

A couple sex scenes happen, but they are referred to not shown. Example: They start kissing, the next scene is next morning.

AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR:
C.S.E. Cooney did a good job with everyone except Al. She used a British accent for Al that made him sound like A LITTLE BOY. I had trouble seeing him as a desirable man. She was fine doing other male characters, but not the hero. It was well edited, no breath noises.

DATA:
Narrative mode: 3rd person. Story length: 336 pages. Swearing language: none that I recall. Sexual content: two scenes no details. Setting: current day Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Book copyright: 2015. Genre: contemporary romance.

OTHER BOOKS:
I’ve read two other books by this author.
3 ½ stars. The Simplicity of Cider. (Lack of justice for crimes done.)
2 stars. The Optimist’s Guide to Letting Go. (Too much grief.)

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I do love coconut cake....

This story had more to it than some.... I like escapism romance, usually humorous, often mysterious and occasionally thrilling... there’s nothing like a good romp! However this one worked a little harder than some. More depth, more emotion. Lots of food! I enjoyed it all. It was expertly performed and plucked the heartstrings in just the right way. Not too deep, not too lighthearted and no sex for the sake of sex... there was chemistry but no sex to witness.

Five stars!