Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Book CoverSandy M’s review of Hot In Here (Ryland Brothers, Book 1) by Sophie Renwick
Contemporary Erotic Romance released by NAL 2 Jun 09

I don’t usually care for a friends-to-lovers story, but I have to say that Sophie Renwick has penned a pretty darned good one in this book with likable characters, sizzling love scenes, and a little fun along the way that really appealed to me. The fact that I love to cook and the hero in the book is a chef is an added bonus.   [Gwen ed.: this cover is making me drool all over my keyboard.]

Bryce and Jenna have been friends most of their lives. What Bryce and his brother didn’t get in their own home as far as family, they got in Jenna’s home with her family, a sense of belonging and a lot of love. They’ve always been able to talk to one another and do turn to each other when life goes wrong. But when life takes a huge swing at Bryce, with a little help from his own attitude, he calls Jenna to help get him out of hot water, and it’s during their business dinner that suddenly Bryce is seeing his long-time friend in a whole new light. He can’t believe Jenna is all of sudden sexy and he wants her in his bed. This is Jenna we’re talking about, for heaven’s sake. Safe, reliable Jenna.

Loving Bryce for as long as she can remember, Jenna has decided to finally take her fate — their fate — into her hands and is determined to make Bryce see her as the woman she’s become and not the high school friend who’s always been easy to talk to. She has a plan that will help regain his reputation with his female audience who watch his TV cooking show, after he opens his big male mouth and utters the usual nonsense about women that most men believe. Her plan also includes a way to make Bryce sit up and notice of her after all these years. She has no idea her plan really isn’t needed and Bryce is already on the prowl as far as she’s concerned.

Once Bryce and Jenna get together, their love life takes off like fireworks. There’s some very romantic and erotic scenes when Bryce whips up his famous desserts and brings one or two of them along to the bedroom. He’s got some creative ideas on what to do with chocolate.  A man after my own heart. Of course, outside the bedroom, they have their misunderstandings in the relationship, but Bryce is fairly good at getting Jenna to forgive him when he screws up. That’s where the grade for this book fell a little for me, however.

I felt Jenna was a little too quick to condemn Bryce when she finds out about his supposed schemes that make her feel foolish, embarrassed, and hurt. She does this at least twice, never showing a lot of faith in him and his love. And he does love her; he nearly crawls and begs for her forgiveness each time and then she gives in a little too easily considering how angry she is to begin with. I just wanted a little more motivation on Jenna’s part to be that angry with Bryce, especially when he explains his brother’s part in all of it. Of course, the make-up sex each time is to die for. Other than this, though, Hot In Here is a good read.

I also liked getting to know Trey, Bryce’s brother, and Sarah, Jenna’s sister, who will be featured in the next book. Their relationship is quite interesting and I’m looking forward to finding out what happens between them.

SandyMGrade: B+

She wasn’t his dish-until someone turned up the heat.
Celebrity chef and infamous ladies man Bryce Ryder can’t believe the thoughts he’s having about his old friend Jenna McCabe. She’s always been the shy girl-next-door, but when some bad publicity threatens everything he’s built, Jenna gets down to business-and shows a side of herself that is take-charge and totally irresistible.
Soon things are heating up in and out of the kitchen-and all of Jenna’s secret fantasies about Bryce start coming true. But will she be the one to tame his heart, or is the sexy chef just indulging another one of his cravings?
Read an excerpt.