After the first several chapters in this book, the idea of putting it down and starting a different one came to me a number of times. I’m one, however, who doesn’t like to not finish a book. And in this case, am I glad I didn’t succumb to that original thought.
During those first chapters I kept telling myself this is a plot we’ve read before. Over and over again. Hero and current girlfriend break up before a big to-do he needs for his career, gets heroine to help him out, they fall in love along the way. That’s pretty much how it all starts. After the break-up, Rich asks Becca to help him become more domesticated so he’s relationship material to get the ex-girlfriend back. Even though Becca’s been attracted to him since they met at her brother’s marriage to his sister, she’s kept that to herself and pretended not to like Rich very much. But when they’re thrown into living together for a few months — all platonic of course — to keep the peace she agrees to help him out.
I also didn’t care much for Rich in these chapters. He’s in his early thirties, is a slob at home, typical man when it comes to women. I felt the author needed to do some fancy footwork to make me change my mind about him. What did she do, you ask? Humor. She had me laughing out loud.
When the cooking lessons begin is when this book picks up and the fun starts. Rich’s first assignment is to fix grilled cheese sandwiches. Simple, right? Yeah, Rich thought so too when Becca explained it to him. Didn’t turn out that way, however, and that ends up being one of the best scenes in the book. There are several more that also made me laugh quite a bit. This is where I started to soften toward Rich.
Rich comes from a big Italian family, one he calls dysfunctional. But they don’t have a thing on Becca’s family. She left Philadelphia to get away from their influence, especially when it comes to her work. She’s an artist and she wants to make it on her own, not on the coattails of her doctor father or socialite mother. It’s interesting how Rich, growing up as he did, was actually coddled, so to speak, so that he didn’t learn the basics of keeping house; whereas Becca, coming from money, servants taking care of the home, and she’s the one who’s teaching him how to cook, clean, and do laundry.
First come an undeniable attraction between them, Rich really seeing Becca for the first time. The sex is great of course, and it’s Rich who says the L-word first. He’s straightforward with his feelings; one who knows what he wants and he goes for it. It’s Becca who’s the list maker, who has to think things over before making a decision, and who doesn’t believe love is for her. Their conflict stems from Rich wanting Becca to succeed, to get what she wants, though he goes about it the wrong way, and even Becca is a little guilty of that in her own right.
But as the two of them talk about a few times during their story, the make-up sex is great. I enjoyed their love scenes. They’re honest and fun as well as intense and fulfilling.The scene with the dining room table is one of the best and one of the most heart wrenching when all is said and done.
I got the feeling from things I came across this is not the first book about some of the characters I read about, and, sure enough, there’s two books prior to this one. I”m sure I even have one in the TBR pile. I’m going to be digging that one out and hunting down the other. Ms. Kaye’s characters are engaging and charming and I want to know more about them.
Rich, the epitome of “anti-domestic,” can’t cook to save his life, and his idea of cleaning his apartment is to invite his mother over. But he’s ready to settle down, and he can’t stop thinking about the ex-girlfriend who got away. When he notices that his soon-to-be-married friends cooked and cleaned their way into their women’s hearts, he asks his friend Becca to help transform him into a nurturing man to win back his ex.
Rich is the only guy who’s taken the time to know Becca for herself. She decides she’ll give him the makeover he’s asking for, though she’ll be damned if she’s going to turn him into a domestic god for another woman. She wants Rich for herself, but how can she convince him that her kitchen and her bedroom are the only domestic locales he desires?
Read an excerpt.
Other books in this series: