Scott O’Malley isn’t thrilled about posing in only a ‘Kiss the Cook’ apron. Since his girlfriend of two years just dumped him, Scott chooses to view being Mr. July as his chance to be seen by thousands of single females - maybe this isn’t a bad thing after all.
Lexi Cooper has a huge problem. Even though she’s written a cookbook and hosts a cooking show she doesn’t know how to cook and has agreed to take care of the catering for the cocktail party "bachelor" mixer. She can’t find a caterer and it looks like her only option is to learn to cook - fast! How does one cook for five hundred people?
Lexi is in the middle of a culinary nightmare. The temperamental chef who is supposed to teach her to cook has more in common with Hitler than Martha Stewart and has reduced Lexi to tears more than once. In her panic to achieve the perfect souffle and please the dictator chef, Lexi pays a visit to the nearest all-night convenience store to buy eggs. Only there’s a hunky fireman who nabs the very eggs she’s after.
I couldn’t help but laugh while reading SECRET RECIPE. Lexi’s far too serious and Scott is more laid back. Readers will feel Lexi’s panic over having to learn to cook and the astronomical amount of food she’d have to cook, but it’s tempered with humor and Scott’s help and understanding.
When Mr. December (Troy O’Donnell) becomes too ill to sit in as Santa at Bryant’s department store Jason Bryant does the only thing he can think to do - he dons the Santa suit and makes his lap available to the kids. Besides, it gives him the opportunity to learn about his store from a different perspective through the unsolicited comments of customers.
Tessa O’Donnel, Troy’s sister, has been the photographer for the calendar and all the promotions for the charity. To tease her brother she sits on Santa’s lap, only she doesn’t know that Troy is sick and there’s a fill-in for the day.
Tessa is embarrassed by the fact that she seated herself in a stranger’s lap but quickly recovers and introduces herself as Troy’s sister and the photographer. She then proceeds to state a few truths about the store and its owner that she probably wouldn’t have said if she’d been aware that he is the owner. Rather than confess his true identity, Jason simply tells Tessa that his name is JB. How can he possibly hope to have a real relationship with her when he’s already lied?
I have to admit that I felt bad for Jason. While playing Santa he hears all sorts of derogatory comments about the store which really crushes his holiday spirit. Tessa lightens the mood for him with her honest mistake when she sits in his lap. I couldn’t wait to find out what would happen when Tessa learns that he’s really not a lowly employee that he’s pretending to be.
CAN’T BUY ME LOVE
Zoey Massey is the proud owner of Zoey’s Events, a catering business that she’s operated for the past two years. In an attempt to turn a profit, Zoey’s laid-off all of her full-time employees and is doing all the work herself. She’s pushing herself toward a nervous breakdown.
Gordy Mullen (Mr. February) has just learned that his ex-wife, who left him because of his career, is marrying a rookie fireman. It’s enough to drive him to drink, but Gordy realizes that he’s been drinking too much alcohol in his off duty time. Fortunately, he’s found a new distraction - Zoey.
Every day on his way to and from work, Gordy looks into the windows of Zoey’s Events hoping for a glimpse of the woman he sometimes sees inside. Imagine his surprise when his glimpse inside reveals a room full of smoke and he finds Zoey knocked out from hitting her head on the pole in the closet/office. Gordy volunteers to stay with her all night, waking her ever two hours in case she has a concussion. Zoey’s almost positive that he is only an hallucination. A man this good couldn’t possibly exist, could he?
Zoey and Gordy will pull at readers’ heartstrings throughout this story. Zoey’s driving herself way too hard and has started to experience panic attacks. Gordy and Zoey’s friend, Ralph, care too much to allow her to continue running herself ragged.
NICE & NAUGHTY is the perfect treat to add a little "Merry" to the Christmas season. I loved getting the opportunity to revisit the men of the firehouse featured in OPPOSITES ATTRACT and reading about their lives outside of the job. Imagining them all in the buff posing for a charity calendar is an added bonus.
Beautiful job Cat Johnson! The characters are charming and exactly the sort of people I’d want to know in real life. All of the plots are endearing with humorous situations that will have readers smiling and cheering for the couples as well as all the secondary characters. Their lives are a little crazy with all the charity goings on, but it’ll bring a little peace, enjoyment and calm to the reader’s mind while reading.