By Sarah W
Jan 9, 2012 - 1:19:29 PM

Marlene is a great chef. Although she does not have the professional training that many chefs do, Marlene is talented in the kitchen. She is smart and capably works the line like a champ. Thus, she is dismayed when her best friend Olivia brings in another chef to take over the restaurant, Chameleon, for a short time. Not only was Marlene holding down the restaurant before Olivia's husband was caught cheating on her, she knows she has what it takes to do it now that he is gone. But in comes Joe Rafferty. He is a love 'em and leave 'em type and though Marlene is not excited about working with him in the kitchen, she cannot wait to try him in the bedroom.

Joe is trying to change however. His mother's dying wish was that he would settle down so that is what he is going to do. No more flings. And Joe knows that Marlene only wants a fling so he tries to stop the chemistry between them in its tracks. But the more time they spend in the kitchen of Chameleon, the more Joe likes her. She is incredibly smart, a savvy cook, responsible, fun, and has a heart of gold. These are all qualities he knows his mother would want for him in a future spouse but Joe still is not sure if Marlene feels the same way.

SCRUMPTIOUS is scrumdiddlyumptious reading! I absolutely loved the chemistry between Joe and Marlene. They set the pages on fire and they were just a really fun match together. There is something about books involving food and romance that draws me in and Amanda Usen seems to recognize that because the descriptions of the food are mouthwatering. I wanted the ability to dine at Chameleon in order to sample Marlene's baked goods and the wonderful foods she was creating with Joe. There are some heavier relationship issues examined in this book also. Both Joe and Marlene struggle with commitment and have gone from person to person, believing that is what makes them happy. And there is no doubt for a time, it did. But when you meet the right person, when something just clicks, well, wonderful things can happen. Both characters struggled to recognize just how important their relationship had become. Neither have the best parental examples of relationships, so that plays a key role in how much they allow themselves to reveal to each other, and how much they initially trust each other. It is not clear sailing but theirs is a relationship that, with hard work, will be everything amazing when falling in love. Joe and Marlene won me over early on in the story and I just wanted the best for them.

SCRUMPTIOUS sells itself! It has delicious food, intelligent characters, and a romance that succeeds on many levels. It is the perfect dish for your reading day!

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