Chocolate makes you happy. It might as well be a universal truth, especially in Hershey, Pennsylvania, and chocolate chemist Natalie Holden intends to prove it. She might not be lucky in love, but if she can show her chocolate recipe helps teenage depression it will make everything worth it. There's just one sexy problem--Luke Elliot, the guy she's had a crush on since birth, is the microbiologist set to debunk her study. And, of course, he looks more delicious than ever!
Luke doesn't believe this project has a leg to stand on, so he's shocked to discover Natalie heading it. His "what if" girl from high school, she's still as tempting as he remembers. Especially when she's daring him to taste test chocolate and arguing with him over every possible thing. The late nights in the lab definitely don't help. They may not see eye-to-eye on her project, but they can’t deny the explosive chemistry that keeps pulling them together. Even when it risks their jobs and the very different futures they both want...
Each book in the Sugar City series is STANDALONE:
* Love Bites
* Kissing Her Crush
* Wife for the Weekend
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
Kissing Her Crush
A Sugar City Novel
By Ophelia London, Alycia Tornetta
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2015 Ophelia London
All rights reserved.
Natalie lowered her cell and stared bug-eyed in shock across the lab. Happy shock. "We ..." She blinked a few times, then slid her safety glasses on top of her head. "We got it."
Ivy lowered the test tube in her hand. "What'd we get?"
"The foundation's endorsement. The lab space for our pilot trial. The grant."
"Stop — shut up." Test tubes clinked together when Ivy dropped the whole tray onto her workstation and held up one latex-gloved hand. "Since when?"
"Since ten seconds ago." Natalie displayed her phone, feeling the rush of endorphins the good news was bringing on. "I didn't want to say anything until it was officially happening. And now it's ..."
They gazed at each other for a silent second, then they both exploded in cheers that rattled the glass partitions of the lab.
"Buckle up, baby," Natalie said. "Starting Monday, for the next three weeks, you and I are heading the newest pro-tem research team at Penn State Medical Center." She smoothed down the front of her white lab coat, running her fingers over the Hershey logo.
"That's amazing!" Ivy's red ponytail bounced as she jumped up and down. "We need something to toast with, but not this stuff." She pushed aside a tray of caramel-colored blobs. "Not quite edible."
"Those'll do," Natalie said, gesturing to the row of brown squares on the counter. "Toss me one."
Ivy lobbed over one of their newest experiments: Peanut butter and honey-soaked wafers between shaves of coconut, covered in one layer of milk chocolate and one of Hershey's Special Dark. It would never make it past the test kitchen, but one of the best perks of being research and development food chemists in the "Sweets and Refreshments" lab was creating new products, no matter how unconventional.
"Cheers." Ivy lifted a square of chocolate.
"To us!" Natalie air-clinked their bars. "Mmm, man," she moaned, as velvety-smooth cocoa melted down her throat. "Whoever says chocolate doesn't stimulate positive brain function is high on cray-cray."
"Agreed. And that's the whole basis of your research project's theory," Ivy replied with a full mouth. "You gotta tell the rest of the team the news, and your family. Your mom will freak."
"I know — it's huge." Natalie couldn't stop beaming, due to the combination of succulent chocolate and the exhilarating, validating turn of events.
"This calls for a special celebration." Ivy twirled the end of her ponytail while finishing her candy. "I'm thinking never-ending tapas at the Lounge. Drinks on me!"
Natalie felt an even bigger smile about to break, but a second later, it dropped. "I can't. There's so much to do before Monday. I have to gather the data, store the files, order the base supplies — most have to be FedExed from Brazil —"
"Nat, chill. There'll be time for that. Right now, you need to stand still, breathe, think about chocolate, and be happy."
Natalie obeyed and took a deep breath. Happy, yes. Chocolate, yesss.
Not only was Ivy her best friend and R&D lab partner, she also had a knack for talking Natalie down when she was about to board the train bound for Stressville.
But she couldn't help it. She'd been submitting for pilot seed grants for two years, needing major coinage to fund the first phase of her research project on the rare Amazonian root that, when mixed with cocoa found in the same region, had been shown to safely elevate serotonin levels in adolescents.
Of course the theory that chocolate equals happiness wasn't anything new; women had been singing that song for decades. But this study was unique.
And for Natalie, very close to home.
Ivy opened her arms wide. "Congrats, superstar," she said, giving her a big hug.
"Thanks, seriously. I know it's going to take up a lot of time and you're only doing it to get your research hours in, but I really appreciate it."
"Nat." Ivy frowned. "I believe in your theory just as passionately as you do. You know that."
Natalie felt another surge of gratitude for her best friend.
Ivy stepped back and gave Natalie the old up-down. "No-no, you're not going out like this."
Natalie glanced at her outfit. Nothing unusual. Hershey-issued white lab coat covered in chocolate smears and spatters, jeans, and hot pink trainers.
"Since you're a big-shot medical researcher for the next three weeks," Ivy said, "we gotta make you presentable. These go." She removed Natalie's plastic goggles and tossed them on the table. "Pull your hair out of ... Is this a scrunchy?"
"Who cares what I look like at work?" Natalie defended, just as she caught her reflection in the glass partition behind her microscope. Egads. Out of its updo, her blonde-streaked hair was wilder than usual. She combed her fingers through the ends, but taming it at this point was impossible. She might as well go for the purposeful lion's mane/1980 rock star's girlfriend look.
"Don't walk out in your uniform," Ivy added. "Even though it's super-fashionable."
Natalie laughed and slid out of her lab coat. "You coming now?"
"I'll meet you there in a few." She walked a tray of used measuring cups to the sink. "Um, I'm making a quick stop first."
Natalie cut between Ivy and the sink. "No. No, you're not."
"Not what?" Ivy asked, giving her the innocent eyes. But that hadn't worked in years.
"You are not going to see Jake." Natalie put her hands on her hips. "The guy's trouble. If I have to spend all night talking you out of it again, I will." Just a few days ago, she'd spent three hours saving Ivy from making a similarly huge relationship mistake. If Natalie wasn't around to police her, who knew what kind of trouble Ivy would get into?
"Fine," Ivy said after a dramatic exhale. "I'll stay strong, like you said."
"Good." Natalie stuffed her uniform down the laundry chute, grabbed her purse, and wound her long, cottony-soft scarf around her neck. "So you'll meet me at the Lounge later? Alone?"
Ivy rolled her eyes, making Natalie laugh.
She didn't mind if her best friend thought she was a pain in the derrière.
Solving Ivy's love life woes helped Natalie keep her mind off her own relationship issues.
"I promise," Ivy finally said, begrudgingly. Then her face brightened. "Now, call your parents and tell them the news!"
Natalie joined Ivy in one more celebratory squeal, then left the lab, the place she'd called her work home for five delicious years — fifty more years, if she had her way.
At every red light as she cruised up Chocolate Avenue, she called a different number. Not surprisingly, neither her mother nor her father picked up. She left voicemails everywhere, telling them she had big news and to meet at their regular table at the Lounge ASAP.
No shock they weren't there by the time she arrived. She scanned the room, picking out familiar faces of the locals she'd known her whole life among the tourists that hit spots like the Hershey Lounge on their way through "The Sweetest Place on Earth."
A tall guy stood alone at the bar. He faced the other way, so Natalie allowed her dude-starved eyes a little stare, to pass the time, admire beauty in the world. He had waves of dark hair cut short; nice, broad shoulders; a very nice ... um ... posterior inside dark wash jeans that fit him like an Armani model.
When it was clear her quick glance had turned into a full-on ogle, she slid her gaze in the other direction. The decision she'd made to stay away from men was what made her resort to extended ogles.
She was about to call her mom's cell again when the guy turned and leaned an elbow on the bar. He looked at her briefly, looked away, then did a double-take. Natalie swallowed, not used to getting double-takes from men in Armani jeans. Maybe she should bend her own rule for once, saunter over, and ...
Or maybe she'd been sampling too much product at work and was having a sugar hallucination, because she could've sworn she was staring into the blue eyes of —
"Luke?" Her diaphragm pushed the single syllable up her throat and out her mouth without too much of a choke.
"Natalie," she corrected ... then wanted to go play in busy traffic.
Luke Elliott. It had been six years since she'd seen him. What had been the occasion? Ah, yes. His engagement party. Awesome. She hadn't said one word to him that day, tried to not even look at him. Ever since one night when they were thirteen, Luke brought out every possible insecurity her teenaged self-esteem could handle, and some she couldn't. During the few times she'd seen him since graduating high school, those insecurities always came back.
Why she let someone who didn't even know her name have any kind of power over her was a mystery. A mystery she did not want to solve.
"Sorry — Natalie, of course. Hi." Luke slid his cell into his pocket and strolled over. "It's good to see you."
She felt the ridiculous impulse to greet him with a hug. But that was nothing more than a silly urge brought on by how damn good looking he was. All the Elliott offspring came from a moving assembly line of perfect hotness. Luke was the oldest, and in Natalie's life-long opinion, the most perfect.
"Good to see you, too." She was about to fold her arms but stopped halfway, unsure what do to with her hands.
Back in high school when they'd run in the same far-reaching social circle, she and Luke had never been even relatively close; for sure not close enough to hug each other now. Although the nicely fitting blue cashmere sweater he was rocking looked temptingly huggable.
No hugging, Nat.
For all she knew, he was still married.
The Hershey grapevine was notoriously unreliable. Just because she'd heard Luke got divorced two years ago didn't mean it was true. Still, she couldn't help but notice the way his sweater stretched across his chest, and how the color caught the deep-blueness of his eyes.
In case of another impulse, Natalie gripped her purse with both hands. After all, it had been a similar impulse that had made her humiliate herself in front of the guy when they were thirteen.
"It's been a while," Luke said.
"Six years," she replied, then mentally thwapped herself on the forehead. Did she think she'd wow him with her memory? Or was she going for the whole stalker vibe?
He rubbed his square jaw that had a rugged five o'clock shadow going. "I think you're right."
"Six years," she repeated. What kind of small talk was called for when you practically grew up with someone who seldom gave you the time of day ... until one stupid party and one "seven minutes in heaven" dare?
Polite small talk, Nat. That's what kind.
"So, what brings you to the Lounge?"
"Buddy of mine works the bar. Or used to." He ran a hand through his dark hair. "A lot's changed since the last time I actually spent more than a weekend in town."
Natalie had to laugh. "Nothing ever changes in Hershey!"
Luke smiled. The fact that it still made her stomach turn a cartwheel certainly hadn't changed. She was supposed to have gotten over her one-sided infatuation the day they'd graduated and he'd left for the big city.
"Yeah." He dipped his chin. "This town is pretty sleepy and slow. I haven't forgotten that." When he looked up again, his smile had vanished, and his sky-blue eyes looked a little cloudy.
She wondered about his subtle mood swing. She also wondered what he was doing in Hershey. The other four Elliott kids didn't live at home, either, but they came to visit all the time. Maybe it was someone's important birthday that finally brought Luke back.
"Anyway." He glanced behind her. "Are you meeting someone?"
"My parents and brother. They're not here yet. Are you alone?" He took a beat before nodding. "For over two years now."
"I didn't mean ..." She bit her lip. "I heard about the divorce."
"I'm sure everyone in Hershey's heard about it." He chuckled, but with no bitterness. "I'll wait with you until your family shows up."
She fidgeted, tugging at her sleeves, feeling like her awkward, tongue-tied teenage self.
"You don't have to. I'm sure you have better things to do."
Luke flashed a smile. "A lady should never wait alone."
Damn. He was charming, too. She'd sensed that about him when they were kids but hadn't been around him enough to know for sure. Totally unfair to be blessed with money, a perfect family, and perfect manners to go with that perfect face. Not that being hot and charming equaled a nice guy. In fact, in Natalie's most recent experiences, it meant anything but.
"That's very nice of you. Thanks," she said, holding up her end of the good-manners game.
"Family dinner on a Thursday. What's the occasion?"
"We're celebrating. I got a pretty big break at work. Not work-work at my day job but a new thing I'll be doing over at the med center for a few weeks."
Luke lifted his eyebrows. "Sounds impressive. Let me help you celebrate." He waved at the bar. "At least start it off."
"No, no, that's okay. They should be here any minute. Um, I think." She flipped her phone in her hands. "I haven't been able to get a hold of anyone."
"Then how do you know they're coming?"
She sighed. "I guess I don't."
"Well, then." He gestured toward the dining room. "After you."
Dang his good manners and smile. She was not about to get all weak-kneed over Luke Elliott again — the first time had been disastrous enough. And especially not now, when she was about to start on the most important project in her career. She didn't need the distraction, no matter how blue the eyes or huggable the sweater.
"We'll sit there," he said to the approaching hostess, pointing to a table next to the windows.
Looks, manners, and a dash of bossiness. Natalie thanked her lucky, chocolate-covered stars that the newly single Luke Elliott didn't live in Hershey anymore.
When they got to the table, he pulled out her chair. "Thanks," she said, unwinding her scarf and wishing she was more dressed up. No one else at the Lounge would care that she was in a plain white, long-sleeved T-shirt and hot pink Nikes, but they didn't go with Luke's cashmere polished manners.
Water and a basket of bread appeared at their table. "Thanks, Roy," she said.
"You must come here a lot," Luke observed.
"But you didn't grow up here. Or you didn't go to Hershey High, right?"
"Right." She opened her menu, although she'd had it memorized forever. "I'm from Inter —" As usual, she choked halfway through the word. "Intercourse."
Luke lowered his menu and eyed her across the table.
She tried not to feel the embarrassment she'd felt as a kid. She might have grown up in a tiny Pennsylvania non-town with the most mortifying name on the planet, but she'd had her own apartment in Hershey for years. The town was small, but at least it had its own post office.
"Ahh, that's right." Luke nodded. "Your father ran a farmers market in Lancaster County."
"One of them." She glanced across the dining room, hoping the subject would die.
What was it about being around Luke — or any of the Elliotts — that made Natalie feel like a barefoot hillbilly? Was it that big house on the hill where he'd grown up, while she'd been raised forty miles away in the sticks, surrounded by Amish dairy farms?
Or was it because she always seemed to be sporting exceptionally unruly, lion's-mane hair and jeans and Barbie-pink sneakers whenever she happened to see him?
Maybe it was all of the above, plus the fact that she'd had a crush on him since birth.
"Does he still have a farmers market?" he asked.
"It's smaller and only one weekend a month. But there're plenty of others in Lancaster."
"But yours had the apple cider."
Natalie couldn't help smiling. "You remember that?"
"Are you kidding?" He rested his forearms on the table. "We had that stuff year-round. Holden Apple Farms. I can picture the label."
So could Natalie — way too vividly. "I haven't had any in ages."
She gave him a long look. "I had to pick those apples instead of going to parties."
His grinning eyes crinkled at the edges. "I hear ya."
While he went back to studying his menu, Natalie stopped to think how, in the last ten minutes, they'd exchanged more words than they ever had. Definitely more than during those dimly-lit moments inside the boathouse. The memory made the hair at the back of her neck stand up.
"Does your entrée page have a comic section mine doesn't?" she asked.
"I forgot how huge bologna is around here. I know it's an Amish thing, but I never liked it, even as a kid."
Natalie crinkled her nose. "Me neither, but the tourists expect it. That and chocolate-covered everything."
Excerpted from Kissing Her Crush by Ophelia London, Alycia Tornetta. Copyright © 2015 Ophelia London. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Natalie and Luke have history together that only she can remember. A single incident that can make the past seem so painful and give no hope to the future. Can they get past the problems that haunt them? Natalie is the leader of a clinical trial for depression in teenagers. Luke is a proctor for the trial, on behalf of the money lender. There is also an attraction between them that is almost a living thing. One they cannot act on if they are to remain objective. Luke never comes back to his hometown. He came for this clinical trial, and will be gone when its over. The simple question is will he be leaving with his heart intact? Natalie has grown up thinking Luke hung the moon. Now, as adults, are her feelings leftover from that crush or are they newer and more genuine? Will the fact that they work together stop them from trying to have a solid future? What a surprise goody this book is! Such an amazing book with great banter, heartfelt longing, and a serious craving for chocolate. I found I liked the characters and their honesty. A good clean romance story from start to finish. ***This ARC copy was given by Netgalley.com and its publisher, in exchange for an honest review only.
This story is all sugar and spice, and might make you want to eat some chocolate.. The chemistry between Luke and Natalie is sizzling. They have the history from their high school days, even though those memories are not nearly as clear to Luke as they are to Natalie. Now within the first meeting, the sparks are flying. But to find out, that he is the enemy, the one who has the power to stop her research, makes things awkward. And the ethical matters of them get involved while working together, well that's another matter all together. But when left in each own company, the spark fires, and I mean literally takes on fire. They almost set a forest fire with a makeout session. And brake amusement park equipment. The banter is non stop, it is fun, entertaining, and flirty. But there's not just the sexual chemistry that is off the charts, they also have a deeper connection, feelings that are difficult to handle, but create some of the sweetest moments between them, like when Luke is taking care of her after he poison her. Yes, you really need to read the story! The teen age depression that the research is based around of, and Natalie's brother's illness are handled with dignity and respect. Lots of information comes forward as a natural part of the story, that might be eye opening. I didn't understand much about the research itself, and how they could prove what they were after, in such a short time, in only in a lab. That was left a little blurry in my mind, but really, not the point in the story so lets just move on. Even with their jobs in jeopardy, Luke and Natalie's strong connection keeps bringing them into each other's arms. The story goes from laugh out loud funny, to serious matters of teenage depression, warms out hearts and makes you smile, and hum that song "Sugar" ~ Four Spoons
A cute, light, and sweet story! Kissing Her Crush is a clean romance (there's a little swearing and a whole lot of the expected kissing given the title, but that's it)--the hero and heroine do plan to sleep together, but rom-com style events conspire to push the big event to past the novel's conclusion. Parts of it felt a bit more forced than book one in the series ( Love Bites )--the solution to both the heroine's work and relationship dilemmas, for example, came a bit out of left field and at the last minute--but it was an enjoyable read overall. Who doesn't love a story when an unrequited teenage crush becomes a real adult relationship later in life? Natalie describes her crush on Luke as having been "since birth"--though of course he barely remembers her at all. It turns out they actually had a (very brief) encounter way back then, which Natalie still holds a bit of a grudge over, even though it was apparently 1) in complete darkness and 2) involved no talking and 3) she wasn't the person who was supposed to have met him there, so I don't really understand how she can feel like the injured party in that case. Still, it was hard not to root for her here, on both the relationship and the scientific study fronts, and the two of them are very cute together, whether they're kissing each other or trying very hard not to. Chocolate almost felt like a secondary character in its own right here as well, which it's hard to complain about. ;) (Warning: reading this book may make you crave chocolate! You might want to have some close by as a preventive strike.) I like Luke a lot, despite the fact that he's a health nut and doesn't let himself eat chocolate. (I don't know if this makes him untrustworthy, exactly, but it is highly suspect. Either way, you can see how being a member of the first family of Hershey, PA might make this an issue.) Though he doesn't have a lot of memories of Nat from their teen years, he more than makes up for it with some very sweet romantic gestures in the present. He does end up making a complete 180 in the last few pages of the book about something that was really important to him for the previous 200 or so though, and it doesn't quite feel as if the change is justified--it comes off as more of a quick and easy fix to a tricky situation, which bothered me a bit. Still, this was a fun way to spend an afternoon or two. Rating: 3 1/2 stars / B I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
A fun read! Natalie Holden is over the moon because she just got approved for a grant to test her pet project! Making a secret recipe for chocolate that will help teenage depression has been her passion for awhile now. She heads to a restaurant to meet her family to celebrate, and runs into Luke Elliott. She's had a crush on him for like forever, but he moved away and got married years ago. Luke is begrudgingly in town for a job. He hasn't lived in Hershey, PA for years and he doesn't miss it. He's been divorced for a couple of years now, and when he sees Natalie across the room, he does a double take. When her family is running late, he joins her and they have dinner with nice conversation and lots of flirting. But towards the end, a revelation is made that puts a damper on their reunion. Luke is the person sent by NIH to oversee and observe her project to make sure everything is above board. They butt heads over just about everything, but they also can't seem to resist each other. Over the next few days, they keep sneaking off to have time together and grow closer. Will Luke still make a hasty retreat when all is said and done, or will he and Natalie have a future together?
This was a well written and very entertaining sweet and heartwarming read. I was hooked from beginning to end with all the witty banter, laugh out loud moments and the sexy, combustible attraction between Natalie and Luke. I liked learning their history and watching them come together with their angst and their chemistry that exploded into a lot of hotness. It had a nice build with a twist of drama and great secondary characters that you will come to care about. Great ending. Natalie Holden is a super smart, sexy, sweet and sassy, chemist working for the Hershey company in their research and development. She has just received the grant she has been waiting for to see if her theory about an Amazonian root mixed with chocolate, can boost serotonin levels in adolescents. This is the first step in clinical trials that must work for her to be able to continue with her theory in the future and there is a lot riding on this not just for her. Luke Elliott is a microbiologist who has just been called upon by the NIH to proctor a new grant in his hometown of Hersey Pennsylvania. He is hopeful that this position as proctor means that the NIH is interested in him for a job with them in Washington DC which would be a huge leap in his career. But he also knows that his boss does not want this project to get any additional funding and he feels that if this theory wasn't so potentially dangerous it would be laughable. Natalie has had a crush on Luke Elliot since birth, even after being ignore by him after their seven minutes in heaven when she was thirteen she still couldn't forget him, but six years ago at his engagement party she finally was able to put her crush to rest. Or did she? When Luke shows up in town two years after his ugly divorce and she finds out he is going to be her grants' proctor she finds that she can't think straight when he is in close proximity. Luke cannot take his eyes off of Natalie, he finds her to tempting to resist, but he must with this possible new job on the line. But their exploding chemistry is to much for them both. You will have to read all the juicy tidbits by yourself to find out what goes down. Loved the chocolate tasting. Highly recommended! Received a copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This has to be one of the sweetest stories I have read. Natalie and Luke had such a natural smooth flirtatious connection. I think I spent most of my time smiling while reading just because they were so cute and funny. They had great banter, keeping each other on their toes. They were very magnetic towards each other, bam, lips connected. It was such a lighthearted feel-good read. Ophelia London touched on the dark subject of depression, but didn't dwell and make it dark. I felt for Brandon, Natalie's brother. Poor guy, just wanted to take care of him. And Natalie's relationship with him was so beautiful. I hope we get more from these characters in this book. Dexter was such a comedic genius and Ivy was a great bossy best friend. I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher.
Natalie Holden is on a mission to prove that chocolate is a lot more than sweet. She believe that if combined with the right medication/root that it can help teenage depression. She and her best friend who work at Hershey's Chocolate Factory, wrote a grant and received funding from the NIH to test their theory. She celebrates by getting drunk and hitting on a stranger who turns out to be her monitor her study. Luke Elliot, who has a long history with Natalie, is a microbiologist with the goal of becoming a full time monitor with the NIH. They mix like oil and water, and eventually start to work together while learning about the other. Will their individual goals drive them a part or will they find happiness in being together? I really liked this book and thought it had a fairly accurate portrayal of two scientists that both had goals and unafraid to reach for them. I have enjoyed other books by this author and look forward to reading more in this series. I was given a free copy for an honest review by netgalley.com
A well-written, entertaining romance with lots of sweet AND chocolate! Luke's eyes were on a government position in DC, while all Natalie wanted was to help make the world a sweeter place. KISSING HER CRUSH by Ophelia London is a cute, fun romance interlaced with lots of humor and delicious chocolate. Even though it's the second book in the author's Sugar City series, KISSING HER CRUSH can be fully enjoyed as a standalone. This is the story of Hershey chocolate chemist Natalie Holden and National Institute of Health trial proctor and microbiologist Luke Elliott. The two had prior history so this story could also qualify as a second chance romance. I liked both the hero and the heroine. They both had serious issues to work through. Luke was divorced and had been hurt badly by his ex. His work was his total focus as he'd sworn off any permanent relationship. He was the NIH's observer to ensure that the trial was run appropriately. He came into the trial prejudiced against its success. His primary goal was not to be an open-minded witness to the experiment, but to make a memorable impression with the NIH and be offered a permanent job there. Natalie was a strong woman who had taken responsibility for everyone around her. Her family was very important to her and her brother, who suffered from depression, was her primary motivator to push for the trial of her chocolate recipe. I thought Ophelia handled the subject of depression very well within this tale and it didn't detract from the enjoyment quotient of the story in the least. Natalie wasn't excited about having a proctor for her trial and was doubly on edge, when she discovered that he was also the boy she had fantasized about for years. That same boy had hurt her badly in school by kissing her and walking away like the kiss had never happened. She couldn't believe she was still attracted to him especially when she should be totally focused on making this trial a success for her brother's sake if not for her own. I found KISSING HER CRUSH to be a well-written, entertaining read. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys lively contemporary romances with lots of sweetness. My full review is posted at Reading Between The Wines Book Club. Please check it out there! 3 1/2 Wine Glasses!
4 stars Kissing Her Crush was a sweet and heartwarming read. I enjoyed watching Natalie and Luke relationship develop. They made me laugh with their banter and antics, I truly connected with them. Both sets of families added to my enjoyment of this book. I was touched with Natalie's family and everything they were dealing with, my heart went out to them
What's not to love in this book, my two favorites in life is chocolate and kissing. Take two nerdy scientists, who have a history of their first kiss and working on a new drug for depression that has chocolate in it, a perfect match. A big conflict is that you have Luke as the sugar nazi and Natalie as the chocoholic, oh how I enjoyed. I thought the author did a great job on the teenage depression topic, wish there was a cure for it. I highly recommend this fun sweet read, you must have chocolate while reading this book. I received this book from netgalley for an honest review.
The perfect book to read on a cold rainy day! I liked the story very much; it was fun and romantic and very lighthearted, perfect to read in one sitting and let yourself be swept away by all the swoons and the chocolate! We are dealing with a bit of a second chance romance but not really, when they were younger our main girl had a crush on our main guy but nothing ever became of it, now they are both adults and just re United, they feel instant attraction for one another but what they don't know on that first night is that their live and relationship are about to get very complicated. As I said the book itself feels light, it has so many romantic and funny moments that they definitely outweigh the heavy ones, the couple felt so real and dynamic to me which was a great thing, it made me more involved in their story, I enjoyed very much, not only he main characters are remarkable but the secondary characters as well, I hope Ophelia decides to write about them because I would definitely read their book. Be careful when you read this book because you will end up craving chocolate throughout the entire thing, the book is set in Hershey Pennsylvania and I've never been and never heard much of it but if the book is something to guide us on then it just seem like such a fun place, they talked about chocolate a lot so it was heard for me to stop myself from going to the store and getting some chocolate to read while I read the book. If you’re looking for the perfect book to get cozy and read the day away than this is definitely it.
I loved that the heroine of this chick lit is a super-smart, endeavoring scientist. Natalie is sassy, sweet, level-headed, sexy, and fun to read. Her male counterpart in the novel, Luke is charming and very well depicted. I appreciated how Ophelia London paced this novel; keeping both the research study and the romance in focus throughout the whole novel. All the characters in the novel, both main and supporting, are so dynamic and true. The characters, combined with the lovely setting, make this such a believable read. I was ready to pack my bags and take a mini-vacation to Candy Land! I had a hard time putting this one down and felt myself on the same emotional rollercoaster as Natalie and Luke as they both try to use their past hurts as shields, deal with wounded family ties, careers in jeopardy, and lust that quickly turns to love. This fresh read from Ophelia London is as smart as it is sexy and will turn you into a London addict for sure. Be prepared before you dive in: have a box of chocolates handy! I can’t wait for more! **I was given a review copy of this novel prior to its release in exchange for my honest opinion.
Love, love this sweet romance.
I thought that this was a very cute and light romance that turned out to have it's ups and downs, even after all the years. Natalie is totally devoted to her project that she is working on and is set out to prove that her chocolate can decrease depression in teens. Natalie has made huge strides and now all she needs to do is to convince a few more people and she will have it made and get more funding. What she doesn't expect is for her old crush to walk in and be the head of the project, but on the opposite side as she is. Luke and Natalie grew up together and she has always had a crush on him but Luke had never thought of Natalie as anything more than a last resort for him. When the two of them realize that they are on the same project but oppose each other, they know that things are going to get sticky. Outside of work though, things begin to heat up and they can not stay away from each other nor can they deny the attraction that they feel for each other. Although Luke is dead set against Natalie's project and argues that there is no way that her chocolate can decrease depression in teens, he is torn because it is Natalie. Luke stands firm in his decision but he feels bad for being the one to tell Natalie all this. Will Natalie and Luke be able to overcome their difference and find a way to agree to disagree at work but make their relationship outside of work what they have always longed for with each other? You need to read this story to find out. Such a heart warming story and makes you realize that compromise is not bad sometimes. Thanks Ophelia London for a great read and I look forward to more from you in the near future!
Review 5 Chocolate Kisses This book was so sweet. Granted it takes place at the sweetest place on earth, Hershey, Pennsylvania. Yes, I have been there, I have family that lives there, so I know some of the history of Hershey. This story seem to convey its finer points. Natalie is a food chemist for the Hershey Corporation. She also just received a grant to do research on “the rare Amazonian root that when mixed with cocoa found in the same region, had shown to safely elevate serotonin levels in adolescents.” The effects of this chocolate could aid in combating depression in adolescents. The grant money comes with an NIH microbiologist to proctor phase one of the research. This would be bad enough, but the proctor turns out to be someone Natalie knows. Luke Elliott is the microbiologist that the government has sent. He is also the person that Natalie has had a crush on since, as she puts it, since birth. The last time Natalie has seen Luke was at his engagement party. Luke was the wealthy great looking guy that played his guitar at various local places while growing up. He also never really acknowledge her, not even after that one special moment that Natalie will never forget. As I said this is a sweet story. The characters are likeable, and there is a fun dialogue that keeps the story light and interesting. Of course there is some drama that will keep you reading until you find out if Natalie does more than Kiss Her Crush. ARC Provided by Tasty Book Tours via Net Galley. Honest review done by Mollien, for Alpha Book Club without influence from publisher or author.
This is a cute sweet read that has a couple of science nerds that are deeply attracted to each other. However, because of their personal baggage and job situation they try fighting the attraction with everything they've got. In the end though, the heart wants what the heart wants. While there is nothing really wrong with this story, it just didn't have the tug on the heartstrings I've come to expect from one of Ophelia London's books. It left me wanting just a bit more from the story. I was impressed with the way the author talked about one of the characters dealing with depression and the overall hope that chocolate could potentially help with that issue. Again, it didn't completely work for me but for anyone who enjoys sweet reads this may be perfect for you!
A sweet concoction of angst, longing and regret. Natalie has big sugary dreams that center around making a difference by helping others. Luke has experienced a broken heart and developed a jaundiced view of all around him. Neither expects that the key to all the dreams, hopes and expectations they currently possess will lie in the events that reunite them. Now each has to decide which is more important work or a second chance at love. Kissing Her Crush is a lovely and surprising look at blessings never noticed until they are lost. I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
A fun read! This is a lighthearted romance novel about an unlikely couple. It was not a good idea for either of them to fall in love but they did anyway. Natalie finally got a lab for her trial, she needs to prove her theory about chocolate and depression because a lot depends on her success. When she got the grant she went out celebrate and ran into an old acquaintance... Luke was in town to proctor a lab trial. It turned out be the one headed by Natalie. They are both not happy about this turn of events. Because it seemed that they must be on opposite sides. Their ideals were too different. To Natalie her research meant everything while to Luke her whole proposition was a stupid idea and there was no way she'd get any further grants for that. But what they didn't count on was realizing that they both needed to reevaluate their believes. Things were not as simple as they thought, in both their cases. And in the end they both compromised to make things work. Because the only life they could imagine was with each other.