A sexy category romance from Entangled's Brazen imprint...
She's the woman he loves to hate.
Penn Foster wants a lot of things. She wants a spot on the board of a charitable foundation. She wants to win the stupid, plastic family trophy. And more than anything, she wants her tall, hot, and brooding boss naked in her bed. Now, on a Hawaiian vacation with her family, she's desperately trying not to think about how he'd sound whispering dirty things in her ear.
He's the man she can't have...or can she?
Cole Murphy keeps himself locked down, away from the press and out of the spotlight. Still haunted by a traumatic childhood, his ability to trust has been decimated. Penn, with her sexy body and confidence, is the only person able to drag him out of his shell. Which is why he crashes her vacation and accepts her proposition for no-strings sex. But is the inescapable heat building between them a delicious temptation, or will it end in total disaster?
About the Author
When her dream of becoming a mafia princess didn't pan out, Gina Gordon went after her second dream...becoming a writer. And she hasn't looked back.
Gina, a self-proclaimed happily ever after junkie and cupcake connoisseuse, loves spinning contemporary tales of knee bending first kisses, unconditional love and super-hot sex. She broke out onto the romance scene with her #1 Amazon Bestselling erotic short story Her Five Favorite Words that's been called a "deliciously naughty tale" by Joyfully Reviewed.
When not chained to her computer, you can find Gina sipping Starbucks, making cupcakes or feeding her addiction to celebrity gossip. She lives in Milton, Ontario with her husband and lovable dog.
Read an Excerpt
Recipe for Temptation (Madewood Brothers)
A Madewood Brothers Novel
By Gina Gordon, Kate Brauning
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2015 Gina Gordon
All rights reserved.
This was the life.
When Penn Foster awoke that morning, there was no tension in her body. No nauseous feeling in her stomach. All because she didn't have to see Cole Murphy — her sort-of boss, a pain in the ass, and one of the hottest men she'd ever encountered. Not for seven glorious days.
She lay on her back, her body stretched out on a lounge chair. The white resort towel spread under her was soft against her bare skin, and the bright midday sun shone down from a cloudless sky. A slight breeze wafted up to the pool area from the ocean and tickled the fine hairs on her arms. With a sigh, she settled against the folded-up towel under her neck, relaxed her shoulders, and soaked up the sun. She sneaked a peek down her body. Not that she'd be getting much sun. Not with the one-piece bathing suit she was forced to wear to cover the cherry blossom tattoo that spanned her entire left side. Her family didn't know about it.
Hell, they didn't know her at all. To them, she was the dutiful daughter and sister who always did what she was told. She'd been slapped with the boring, unadventurous wallflower stigma a long time ago, and they refused to see her as anything different. To this day, they couldn't understand why she hadn't settled down with a nice man and followed in her father's footsteps to become a teacher.
Because shaping the youth of tomorrow was God's honest work.
Which she believed in, but she wanted to do it in her own way. Like on the board of directors for the Vivian Madewood Foundation, a not-for-profit run by the Madewood brothers — her bosses. They used the foundation to raise funds for charitable causes aimed at helping children and youth across the city of Toronto in the name of their late foster mother, Vivian Madewood.
Fitting back into her wallflower persona was more and more difficult every time she saw her family, and she felt like she was leading a double life. But they just wouldn't understand the person she'd become.
When a shadow fell across her lounge chair, she peeked through one eye and saw a man standing with his back to her, blocking the sun.
"Do you mind moving over? I'm trying to get some sun," she muttered, closing her eye in annoyance.
The man complied immediately. She knew because she felt the heat against her skin again. But just as quickly as it had appeared, it disappeared. She turned her head and ripped off her sunglasses, then shielded her eyes with a hand pinned against her forehead.
The man had moved closer and was now turned toward her, his shins almost touching the edge of her chair.
"Seriously, dude. Do you mi —"
Her shoulders shot up to her ears. She fisted one hand around the arm of the lounge chair and the other grasped her fruity drink in a death grip. Oh. My. God.
On her vacation.
"How did I know you'd be lounging like a cat with your hand around a drink?" he drawled.
And with only a few words — not even a hello — he had managed to ruin the moment entirely.
"What are you doing here, Cole?" She sat up and placed her banana daiquiri on the small table beside her chair. She had so been looking forward to a week of perspective. To try and get a handle on her feelings for him before she returned home and cemented herself even further into the Madewood family business.
But with Cole here, in one fell swoop that plan had been squashed.
He straightened and clasped his hands at the small of his back. His eyes were hidden behind sexy wraparound sunglasses. "I'm on vacation."
Oh, hell no. He did not get to crash her family vacation.
"You don't vacation."
He hesitated, his body tensing for a brief moment.
She sat back in her lounger with a smug smile and enjoyed watching the small vein throb at his jaw. He was nervous. But she couldn't help her wandering gaze.
Damn, he was hot. He wore a white polo shirt and blue golf shorts. Tommy Hilfiger models had nothing on this guy. His hair, usually combed through, was haphazard, like he'd dried it with a towel and left it alone. She liked it. Made her think of her recurring daydream that had her running her hands through those brown strands and using them to guide his mouth to where she wanted it. Which was — All. Over. Her. Body.
Which absolutely was not going to happen.
She picked up the small white towel that sat on the table and dabbed her forehead. "Why are you really here?" He'd come all the way from his restaurant in Toronto, when usually nothing could make the man take a day off work. Not to mention they were two weeks away from launching his new project — the Madewood Boys and Girls Club. A project born out of guilt and anger because one of the students in his cooking program had been stabbed.
He puffed out his chest and crossed his arms over those hard pecs. "I'm here because ..."
"Because?" Her fingers wrapped around the arms of the lounger, and her stomach tensed. Was he finally going to open up and tell her something, anything, that resembled a true emotion?
In an unsurprising move, he simply shook his head as if shaking off the rest of the sentence. "You need a partner to win the Foster Cup."
Be still my fucking heart.
He was here ... for her.
To help her win the Foster Cup — the trophy given out to the winner of her father's ridiculous sporting challenge at the annual family vacation. That damn trophy still didn't have her name on it. Because she hadn't won — ever — not once in twenty years. She'd certainly bitched about it at work enough for him to remember. And boy, did she need his help. She'd already been partnered with her niece, Sara, for this morning's challenge.
And that was why she never won. All her siblings were happily paired off with their competitive, athletic spouses, and that left her to partner with one of the kids.
"Oh, I get it." She kicked her legs over the side of the lounger and slipped her feet into her beige, plastic flip-flops. When she looked up, he was eyeing her choice of footwear with a confused look. "You're here to help poor Penn. She's too spazzy to win the cup and needs help from a big, strong man."
His hands clenched. "You're not spazzy." He shrugged. "Maybe just unlucky?"
She snorted. "And you're going to be my good luck charm?"
A group of kids ran past them and jumped into the pool. Cole dodged out of the way and a splash narrowly missed him, but the ricochet of the water hitting the concrete had a welcome cooling effect against her hot skin.
She gathered up her sunscreen and water bottle and threw it in her cerulean-colored straw bag. She sighed and stood. "Look, Cole, I appreciate the offer, but there are rules, and you can't just show up and help me."
The Foster Cup had started off as innocent family fun, but became increasingly more competitive — and embarrassing for her — as the years went by.
"Let me help you."
If she had Cole on her team, she'd have a really good chance at winning.
For the very first time.
Not to mention other intriguing possibilities.
"It's not that easy. My father ... he's ..."
She'd spent her entire adult life trying to be the opposite of her parents and her siblings. It might be selfish, but there was a method to her madness. Her loving family of six had been outwardly picture-perfect — mundane and boring. Inwardly, however, they were critical and judgmental.
As soon as she'd had the opportunity to fly the coop, she did, choosing not to follow in her father's footsteps but follow her own interests. Instead of teaching credentials, she earned degrees in both public relations and marketing. Her first job out of college was as an assistant copy editor for a marketing firm. But she'd ended up having an affair with her boss, and when she'd gotten promoted for no good reason other than her skills in pillow talk, she severed the relationship and found another job. There was no way she was going to build a career on her knees.
Which was why Cole being here wasn't such a great idea. The man had been her temptation for the last three years, and while she refused to let anything real happen, she could have told him every dirty thought she'd ever had about him and it wouldn't have made a difference. She loved teasing him because he was so cranky and easily embarrassed, and they'd slowly become friends, but the man was impenetrable. Completely immune to her charms.
Which was why there was no reason for him to be standing here next to the pool with her on vacation.
A squeal pierced her eardrums like an air raid. She knew exactly who that squeal belonged to. "Pennie!"
She froze. "Oh. Shit."
"Go away," she ordered Cole through gritted teeth. "Go before they see you." She pulled at his bicep and yanked him, but she pulled too hard. Their bodies slammed together, rubbing his rock-hard abs against her. His biceps bulged under her grip. And the way he smelled — like the very best spices in his kitchen mixed with the perfect man-smell that was unique only to Cole.
He looked over her head and murmured, "Who's Barbie and Ken?" His breath was a warm sensation across her skin.
She shivered and swayed even closer, but then they were swarmed, her sister-in-law, Cathy, pulling her out of his arms. Which she greatly appreciated, because she didn't think she'd be able to do it herself.
Cathy squealed and nattered on with excitement. "Oh, my, God. It's Cole Murphy." She grabbed at his bicep, an inappropriate gleam in her eye.
"What is Cole Murphy doing here, Pennie?" One of Cathy's eyebrows quirked up as she crossed her arms over her chest, waiting for a response.
How the hell was she going to explain this?
She turned to Cole and took a deep breath. No getting out of introductions now. "Cole, this is my sister-in-law, Cathy." She pointed to her right. "And my brother, Ian."
Ian took a few steps forward and held out his hand. His brown hair and swim trunks were soaked. Cole shook it with a tentative smile. "Cath, I think you should let the poor man breathe." He grabbed his wife's arm and pulled her away from Cole.
"And those are my sisters-in-law, Beth and Christine, and my brothers, Dave and Pete."
Beth eyed Cole with the same curiosity as Cathy. Dave stared him down, most likely sizing up his strength. Pete and Christine were just ... smirking. They were the only ones in her family who knew how she felt about Cole. Well, a watered-down version of how she felt, but they knew there was something there.
"Pennie, this is so exciting." Cathy's excitement had her blond hair, gathered in a high ponytail, swinging like a pendulum. "You didn't tell us you were bringing a celebrity on vacation!" She gleefully pointed her long index finger, made even longer by her cat manicure, at Cole.
This was a celebrity sighting for Cathy. Cole and his brothers were infamous back home in Toronto and more than occasionally headlined the newspapers and gossip sites. Their mother, a do-gooder socialite, had adopted them, and by association, they'd been thrust into the limelight, which she knew Cole despised.
Just then, two little whirlwinds broke through the crowd of adults, bubbling with excitement, though one stayed a few paces back from Cole. Her nephew was as shy as her niece was outgoing.
"This is my niece, Sara, and that little monkey hiding behind Ian is Andy, my nephew."
Sara tugged on Cole's shirt. "Who are you?" Her silky, blond hair blew across her face in the gentle Hawaiian breeze.
When Penn glanced up at Cole, she expected to see terror on his face, but instead she saw an expression that was all too rare.
It lit up his entire face. His cheeks flushed, and she knew if he didn't have his sunglasses on, his eyes would be sparkling in the sunlight.
"I'm ... your aunt's friend."
Friend. Not coworker?
Andy's shyness didn't last long. The moment Sara touched Cole, Andy raced over. "Do you like Legos? I like to play with Legos. Maybe we can build a castle or a fortress."
Penn smiled, unable to contain her own joy. Despite unleashing the crazy that was the Foster clan, she had inadvertently made him happy. And in the end, that's all she'd ever wanted for him. He deserved happiness in his life. Something that, over the last three years, she'd watched him struggle to find but never quite keep.
Cole was the most negative person she'd ever encountered. Considering his upbringing in the foster care system, it was warranted, but for the last three years she'd been trying her damnedest to get him out of this life-long funk, this cloud of pessimism she'd bet he'd had since childhood.
If the Boys and Girls Club didn't work out, he'd be devastated. Which was why she was going to do everything in her power to make it a success. As the marketing and publicity director for the Madewood Empire, it was her job. As Cole's friend, it was her duty.
But on a big picture level, it was necessary.
A spot on the board of directors for the Vivian Madewood Foundation was now vacant, and it was the perfect opportunity to take her career to the next level. Cole's late foster mother's best friend, Gloria, had relinquished her position, and Penn was the perfect replacement. She had every intention of rocking the Madewood boys' socks off and lobbying for it once the club was up and running.
Cole looked down at Sara with a warm smile. Penn's heart clenched in happiness at the soft expression. "I came to help your Aunt Pennie win the cup."
She sneered at the use of her nickname. She wished he'd never heard it.
"Oh no you don't, mister. You can't play," Cathy scolded with a wag of her finger.
"Hell, no." Beth was a little more adamant, but they were both right. "Only significant others." Beth pursed her lips in an I-told-you-so gesture.
Her sisters-in-law were right. But maybe she could get her father to change the rules. For once, give her a chance to win.
"Are you significant others?" Christine grinned from the sidelines, her pregnant belly just becoming noticeable under her clothing.
Hey, ground. This would be the perfect time for you to open up and swallow me whole.
Before she had time to look over at Cole and gauge his reaction to that question, Ian changed the subject.
"We're due to meet our parents on the beach." He pushed forward. "You know the Sergeant will want to weigh in on your ..." He raised an eyebrow. "Friend."
The Sergeant was the nickname her brothers had given their father when they were kids. He knew nothing about it, of course.
Ian herded the family away, and they followed behind, a twinge of revenge settling in Penn's stomach. Oh, yeah. She'd seen Cole in action many times: hockey, baseball, his smoking body on a treadmill. She knew he'd wipe them all off the map. And since he was already here and willing, she had to do whatever it took to get him on her team.
"Are you sure about this?" She looked up, biting her bottom lip. "What about the club?"
He shrugged. "It won't fall apart in a week."
Her heart leaped. If there was one thing Cole Murphy was not, it was blasé. But this man walking beside her had somehow shown up when she'd least expected it, but needed him the most.
She pulled him to a stop and hugged him. He was stiff at first, and she should have known better than to show any sign of affection, but she just couldn't help herself. He might have just sealed the deal for her to win her first Foster Cup.
The longer she held him tight, the more relaxed his body became. He even swept his arms up and wrapped them around her before settling at her lower back.
Without releasing her grip, she tipped her head back and looked up at him.
He gazed down at her with a serious expression and said, "Pennie? Really?"
She released him and smacked her hand against his stomach. "Shut up, Murphy."
He laughed, and in an unusual show of affection, rested his arm over her shoulders, then pulled her into his body. With a laugh, he said, "Watching you squirm for an entire week is going to be entertaining."
They walked through the pool area, then across the patio to the beach where her parents and family were waiting. Penn relished the feel of his warm, hard body pressed against hers.
She'd wanted this man for three years. Even though she knew better, even though wanting him was the best way to erase every inch of professional success she'd gained for herself along the way.
Excerpted from Recipe for Temptation (Madewood Brothers) by Gina Gordon, Kate Brauning. Copyright © 2015 Gina Gordon. 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
What can i say? I hated his book. And that is so disappointing because i have been looking forward to Penn and Cole's story since the very first book with Jack and Stirling and i got more and more excited about them with each book they released afterward. But this was terrible. The hard, smart mouthed, put you in your place Penn we know from the other books is totally gone. She is weak, quiet and afraid in this book. And Cole. Jesus, Cole was just as disappointing! I want a Hero in my stories to be strong and demanding. He was weak in his own ways. Hell he couldn't talk dirty to her because of memories from his childhood. Their sexy encounters were virtually silent. He couldn't even say something as simple as " you look sexy in the bathing suit" out loud. Ugh. Will never re read this awful book. I was so happy when it ended!
This is a great book for anyone to read because its talking about relationship and hw to have a great relationship with a good guy and that the guy will treat the girl right amd how to take good care of a girl in time of trouble
I honestly loved this book but maybe thats because i didnt read the othe rones before this. Maybe if i did i may have a different opinion on it. I do think that Cole was awkward seeing how most of their intimate scenes were with him being silent which wa skinda awkward. I like men to be manly and take charge so this kinda made me lose interest in him as a character. Towards the end Cole did open up. I dont know much about Penn and Coles back story because like i said i didnt read the other books but i just couldnt see Penn being wild because what i read about he she was quiet and calm because of her family. Again like i said maybe if i read the other books i would have a different opinion but since i didnt other than a few things i didnt care for i liked this book.
Penn Foster has had the hots for her boss, Cole Murphy for as long as she's worked with him but she knows that nothing will happen between them and her family vacation is a chance for her to get away from it all. And she does, until he crashes her vacation. His reason? He wants to help her win the trophy in the annual Foster family competition. Penn hates the annual competition and the fact that she has never won the trophy and maybe with Cole around, she has a chance to win. Of all the Madewood brothers, Cole is the most reserved due to the damage from his childhood and he avoids the spotlight at all costs. His past is the driving fore behind his work with at risk children, but in Hawaii he is willing to let go and enjoy paradise, including a temporary fling with Penn. But it's not all fun and games with Penn and Cole. Their time together results in the walls they've built being slowly torn down and the secrets that have been hidden begin to reveal themselves. However, their relationship is a very complicated one, with both of them falling for each other and the challenge they face is returning to being just friends when they return home, especially because Penn has her eye on a promotion within the company and does not want it tainted by the possibility that her relationship with Cole would influence the family to offer her the promotion. I like the direction Ms. Gordon took, with Penn being the sexual aggressor, demanding and assertive about what she wanted in bed and also the emotional issues Cole and Penn faced, but it wasn't all fun and sex in the sand. RECIPE FOR TEMPTATION touches on Penn's complex relationship with her family, the competitive nature of her relationship with her siblings and her need to hide who she really was from them. This is a steamy, emotional and very entertaining read. Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Penn and Cole are co-workers that have been attracted to one another for a long time, but neither have made the move because of what good friends they are. When it comes time for Penn's family vacation, Cole shows up to help Penn in winning at the annual family games - something that Penn has never succeed in winning before. While on vacation, Penn and Cole decided to take their friendship one step further and have a mutual friends with benefits relationship while they are on vacation. Cole finds himself wanting more from Penn as their friends with benefits relationship continues but the question is: will Penn give her heart to Cole? Recipe for Temptation was a delight to me. I genuinely enjoyed both Cole and Penn's characters and the complexities to them. My favorite part of Recipe for Temptation is how Cole stands up for Penn with her family as he sees the spark go out of her each time a family member is around. The scenes between Cole and Penn are super sexy and steamy and the book is quite a fun read. There is a bit of angst to the story and a moment of heartbreak, but the book is an easy read and Gordon's writing style is wonderful.
Loved the series
Upon finishing, my initial reaction: Extremely sexy and touching! LOVE LOVE LOVE. My Thoughts (full review): When I read Gina Gordon's Rush, I was blown away by how sexy and awesome the story is. It made me believe that after that one book, it would impossible not to fall for her other books as well. Sometimes you just get that feeling, like in your bones, after only one story and you just know. Guess what? I was sooooo right. Penn is on vacation in Hawaii with her family for a competition they do every year. She hasn't been able to win it, and she's determined to make this year her year. When Cole shows up out of nowhere and wants to help her win, it seems like a plan... until the inevitable temptation becomes too much. They fall into bed together and decide it's a vacation only fling. Penn and Cole break each other out of their usual roles: she brings out his naughty side and he helps her free her true self in front of her family. It's not that easy, though, because each of them have their reasons why they hide. Will they be able to break free and still have each other in the end? Recipe for Temptation had super sweet sexiness and touched the heart. I fell for Cole, and adored Penn. I could relate to her so so so much with not feeling completely free around certain people and how frustrating it is. The romance was lovely--and the ending was fantastic. I've added every last book by Gina Gordon to the to be read pile, and have a goal of reading the previous three books in the Madewood Brothers series ASAP! My Rating: Exceptional
Cole Murphy is grumpy and closed off, with a rough past he's ashamed of. Still, he can't deny his attraction to the foundation's PR person, Penn Foster. For three years they've fought their attraction towards each other. When Cole crashes Penn's family's annual fun-cation in Hawaii, they can no longer ignore the sparks. Keep your fan close by because this story is HOT! This author knows how to put the sparks into action. Great story but I felt like I needed more background information. It felt like I was thrown into the middle of the story and struggled a little playing catch up with the past. I love this authors writing style but this one needed a little...more. I'm still a fan and can't wait to see what's next for this talented author. Review copy provided via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for my review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinion expressed is my own.
3.75 stars--RECIPE FOR TEMPTATION is the fourth and final installment in Gina Gordon’s adult, contemporary Madewood Brothers romance series. This is executive chef and restaurateur Cole Murphy, and Madewood family business marketing and public relations manager Penn Foster’s storyline-a story about family, friendships and forbidden love. Although RECIPE FOR TEMPTATION is the fourth book in the series, it can be read as a standalone without any difficulty. Told from third person point of view RECIPE FOR TEMPTATION follows the building relationship between Penn and Cole. Penn has had a crush on Cole-her quasi boss-for close to three years. Her efforts at flirting have all but been ignored but when her yearly family reunion in Hawaii finds Penn coming face to face with Cole, all bets are off. Cole has arrived to partner with Penn in the Foster family ‘funcation’ competition and Penn is determined to win both in and out of the bedroom. Cole and his ‘brothers’ were all raised by Vivian Madewood-a woman who took a chance on four young boys from the foster care system. Their individual successes in the restaurant business are the stuff of headline news and gossip rags but unlike his brothers, Cole has yet to find someone to share his life. Enter Penn Foster-best friend to his brother’s wife, and the woman who calls to Cole’s heart but a hands-off policy at work does not allow for office relationships and in this Cole’s time in Hawaii with Penn has an expiry date at the end of the week. The sexual attraction between Cole and Penn cannot be denied. Penn is sexually aggressive in the bedroom and isn’t afraid to let Cole know what it is she wants but Cole has some issues that he must learn to overcome, and in this Penn is the perfect match for Cole’s pent up inhibitions. There are reasons behind Cole’s reluctance-ones that Penn must come to understand before offering Cole everything that she is and wants. The $ex scenes are hot, seductive and provocative. All of the previous storyline couples play a secondary role: Jack and Sterling; Neil and Carson; Veronica and Finn. We are introduced to Penn’s rather over-the –top competitive family-a family that barely acknowledges Penn’s success or ability to survive on her own. Penn is considered the quiet child, and in this, her family has not come to terms with the ‘new’ Penn that they see at the family competition. Penn’s father is all about winning, but Cole is hoping to win Penn’s heart. The world building continues to focus on Vivian Madewood’s foster sons: Jack Vaughn, Neil Harrison, Finn O’Reilly and Cole Murphy. To keep the boys out of trouble and in line, Vivian started the boys on their love of cooking, and with it came four successful restaurant owners, operators and executive chefs. Each young man would eventually ‘pay it forward’ with foundations that are aimed at enriching the lives of boys and girls in the foster care system. RECIPE FOR TEMPTATION is a fun read that focuses on family dynamics and falling in love. There are moments of heartbreak when a father is unable to come to terms with the daughter he has always considered a son, and further sorrow when Cole walks away from the only woman he will ever love. The premise is fun with a little bit of angst; the characters are energetic and commanding attention; the happily ever after is the stuff of headline news. Gina Gordon’s MADEWOOD BROTHERS series looks at a family brought together by one woman who opened her heart and her home
2.5/5 stars When I first picked up this book for review, I had not realized it was the fourth in a series. However, when it comes to Brazens that usually isn't a problem, as they all serve as stand-alones. Unfortunately, after reading this one, I never truly felt I got a firm grasp of the characters and I failed to see a connection between them beyond sex. While I like that the book jumps right in to Penn and Cole's story, I really needed more background first. It was nice to see the role reversal here though, with Penn being the more confident one and Cole being less aggressive. Cole has a past and that was definitely a factor in that role reversal. He doesn't divulge his past to Penn until late in the book, and I just felt there should have been more communicating instead of sexing away the problems at hand. The book revolves primarily around Penn's family's competition, which is being held in Hawaii. Penn has never won the trophy, having always been paired with a cousin or whatnot because of her single status. This year however, Cole decides to come join in the family fun and is determined to help her win the trophy. I wasn't too keen on Penn's family and their competitiveness because it really showed us an ugly side to them and I was pretty angry for the entire book that they would treat her the way they did. I did like that Gordon resolved things with Penn's family and that they finally saw her for who she really was and how successful she was. I really wish I would have liked this one more, but being such a character driven reader, if I don't feel a connection there, then the plot isn't enough to make the book work for me on its own. Had I read the previous books in this series, I might have felt more attached to the characters and understood them a bit better, but this book wasn't enough to do so on its own.
Originally posted on my blog: Tangled Up In Books I received a copy of this book, from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review. In no way did this sway either my review or my rating. This is going to be one of those tricky books to review. Tricky in the fact that I need to figure out what to say without "Sigh. I am so smitten with Cole Murphy" just being repeated over and over. Because it was more than just that. It was funny and sweet and frustrating and even a bit heartbreaking at times. Recipe for Temptation was packed full of emotion and all I could think about once I finished was, "I really need to get the other 3 Madewood Brothers in my life. Now!" I feel like maybe I've missed something by starting this series off with book four, the final book. I got the very distinct feeling that maybe in at least one, if not all, of the other books leading up to this one that there was a bit of a build up of the sexual tension between Penn and Cole. I can't remember specifics off the top of my head but there were times that their past was hinted at. Regardless, I was still able to feel enough of that in starting with Recipe for Temptation that when things did finally heat up between these two, it was still a sort of "Finally!" type of feeling. Cole was a very troubled character. He instantly had my heart and as I slowly got to know more of him and his past it would just wrap him tighter and tighter around it. I loved his dark broodiness mixed with his incredibly huge heart. I had this instant protective feeling towards him and I desperately hoped that nothing would hurt him. He was larger than life in a lot of ways and really stands out but in other ways I felt like he had threads of fragility within him and I didn't want anything to touch those cracks and break him. Smitten. Smitten I tell you! Without knowing Penn before this book, I only had to go by what they both felt about her true personality. She's supposed to be this very bold and lively woman who isn't afraid to get up on a table and dance and swear and party and just have fun. But the Penn I get to meet in the very beginning is kind of meek and passive. She hides herself from her family and never let them see the real her. Just the girl she feels like they want her to be. It was pretty sad and I felt sorry for her. The only times I ever got to see some of that bold and passionate girl that they claimed she was, was when she was alone with Cole. Some of my favorite moments where when it was just Penn and Cole. I loved how she brought him out of his shell and helped him to feel more confident and break down the walls of his past. And how he pushed her to let the real Penn come out because anyone who didn't love the real her was an idiot. Plus....holy chemistry Batman! Those two were scorching hot! Maybe it was the whole he's-kind-of-my-boss-so-I-shouldn't thing going on so it was kind of taboo but...wow. It was funny, smoking hot and incredibly bittersweet. I loved the playfulness and heartfelt moments between the characters and the really great storyline. As I said in the beginning I need to go back and read about those other three Madewood boys as soon as possible! I am definitely hooked!! Thanks to Entangled Publishing for the opportunity to read and review this book!!
Penn Foster is trying to cement a place in her family as something other than the black sheep. Growing up as the only girl in her family, she found herself always lacking in her parents eyes, and has always fought to measure up to their standards, which has proven to be quite difficult for her over the years. With her family vacation to Hawaii coming up soon she is looking forward to a break from life, work, and her brooding boss Cole Murphy. And possibly get a little time to get over her ever looming feelings for him... Cole Murphy is use to the rough, tough, foul mouthed Penn Foster that he spends his work days with, but the woman he finds in Hawaii is someone who is meek, shy, and quite subdued, and so not like anything he is use to. He has chosen to interrupt her vacation, and take her up on his idea of the perfect relationship...sex with no strings attached! But what happens when they both start to realize that there's more to it than just a fun vacation between the sheets... This was my first experience with this author's work, and I must admit I really enjoyed it, so much so, I plan to read the other installments in the series. The story line was addictive and kept me reading until the wee hours of the morning! It was a spicy little literary treat, that left me blushing a time or two!! Highly recommend you add this one to your summer reading list, you will not be disappointed!! ARC requested through NetGalley, and kindly provided by Entangled Publishing in exchange for a honest and unbiased review.
This delightful friends to lovers story is the romance between Penn and Cole. Coworkers and friends, they've long had an attraction to each other that they've kept under wraps. But when Cole shows up at Penn's family vacation to help her win an annual family games challenge that she's never been able to win before, a friends with benefits arrangement results, with plans to sever it when they return home. Only, Cole discovers that he wants to share more than just his body with Penn - he wants to share his heart, if she'll only take the leap with him. I really enjoyed this romance. Penn comes across as a delightfully complex woman. Back home she is flirtatious and fun, but when around her family she is much more subdued, without the fire that Cole is used to seeing. When he gets her alone though, she shows that spark he's used to and it leads to several steamy scenes between them. In an interesting reversal of roles, it's Penn who is the leader in their dirty talking with Cole's past making it difficult for him to engage in this with her, though he gets better at it as they become more attuned to each other. Cole is a handsome and likeable guy with a past that means he doesn't usually open up to anyone. But Penn sees beyond his facade and wants to know the real man underneath, just as he wants to know her. I liked how Cole stood up to Penn's family for her, showing them that he was willing to stand by her side and fight for her right to be herself no matter where or whom she's with. I enjoyed the two of them together, and their romance was sweet and sexy. It's a great final story in the Madewood Brothers series. 4.5 stars.
Finally Cole and Penn give in to the undeniable chemistry! Penn is in hell. Well as close as you can come while still on earth. On vacation with her family and competing for a stupid trophy like they do every year. She knows she will once again lose. That is until Cole shows up to help her! As the competition heats up so does the sizzle between Cole and Penn. What harm can a little fun in the sun do? After all what happens in Hawaii can stay in Hawaii, right?? This is a fun read! It has a little drama, a little angst, and a whole lot of sexy times. I love these Madewood boys and Cole definitely doesn't disappoint. I highly recommend this one.
Gina Gordon does it again. Her books are so intense. I love the way she delves into each character's psyche, showing their vulnerabilities, hopes, fears, and motivations. I have loved Penn and Cole throughout the series and was so excited to learn their story was soon to be released. Anyone who has followed this family will be pleased with this ending as the other brothers and spouses from previous books make an appearance. Thank you, Gina, for writing a pleasing ending to a great story. I am now going to start all over and read the entire series non-stop! This is the first time I have read an ARC (which I won through Gina ' Facebook page) and I must say the experience was thrilling. Thank you, Gina, for trusting me with your baby! I loved every moment.
Gina Gordon did an admirable job with her latest Entangled romance. Recipe for Temptation is edgy, sultry and delightfully sweet. The attraction between Cole and Penn could be felt from the first page and just grew even harder to ignore. The interaction between Penn and Cole took so many different forms. One minute they were boss and employee, the next friends, then lovers, etc. I thought it was quite interesting that Ms. Gordon did that. It allowed the reader to see all facets of the relationship between these two people. They had always been so much more than they realized to each other but refused to acknowledge their feelings. This was not your normal Entangled read. Had all the steam but did not lack for the story. Very gratifying. I received an ARC of Recipe for Temptation in exchange for an honest review.