Reece stared down at her, and the heat behind those dark eyes could have powered an entire kitchen. She shivered as his gaze dipped to her lips.
"This is insane," he muttered.
"I know, and you hate me."
"I don't--" His eyes closed, head shaking as if in denial. Another beat went by, and then he opened his eyes. The wry expression returned. "You're going to drive me crazy, Miss Bertram."
"Just returning the favor, Mr. Casings."
"Reece..." he said, the raspy word a command.
Emma didn't take commands well, but when he gave the orders... "Reece."
His chest rose and fell again. They stared at each other, the heady pulse in the room vibrant and alive.
Now what, Counselor?
Chef Emma Bertram doesn't believe in the fantasy of happily ever after. As a teenager, she witnessed the destruction of her parents' marriage when her father left for another woman. Lingering bitterness and a demanding career have kept her apart from her father's new family for years. Then he and stepmother are suddenly killed. Returning to her childhood home of Shellwater Key, Florida, Emma suddenly finds herself with custody of her two half-sisters. Left with no choice but to stay in Shellwater Key, Emma accepts a job offer from her best friend Layla McCarthy as Head Chef at the old Paradise Dinner Theatre.
Renovating the dilapidated kitchen just might kill her and nothing has prepared her to become an instant mother. But it's not her new job or her sisters that threaten Emma's peace of mind. No, that honor belongs to her father's law partner, Reece Casings. The buttoned-up, so-wrong-for-her, but oh-so-sexy lawyer makes Emma's blood boil. Or is it heart race? How can she be attracted to a man who is so wrong for her in every way? A man who clearly blames Emma for the fractured relationship with her father and who loves to point out everything she's doing wrong?
Except she cannot deny that Reece touches something in her that no man has before. Then an explosive secret boils to the surface that reveals Reece's real connection to her family. Can Emma get past the truth? And can she ever learn to forgive her father – and herself – in order to serve up a delicious happily ever after?
About the Author
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
What a great story, and one that will keep you interested all the way through to the end. It is book two of a series; however it stands alone. In this story, Emma becomes her stepsister’s guardians. This is not easy job due to her career has always come first and the bitterness Emma has towards her deceased father. Throw in the sparks between Emma and Reese (a sexy know it all man) who is a lawyer; and it gets pretty hot and interesting at times. Emma is talked into taking a job helping her childhood friend which throws challenges her way. Over all the story was extremely well written. I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
Kristin Wallace is a new author for me. I found her books at the end of last year and truly enjoy the stories she brings. This is the second installment in her Shellwater Key series and I truly felt it was a stand alone. The plot is engaging and kept me turning the pages. It is full of emotions like bitterness, resentment, love and forgiveness. The characters are strong, complicated yet well developed. I found myself cheering for Emma one minute and giving her a piece of my mind the next. She exhibits strong emotions which considering all things she really is entitled too. Suddenly she must face the past in order to have a future, but as we all know dealing with the past brings both joy and heartbreak. Reece Casings, I found to be an intriguing character and fell in love with him a little. He seems very controlling, but when his secret is revealed he becomes even more endearing. The secondary characters are well integrated and bring a lot of southern charm to the story. This is a story I would recommend to anyone who loves a good, clean romance. I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
Heartwarming Family Story Emma has never got over her parents divorce and her feeling of abandonment by the father she adored. Now her father and stepmother have been killed in an accident and she finds herself the guardian of her two young and heartbroken half sisters; half sisters who she has resented because they lived the life she had taken away from her and whom she doesn't know very well. The last thing she needs is her attraction to an insanely hot lawyer, who is forever judging her and finding her wanting. The family dynamics between the sisters was believable and Emma's close relationship with her mother Mary, who steps up to help her daughter and her re-connection with her old school friend was heartwarming. Although part of a series this can be read as a standalone. Read and enjoy. I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book. I was not compensated for my review, and I was not required to write a positive review. The opinion expressed here is my own.