I have a thing for these chef romances. My favorite tv show is Top Chef so maybe it just carries through all parts of my life, but lately I have found myself picking several cooking themed books to read. Recipe for Satisfaction begins the story of four brothers, not related biologically, but adopted by a generous woman. Each of them has become a chef of sorts specializing in different parts of the business. While it is themed around cooking there isn’t too much detail about it which was a bit of a bummer but….I learned within a few pages that our hero has some serious tattoos and a tongue ring. Win.
Sterling is stuck on a boat, seasick and wearing extremely sexy and uncomfortable clothes. This was supposed to be her one chance to let loose, her chance to be free for a night. Instead she is heaving over the railing. In her search for a bathroom she overhears a conversation where someone is encouraging Jack Vaughn to get back on the horse. Jack Vaughn? Notorious playboy and womanizer. Sterling thinks that if she only wasn’t sick Jack would be her chance at that fun.
Ever since the death of their mother, Jack has been withdrawn from society. He was not there when she passed having been at a meeting with his holistic healer. The media took pictures of that meeting and splashed them around making is see as if Jack was in a tawdry affair all the while his mother lay dying. Jack has had it with the media and publicity.
When Jack meets Sterling he feels a connection to her. Their first encounter is abruptly ended by a phone call so he comes up with an idea. Sterling is a professional organizer and he needs someone to go through his mother’s house. He offers her the job and includes the side offer of being his for one month of Saturdays. Sterling is tired of being used and takes the opportunity to do something for herself.
Jack wasn’t the typical playboy that I thought he was going to be. The four Saturdays he spends with Sterling are four different dates. He comes up with some extremely sweet and clever things for them to do. From dancing in Miami to teaching a children’s booking class, Sterling and Jack learn each other in ways that go beyond the sexual adventure promised.
Something compelled Jack to reveal his true self to Sterling even though she held back. Jack’s story is sad, sweet and has a good ending with being adopted. Sterling, however, there is nothing sweet about her story. I have to admit, this part of the book made me furious. Sterling supports her parents and twin sisters. She only supports them until her sisters will be out on their own but her parents are users. She pays their mortgage while she lives in a dumpy apartment. The are gambling addicts that refuse to quit. They have figured out a way to take two credit cards out in Sterling’s name racking up thousands of dollars in debt. I did not see any reason she continued to let them do that to her. I was very angry she didn’t stand up to them. She could have taken her sisters and supported them while leaving her parents to rot. Jack sees her credit card statements and thinks she is using him for money causing the big misunderstanding. I could have done without that part. A little communication on Sterling’s side would have been welcomed.
Recipe for Satisfaction has some pretty graphic and yummy sex scenes but I am not sure they trip quite over into erotic. Don’t misunderstand, there is no lack of sex or lack of hotness in the sex, I am just not sure it makes that final jump into erotic. I mentioned that the hero has a tongue ring and much to my disappointment it only really came into play for a short time.
Overall, I enjoyed this story. Jack and Sterling are likable characters and the romance is sweet and sexy. Jack has three equally yummy brothers that hint at stories to come. I will be very excited to get my hands on those when they are released. Each brother promises to be as interesting, or maybe more, as Jack was. Final grade- B
“Sterling.” Her name came out in a whisper, and for the first time she noticed the silver ball piercing in his tongue. Her stomach clenched at the thought of that hard ball against her-