Tag Archives: architect

Gina Gordon’s Recipe for Attraction Is Delicious – With Author Interview!

25 Nov

Recipe for Attraction (Madewood Brothers #2 – Carson and Neil) by Gina Gordon (Entangled Brazen, November 25, 2013)

I love Entangled Brazen’s books (as you know) and today I’m promoting two of them in particular, Gina Gordon‘s Recipe for Attraction (the second book in her Madewood Brothers series) and the next in Tessa Bailey’s amazing Line of Duty series (do you remember how much I love this one?), Asking for Trouble.

Gina Gordon was a completely new author for me, so I actually went out and bought the first book in the series, Recipe for Satisfaction and then tackled the ARC of Recipe for Attraction I received from Entangled.

The Madewood Brothers series has a fresh premise in the world of contemporary romance. Four foster brothers are bound together by the woman who adopted them out of heinous conditions – the millionaire philanthropist and widow Vivian Madewood. Having recently passed away, the four adult men are still reeling from her loss but are staying busy with the many restaurant businesses that have become their livelihood. Vivian made their heart of their home the kitchen and the boys grew into men who felt that the culinary arts offered them the challenges and opportunities they wanted, not just in business in helping other disadvantaged children find a profession through their charity which goes into schools to prepare them to work in a kitchen.

Having been adopted as older children, these men – Jack, Neil, Finn and Cole – still have quite an edge. Tattoos and motorcycles abound, but they are extremely caring, committed workholics clearly just waiting for the right woman to come along. In the first book, Recipe for Satisfaction, readers have the joy of watching the reformed playboy Jack Vaughn fall for professional organizer Sterling Andrews and it’s nothing short of delicious! Now in Recipe for Attraction, it’s pushy, driven oldest brother Neil’s turn.

Recipe for Satisfaction (Madewood Brothers #1 – Jack and Sterling) by Gina Gordon (Entangled Brazen, December 31, 2012)

Neil Harrison been incredibly busy over the last year working to get the family’s biggest project off the ground – a deluxe restaurant and farm which will showcase the Madewood farm to table philosophy. That he’s had to deal with the infuriating, but talented architect Carson Kelly has been an extra thorn in his side, but he can’t argue with her results – their vision has come to life.

Despite immersing himself in work, Neil has been battling his demons since his mother’s death, with the only thing that seems to erase the anger he feels over his loss being the rush of illegal street racing on his motorcycle. He’s shocked when a mysterious new rider shows up to his latest race and by her world-class ass he knows that it’s none other than Carson. His secret is out, but Carson has her own boatload of baggage, including way too much insider knowledge about street racing. When she offers to help him battle his desire for speed with working out his frustration between the sheets with her, it seems like a perfect solution, except both of them discover way more than they bargain for, in one another.

While all the brothers have the emotional baggage of their past, Neil is carrying one of the heavier loads as he was the oldest when he came to Vivian, old enough to remember his abusive father and slow to trust the woman who became his mother. Like in the first book of the series, the heroine is dealing with her own family situation as Carson has a demanding father as head of the family architecture firm who not only is never satisfied, but who actively distrusts her judgement and defers regularly to the other major architect, a total asshole who wants to marry Carson. I appreciated (even if no one else did in the novel) that the project was literally in the last couple days of tying everything up, so Carson and Neil’s affair didn’t feel like it crossed any professional line for me. The villain is sooo awful that you are thrilled to see him get his comeuppance (although I felt like police prosecution would have been a good idea). The heat between Carson and Neil is outstanding and most important was watching the evolution of Neil’s character as he realizes what a total jackass he’s been to the people he loves most in his life as he changes for the better.

I did have a couple questions for Gina Gordon, which she was kind enough to answer. Take a look!

It’s terrific to see the romance fiction trope of a band of foster brothers who do NOT automatically open a security firm! What gave you the idea to have them be talented chefs? Did you use any actual celebrity chefs as inspiration?

LOL! The idea for the Madewood Brothers came from a real life hot chef sighting. A friend of mine was at a food event and one of the catering companies was owned by two hot, tatted-up chefs. When she told me about them my imagination immediately ran wild. Although the Madewood brothers weren’t inspired by any celebrity chefs, I’d have to say my favorite male celebrity chef is Chuck Hughes. If you like tats, you MUST google him.

There are some pretty awesome sexy times in this series (motorcycles as foreplay will appeal to plenty of readers, I’m sure). What do you think is the most important element when writing a good sex scene?

I think the most important element when writing a sex scene is the emotion. It’s great to have the dirty talk and the rubbing body parts but if there isn’t any substance behind it, I don’t think the scene has the same effect.

In your author bio, you tout yourself as a “cupcake connoisseuse” (which is awesome, and not just because you use the proper French). What would be your perfect cupcake?

My perfect cupcake is Red Velvet. Well, to be honest, anything with cream cheese icing on it would be my number one pick.

Thanks for having me, Tori!

And thank you readers for visiting!! Make sure you enter my blog tour grand prize — a Rafflecopter giveaway for a $50 Amazon gift card. 

I for one am pleased there are two more brothers to see get their HEA (and what is going on with Cole and the Madewood’s employee Penn?). This is a hot, emotional series with a unique twist which has carved a special niche for itself in the world of contemporary romance. Don’t forget to follow Recipe for Attraction‘s terrific blog tour for more great information and giveaways!

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Sarah Morgan’s “A Night of No Return” Proves Why She Is at the Top of the Pack in Category Romance

26 Dec
A Night of No Return (The Private Lives of Public Playboys #1) by Sarah Morgan (Harlequin, November 1, 2012)

A Night of No Return (The Private Lives of Public Playboys #1) by Sarah Morgan (Harlequin, November 1, 2012)

If I was to declare a queen of the Harlequin Presents line of books, I wouldn’t have to think twice before slipping the diamond crown on the head of British writer, Sarah Morgan. With the Presents line featuring Alpha Male billionaires, playboys and sheiks (sometimes all three in the same man), lots of writers can’t help but turn these guys into total jackasses, so much so that I want to run interference with the heroine, telling her “the sex might be amazing, honey, but I’m not sure he’s worth it.”

I would never say that to a Sarah Morgan heroine, even when her hero drips with jackass-ery, and my hesitation is due to the fact that she is such an empathetic writer. Yes, her men start off cold, sexy and dominating, but Morgan peels back the layers, letting you into their tortured dark souls in such a way that while you hate the behavior, you could never, ever hate the man. I fall for her couples again and again, whether it’s in Doukakis’ Apprentice or A Night of Scandal from the fantastic Notorious Wolfes series (such a good series!).

In keeping with a winter theme (but no Christmas in this one, which is why I’m publishing the review the day after the holiday), personal assistant Emma Gray is cursing herself for being so conscientious as she drives through a snowstorm to her boss’ country estate. When she arrives, she’s shocked at the evidence that intense and highly successful architect Lucas Jackson has sent whoever was there away and is now rip-snorting drunk. Concerned since the last time she saw him drunk (and passed out) was around this time last year in the office, she refuses to leave him until she’s reassured he’s well-enough to not hurt himself. After sufficient snarling and a moment of intense sexual awareness between them, she tries to leave, only to realize that the storm as worsened and she’s snowed in.

Lucas is angry that someone is witnessing his annual meltdown and that the someone is his PA of two years, the efficient Emma Gray, is not making him feel better. The fact that his roiling emotions and bottle of whiskey have made him suddenly aware of her gorgeous hair and shapely body isn’t making this any easier. When her empathy takes him too far into feeling, he turns the tables by losing himself in her body and she doesn’t seem to be protesting. The two of them spend a decent amount of time reassuring the other that it’s a one-off (I loved her playful response that she’d make them t-shirts as a reminder) but Lucas still insists that Emma accompany him to a fabulous Middle Eastern country where his hotel project has recently been completed. One of his best friends is the sheikh there, and he could use Emma’s help with the final negotiations, etc.

Woman in a Sheikh's World (The Private Life of Public Playboys #2) by Sarah Morgan (Harlequin, December 1, 2012)

Woman in a Sheikh’s World (The Private Life of Public Playboys #2) by Sarah Morgan (Harlequin, December 1, 2012)

What makes Sarah Morgan so talented is that, with a limited number of pages at her disposal, she manages to draw the histories of two people to the point where you feel you understand their characters. Emma is a hard-working sister who shares custody of her little brother with her older sibling, and she works hard for Lucas because she needs to money to help support her family. Her mother had a disastrous relationship with her boss and it’s one of the reasons that Emma is so horrified with her behavior. Lucas’ numbness and pain comes from his feeling responsible for the loss of his little daughter and his own rotten childhood (he also had a mother pining for a man she couldn’t have). Fans of the Ferrara books will be thrilled to see more of Christiano and Laurel’s happily ever after as their tiny daughter plays a key role in Lucas’ rehabilitation.

This book is the first of a duet, The Private Lives of Public Playboys, and the second book, Woman in a Sheikh’s World, tells the story of Mal, Lucas’ sheikh friend and Avery, the party planner we meet (and adore) in this book. Mal and Avery have a serious history and are still in love with one another, but she is no blue-blooded virgin, which is what Mal’s position requires. He takes duty and responsibility to his country very seriously, even if it means putting aside his own desires and personal happiness.

If I have any complaint, it’s with Sarah Morgan’s Goodreads page and her website in that the books related to one another are not clearly listed with any series name in parenthesis or grouped together. It’s a miracle if you figure out which are related (thank heavens she stuck the name “Ferrara” in the title of those books). Harlequin always pulls nonsense like this, largely because many of their series use multiple writers. Whatever, I don’t care what the reasons, give readers a chance to find more books and they’ll buy them, particularly when the writer is as good as Sarah Morgan!

Many thanks to Sarah Morgan for breathing life and love into such wonderful characters and giving us great books like these. Polish that crown! 🙂

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