Review: Ready to Burn (Due South #3) by Tracey Alvarez

Ready to BurnTitle: Ready to Burn
Author: Tracey Alvarez
Series: Due South #3
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Love small-town romance with an unforgettable cast of characters? The Due South series will transport you to an unspoilt, wild island of the coast of New Zealand. Meet Shaye and Del…

Take one sassy Harland girl…

Shaye Harland, sous chef de-awesome, desperately wants the role of Due South’s head chef. Though a little out of her depth, she can totally cope with the extra de-mands if she can resist her future brother-in-law when he muscles in on her kitchen. The Hollywood wannabe is nothing but a troublesome distraction and he fries her sex-ometer to a crisp. But as far as romance? Forget it. Love, when she finds Mr. Perfect, will be as sweet as her to-die-for cookies.

Add a bad-boy from LA…

Del Westlake swore he’d never again set foot on the island he calls the “ass end of New Zealand.” With his reputation as a sous chef in one of LA’s hottest restau-rants trashed, and his estranged father’s restaurant needing a head chef, Del wants nothing more than to go in, get the job done, and get out. Except his feisty second-in-command carves herself a spot in his heart and completely incinerates his plans.

Watch the sparks fly as they burn it up in the kitchen…

Winning a spot on a TV reality show is just what Del needs to jumpstart his career back in the States. Nothing can get in the way of him winning—not even the woman whose trust he’d destroy if she discovers his secrets. But with a film crew capturing the explosive kitchen chemistry between them, will his bad-boy ways rear up and ruin his shot at becoming Shaye’s Mr. Perfect?

My Review:
Wow! What a mind-blowing book! Easily my favorite of all the books I’ve read in this series so far.

Ready to Burn has everything I adore in a book: Sublime writing, witty dialog, brilliant character development, stunning world building, strong emotions & relationships, lots of hot, steamy romance, and a fast-paced plot. There is nothing I would fault in the slightest.

Del Westlake has burned his bridges in LA so when an opportunity presents itself to go home, he can’t turn it down. Especially because it may well allow him restart his chef career in Chicago. Del is hiding behind his fair share of demons and it takes a very special lady to crack his nut. (Ahem!)

Shaye has been one of my fav characters in this series to date so I was really looking forward to reading this book. She is warm but sassy, strong yet vulnerable; particularly to Del’s charms.

They spark off each other at the start, and Shaye’s nose is understandably out of joint when she finds out Del has been hired temporarily as Head Chef, a position she believes she can easily fill. However, she quickly falls for Del’s Hollywood bad-boy charm and is soon in deep over her head.

I loved Del and Shaye as a couple and really enjoyed how Del transformed his whole attitude on life by the end of the book, even opening up to his family about the demons that have been torturing him. He was a great leading man.

I also adored the reality-TV theme, it added an interesting dimension to the story.

There was some really funny, laugh out loud moments in this book, like this bit: “Her revenge was squeezing your bum and letting you put a tongue in her ear? Sounds like cruel and unnecessary punishment.”

All in all, a truly amazing read. I’m only sorry I read it so quickly. I wish I could wipe my brain and start over, to relish the enjoyment all over again.

This is an excellent series and I highly recommend it.

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