Book Review: Kate Meader’s All Fired Up

March 10, 2014 4 out of 5, Contemporary Romance, review 1 ★★★★

Book Review: Kate Meader’s All Fired UpTitle: All Fired Up
Author: Kate Meader
Genre: Contemporary Romance
My Rating: four-stars
My Copy: ARC via NetGalley
Add to: Goodreads
Synopsis: Her sweetest mistake . . .

Cool as a Chicago winter, private events planner Cara DeLuca is a model of self-control . . . until she meets the one temptation she can't resist: Shane Doyle. The sexy, Irish pastry chef is too hot, too sure, too young, and after a crazy night in Vegas-her new husband. While at first Cara wants nothing more than a way out of her sham marriage to Shane, she soon finds that beneath his farm boy demeanor lies a man who can match her drive, both in and out of the bedroom. How can the wrong guy feel so deliciously right?

. . . Tastes so, so good

Shane has carefully structured his career and life around one goal: connecting with the family that doesn't know he exists. Marrying a woman with more issues than a magazine stand wasn't part of the plan, but melting Cara's icy exterior is so worth the detour. Now as the annulment date nears and long-buried secrets are revealed, Shane will have to fight for the one thing guaranteeing the perfect life he craves . . . the current Mrs. Shane Doyle.

I have a confession; I’ve been eying Kate Meader’s Feel the Heat, but haven’t had the chance to read it. When the opportunity came to review All Fired Up, I couldn’t pass up the chance. All Fired Up is the second book in Meader’s Hot in the Kitchen series. If you haven’t read the first in the series, Feel the Heat, it is not necessary to do so in order to enjoy All Fired Up. Meader does give us a bit of backstory but I wouldn’t consider them spoilers.

What happens in Vegas doesn’t stay in Vegas and for Cara DeLuca life is just about to get complicated. Meeting Shane Doyle at her cousin’s co-bachelor / bachelorette party doesn’t mean anything to Cara. When she wakes up the next day, she isn’t sure what her and the sexy Irishman may have done. To complicate things even more, Shane moves into the same building and is a recent hire at her future brother-in-law’s restaurant. Shane is attracted to Cara and isn’t one to take no for an answer, but he’s worked hard to get the job he has. Will he able to woo Cara into something more or will Shane lose more than his heart?

Character development is strong. Cara is known among her coworkers as “Lemon Tart” because she doesn’t like to mix business with pleasure. She’s a bit of a workaholic and likes things to be done a certain way. We aren’t told exactly what she suffered in the past right away and when we find out, we understand her a little more. Also, she’s one to say how she doesn’t fit in her family and until we see her with the DeLuca clan, it finally all makes sense. I really liked Cara and really could associate with her. Then of course we have the oh so sexy Irishman of Shane! Oh man, ladies he’s yummy! He’s had a tough childhood and holds a secret that we are privy to and I kept waiting for the shoe to drop. When it does, it all gets resolved a bit too quickly for me. Here we have a hero who isn’t going to let the past define him, rather he’s going to prove he’s above the past. I won’t go into any more details because I want you to meet him and make your own assessment. As for secondary characters, we have Cara’s sister Lili and her fiancé Jack. Of the two, I really liked Lili and Jack was hard to like at times, but then I had to remind myself that he was a celebrity chef and he’s use to people wanting things from and it makes sense he’s the way he is. Then we have Tad who is Cara’s cousin and oh boy did I like him! He’s like that annoying brother and he’s a lot of fun. We also have Jules who is Jack’s sister and it was nice to see her and Cara put aside their differences.

Ah what I can say, I’m a sucker for secret marriages and Meader delivers a top notch romance! I adored Shane and Cara’s banter. I just really liked everything about All Fired Up. It was funny and yet serious at the same time. I kept waiting for someone to find out about the marriage and yet when the truth is finally told, I liked how it happened because it felt natural to Shane and Cara’s story. Meader could have forced them together but instead we have two people who were attracted to each other and had to get to know one another. The best parts of the novel really are when Cara and Shane are together. I loved that Shane took Cara’s nickname among the staff and turned it into an endearment because he didn’t see her that way. Even when she shows her tough side, he still sees the Cara he met in Vegas; the one with hopes and dreams. Ah, let’s just sigh at how lovely this book was.

What I really liked about All Fired Up? The emotions! We’ve all been there thinking we don’t fit into certain circles and sometimes within families we feel like the odd person out. Cara feels that way among her family and I could associate with her. Then we have Shane who’s had a difficult past. When his secret is finally revealed, I wanted a bit more groveling among the people who made accusations against him. The real winner here was Lili who took everything in stride and tried to make amends on both sides. Overall, it’s just a wonderful romance and one that I want everyone to read! Just a bit of warning: Meader will have you craving everything mentioned. I still want to taste Shane’s Bella Donna cake because it sounds amazing!

I adored Kate Meader’s All Fired Up and can’t wait to read more of her work. If you really enjoy in-depth romances with well developed characters, I highly recommend Kate Meader. I love that I found a new favorite author.

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