Cocky Chef by J.D. Hawkins

Cocky Chef
J.D. Hawkins
Contemporary Romance
HEA Press, LLC
July 29, 2017
e-book, paperback
256

You can call me arrogant as much as you want. But when you're the best at what you do and have the hottest restaurant on the west coast, with enough Michelin stars to make Gordon Ramsay's head spin, you've earned the right to your confidence.

When I give an instruction in the kitchen, it's not a suggestion--it's an order. So when a new chef thinks she can do things her way, and dares to say so to my face, even her sharp wit and gorgeous pouty lips don't make it okay.

But I have to admit, she's got talent. She's creative in the kitchen and not even that double-breasted chef jacket can hide her perfect body. As I get to know her, I can't help wanting to know everything she thinks. I've never met a more talented chef. And I've never met a sassier and sexier woman in my life.

There's only one way this push and pull can end.

With her in my bed, begging for more.

A gourmet meal for heart and mind…

This book is so wonderful. It is without a doubt JD’s best work to date. And that’s saying a lot because I love his books, and Unprofessional was a favorite of mine, as well. But Cocky Chef takes JD’s ability to another level. The quality of the writing, the depth of feeling, the word choice and the visuals that are evoked are nothing less than truly amazing.

Our alpha male is Cole Chambers, a former reality TV star chef, turned restauranteur, a hot as hell former bad boy with a stubborn attitude, a huge ego and a life where nothing’s off limits. He’s busy working hard and playing hard, running Knife, one of L.A.’s hottest and most exclusive restaurants and opening a second location in Vegas. And he thinks he has it made. Until he meets Willow.

Fresh from the failure of her own restaurant in Idaho, she’s been hired as the new line chef at Knife. Her career there gets off to a bit of a rocky start when she unintentionally curses out the owner, Cole. But despite the bumpy beginnings, sparks soon fly between Cole and Willow, despite their complete disagreement over food preparation, what a restaurant should be, and their visions of the perfect meal. Cole opens up to Willow like he has to no one else in decades. He tells her of the issues in the past that have led him to his inability to trust, and shares his buried hurts with her. Willow tries to keep emotions at bay, but she knows she’s falling for this man, despite his flaws.

But Willow has a secret of her own. And she neglects to share it. Until it’s too late. And things are broken, including hearts. And Cole and Willow must then decide what the most crucial thing is for each of them. Are dreams able to be compromised on? Can what was once of utmost importance suddenly become insignificant? Is there a happily ever after in store for these two?

This book had me laughing, smiling, grimacing and bawling. At one point, I was broken. And then I was put back together. JD’s knowledge of the cooking field, hisability to describe not only the ingredients and dishes, but the atmosphere, the kitchen, the role of the staff and the emotions that go along with it all were on point. There were lovely romantic moments and deep, heartfelt conversations. Then tempers flared and melancholy tore both the characters and the reader apart. Absolutely ALL the feels are in this phenomenally well-written book.

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