Title: Love in the Morning
Author: Meg Benjamin
Series: Salt Box #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Available: Jan 5th
Breakfast with benefits
The reality show “Lovely Ladies of L.A.” should have launched Lizzy Apodaca s catering company into solvency. Instead, when her carefully prepared appetizers mysteriously gave the cast on-camera food poisoning, she lost everything.
To make matters worse, her car breaks down in Salt Box, Colorado, a town not much bigger than a salt shaker. But maybe her luck is changing the handsome owner of Praeger House, the town s premier hotel, needs a kitchen assistant.
Clark Denham realizes his diamond in the rough is a polished gem when Lizzy steps up to save the hotel s breakfast buffet after his temperamental head chef quits. It isn t long before she s winning his heart as smoothly and efficiently as she runs his kitchen.
Their relationship goes from simmer to rolling boil with the speed of a short order cook. But when a bevy of not-so-lovely ladies shows up in Salt Box, Lizzy s past disaster threatens to flatten her happily ever after faster than a falling soufflé.
Warning: Contains salty dialogue, several servings of high-carb cooking, and a big platter of screaming-hot bedroom delights.
Source: ARC from Samhain Publishing via NetGalley
This second offering from the Salt Box series was every bit as sweet and fun and enjoyable as the first. The characters are likeable, the romance was good and the reality TV drama cast a nicely menacing shadow to keep everything ticking along.
Lizzy is a hard worker, the sort who isn’t afraid to graft for what she wants. The problem is, a favour for her cousin meant that she lost everything. Having left LA with nothing, she drives until her car runs out of fuel and picks up some work in the first kitchen that’s hiring. Which is how she ends up working for Clark and soon running his kitchen better than it’s ever been run before. I liked that even when she’s trying to keep her head down and not draw attention to herself, Lizzy still has some professional pride. Even if her secret is clearly not going to stay under wraps forever.
Clark is another hard worker, though his background is the complete opposite of Lizzy’s – and felt like a bit of a loose end to me, since he has all these thoughts and feelings about his family that go absolutely nowhere. All he wants is for his hotel to be a success, including the kitchen, but even when he’s clueless about how to deal with the food, I liked that he respected and appreciated Lizzy’s efforts.
The two of them together are sweet. He’s not looking for anything serious, she’s trying to hide who she is, yet somehow they end up together and are good for each other. There’s very little drama in their relationship (apart from the obvious) and I liked that things between them are so easy.
Then there’s Salt Box itself, with its pack of interesting (and nosy) locals on hand to provide spy services and support. They’re fun and friendly and grumpy and silly and I loved how they helped Lizzy out. It was also nice to see Ronnie back from the previous book, still hanging around town winning friends with her smile and being hopelessly nice to everyone.
If you’re looking for a small town read with a sweet romance, some television drama and more breakfasts than you’ll need in a month, then this book can deliver all of that. It’s also a fun and enjoyable way to escape for an evening or two. I look forward to seeing how the trilogy ends – hopefully with Ronnie in the lead.
Love in the Morning is out January 5th!
Visit Meg Benjamin for more details.