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Friday 23 March 2018

✍ Can't Stand the Heat: Will Cook for Love [3] - Peggy Jaeger

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published by Lyrical Shine
Number of pages: 357
My rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆  I liked it a lot  
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Can't Stand the Heat
|| Synopsis || Teaser: Excerpt || Review || The Series || Author Guest Post: "Romance Must-Haves" || About the Author || Giveaway & Tour Stops ||

"In Peggy Jaeger’s delectable series, delicious food is just an appetizer for life’s main course: the kind of love that feeds your soul.

With three successful TV series under her belt, including her cousin Kandy’s, executive producer Stacy Peters is ready to helm her own show. But to make that happen, she has to do her network boss one favor first—spend two months on a ranch in Montana wrangling the notoriously difficult director of Beef Battles. Apparently, he eats producers for breakfast. Yet all Stacy can think when she meets the lean, rugged man is how hungry he makes her . . .

Dominic Stamp—Nikko to his very few friends—has had enough interference from TV newbies. And when Stacy climbs out of the car in Montana, he’s not convinced she’s even old enough to drive, much less produce his show. But he can’t deny that the long-legged blonde with the stubborn will and the dazzling smile whets his appetite. And as Stacy proves her talent with the crew and the budget alike, Nikko vows to prove to her that love is on the menu for both of them . . ."

"Can't Stand the Heat" is my first taste of Peggy Jaeger's writing and the third instalment in her "Will Cook for Love" series, which follows the lives and loves of the Laine sisters (six of them) and their family, such as their cousin, and our heroine, Stacy Peters. All novels in this contemporary romance series are standalone and have a Happily Ever After (HEA).

On 20 March 2018, Peggy Jaeger wrote a piece for our blog where she described the elements that she feels are the pillars of any good romance story, her "Romance Must-Haves"; I was excited to find all of these amply delivered in her own work.

The third person narrative effortlessly and vividly sets the scene and alternately unfolds the innermost thoughts of the two protagonists, executive producer Stacy Peters and her antagonistic director Dominick (Nikko) Stamp, whilst interspersing funny capers from a host of minor characters. Nothing feels superfluous.

There are a couple of fairly graphic steamy sex scenes, however these are  perfectly timed, non-gratuitous and serve to enrich the story and character development. Jaeger also addresses several tough and sensitive issues, such as bereavement, eating disorders, traumatic events and their physical and psychological consequences, in a serious but not overbearing manner. The overall feel of the book is romantic, funny, emotional but positive and light.

The characters are very well developed, realistic and relatable; like peeling an onion, personalities are revealed a layer at a time. The dialogue and background (the filming of a professional cooking competition, Beef Battles) authentic, down to the annoying, "like", speak of Nikko's teenage daughter, Melora.

My only criticism relates to the crisis at the end of the second act of the plot prior to the promised HEA. As the story progressed I felt there were events which had been set up to lead to a couple of possible crisis scenarios, involving Melora and another minor character, which could have developed more organically than the rather obvious catalyst which was actually used. To me, this part felt a little forced / overplayed / not completely consistent with the emotional stage the two protagonists had reached. I suppose, I expected better from both of them.

As an added bonus for all meat lovers, this books also includes four lovely "Recipes from the Dixon Ranch": Sweet & Saucy BBQ Sauce, Chicken Fried Steak, Spicy Short Ribs, and Cheesy Corn Frittata (which I shall try out myself 😉).

On final analysis, I thoroughly enjoyed "Can't Stand the Heat" and would not hesitate to read the rest of the series"Can't Stand the Heat" is a thoughtful emotional romantic read with wit, strong women, a worthwhile love-interest, some steam and a satisfying HEA.

[ARC received via Netgalley and Goddess Fish Promotions]

About the Author

Peggy Jaeger is a contemporary romance author who writes about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them.

Her current titles, available now, include Skater's Waltz , There's No Place Like Home, First ImpressionsThe Voices of Angels books 1 and 4 in her 5-book The MacQuire Women Series, published by The Wild Rose Press. Her novella 3 Wishes, A Candy Hearts Romance, is part of the 40 book Candy Hearts Series.

Tying into her love of families, her children’s book, The Kindness Tales, was illustrated by her artist mother-in-law.

Peggy holds a master’s degree in Nursing Administration and first found publication with several articles she authored on Alzheimer’s Disease during her time running an Alzheimer’s in-patient care unit during the 1990s.

In 2013, she placed first in two categories in the Dixie Kane Memorial Contest: Single Title Contemporary Romance and Short/Long Contemporary Romance.

A lifelong and avid romance reader and writer, she is a member of RWA and her local New Hampshire RWA Chapter Secretary for 2016-2018
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peggy jaeger said...

thanks for the great review!

BooksChatter said...

Hello Peggy,

thank you for stopping by!
I had forgotten to mention about the recipes! (added)

BTW I am really beginning to hate star ratings.

Hope you are having a great tour!


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you!

peggy jaeger said...

Hi Flora - yes I am!!!!! It's daunting but it's fun. Be well and enjoy your weekend.
And thanks again for hosting me and reviewing.

Rita Wray said...

Sounds like a good read.

peggy jaeger said...

Thanks Victoria

peggy jaeger said...

Thanks, Rita!