By Katie McCoy
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
1 Chef (equal parts sexy and carefree)
1 Pianist (equal parts uptight and endearing)
1/8 inch of drywall between their apartments
2 opinions on everything
Combine all ingredients, mix vigorously, and be prepared for an explosion of heat.
Pianist Ella Thomas is training for the competition of her life. Finally in an apartment of her own, she can practice from dawn till dusk.
But she didn’t bet on the sexy and frustrating neighbor keeping her up all night – even if he does cook like a maestro and kiss like it’s his job.
Jake Matson is living his dream as Head Chef at one of the most popular restaurants in San Francisco. He’s easy going, flirtatious and not looking for love. He didn’t expect to be completely distracted by the girl next door, whose buttoned-up appearance hides the seductive firecracker underneath.
What happens when opposites attract? As their tension fires up, can they create a new kind of music together or will everything boil over?
Though Jake and Ella are an unlikely couple – and once they meet, their connection blows up faster than grease thrown on a flame – you can’t help but like these two and look forward to finding out how the story is going to evolve (they are new neighbors and she plays piano and he’s a chef – not exactly what you’re expecting) and how they’re going to get together and make it work. We soon discover that Jake is really a nice guy and Ella is just waiting for a reason to break out of her shell, one that she’s been trapped behind thanks to her piano teacher and former lover. We don’t really find out why this former teacher has usurped her self- confidence – I originally thought there may be more to the story and the reader would discover out what it was (is he jealous of her and she’s actually better than he is, perhaps?) – but that was inconsequential (he was just there as filler). These two support each other – Ella supports Jake on his quest to make a name for himself as a head chef and Jake supports Ella in her quest to win a piano competition that will earn her enough money to teach. These two have an endearing love story and the ending is sweet.
Favorite part: When he remembers the day of her piano competition and rushes to watch it, but not before making sure she receives a flash of chicken noodle soup immediately before her performance. He has to leave early, but leaves a bouquet of flowers for her. That and the final chapter. The book has a great ending.
The “huh” part: It gives me hope that hunks can find a plain Jane attractive and want to settle down. Wish I had that kind of luck.
Recommend: Yes. This was a light-hearted, carefree and uncomplicated read – a feel-good story. The sex scenes were great. There was humor. Truly enjoyed the addition of sentiment to the story – from reminders about Jake’s mom and how she influenced his career choice and recipes to the power of chicken noodle soup, caring for Jake when he was sick and inviting his father to dinner. Even though these two started out – in my mind – as not a logical couple, by the end of the story, it works.
Original review posted on Amazon and Goodreads on March 16, 2016.