Title: Taste For Temptation
Author: Phyllis Bourne
Rated: 4.2 on GoodReads
My Rating: 4.0
Brandi Collins is determined to get back the body she had before being jilted at the altar – so the chocolate has got to go.
Just her luck, her handsome, new neighbor is vying for the top prize in the International Chocolate Pastry Competition.
How’s Brandi supposed to stick to salads, when her neighbor is bombarding her with the mouthwatering aroma of chocolate all night long? Or resist the sexy baker who’s eager to prove her life could be so much sweeter with dessert – and with him?
So overall, I enjoyed reading this book. The writing style is consistently good, the pacing of the story is steady without being boring, and the details were handled well. It was a nice tale and honestly one I could see myself reading a second time just for fun, though it wouldn’t be my first pick for a reread.
I enjoyed how you saw things from both Brandi and Adam’s perspectives; the story is told in third person, which I found really helped the flow here. The setting of it was also fairly intriguing – Pastry chef that deals exclusively with chocolate? Sign me up!
Both the main characters were super refreshing to read about; Brandi has such a sweet personality, and how she grew up that way with the family she did boggles my mind. We’ll get to that a little later, though. Adam also had it pretty rough in the family department, but I loved seeing some differentiation between their backgrounds. It wasn’t cookie cutter in any way (heh, yes, pastry chef, cookie cutter…You get it).
I also found myself quite enjoying the presence of the side characters. Similar to “Whiskey Kiss”, I didn’t find there was enough of them, but this story definitely had more than the prior.
One thing that did frustrate me quite a bit was the way Brandi handled her family issues – I quite disliked the mother (which, kudos to the author for giving me a character to genuinely dislike!), and partway into the book you can see traces of Brandi building up the gal to overcome this. I was really hoping she’d give such a toxic family member the boot. Sadly, that wasn’t the case, and considering Brandi’s confidence growth throughout the book I was a little disappointed.
This is something I found Adam does a little better. He doesn’t cut ties off entirely per sae, but he does set very clear boundaries for what he will and won’t allow in his life. That’s something I quite admired, along with all his other amazing qualities.
Another small thing was the ending – I didn’t like it that much. There were some beautiful descriptions, scenery, some lovely time spent in France. And as the story begins to wrap up, it unravels in a way that leaves you spinning for the wrong reasons. Everything is too fast, as if it was just a matter of getting it done. “That’s a wrap, time to move on!”
I don’t think this would have bothered me so much if the timeline had been less clear; all of this is happening within the span of a couple of months. The rest of the story follows this timeline well, but with that fact in mind, Brandi and Adam’s happily ever after goes a bit far in my opinion. I know couples that take huge steps together in short amounts of time, and kudos to them, but I stand firm in my thoughts that getting to know one another well before taking those leaps is a must. It’s something I think should be modelled a bit more for readers – Normalizing taking things slow, and looking for the right things in a partner. I don’t know, it came off as flat and it put a bit of a damper on the rest of the story for me.
There was a little snippet for book 2 in the series included, and though I did enjoy the first book, I don’t think I’ll be going further with the series. It seems to include more of that familial conflict I detest, which is a bit of a dealbreaker for me.
All that said, Taste for Temptation was a fairly relaxing read for the mostpart, and I would recommend it. I think it gives you opportunity to think and challenge the story without being too frustrated over the contents, and the baking aspects are just to die for.