Thursday, July 26, 2012


Title:  Luscious
Author:  Amanda Usen
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Release Date: July 3, 2012

Copy of eBook provided by Net Galley

Eat, play, love...
Plain old ice cream just isn't going to cut it. To beat these blues, chef Olivia Marconi needs the good stuff: rich, creamy tiramisu gelato. And no place better to get it than Italy. But a fresh start is nearly impossible with Sean Kindred dogging her every move. She's been burned by his too-hot-to-handle antics before. Though there's no denying the man can still get her all fired up. Could a week long affair finally turn into something more lasting...or will it all go up in flames?

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Book Review

Luscious, by Amanda Usen, is a continuation of her first book, Scrumptious, and is Olivia and Sean's story. 

Olivia Marconi, a chef and owner of the restaurant Chameleon, has recently divorced her husband, Kevin. And I say, "Good riddance." The loser was a horrible chef, and an even worse hubby. But her failed marriage is just one of the events that wreck havoc on Olivia's crumbling self esteem. She feels like an utter failure and a major disappointment to her family and friends. She is a shattered woman who puts her home on the market, leaves her restaurant to her best friend, and runs away to Italy to lick her wounds.

Sean Kindraid, sexy Lawyer extraordinaire, is the one Olivia hired in book one (Scrumptious) to help in her divorce proceedings. And he is also a part of her past. Unknown to Olivia, Sean has sported a major crush on Olivia since their high school days. And now that crush is growing into something more. Determined to win Olivia's affection, he makes plans to travel to Italy with her. And he's even more determined to win her heart.

What follows is a sweet, light-hearted story that just never truly captured my attention like Usen's first book, Scrumptious, did. The flickering flame of Olivia and Sean's relationship never got above simmering for me and the actual dishes themselves, along with how wine was made, overshadowed the actual romance of the story.
I love descriptive words and setting the scene in a story, but I also need a connection to the characters. Also, Olivia's self-depreciating personality and her inability to stand up for herself weakened her likable factor. I know that not all heroines need to be kick-ass and ready to take on the world. But a little bit of back bone would have been highly appreciated.

Overall likeness of this story was just lukewarm, but Usen does a fantastic job painting a very vivid world with her descriptions and puts the reader smack dab in the middle of the kitchen. You can practically smell the sauces and the other mouth-watering dishes.  It also made me want to jump up off the couch and cook a huge Italian meal for my family.


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