Monday, October 27, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: Forked by Melanie Harlow

~Book Description~

Twenty-eight year old Coco Thomas knows the recipe for disaster:

1) Agree to plan last-minute engagement blowout for spoiled Mafia princess before you realize her choice of caterer is Nick Lupo, a despicably gorgeous young chef with a hot new restaurant in town, a reality TV show victory, and a romantic past with you—one that did not end well.

2) Strike a deal with Nick in which you agree to spend a weekend with him in exchange for his services, under the strict conditions there will be no talking about the past, no second chances, and definitely no sex.

3) Violate all three conditions within 24 hours and spend two glorious days remembering what made you fall for the sexy, egotistical bastard in the first place, and why it hurt so much when he broke your heart.

Add one road trip, plenty of good scotch, and endless spoonfuls of chocolate cake batter drizzled over your body and licked off inch by oh-my-God-yes-right-there inch, then just admit it.

You’re totally FORKED.
 Book Review: Forked (Frenched #2) by Melanie Harlow

4.25 Stars

Coco Thomas, 28, runs a successful party planning business with her friend Mia (See Frenched for Mia’s story). But Coco is not raking in enough cash to put a down payment on the dream house slash fixer-upper that she’s fallen in love with.  Mia is willing to help, as in forgo her half of the commission on any events while’s she out of the country for her wedding, so when the next client walks in the door, Coco hopes she’s the angel she needs.

Her angel of money turns out to be the local mob boss’s daughter, and she has quite an extensive list of requirements for her engagement party.  500 people, champagne fountains, ice sculptures—her client wants the works for the following weekend. But it’s the last detail that’s almost the deal breaker. The Italian American Princess wants famous burger chef Nick Lupo, also known as Coco’s ex, to grill for the party.

So what happens when two exes from an impulsive young marriage meet again after seven years? Well first they air their dirty laundry in public. It’s quite a fun scene with reveals and mistakes from their past. But Nick knows how to wear her down and soon she’s agreeing to spend the weekend with him—but with her rules.

Can Coco let a weekend with Nick be nothing more than a temporary time travel to their past or will feelings get in the way?

In Nick’s kitchen, author Melanie Harlow quickly turns up the heat between Nick and Coco, yet she avoids the pitfalls of insta-lust. The past relationship that Nick and Coco shared is always clearly felt. They are two old lovers who were also great friends at the core. It's apparent that their ultimate problem is not love or attraction but trust and security.  

The first part of the story is really cute, fun, and super sexy. I liked both characters and was rooting for them to reunite. The author did a great job of presenting the issues from their past alongside the attraction Coco and Nick obviously share. But somewhere during their weekend trip, Coco started to rub me the wrong way a little. I totally understood that she felt hurt and betrayed by how Nick previously handled their relationship, but he seemed like such a prince in the present so it was hard to not want her to give him another chance. 
“‘What boy sits with someone’s grandmother for two hours if he doesn’t love her?’”
You tell her Granny!

And then Coco freaked out about something that I felt she prematurely over-reacted to, and it requires some suspicion of disbelief at how immediately these college educated adults thought they could get an answer. (Even modern testing isn’t that quick. It wouldn’t have been accurate.) So I was glad it turned out the way it did as that part felt added simply for drama. I definitely enjoyed her friend Erin as the voice of reason at that point as Coco was just going overboard with the “sign” thing.

There were also a few things that seemed to have potential for more fun and adventure (Angelina's party) and re-connection (her tattoo???), but were not explored. Still, overall it’s an enjoyable read—sexy turned romantic—about lost chances, second chances. Forked is book 2 in the Frenched series but is easily read as a stand-alone.

Will Coco finally let Nick explain? Can she handle the answers? Are they worse than she thinks? What will Nick have to do to prove himself and win his ex-wife back?

For a fun, steamy read with substance but no teary angst, grab a copy today…


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