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Monday, August 31, 2015

Review: Recipe for Temptation by Gina Gordon


Yeah, this book didn't really work for me. The heroine was just too malleable to be likable.

Format: .mobi (A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. )
Publisher: Entangled - Brazen
Release Date: August 11, 2015

She’s the woman he loves to hate.

Penn Foster wants a lot of things. She wants a spot on the board of a charitable foundation. She wants to win the stupid, plastic family trophy. And more than anything, she wants her tall, hot, and brooding boss naked in her bed. Now, on a Hawaiian vacation with her family, she’s desperately trying not to think about how he’d sound whispering dirty things in her ear.

He’s the man she can’t have…or can she?


Cole Murphy keeps himself locked down, away from the press and out of the spotlight. Still haunted by a traumatic childhood, his ability to trust has been decimated. Penn, with her sexy body and confidence, is the only person able to drag him out of his shell. Which is why he crashes her vacation and accepts her proposition for no-strings sex. But is the inescapable heat building between them a delicious temptation, or will it end in total disaster?

Cole Murphy and Penn Foster have an unusual relationship. They’re too snarky and defensive to be full on friends but they don’t actually hate each other enough to be enemies either and I refuse to label them “frenemies” (They aren’t teenagers you know). Anyway, in her professional life Penn wants a spot on the board of a charitable organization and in her personal life, she wants to win the plastic trophy in her family’s yearly game (It sounds as ridiculous as it is).


The cherry on top of that particular sundae would be Cole in her bed which she thinks is about as likely as snow on her Hawaiian family vacation. Until Cole shows up to help her win the trophy.

Despite his attraction to Penn, Cole keeps himself shutoff from pretty much anything resembling a normal life and relationship. A childhood trauma makes him wary of getting close to anyone but with Penn he can’t seem to resist stepping in to help her. It isn’t long before their “friendship” leaps over into the “lovers” territory with all sorts of complications following.

Straight out of the gate, I felt like I was missing some crucial piece of information about these two that would help me connect and understand them better. Kind of like when you walk up to two of your friends in the middle of a heated discussion only to hear what they’re currently saying because neither one of them wants to back track and tell you what you missed. So there you are with a confused look on your face wondering how they got to that point in the first place.

That doesn’t mean that the growing relationship wasn’t satisfying. It was evenly paced in my opinion. Not too fast and not too slow, there was plenty of conflict for them to overcome. Most of it on Penn’s side. Without outside influences, these two supported one another in a way that brought them closer and I liked that about them. But while there was no denying that Cole and Penn had chemistry, I wanted to know more about them as individuals and I just didn’t get that here. I think it would have helped me connect and understand them better had there been more individual scenes.

Another thing I didn’t get was Penn’s obsession with that stupid plastic family trophy! She endured nothing but smug glances and cold hearted jabs from her own family! Why this woman couldn’t flip them the bird and tell them where to stick their trophy was beyond me. She must have been a masochist for putting up with such cruel and awful behavior. I disliked that the most about Recipe for Temptation. I just have such a problem with nasty behavior from “family” that only gets brushed under the rug with the excuse of “They’re a crazy family.” Um, no, they’re not crazy, they’re mean and Penn allowed them and their behavior to define HER. I felt that Penn betrayed herself by allowing her family to control her behavior, to define just who she was and what she would and wouldn’t do. That was bad enough but then she allowed that behavior to spill over onto Cole. She was a meek mouse and you know how much I dislike those kinds of heroines.

There was also a buildup with Cole’s past and it was such a buildup that I thought it was going to be something truly traumatizing and horrific due to Cole’s intense aversion to a relationship or letting anyone get close to him. So imagine my surprise and disappointment when it turned out to be something bad but not as earth shattering as I had been lead to believe.

Recipe for Temptation wasn’t a great read for me. The heroine’s lackluster personality combined with a so-so storyline didn’t make this a memorable book. There were some moments that I liked the book but I never really fell in love with it or got invested in the characters’ romance.

Final Verdict: Even though Recipe for Temptation didn't fully pan out for me, I'm still willing to try this author again. 




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