Beauty and the Feast by Julia Barrett
March 16, 2010
E-Book, 220 Pages
Reviewed by Mandi
Why I read: Author asked for a review.
Favorite Quote: “Try to look at it this way, absence makes the cock grow harder.”
Eva Raines is a top-rate chef working for ATAP, or All Things to All People, a company that provides chefs, house cleaners, interior designers – anything you need to host a party or keep your house running smoothly. Eva loves the people she works for, and has yet to disappoint a client. Her bosses receive a request to cater a dinner party for two for a very well off winery owner, Gabriel Abbott. Gabe enjoys fine things and wants to impress the very beautiful Stephanie, a voluptuous woman he recently met. But his plans for dinner soon change after he speaks with Eva on the phone. Her voice ignites a passion in him, much more than attractive, yet flat Stephanie.
Eva puts many hours into prepping dinner, and she can’t help but be intrigued by his beautiful house. She wonders what kind of man lives here and how he spends his time. As soon as Gabe brings Stephanie back to his house, he has a change of mind, and decides he would much rather eat Eva’s scrumptious meal by himself. He drives the disgruntled and confused Stephanie back to her house, and eats his succulent meal – all the while becoming aroused.
By chance, they meet, after Eva has a bad bike fall. Gabe takes her back to her house and helps her with her injuries. They have an instant attraction and both want to move forward with the relationship – but they forget Stephanie is a bit put out for being dumped and she wants revenge.
Beauty and the Feast is a cute love story, a little sappy at times, but I very much enjoyed how Julia Barrett combines food and romance. The preparation of the food and the consumption very much mirror foreplay and sex and it was very erotic how she combines them both. As Eva says,
“Good food should be like great sex. Nuanced. Seductive. Smooth. Satisfying. The more care used preparation, the deeper the flavor, the more lingering the outcome.”
Eva is a little bit on the perfect side, besides having a potty mouth. She is your classic heroine who does not have a lot of sexual experience – but she has great chemistry with Gabe. I like both of their easy going attitudes and there are many scenes that steam up the pages. At first Eva feels a little awkward, having feelings for her client. She kind of sees her self as the “help” rather than the girlfriend. But Gabe is there to put all those notions out of her head. He is rich and powerful, but very sweet to Eva.
It was a little hard to buy into Stephanie’s part as the villain – she had absolutely no history with Gabe, only “dating” him if you can call it that for not even one night. Gabe is a good catch, so I can see how she is hurt, but I don’t know if I bought entirely into her motives for revenge.
There was also a part after they have had sex several times where Eva says – oops I’m not on birth control and we haven’t used protection. Gabe assures her if there are consequences, he will be there for her. This just seems a little silly that neither one of them realized after several occasions that they forgot protection and really didn’t need to be mentioned in the book.
Beauty and the Feast does a cute job of combining two of people’s favorite things – sex and food.