Title: Devil’s Food at Dusk (Just Desserts #3)
Author Name & Publisher: M.J. O’Shea and Anna Martin (Dreamspiners Press)
Publication Date & Length: June 22, 2015 – 200 pgs
Joe Fitzgerald hates New Orleans, but he’s stuck there until he convinces one stubborn local family to sell Lumière, the crumbling French Quarter restaurant they’ve owned for generations. The place is a wreck, and it’s hemorrhaging money. Joe figures he’s their best chance for survival.
Remy Babineaux despises Pineapple Joe’s and everything the chain stands for. He refuses to let Lumière become some tacky corporate tourist trap. Theme drinks and plastic beads in his restaurant? Yeah, right. Over his dead, rotting corpse. The last thing Remy wants is a meeting with the restaurant chain’s representative, but his father agreed to at least listen to the proposal. There’s nothing Remy can do about it.
Remy figures an anonymous hookup is exactly what he needs to decompress. When he ends up across the table from his fling the next morning, real sparks fly. Joe refuses to give up his prime location; Remy refuses to give up his legacy. It’s war, and they’re both determined to win at any cost. Neither of them counted on falling in love.
This book made me feel like I was actually present in New Orleans. Descriptions of the sights, smells, sounds and flavours of the city are recorded in exquisite, sensual detail. Add in a beautiful, brooding chef and this story is pure fantasy.
Remy is a fantastic main character. The authors introduce him against the backdrops of his family and his restaurant which in turn add colour and passion to an already attractive man. The Babineaux family is wonderful – I love the colour, the clashes and the easy inter-generational living. The restaurant – fresh and local, balancing innovation with a family tradition – is somewhere I would happily spend every night.
I really struggled to warm to Joe – but that was always the point of the story. His abrasive, cut-throat persona is gently softened over the course of the book as he spends more time with the Babineaux family, but I’m not sure I can ever forgive his behaviour.
This is the story of a family as much as it is a romance. I loved the interactions between members of the Babineaux clan as much as I loved the descriptions of food and the steamy sex scenes. What a fantastic book!
M.J. O’Shea has been writing romance since algebra class in sixth grade (when most of her stories starred her and Leonardo DiCaprio). When she’s not writing, she loves listening to nearly all types of music, painting, reading great authors, and on those elusive sunny days in the Pacific Northwest, she loves driving on the freeway with her windows rolled down and her stereo on high.
Anna Martin is from a picturesque seaside village in the south west of England. After spending most of her childhood making up stories, she studied English Literature at university before attempting to turn her hand as a professional writer.
Apart from being physically dependent on her laptop, she is enthusiastic about writing and producing local grassroots theatre (especially at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where she can be found every summer), travelling, learning to play the ukulele, and Ben & Jerry’s New York Super Fudge Chunk.
Although her most recent work is in the LGBT romance genre, in the past Anna has worked on a variety of different projects including short stories, drabbles, flash fiction, fan fiction, plays for both children and adults, and poetry. She has written novels in the Teen or Young Adult genre, Romance and Fantasy novels.
Anna is, by her own admission, almost unhealthily obsessed with books. The library she has amassed is both large and diverse; “My favourite books,” she says, “are ‘The Moonstone’ by Wilkie Collins, ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ by Harper Lee and ‘Oryx and Crake’ by Margaret Atwood.” She also owns multiple copies of Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park books and re-reads the Harry Potter novels with almost startling regularity.
Anna claims her entire career is due to the love, support, pre-reading and creative ass-kicking provided by her closest friend Jennifer. Jennifer refuses to accept any responsibility for anything Anna has written.