Friday, September 7, 2012

The Hungry Heart by Brenda Gayle

Title:  The Hungry Heart
Author: Brenda Gayle

My Rating: A-

Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Series: -
Main Characters: Nora and Hunter
Release Date: September 2012
Publisher: Wild Rose Press  
Links to Purchase:

Sexual Intensity: Hot

Story Overview:
A burned out association executive spices things up with Santa Fe’s playboy celebrity chef.

Child advocate Nora Cross doesn't have time for the private cooking lesson her sister won at a charity auction. Hunter Graham, the young chef, is the last person she needs telling her she's forgotten how to have fun. So why can't she get the very hot, very eligible man off her mind?

After a stellar debut in New York City, Hunter's back in Santa Fe to open a new restaurant. He lives a charmed life and he knows it. He isn't interested in a workaholic who's glued to her smart phone. So why is he trying to convince Nora to relax and enjoy life—with him?

When Nora's apartment and office are ransacked, Hunter comes to her rescue, surprised to find himself playing knight-in-shining armor to the uptight executive. But when it becomes clear Nora is no random target, Hunter realizes he'll do anything to keep her safe.

My Review:

Overall, I really, really enjoyed reading this book. It features two very different people who really don't have much in common, but they become friends and then more despite that.

Hunter is a definite playboy, but he loves and respects women...he just doesn't have lasting relationships with them and he's honest about that. He's one of those guys who knows how to make ever woman feel like the most important thing in the world, but then not have any idea what her name is the next day. When Karen, Nora's sister, wins a cooking lesson from him at a charity auction, she sets Nora up for the lesson, hoping that Nora can add some fun to her life. And Hunter pulls his normal charming attitude, but Nora doesn't want to have anything to do with it. 

Nora is a fault. She's been building a childrens' charity organization for the last ten years...devoting ALL her time to it. She never steps out of her work mode, to the point that she doesn't even recognize that Hunter is trying to flirt and charm her. She simply doesn't have the time for his type of flippant behavior.

I'll be honest...this story sucked me right in and I truly enjoyed every minute of reading it. I liked Hunter and Nora. Things do NOT go well between the two of them the first couple of times they meet. They are definitely oil and water. Hunter is fine with it all though and just lets it roll off his back. Nora's a bit more tightly wound than that and she finds the entire experience humiliating. While I don't necessarily connect with the drive and unrelenting push behind Nora's personality, I could feel for her in these socially awkward moments. And Hunter is truly a nice guy...he's just a bit of a man-whore. 

I liked the whole story line with Hunter's family ranch and his restaurant. I'm hoping that with the depth that was put into this story line, that we are going to see other books featuring this family. I also really enjoyed the mystery/suspense of the attacks on Nora. I always felt like I had a pretty good feel about what was going on, but there were definitely a couple of points at the end that surprised me. I also really loved the child advocacy/political aspect of the story. There is definitely an art to those types of receptions and dinners and it was fun to watch Nora grow in her ability to handle them.

Overall it was a great book. From page one, I was immersed in the story. I'll admit that based upon my pure enjoyment WHILE reading the book, it rates higher than the final score I gave it. The reason for this is that upon reflection, there were a couple of points in the plot that were a little unbelievable, but while reading the book, they didn't affect my enjoyment of it at all. I will definitely be reading this author again!

I received a complementary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

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