Monday, December 23, 2013

ARC Review: The Sweetest Seduction by Crista McHugh

The Sweetest Seduction by Crista McHugh

Publisher: Crista McHugh
Series: The Kelly Brothers #1
Pages: 200 Pages (Hardcover)
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Release Date: January 6, 2014
Lia Mantovani has created one of the hottest restaurants on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, but all that could disappear if she loses her lease with Kelly Properties. Having had her dreams ripped away from her before, she’ll do everything in her power to keep her restaurant. Her fate hangs on the whims of the frustratingly handsome Adam Kelly.

Adam has spent years trying to convince world famous chef Amadeus Schlittler to open a restaurant in Chicago, but he wants the prime location held by Lia. Business has always come first… until sparks fly when Adam meets her. When things get hot outside the kitchen, though, they’re both in danger of getting burned



This was a  bit too cliche for my taste, but McHugh's writing style had me devouring the novel in one sitting despite my occasional eye rolling (insta-love! ugh). Really enjoyed the food writing *whispers*and the smut

The plot was so cliche - so so so cliche. The typical romance novel. Meddling friends/mothers, hard working MCs who are not interested in a relationship - add insta-lust and bam!!! BIG insta-love. Throw in some drama, choices are made and then all is well. The End.
Sounds familiar? Yep, it could be any contemporary novel out there. And to be fair, I guess that's how this genre works. But this is still me and I still have an aversion against insta-lust-love, top that with my slightly odd relationship with the genre. I harbor kinda insta-hate or insta-love relationship with the genre. So unless the plot is super-unique it wouldn't wow me. But The Sweetest Seduction is beyond cliche, I could tell you were this is going from the get go, and it went from romance A to Z without any surprises.
The end felt rather rushed as well.

The reason why I keep on going back to the genre is often linked to character building and prose.
Well I love McHugh's writing style and I wasn't disappointed this time around. I have only read her PNR so far, so this was my first time reading a contemporary by her. And I enjoyed it, I read this in one go. McHugh managed to keep me riveted despite quite a bit of eye-rolling and huffing over the novel. I think speaks for her writing skills and I am always going to be tempted to read more of her work.
The food writing was delectable. The flavors mouth-watering. I love food, know the restaurant business and McHugh either know both of these things out of experience- or she did her research really really well.
The smut? Hmmmmm! yep, it was yummy as well. As I said the girl can write!

The novel is written from Adam & Lia's POV in third person. I love alternating POVs, especially when it comes to contemporary romance. In this case I got to say their voices were to similar. I had to be really careful not to mix them up.
As far as character building goes. I really enjoyed it. I think this is what definitely saved this from cliche romance disaster.
Lia is an interesting female lead. Strong and passionate.
Adam is strong as well, with high principals but also really ruthless. Quite alpha.
I enjoyed getting to know the MCs slowly and see the two MC slowly evolve. It was nice to see how they both discover that the world isn't just black & white and that there is always space for compromise. While I hated the insta-love thing, I really appreciated that they considered their relationship, that they try to get to know each other.
While the mothers, besties and villains were rather cliche. I am quite intrigued by the brothers.
And yep, I will read the next one. Simply because I love McHugh's writing and I guess sometimes a cliche romance is still very enjoyable.

ARC was provided by Publishers through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

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