The Wedding Gift by Lucy Kevin
Publisher & Release Date: Oak Tree LLC, February 21, 2012
Time and setting: Present Day, San Francisco
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 110 pages
Heat Level: 2 Flames
Rating: 4 Gold Crowns
After Julie Delgado’s restaurant closes, she temporarily takes over the catering position at the Rose Chalet, a full-service San Francisco wedding venue. She plans to dazzle the bride and groom so the Chalet’s owner will keep her around, but fate has other plans for her when the bride’s brother shows up for the first food tasting.
Andrew Kyle is not only the Cuisine Channel’s Edgy Eats host and chef, but his recent review of Julie’s restaurant was the final nail in its coffin. Once he meets Julie at the Rose Chalet, he’s certain she’s playing it safe. And he wants nothing more than to be the one to break her guarded passions loose.
But despite the undeniable sparks between Julie and Andrew–and the fact that he seems to believe in her when no one else does–can she afford to be taking risks with her cooking, with her career…or with her heart?
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This is the second book I have read by Lucy Kevin, who is actually Bella Andre, and I enjoyed The Wedding Gift a great deal. At this time, the book is free and the audio is available for $1.99, a great deal. This is the first book in the “Four Weddings and a Fiasco” series.
Julie Delgado’s restaurant fails and she starts a job at Rose Chalet, a wedding planning and venue company. Unfortunately, the first wedding she must prepare the food for happens to be the brother of the celebrity chef who wrote a scathing review that helps shut the door on her fledgling restaurant.
Andrew Kyle is pleased to see Julie again. He remembers her and had seen her brilliance as a chef. However, she is too cautious and needs to allow her full creative genius out in her food preparation. He wants to help unleash her potential.
Can Julie put aside her hurt and see what he wants for her? Can they move beyond the differences and see they are actually made for each other?
I was actually amazed at the character development in this novella. I got a true sense of what made both of them tick. Also, the plot has a new twist that made this a highly enjoyable love story. My only suggestion be would a stronger ending. It felt a bit rushed to me. It has a “happily for now” ending. Of course, since this is the first book in this series, I suspect Ms. Kevin will have this couple’s relationship grow in the next book.
Julie Delgado is a great heroine. She is vulnerable but has determination to succeed even though she suffers a lot of disappointments. There is a surprising amount of depth to her character, considering the length of this book.
I fell in love with Andrew Kyle's character. At first, I wasn't sure about him because the first scene in the book does not show him in a favorable light, but once his motives unfold, then it makes sense. He wants Julie to find the full extent of her creative side.
I listened to the audio version, and as always, I thoroughly enjoyed Eva Kaminsky’s performance. She reads with a great deal of emotion and does a credible job on giving each character a distinct voice.
If you are looking for a light-hearted read with a unique plot and engaging characters, then you will enjoy The Wedding Gift as much as I did. I look forward to reading/listening to the other books in this delightful series. Happy reading!