cover image Hot Under Pressure

Hot Under Pressure

Louisa Edwards. St. Martin’s Paperbacks, $7.99 mass market (336p) ISBN 978-0-312-53440-0

San Francisco scenery, delicious menus, and warm relationships finish Edwards’s Recipe for Love trilogy (after Too Hot to Touch and Some Like It Hot) on a high note. Henry Beck, stoic ex-Navy cook and fish specialist for the East Coast team on the cooking show Rising Star Chef, goes head-to-head against his estranged wife: Skye Gladwell, a hippie California native and head of the Queenie Pie Cafe. Skye asks for a divorce, and Henry responds with a bet; either way, he’ll sign the paperwork, but if she loses the contest, she owes him a night of passion. What sounds like a mean “I hate you but I want you” story transforms delightfully into a warm and authentic tearjerker as the intimacy of the competition allows the couple, through the language of food and a sensual memory-filled homecoming, to open their hearts to new perspectives and a second chance at love. (Apr.)