cover image Can’t Stand the Heat

Can’t Stand the Heat

Season Vining. Tule, $4.99 e-book (318p) ISBN 978-1-959988-56-4

Vining’s tangy second Romance in the City novel (after Penny for Your Heart) sees sassy, handsome amateur chef Ryan Tate competing on The Heat, a cooking show that pits amateurs against professionals. He hopes to use the prize money to save his grandmother’s Asheville, N.C., restaurant. Ryan is slightly intimidated by his competition, however, especially catalog-model-handsome Vaughn, high-energy Sundia, and Miguel Moreno, who is “warm golden skin over hard muscles and sunshine”—and with whom Ryan shared a passionate one-night stand last year. The cooking show escapades offer plenty of tension and humor, including an embarrassing near-disaster in which Ryan’s shoe melts onto an aluminum tray and an outdoor grilling episode wherein a tent catches fire. But while the competition is exciting, the real draw here is the intense sexual longing between Ryan and Miguel. The guys can’t canoodle because it’s against the show’s rules, but the more time they spend together, the more tempted they become to risk it. Vining peppers the sultry romance with tasty recipes that will please foodie readers. This will melt hearts like s’mores over a fire pit. Agent: Amy Brewer, Metamorphosis Literary. (July)