cover image An Acquired Taste

An Acquired Taste

Kelly Cain. Tule, $3.99 e-book (316p) ASIN B08R13S4HL

Cain debuts with a scrumptious rom-com, the first in her Everheart Brothers of Texas series. Rowan Townsend wants to put her culinary degree to use—but making changes in her family’s restaurant, Smothered in Love, proves difficult. Rowan’s stubborn mother, who was recently diagnosed with lupus, is set in her ways, and Rowan’s brother, Wyatt, never takes Rowan’s side. What few new recipes Rowan has managed to introduce have led to a spike in popularity that their small kitchen and overworked staff can’t accommodate. Rowan sees a potential solution in Restaurant Family Feud, a reality TV show whose winner gets a new restaurant. But Rowan’s culinary school nemesis, Knox Everheart, is also entering the competition. Surprisingly, Knox proves just as helpful as he is irritating and the two grow closer over the course of the show, with Knox opening up about his strained relationship with his father and his ambivalence about cooking. As their past misunderstandings unravel and family secrets come to light, these enemies turn into lovers and allies. Cain delivers believable family dynamics and characters readers will root for, and intersperses the story with recipes both real (“Okra with Corn and Tomatoes”) and whimsical (“Recipe for an Asshat Boy”). Both the food and the romance are delectable. [em]Agent: Amy Brewer. Metamorphosis Literary. (June) [/em]