Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Book Review ~ AN ACQUIRED TASTE by Kelly Cain

An Acquired Taste (The Everheart Brothers of Texas, #1)
by: Kelly Cain
Series: The Everheart Brothers of Texas
Genre: Contemporary Multicultural/Interracial Romance
Release Date: June 8, 2021
Publisher: Tule Publishing
Amazon | Paperback | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Goodreads

May the best chef win…

After four years at the country’s top culinary school and several years as head chef in her mother’s restaurant, Rowan Townsend has built a notable reputation. Her farm-to-table collard greens have long been bringing everyone to the yard, but limits on the restaurant’s size have led to long waits. Looking to expand the restaurant, she enters a televised chef competition. The problem? Her infuriatingly-talented nemesis from culinary school also enters.

To the culinary world, Knox Everheart is restaurant royalty. As much as Rowan wants to deny it, he’s a gifted chef. Rowan knows her arrogant arch-nemesis is confident he’ll win—he’s certainly given her a run for her money more times than she’d like to admit. But this time, she’s ready to show him who’s boss.

Their rivalry soon sparks fireworks in the kitchen and, as the competition heats up, so does Rowan’s attraction to Knox. And somewhere between pasta and gumbo, they both need to decide what’s worth fighting for.

I’m not necessarily a fan of enemies-to-lovers romances. The author has to walk a fine line of making the characters dislike each other. While at the same time, have readers like each character enough to want to see them get together. Kelly Cain did an amazing job of accomplishing both with An Acquired Taste.

An Acquired Taste is the first book in Kelly’s The Everheart Brothers of Texas series. The story is an enemies-to-lovers romance that takes ten years to come to a boil. Rowan Townsend and Knox Everheart have known each other since their very first day in culinary school. Yet, their families go back to when their parents were kids. Knox and Rowan were nice to each other and actually liked each other until they found out who the other was. For four years, they competed against each other and tried to one-up each other in school pranks. While they graduated from one of the top culinary schools in the country, they each now find themselves having spent the past six years working in their parents’ restaurants, doing things their parents’ ways, with no chance to really put their education to use.

Knox is the head chef and heir apparent to his father’s restaurant, Everheart Bar and Fine Dining. Knox is creative and a whiz at pasta, but the restaurant is more of a steakhouse. Knox wants to open his own restaurant, but his father won’t allow it. Rowan hasn’t really had the opportunity to show what she can truly do. She works as a chef at her mother’s restaurant, Smothered in Love, which serves southern comfort soul food. Her mother rules the restaurant with an iron fist, and in six years has only allowed Rowan to change maybe three things. But the restaurant is extremely successful and is always packed, with a line out the door. The restaurant has outgrown its location. Unfortunately, real estate is high, they don’t own the building, and the landlord refuses to allow them to expand. Knox and Rowan both enter to become contestants on Restaurant Family Feud, a reality food competition where families compete for the grand prize of winning a restaurant anywhere in the US. May the best chef win.

I loved An Acquired Taste beyond words. Rowan and Knox are so fun together. They have this witty banter that keeps the other on their toes. When they actually get together, their passion sizzles. I definitely liked the secondary characters of Declan and Weston, Knox’s older brothers. Kelly added some surprises that I didn’t see coming, making the story unpredictable. The only thing I wasn’t a fan of was the story being told in first person from Rowan’s POV. However, this actually made it easier to put yourself in her shoes and experience all of her highs and lows. I’m definitely looking forward to more Everheart brothers.

~ Favorite Quote ~

“Everything about you is special.”

**Received a copy from the author and voluntarily reviewed it.**

Rating: 5

Purchase An Acquired Taste from:

You can read an excerpt from An Acquired Taste here.

Kelly Cain is a native Northern Californian but has spent the last couple of decades in Texas, currently residing in the live music capital of the world, Austin. Consequently, most of her books are set somewhere between those two locations.

Kelly writes multicultural romance with determined women directing their own fates, and the swoon-worthy men who adore them. She loves reading most genres but please don’t ask her to pick just one. However, she can pick her favorite book boyfriend – Will Herondale.

When she isn’t reading or writing, Kelly is most likely using a genealogy site to research her extended family, both old and new. Or cooking/baking something delightful.

She has two adult daughters, and a new granddaughter.

She is represented by Amy Brewer at Metamorphosis Literary Agency.

Places to find Kelly Cain:


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