Dirty Cooking by Carley Mercedes

Dirty Cooking by [Mercedes, Carley]

4 Stars

Publisher: Literary Wanderlust

Date of Publication: July 1st, 2019

Genre: Romance

Where you can find Dirty Cooking: Barnes and Noble | Amazon

Trigger Warning: Talk of past physical and sexual abuse

Book synopsis:

Melanie is a broken-hearted chef who has a passion for fine food, but without any other job prospects, she’s stuck at the Jivin’ Diner, where grease is the main ingredient on the menu. She’s desperate to get a new job so she can start cooking the food of her dreams, and when her best friend calls her about an opportunity as a live-in chef, Melanie jumps at the chance. Not once did she consider that her boss would be hotter than her oven.

Growing up in foster care, Erik had a rough start. He escaped to Arizona to save himself and his foster brother from their abusive foster father. Now the owner of a successful app development company, Erik has more money than he knows what to do with. He has a huge home, fast cars, and even faster relationships. His life seemed perfect, but something was missing. That is…until he hires Melanie. This little chef makes Erik’s blood sizzle more than the oil in her frying pan.

The fire between them burns hot, and though they try to resist the delicious temptation, the attraction proves to be too much. Emotions flare up, but the past hangs around like the smell of burnt popcorn, and neither can fully trust the other. Will Melanie and Erik overcome their past fears and embrace what is bubbling up between them? Or will their romance flop like a ruined soufflé?


First Line:

“Did you find me a job that looks good?” Melanie asked her friend, Shelia, over the phone.

Dirty Cooking by Carley Mercedes

My Review:

When I read the blurb for Dirty Cooking, I was intrigued. Dirty Cooking is the second book that featured a live-in chef turned lover that I have read. I wanted to see if the book lived up to the promising blurb. It did.

Dirty Cooking’s plotline was straightforward. Melanie wants to do more than work at a greasy diner. Her best friend tells her about a live-in chef position and she interviews for it. Sparks fly between Eric and Melanie. They try to keep their relationship professional, but it spirals into a sexual relationship. But Eric has secrets. These secrets have the power to tear their relationship apart.

I didn’t like Melanie, but I understood why she acted the way she did. Her ex hurt her bad. She was afraid even to try dating again. Her attraction to Eric scared her, and she used food and sarcasm to cover it up. I did think that Melanie was immature at times. Like when she found out about Eric’s past. I understood that there was a “no secrets” part of the relationship but seriously? They were dating for two weeks!!! He didn’t know her enough to trust her.

I did like Eric, and I did feel bad for him. I couldn’t imagine growing up as a foster child and not having a permanent home. He did the absolute right thing in taking Hunter and running. I did think he was a little over the top during Melanie’s interview. I also believe that he was in the right for not telling Melanie about his past. Like I said above, they had been dating for two weeks. That is nowhere enough time to get into that stuff.

My mouth watered while reading this book. I wanted to eat Melanie’s cooking for myself. Everything she made sounded so good.

The sexual tension was through the roof. The author did a great job of keeping that sexual tension at such a high level. Same with the sexual attraction. When Melanie and Eric finally did have sex, it was one of the hottest scenes I have read to date.

I want to mention the storyline with Eric and his past. My heart broke for him. He was only seven years old!!! All I have to say about that.

The end of Dirty Cooking was your typical romance HEA. Everything ended with no dropped storylines. There was no lag in the plotline, and all the characters stayed in the book. No one went poof.


I would give Dirty Cooking an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is mild violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Dirty Cooking. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

One thought on “Dirty Cooking by Carley Mercedes

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