Who loves the O'Leary's? I DO! It's impossible not to love them after reading these books. Schroeder makes it so easy to fall in love.
Carmen Delgado has just suffered the death of her father and she finds herself in a very weird situation that involves Liam, her dad's chef trainee. She hasn't seen him in a long time, but her dad surprised her by writing him in the will. Now they are forced to work together. However, they have more than friendly feelings toward each other.
Overall, I loved the book. The only thing that bothered me was Carmen's self-consciousness. I always need my heroines to be strong, independent, and confident. I know I can't expect that from every author, but I wish all heroines were like that. That being said, Carmen develops into everything I wished for her throughout the novel. I guess I can't ask for more, can I?
Liam. Wow. What a man! If you don't fall in love with him by the end of this novel, then you're an alien! He was a genuinely nice guy who cared for those that surround him. I love the bond he shares with his family. Although he didn't instantly love Carmen, he really cared for her from the beginning and that's was just obvious.
I thought this book had a slower plot than the others so it creates a nice, relaxing read. More O'Leary's? PLEASE!!
As soon as the truck stopped, Carmen jumped out and started unrolling. She had the windows open and the awning up while Liam fired up the grill. Although the temperature read in the twenties, the big buildings blocked what little sun they hoped to see. They were parked in the shadows and cold air sucked into the back of the truck.
Carmen stood beside the grill and warmed her hands on the meager heat.
“You’re in my way.”
Carmen looked at Liam. “I’m cold, and you’re not cooking yet. We have no customers.”
He cocked an eyebrow, so she did the same. “I’m not stopping your setup.”
His jaw clenched, but he continued in his economical movements, putting things where he wanted them for the shift. Once her shivering stopped, she grabbed an order pad and set up her small station, where she’d take orders and money. From her spot, she continued to watch Liam. He was quite the distraction.
Competent and sure in everything he did. And he wore another chef’s jacket. Where did that come from? Yesterday’s was white, but today’s was dark, like navy, and the cuffs of the sleeves were turned up, revealing part of his forearms. Man, those were sexy.
She’d never thought about arms being sexy, but something about Liam made her reevaluate that. His pale skin, sprinkled with freckles and a dusting of his red hair shouldn’t make her hot, yet here she was, unzipping her jacket.
She forced her mind back to work and created the specials board with prices to hang outside. As she completed this last task, people started lining up. Behind them, another truck had pulled in. They sold chicken or something. She should probably learn more about the local competition. She knew nothing about any of these trucks, but her dad had talked to most of them.
Before she could mention it to Liam, customers began ordering and she had no time to think. She wrote orders down, called them out, then hung the slip on a clip near Liam. She couldn’t believe the steady line of people. It didn’t take long for her to grow tired of smiling and chatting with people to make suggestions.
But she didn’t hate it.
About an hour in, Liam was backlogged. The tickets were piling up and people were stomping their feet against the cold while they waited for food. Carmen exchanged her warm gloves for some food service ones and began laying out the components for the next order.
“What are you doing?”
“Helping you catch up. People are cold and they want their food.”
“You’re going to mess things up. Go back to the window.”
That was it. She only had so much patience for someone being cranky in the morning. He had no need to question her abilities. With a fist on her hip and her other hand pointing at him, she said,
“Look, I’ve been making these tacos my whole life. Don’t tell me I don’t know what I’m doing. I might not have your magic kitchen skills, but I know how to cook.”
His face cracked into a strange smile and he burst out laughing. She’d never heard such a deep, rich sound, especially from Liam, and it startled her.
“What the hell is so funny?”
He continued to laugh as he folded and wrapped three chicken tacos—topped with her mole sauce, she might add—and then said, “I wish you could’ve seen yourself. You just went all stereotypical Latina with the head weaving and finger pointing.” He shook his head on another chuckle.
Then he added, “You might as well have tacked on a ‘No, you di-in’t’.” His accent was atrocious.
She should’ve been angry. But all she could think was that she had sounded like Rosa when she yelled at Liam. Except Rosa would’ve added an insult in Spanish.
The waiting customers were watching and most appeared amused. She smiled. “You’re on.”
She bumped his hip. “You cook on that half. I’ll take this. We’ll see who gets it right faster.”
A couple of people waiting for food clapped. Carmen worked side by side with Liam, bumping and occasionally crashing into each other. They hadn’t dropped any food, though. They teased and joked and customers laughed along with them. Carmen managed to take orders while cooking, so she declared herself the winner of their little competition.
Before they knew it, the timer was ringing and they had to wrap up for the next site. They waved people away, telling them that they’d be back tomorrow. They cleaned up quickly. Carmen turned to go out and close the awning, but Liam grabbed her and kissed her hard. When he released her, it took a moment to remember where she was and what she was supposed to be doing.
“What was that for?”
“For making this the most fun I’ve ever had at work. I don’t know why you didn’t want to do this; you’re a natural.”
She pushed away from him to go outside. Not even the wind whipping at her cheeks could remove the warmth she felt.