Monday, July 14, 2014

Cooking Up A Storm

Cooking Up A Storm - Tour Banner


TITLE – Cooking Up A Storm AUTHOR – Ashley Ladd GENRE – Contemporary MMM romance PUBLICATION DATE – July 11, 2014 LENGTH (Pages/# Words) – 26,500 PUBLISHER Totally Bound COVER ARTIST – Emmy Ellis

Booking Storm - Book Cover


Brooks and Rique desperately want to win the head chef’s position for eccentric millionaire Jonah Verleun on his beautiful, private, but peculiar island that includes a zoo full of exotic animals, an amusement park, and a monster shark tank beneath Jonah’s bedroom floor. While Brooks wants the job to escape his heartache and the lover who thwarted him, Rique is hiding from the mob hoping to live long enough to pay them off with the prize winnings. Fierce competitors, they cook up a storm in a series of cooking challenges all the while trying to turn down the heat on their intense attraction. When a hurricane strikes the island, the storm Rique has been cooking up, explodes and no heart or body are safe.



Cooking Storm - Author Banner


I was given book for honest review. m/m romance. Brooks and Rique compete for a coveted chef position for Jonah. Little did they know cooking could be so rewarding and dangerous at the same time. Nice quick read that flowed really well. One complaint was that it was so quick thought it could’ve been longer with more competition details.


Troubling thoughts whirled through Rique’s mind. Why had Jonah called him and Brooks into his office? Had they violated some fine-print rule he’d missed? Had Jonah learned about his debts and Mafia troubles?

Gulping, Brooks shared a worried glance. His gait was uneven and stilted and his frame was stiff and wary.

“Are we in trouble?” Brooks whispered.

Worried about the reason for their summons, Rique forced himself to relax and not shake his head at his lover and his loose-cannon lips. As much as he was beginning to love Brooks, there was no way he could share his mob secrets.

Not only would they overly alarm Brooks, but the security team might overhear and he didn’t trust anybody.

Jonah locked the door and leisurely returned to his desk. He folded himself into his chair and looked, long and assessing, at first Brooks then Rique. Finally, he said in a smooth, debonair voice, “No. Not at all. But I wish to remind you of your contract.”

Damn! Rique gulped as they pulled up chairs across from their boss. So they were in trouble. Too late, he realized his toes were tapping fast and that his fingers were linking and unlinking, so he stilled them.

“What about the contract?” Brooks inched forward in his chair and wrung his hands in his lap as his eyes bulged.

Jonah bent over the desk then he pointed at the security cameras.

Before a word came out of Jonah’s mouth, Rique had an epiphany. As he recalled Fiona’s warning, his heart threatened to burst. “You’ve been watching us. Everything. Everywhere.”

Several seconds later, Brooks blanched and his Adam’s apple convulsed. “You saw us together. Intimately, I mean.”

Leaning closer, Jonah nodded. “Yes. You gave your signed permission, and this is my private island which means it’s governed by my rules.”

It could mean Rique’s life if he left. With his heart feeling as though it was beating in his throat, he pleaded, “Please don’t kick us out. Our love lives are our choice and should be private.”

He watched a deep flush crawl up Brooks’ neck and into his cheeks as Brooks begged.

“Please don’t hold it against us. We didn’t plan to fall in love. It just happened. We haven’t hurt anybody.”

Fall in love? Shock and wonder filled Rique. Warmth flowed through him. So Brooks felt the same way he did.

Giddiness replaced the dread born moments before.

Brooks loved him. And he loved Brooks. How could he have fallen so hard, so fast? He reached over and put his hand on Brooks’ shoulder. Then he turned and faced Jonah. “I won’t apologize for loving this wonderful man. And I won’t stop loving him. If it means we can’t be together then I’m torn whether or not I still want the position.”

He couldn’t believe he’d just said that. Damn my heart!

When Brooks squeezed his hand and tilted his chin, light refracted off his glasses and made his pupils look fractured. “Ditto. No disrespect intended, sir.”

Laughing heartily, Jonah slapped the table, causing a few sheets of papers to float to the floor.

Is the man crazy?

Blushing, Jonah gave them a shy smile. “Don’t apologize, and please call me Jonah. I loved watching you. I wanted to join you. I came as much as you did.”


Please tells us a little bit about the main characters of your book:
Enrique Fuentes, known as “Rique” is a world-class chef who has been invited to participate in a cook-off to find the new head chef for eccentric billionaire Jonah Verleun. Although it’s an awesome position on a paradise Caribbean island with a substantial paycheck, Rique’s motive is self-survival. He’s running from the mob in Las Vegas because he owes hundreds of thousands in gambling debt he can’t pay. Thus meanwhile, he’s hiding from the mob and hoping to pay them off with his prize winnings.
This tropical island reminds him a lot of his prior home in the bayous near New Orleans, complete with alligators and hurricanes. Since he lived through Katrina, he’s not overly concerned with tropical storms that may threaten the island, as are many of his competitors. He also likes to work out and swim in his spare time.
So Rique’s really not in the market for love. He has to stay focused and win this job. Nor does he want to pull anybody else into his problems.
Brooks DuBois is a charmer from New York City. Usually he’s lost in his cooking zone, happy-go-lucky the rest of the time. He wants this elite job too. He can’t go back to NYC and face his former lover Xavier who dumped him for Amber to become a breeder. If he loses this competition, he’ll move on rather than risk bumping into Xavier and Amber.
Thus his heart is still too sore to start a new relationship, or so he thinks until he meets Rique.
Jonah Verleun is a self-made billionaire and a real go-getter. He’s an eccentric recluse who likes fish and animals. He keeps his own zoo and a shark tank under his bedroom floor. Statues of merfolk, big game fish, and Neptune adorns his limestone mansion.
He’s also a voyeur and likes to watch his employees, especially in their private suites. Soon Rique and Brooks become his favorite people to watch and it doesn’t take long before Jonah decides he wants to join their little group.


I Did It For You – David Cook
Heroes – David Cook
Declaration – David Cook
Always Be My Baby – David Cook
Life On The Moon – David Cook
It’s Not Over – Daughtry
Crashed – Daughtry
What About Now – Daughtry
Start of Something Good - Daughtry
Cooking Storm - Author Photo


Ashley Ladd lives, loves, and writes in Paradise, aka Florida, thus many of her stories are set in the Sunshine State. Also a Trekkie and an Air Force disabled vet, Ashley often creates military heroes and heroines and goes where no woman has gone before. She loves romantic comedy, time travel, and cats so don't be surprised if a talking cat shows up in some of her stories.
Ashley writes for Ellora's Cave, Totally Bound, and New Concepts Publishing under this name.
Please visit her blog at:
To follow her on Twitter and Face Book, look for "AshleyLadd" (all one word, no quotes).




1. Ebook or Paper/Hard backs – Ebooks! They seem so futuristic, like Star Trek!
2. Laptop or PC  - Laptop
3. Tennies or Heels - Heels
4. Call or Text – Text. I’m a customer service rep and I’m sick of calls after answering phones all day.
5. Lilies or Roses  - Lilies
6. Music or TV – depends on my mood
7. Happy Ending or Cliff Hanger – happy endings
8. Healthy snacks or Sugar snacks – I’m so bad but sugar snacks
9. Baker or Cook - baker
10. Gas or Electric Oven – electric oven


Please share your favorite songs you listen to when you are writing:
I have a long eclectic list which would be even more diverse on my wip since I discovered Pandora. Below are a lot of the songs on my You Tube playlist that I listen to. I was a teenager in the late 1970’s so a lot of the songs come from that time period.
Emotion – Samantha Sang
Reunited – Peaches & Herb
You Don’t Have To Be A Star – Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr.
Nights on Broadway – Bee Gees
More Than A Woman – Bee Gees
How Deep Is Your Love – Bee Gees
If I Can’t Have You – Yvonne Elliman
If I Had You – Adam Lambert
What D’ya Want From Me – Adam Lambert
So Long – Constantine Maroulis
Always Be My Baby – David Cook
Come Back To Me – David Cook
Because of You – Kelly Clarkson
Red High Heels – Kellie Pickler
You Belong With Me – Taylor Swift
Hallejulah – Jason Castro
Dawn – Frankie Valley and the Four Seasons
Working My Way Back To You – Frankie Valley and the Four Seasons
Blue Moon – The Marcels
Earth Angel – The Penguins
Cara Mia – Jay and the Americans
Unchained Melody – The Righteous Brothers
Dream Lover – Bobby Darrin
In The Still of the Night – The Satins
Dream On – Aerosmith
Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye – The Casinos
Baby Come to Me – James Ingram and Patti Austin
It’s Not Over – Daughtry
Over You – Daughtry
Raise Your Glass – Pink
Forever in Blue Jeans – Neil Diamond
I Should Have Known Better – The Beatles
Mr. Blue – The Fleetwoods
Tender Years – Eddie and the Cruisers
On The Dark Side – Eddie and the Cruisers
Wild Summer Nights – Eddie and the Cruisers
Looking For Love – Johnny Lee
Just A Small Town Girl – Journey
Don’t Stop Believing – Journey
Tonight’s The Night – Rod Stewart
This One’s For You – Barry Manilowe
If You Could Read My Mind – Gordon Lightfoot
I Go Crazy – Paul Davis
Father Figure – Ace Young
Perfect - Pink


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Tour Organized By: myfamilyheartbutton

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for being part of the tour & for taking the time to review the book


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