Saturday, October 25, 2014

Release day event: Ready To Burn by Tracey Alvarez

Ready to Burn Release Day

Book Title: Ready To Burn (Due South Book 3) 
Author: Tracey Alvarez 
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: October 25th, 2014
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions (

Take one sassy Harland girl…

Shaye Harland, sous chef de-awesome, desperately wants the role of Due South’s head chef. Though a little out of her depth, she can totally cope with the extra demands if she can resist her future brother-in-law when he muscles in on her kitchen. The Hollywood wannabe is nothing but a troublesome distraction and he fries her sex-ometer to a crisp. But as far as romance? Forget it. Love, when she finds Mr. Perfect, will be as sweet as her to-die-for cookies.

Add a bad-boy from LA…

Del Westlake swore he’d never again set foot on the island he calls the “ass end of New Zealand.” With his reputation as a sous chef in one of LA’s hottest restaurants trashed, and his estranged father’s restaurant needing a head chef, Del wants nothing more than to go in, get the job done, and get out. Except his feisty second-in-command carves herself a spot in his heart and completely incinerates his plans.

Watch the sparks fly as they burn it up in the kitchen…

Winning a spot on a TV reality show is just what Del needs to jumpstart his career back in the States. Nothing can get in the way of him winning—not even the woman whose trust he’d destroy if she discovers his secrets. But with a film crew capturing the explosive kitchen chemistry between them, will his bad-boy ways rear up and ruin his shot at becoming Shaye’s Mr. Perfect?

Tracey Alvarez lives in the Coolest Little Capital in the World (a.k.a Wellington, New Zealand) where she’s yet to be buried under her to-be-read book pile by Wellington’s infamous wind—her Kindle’s a lifesaver! Married to a wonderfully supportive IT guy, she has two teens who would love to be surgically linked to their electronic devices.

Fuelled by copious amounts of coffee, she’s the author of contemporary romantic fiction set predominantly in New Zealand. Small-towns, close communities, and families are a big part of the heart-warming stories she writes. Oh, and hot, down-to-earth heroes—Kiwi men, in other words.

When she’s not writing, thinking about writing, or procrastinating about writing, Tracey can be found reading sexy books of all romance genres, nibbling on smuggled chocolate bars, or bribing her kids to take over the housework.

One second Del stood beside her all moody and mysterious, and the next, his hands gripped the railing on either side of her hips. He moved fast—fast enough that she made an embarrassing little eep-ish squawk. Nowhere to go unless she became flexible enough to do a flip over the wooden railing.
Shaye yanked her hands from her pockets and gave his chest a shove. “Back off.”
Even after she added her sous chef do it now or die glare, he stayed, big and bad and way too close. He continued watching her with dark and unreadable eyes, his nostrils flaring slightly as he breathed.
Her hands didn’t know what to do. She couldn’t put them back on those two hard pecs, since every single nerve-ending had soaked up the heat burning through Del’s shirt and transmitted swoony, oh yeah sighs into her brain.
Stupid nerve-endings. Stupid brain.
She wriggled her bottom, so she half sat on the railing, arching away from him. “What are you doing?”
“Showing you the reason.”
The rough timbre of his voice stroked over her. Wickedly dark, decadently rich, scarily addictive. Like chocolate, the quality stuff made of eighty percent pure cacao.
He leaned forward, his face level with hers. “It’s a compelling reason.”
Shaye’s hand shot out to grip his biceps—that or topple backward—but God, he felt amazing. All hard, sinewy muscle and why the hell couldn’t she unhook her fingers?
Her breathing hitched, high and ragged. “My sister’s a cop, and I know how to defend myself.”
“So, show me your ninja moves.”
“Daring a cornered woman to hurt you isn’t very bright.”
One of his hands rasped off the wooden railing and touched the end of her ponytail. He selected a strand and stroked it down her jaw. Shaye licked her lips, unable to suck her gaze from his mouth, which angled closer. Close enough that she could tell the flavor of the last handful of potato chips he’d eaten.
Salt and vinegar. Her favorite.
She strained upward to see if he tasted as good as he smelled…Freaking hell—
Shaye reared back a little, hair slipping from his fingers, her chin narrowly missing his. “Are you going to kiss me?”
Her heart gave a little bunny-hop at the thought and leaped around her ribs.
“Not unless you ask real nice.”
“Ask you?” There was that damn smirk of his again. She should’ve guessed he was playing with her. “When pigs fly.”
A muscle ticked in his jaw, but the smile didn’t falter. “Now you’ll have to say, ‘Please, Del. With a cherry on top.’”
“I’d jam that cherry up your nose before I’d kiss you, Hollywood. Get outta my face.”
His gaze dipped once to her mouth then flicked up. “I can’t go anywhere while you’re grabbing onto me.”

My review could be very easy and short: why are you still here? Go buy this book now!
But I think Tracey wouldn't like it that much so I will try to write a proper review, even though I'm still a little (read: very) hung over a week after finishing the book. Which should be quite enough to convince you to buy the book, if you're still wondering whether you should.
Ready To Burn is the third book in the Due South Series, and if you've read my previous reviews (you can find them here), you'll know I love this series, the island setting, tight-knit community and, most especially, those handsome Kiwi men!
The book features Shaye Harland, who's only been a secondary character so far, and Del Westlake, whom we've only heard about from his brother (and my all-time favorite character) Ryan/West or other characters in the previous books.
I loved Shaye in the first two books, even though she didn't have any major roles, and I was looking forward to reading her story. Del hadn't been in the previous books, so I wasn't sure what to think of him at first, but since he's a Westlake and Ryan's brother, he deserved to be given a chance. :)
Shaye and Del's meet-cute is rather funny, and it made me immediately love Shaye. As for Del, well, my first impression of him was that he was a cocky jerk (sorry, Tracey!) and I wanted to slap his handsome face and send him back to Hollywood (or Santa Monica, to be more precise).
Thanks to Tracey's writing, though, it was very easy to be pulled into the story and into Del's mind, and understand the reasons for his behavior. Seeing the pained teenager who'd been pulled away from his home, brother and friends inside the grown man was heartbreaking at times, and in a little more than a few chapters he earned my trust, my support and my affection. 
Shaye was fantastic. Even though I loved both the heroines in the first two books, I never completely bonded with them, Piper because she was a badass cop (and I'm definitely not badass), Kezia because she was a mother (no kids here) but I could easily relate with Shaye and she quickly became a girl I'd love to have as best friend. I loved her attitude, the constant banter with Del and the way she wanted to be with him and push him away at the same time. Her contrasting feelings about Del were quite amusing at times.
Shaye and Del's story seems to start off slowly and sweetly, but boy does it get steamy! But even though it is a sexy romance (I guess not PG rated), it's not one of those "I want to skip these parts 'cause they make me wrinkle my nose" books. Sure, you may blush a little, but the sexy scenes between Shaye and Del fit the story and they're not overly-descriptive and annoying (which, coming from me, the prude who doesn't like graphic sex scenes, is saying a lot). 
I was so very happy to find all my favorite characters from book one and two (especially West! He'll always be my first love!), and to meet new ones. Even though she only appeared briefly in the book, I liked Carly (Del's half-sister) and I can't wait to read her story (pssst: Carly and Kip's story is going to be released in a few short weeks as a Christmas novella, so stay tuned!). 
It was so good to be back on Stewart Island again and live the small-town life for a few days. Every time I finish a book in the Due South Series, I want to pack up my life and move to New Zealand. Tracey has a way of describing the settings that pulls you right into the story and makes you feel as if you were actually there, strolling on the beach, enjoying a pint at Due South, walking down the streets with the sea breeze ruffling your hair. I almost got seasick with Shaye and Del on the Mollymawk! That's just how real her writing feels.
Oh, and there's a lovely wedding (Piper and West's) and some funny kitchen moments that made me want to take cooking lessons (hoping I'd meet a chef half as hot as Del - lol!).
I could ramble on and on about the things I loved about this book, but if you still haven't felt your one-click finger twitch, then... 
a) this series is not for you (if you're a vampire fan, then nope, not the book for you),
b) there's something wrong with you (how can you not love these handsome Kiwi men?)
c) you're on a diet and don't want to read books set in a kitchen - which is totally understandable. But by the end of the book you'll probably want to eat Del (or West), and I'm pretty sure that won't mess with your diet. ;)

Whatever your answer, I still think you should give this book a chance. Besides, for a few more days after its official release it's on a promotional price. Only 99 cents for a limited time. What are you waiting for? 

Thank you, Tracey, for crafting yet another romantic, entertaining, sexy, funny story.

Book One

Book Two

$10 Amazon Gift cardE-copy of In Too Deep (Due South Book 1) and E-copy of Melting Into You (Due South Book 2).

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