I'm a huge fan of cooking competition shows like Top Chef and Chopped, and I thought that high-stakes, high-pressure environment would lend a lot of excitement and conflict to a romance novel. It was certainly thrilling to write about!
I think we've all seen on TV that chefs have pretty volatile tempers, but I wasn't aware of the allure of a pastry chef. What research did you have to do for this series?
In addition to watching Top Chef: Just Desserts and getting a mad crush on Johnny Iuzzini, I read a lot of cookbooks and cooking memoirs. And the similarities that emerged in all my research about pastry chefs (detail-oriented, methodical, imaginative, rule-followers) added up to a hot hero who takes care of everyone around him--but needs a little help when it comes to letting go and enjoying life. My rule-breaking, risk-taking heroine was a perfect math for him!
Beck is the sexy brooding type, Max is more of the arrogant and sexy type and Danny is sweet and sexy. Which flavor do you prefer?
I'm always in love with the hero I've just finished writing about, so at the moment, I'd have to say Beck. He's sexy and brooding, with an irresistible dark past and a burning need to rise above it that makes him so heroic and appealing to me. And even though he's definitely on the strong, silent side, his capacity for emotion is huge--it just takes a special woman, the love of his life, to unlock it.
Aside from a writer you are also a food critic, how did you decide to go into that profession?
I actually haven't written restaurant reviews in any official capacity for quite a few years--although I certainly have strong opinions whenever we go out to eat! That job was an early attempt to unite two of my favorite things: food and writing. As much fun as it was to discover new restaurants, I have to admit that I love my current job, which unites food and writing romance, even more!
Your books feature some sexy chefs, but how do you measure up in the kitchen and what would you say your signature dish is?
The kitchen is my favorite room in almost any house. I love to cook! I love the camaraderie of sitting down to a meal together, and I love the satisfaction of knowing that what I've made with my hands and my time is being enjoyed by the people I love. And I love experimenting with new recipes (I'm a cookbook addict!) so I wouldn't say I really have a signature dish. In fact, if there's one thing my husband complains about, it's that even when I make something he loves, I don't circle back to make it again for a long time, if ever...I'm too busy trying new techniques and flavor combinations!
What can you tell us about your upcoming chef series?
My next series is actually...not about chefs. I know! Don't worry, I'll definitely be writing more chef books--I love the combo of food and romance too much to let it go--but next up for me is a new contemporary romance trilogy set on a tiny island called Sanctuary. It's a beautiful, unspoiled place full of interesting, wounded characters looking for the healing power of love, connection, and new beginnings. I'll be releasing the first book in the series in early 2013 under the name Lily Everett, to keep from confusing my readers who are looking for more sexy chefs! But I hope readers will give the new series a try--the stories have captured my heart and my imagination so completely, I just had to write them.
Quick fire questions now! Are you ready?
Sweet or Savoury?
savory (because I'm no pastry chef)
Sunrise or Sunset?
sunset (dinner time!)
Wine or Spirits?
wine (especially anything with bubbles!)
Tattoos or piercings?
piercings (because you can always take a piercing out when you get tired of it)
Dark choc or Milk choc?
dark chocolate, all the way
Crème brûlée or cheese cake?
crème brûlée (after living in NYC, I'm super picky about cheesecake)
Rare or well done?
rare (as my mother-in-law says, trim its horns, wipe its butt and bring it to the table!)
Thanks for answering our questions!
Prepare to turn up the heat with the final book in the sizzling "Rising Star Chef" trilogy from romance author Louisa Edwards.Henry Beck thought he’d already faced the toughest kitchen challenge of his life. After all, what could top sweating it out as a Navy cook on a submarine? But when he learns his competition for the title of Rising Star Chef is the sweet hippie girl he married…and left…ten years ago, the heat is on.
Now Beck and Skye Gladwell are going head to head in the finals…and sparking up old flames every time they touch. But Skye wants more than a win over the man who abandoned her when she needed him most—she wants a divorce! Then her sexy almost-ex makes a deliciously dangerous proposition. He’ll give in to her demands, but if his team wins the RSC, he has a demand of his own…one last taste of the only woman he ever loved.
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