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~Somebody to Love~

by Kate Rothwell

A guest review by Danielle Hill

 

Heroine: voluptuous

 

           

           British ex-patriate Araminta Woodhall is working as a chef in the gambling establishment of  Linder Kane, a man whose shady business is best overlooked, until she becomes aware of his abuse of her young, vulnerable friend and his mistress, Olivia.  Araminta has a soft heart for the less fortunate because of her gentle mother and cannot ignore the plight of a person in need, especially the young woman who so reminds her of her mother. The situation is escalating rapidly, and Araminta fears for her friend’s safety.  She finds an unlikely ally in Griffin Calverson, the brother of her friend and former employee, Timona (the heroine of Rothwell’s previous novel Somebody Wonderful).  She is not exactly eager to seek out the help of the cold as ice, but devastatingly attractive businessman with a reputation of being dangerous to those who cross him.  But she knows that she needs to fight fire with fire.  Although Kane is a long-time enemy of him and his business associates, Griffin is motivated to help the fiery and voluptuous chef for more personal reasons.  He figures the closer he gets to her, the easier it will be to seduce her into his bed, where he can exorcise himself of his obsession with her.  What starts as a light flirtation as they join forces to help the young woman who is hiding secrets about her past, becomes a struggle not to fall in love.  Love between a chef of mixed race and an aristocratic businessman is not a good idea, but it blossoms as they spend more and more time together.  But if they want to spend their lives together, they have to conquer their lifelong fears about giving into their love for each other.

 

What worked for me:

 

            I enjoyed this book because I love stories with an interracial spin.  I also liked the feisty heroine who takes charge of her life despite all the obstacles that she has faced.  I enjoyed her tendency to be a mother hen, and the fact that she has not become bitter despite the prejudice that she has faced. The descriptions of the food that she prepares are vivid and mouthwatering, giving a believability to her being a chef.  The hero is also very charming and has a vitality that leaps off the page at the reader.  He comes off as being a man of contrasts:  born upper-class and very polite, but with an inner fire and dangerous edge that is very appealing.  From the beginning the reader than see that Araminta is very special to Griffin although he started out wanting her to be his mistress.  He always showed respect and caring for her, and embraced her racial heritage instead of looking down at it.  There is also an interesting supporting cast of characters that add to the vividness of the story, including a rough-edged bodyguard who is smitten with Araminta.

 

            Size-wise Araminta was described by Griffith as having "the voluptuous hourglass figure of a Bowery actress". 

 

What didn't work for me:

 

            I felt that the suspense thread could have been a little more compelling.  It seemed very thin although it did lend credibility to the reappearance of the main characters in each others’ lives.  It may have been intentional but I found Olivia annoying and somewhat prejudiced in her attitude towards Araminta, who was going out of her way to befriend and help her.

              

      

Overall:

 

             

           It was an enjoyable read with interesting characters who won me over.  I especially liked Araminta for her feisty, passionate, and caring nature.  Griffin was very appealing and sexy, and I enjoyed watching him fall desperately in love with Araminta despite his efforts to the contrary.  I enjoyed the cross-cultural romantic aspects as well. I would give it an A-.

Warning: Issues of racism are touched on in a very light but realistic manner.  I found this to be refreshingly honest.  The author dealt with the heroine’s mixed race and showed the obstacles that she faced in a way that made you only admire her more.  There is some very mild violence.  The sensuality level is pretty light but enjoyable.

If you liked "Somebody to Love" you might also enjoy "Slightly Wicked", "Only in my Dreams", "Miss Carlyle's Curricle", "Into Temptation", "Suddenly You", "The Accidental Bride", "The Bride and the Beast", "The Fire-Flower", "The Last Days of a Rake", "Cat and the Countess", "The Courtship", or "Enchanting Pleasures".

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Good-bye, Mom.

I love you and will miss you forever.

 

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