Sweet Vernal Zephyr

Succinct Book Reviews
(aka Creating & Whit)

Taste the romance!

Beauty and the Feast

by Julia Barrett

220 Page PDF, Released March 2010

Eva Raines is an uncomplicated country girl who's all about food. Eva moves to the Napa Valley where her culinary skills come to the attention of the owners of a start-up, All Things to All People, and Eva finds her niche as a personal chef. Now all she needs is a man as perfect as her cooking, but she has serious doubts that such a creature exists.

When wealthy entrepreneur, winery owner, and noted lothario, Gabriel Abbott, makes plans to seduce his flavor of the month, his assistant hires All Things to All People to cater a gourmet dinner. Eva expects to use her way with food to showcase the startup. What she unexpectedly discovers is that her culinary skills showcase far more.

Once Gabriel finds himself seduced by Eva's voice, and the sensual flavors and textures of her food, his previous plans are quickly forgotten. He begins to obsess about meeting his little chef in person. But when Eva and Gabe finally come face to face, the question is, how hot will their fire burn?
My review guidelines can be found HERE.

by Les Byerley
• Anonymous figures allow the reader to add some personal imagination
• Red text tends to blend into the flesh tones behind
• Generic, where's the wine or food?

• Wineries
• Charities
• Caterer
• Biking
• California

• Teenage crush
• Happily established M/M couple
• Steamy M/F romance
• Woman scorned
• Sensuality through food
• Scintillating phone voice fantasies (sight unseen)
• M&M candy foreplay


• Lots of intense emotions. Hot lust cools suddenly to icy hesitation, Jealous anger is pushed into self deprecating laughter. The fast mood shifts are a nice exciting twist to this contemporary romance.

• I'm pretty sure I would not be brave enough to dance around in my underwear alone in a strangers house. But it does bring back memories of Tom Cruise in Risky Business.

• The meat of this story is sweet with just a hint of danger. A joy to read at a leisurely pace.

• Sex scenes are very frisky and fun and worthy of an attempt at real life reenactment.

• Girl Fight! I love reading about new moves.

• The first time I noticed food in a book was reading Spider's Bite and envisioning the Rye, Pumpkin, PB & Honey sandwiches. The cuisine is not quite as exotic but Ms. Barret has included recipes in the back!

• Culinary Arts
• Wine
• M&M's

Gabe has not yet met Eva, but is already seduced by her voice and the meal she has prepared.
He picked up the small fork and took a taste of the salmon. The mouth feel was smooth, soft. Gabe savored it. The salmon tartar felt exactly like a woman, like he was tonguing a woman.

The same sweet salt, the same tenderness. It seemed to him as if he was tasting Eva. He found himself growing erect and his swollen cock pressed uncomfortably against his zipper.

Gabe stood up and stretched. He grabbed his glass of wine and stepped out onto the patio. The sun had set an hour before. The night was cool, as nights tended to be in the hills above the valley.

He wanted to finish everything she’d prepared for him, but he didn’t know if he could stand it. One more bite and he might come in his pants.

Gabe laughed out loud. He wanted to meet this mysterious Eva, but there were so many ‘ifs’, the biggest ‘if’ being, what if she was nothing at all like he imagined.
page 41


Read a Tuesday Teaser here with more sex and food.

Read this excerpt and get to know a little bit about Gabe's childhood and love interests.

If you liked this review, I also reviewed Ms. Barret's erotic sci fi romance... Captured


Something preverse in me wishes that Eva was a 80 year old dumpy Grandma so that when he met her could be totally grossed out by his thoughts. LOL I'm so mean.

Food can be a fun addititive to a romance and who doesn't love M&Ms?

Yeah, that cover has always been a "Huh" cover for me.

@Tam - That sounds like a cougar story to sear into your brain!

Thanks for reading the book. Glad you enjoyed it. The cover? There's a story behind it...the publisher forgot about a cover, realized it the night before the release, and threw that cover on. Sigh. Sometimes these things happen and there's nothing we can do.
I've been a chef/personal chef, so the recipes are mine.
I'm a big m&m fan!

@Julia - Thanks for filling us in on the cover! I am going to have to try some of your recipes too. :D

Sounds fun and sexy! :)

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Thanks so much for delving into my head. It's scary in here sometimes, so it is nice to have company! Don't step on the zephyr...

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