Review: Burn For You by JT Geissinger

Reviewed by Joanna

I love a book with sass, and this tale of an unlikely arranged marriage set in the Deep South, has sass coming out of its you know where.

Bianca Hardwick runs a busy restaurant in New Orleans’ touristy French Quarter. She’s busting her backside to build her reputation and has designed a menu based on bourbon made by a Tennessee family. One busy evening a stranger walks into her restaurant. A huge man, dark, glowering, and known locally as The Beast. Jackson Boudreaux is heir to said bourbon dynasty, though he despises everything about his name.

He’s also used to getting his own way. After he demands a table on a fully-booked night and bosses Bianca around, she won’t take his moody behaviour lying down, and this only piques his interest even more. The hate between them sizzles.

Jackson needs a chef to prepare a meal and cook for his fundraiser. So Bianca ends up on his books, though he’d much rather have her in his bed. But unused to being courteous, this stray dog of a man barks rather than plays nice, and Bianca hates his manners.

It’s a love kind of hate though, as she can’t help noticing how good he smells, and his strong biceps when he plays with the Downs Syndrome kid he’s adopted. Yes, Jackson has depths. He’s not just a spoiled, moody rich man.

And then comes the game changer. Jackson has to get married in order to keep his seven-figure-a-month trust fund. And as he hates the whole world there’s only one person he considers offering a marriage deal. Someone who desperately needs money.

Where to start with this book. As always, whenever I dive into a Geissinger story, I’m fully immersed and engaged within pages. New Orleans and the food is exquisitely described, with recipes as sumptuous chapter dividers. The dialogue sparkles with local flavor that felt authentic and fascinating. Check this out from the chef:

“How am I supposed to deal with this kind of ignorance I surely don’t know! Heavens to Betsy, Bianca, sometimes you can be awful dense!”

And the snap between the hero and heroine? Hello, tension!

Jackson closed his eyes and muttered an oath under his breath. “No, I am not gay.” He opened his eyes. “And you know it, because that kiss we had was hotter than the sidewalk in July.”

We continued to glare at one another. I said, “Your metaphors need work.”

“Excuse me. Hotter than a billy goat with a blowtorch.”

“That doesn’t even make sense. And comparing a lady’s kiss to anything to do with a goat is just bad manners.”

Bianca has more than one man in her life, with her ex (huh, he’s a nasty cheat) chasing her, but her main concern and her motivation for even considering Jackson’s offer is her mother’s horrible illness. She’s such a good person so the struggle is significant and I felt every second of it.

I love an arranged marriage where feelings are already in existence. It caused such delicious conflict. How can you marry someone for money when you aren’t indifferent to them? When you discuss the earliest point you can divorce when all you want to think about is when you can go on a date?

Then again Jackson is a hard nut to crack. He’s got terrible social skills but in his defense he has the most awful story behind what made him that way. Wounded hero alert!

He has a tattoo of a semicolon. The reason behind it has stayed with me. Love him.

Bianca on the other hand is strong minded, determined and so admirable. And funny! Her turns of phrase had me cracking up.

I can’t recommend this more for a pacey, witty passionate read. I just flew through it.

Rating: A

*ARC provided by publisher

Click to purchase: Amazon

Burn For You
by JT Geissinger
Release Date: October 17, 2017
Publisher: Montlake Romance

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