One More Taste by Melissa Cutler

One More Taste by Melissa CutlerOne More Taste by Melissa Cutler
Series: One and Only Texas, #2
Published by St. Martin's Paperbacks on October 4th 2016
Pages: 368
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Ambitious and talented, chef Emily Ford has the chops to make it in the cutthroat culinary world—which is why she refuses to accept her demotion at the hands of Knox Briscoe, the new CEO of Briscoe Ranch Resort. He has grand plans that include bringing in a celebrity chef to helm an exciting new restaurant at the resort, but Emily has plans of her own—to do whatever it takes to change his mind…
Knox Briscoe made his millions in the high-risk game of buying and flipping businesses. Cut out of the Briscoe fortune by an old feud that left his family in ruins, Knox grew up dreaming of revenge. Out-maneuvering his uncle for control of the resort is merely the first step in his plan—a plan that doesn’t include the brazen and beautiful Emily Ford. Drawn into her passion, Knox’s world is turned on its axis, and it isn’t long before he’s faced with the biggest risk of all—with his career, with his heart…and with the woman who has captivated him, body and soul.

The quirky humour starts it all off, with almost slapstick rom-com scenes rolled into a montage playing to the constant background music belted out by the latest indie rising stars. Throw in a massive fish hell bent on tormenting Knox and a supposedly haunted truck, and ‘One More Taste’ quite forgivably makes you think this is going to be a fun romp whose biggest challenge is the getting the combination of gastronomic delights perfect. Yet what starts out as Knox Briscoe’s challenge to Emily Ford’s demand to run her own restaurant suddenly barrels down a winding road of familial conflicts, revelations and heartache that I never saw coming, all of which written so seamlessly in by Melissa Cutler that I couldn’t tear myself away from the last quarter of the book.

It’s Cutler’s vision and portrayal of Knox however, that had me on his side from page one; a romantic lead so well fleshed out (and thankfully without the shenanigans of typical  male leads that we face these days) and so nuanced that it wasn’t difficult to like him despite the hypocritical family (whom I hated) that he had. I found myself slightly less enthused by Emily, whose outward bravado couldn’t always conceal the inner cowardice that didn’t have her fighting for the actual things she should have been fighting for.

But even as the house of cards both parties built collapsed with the slightest puff of air, ‘One More Taste’ stands out for all the culinary that’s been written into it and the great writing that buoyed and lifted the accompanying drama throughout.