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Cal Buchanan needs a top-flight chef to take over his failing Seattle restaurant, The Waterfront. He can afford to hire the best in town; the only problem is that the best happens to be his ex-wife, Penny Jackson. Penny really needs this opportunity, but she doesn't need the distraction of working with her ex. She's sworn off romance, she's even having a baby on her own. B Cal Buchanan needs a top-flight chef to take over his failing Seattle restaurant, The Waterfront. He can afford to hire the best in town; the only problem is that the best happens to be his ex-wife, Penny Jackson. Penny really needs this opportunity, but she doesn't need the distraction of working with her ex. She's sworn off romance, she's even having a baby on her own. But before she knows it, the heat is on and the attraction between her and Cal moves from a low simmer to a full boil! The rest should be easy as pie, but a secret from Cal's past could spoil everything. Maybe it's true that too many cooks spoil the broth or maybe two is enough to make it irresistible. "


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Cal Buchanan needs a top-flight chef to take over his failing Seattle restaurant, The Waterfront. He can afford to hire the best in town; the only problem is that the best happens to be his ex-wife, Penny Jackson. Penny really needs this opportunity, but she doesn't need the distraction of working with her ex. She's sworn off romance, she's even having a baby on her own. B Cal Buchanan needs a top-flight chef to take over his failing Seattle restaurant, The Waterfront. He can afford to hire the best in town; the only problem is that the best happens to be his ex-wife, Penny Jackson. Penny really needs this opportunity, but she doesn't need the distraction of working with her ex. She's sworn off romance, she's even having a baby on her own. But before she knows it, the heat is on and the attraction between her and Cal moves from a low simmer to a full boil! The rest should be easy as pie, but a secret from Cal's past could spoil everything. Maybe it's true that too many cooks spoil the broth or maybe two is enough to make it irresistible. "

30 review for Delicious

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    Low 3 Stars Overall, Delicious was an okay read. Susan Mallery is an excellent author and has a way of telling a story that's captivating and entertaining. I just wish this book was a bit more romance centered, had a better love story, and feature a hero deserving of the title. There wasn't much to admire or like about Cal. I guess he redeemed himself somewhat by the end, but his ambivalence toward Penny, the heroine, for the majority of the book was disappointing and didn't make for a great love Low 3 Stars Overall, Delicious was an okay read. Susan Mallery is an excellent author and has a way of telling a story that's captivating and entertaining. I just wish this book was a bit more romance centered, had a better love story, and feature a hero deserving of the title. There wasn't much to admire or like about Cal. I guess he redeemed himself somewhat by the end, but his ambivalence toward Penny, the heroine, for the majority of the book was disappointing and didn't make for a great love story. I'm still scratching my head trying to figure out why she would take him back after the way he treated her and lied to her while they were married. I guess it's expected considering this is a romance book, but I didn't believe in their HEA. In fact, I kept rooting for her to wash her hands of him for good. That's NOT the reaction a reader should have while reading a romance novel, that's for sure! Still, the writing was excellent and the plot, minus the romance, compelling and engaging. Even with all my issues, I'm still glad I read this book.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Leah

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Due to his family's failing restaurant, Cal Buchanan is, very reluctantly, pulled back into the family business, where he is expected to bring The Waterfront back to life. To do that, he needs to best chef there is. Too bad the best just happens to be his ex-wife, Penny Jackson. Despite their divorce and differences, Penny decides to work for Cal because it would be the career opportunity of a lifetime. After a few mishaps (bad fish delivery, problems in the kitchen, etc.), they get into a flow a Due to his family's failing restaurant, Cal Buchanan is, very reluctantly, pulled back into the family business, where he is expected to bring The Waterfront back to life. To do that, he needs to best chef there is. Too bad the best just happens to be his ex-wife, Penny Jackson. Despite their divorce and differences, Penny decides to work for Cal because it would be the career opportunity of a lifetime. After a few mishaps (bad fish delivery, problems in the kitchen, etc.), they get into a flow and start getting along. They joke around, are friendly, and are finally some kind of "friends." Then Cal finds out that Penny is pregnant, by another man, and he flips out before running to Reid, his younger brother, to find out what Reid knew about it. And to make sure Reid wasn't the father. Turns out Penny had In Vitro Fertilization and used a sperm bank, and while Cal still isn't happy, he deals. Meanwhile, Walker, the third Buchanan sibling and youngest brother, comes home from the Marines and tells his family that he's left the military for good this time. He has a mission: Find Ben's Ashley. After the whole baby debacle, things finally start getting back to normal between Penny and Cal. Until they become lovers again. Then things change. And they get even worse when Gloria tells Penny Cal's deepest secret, one he never shared with anyone: he has a seventeen year old daughter. Penny is furious that the man she had loved never told her, even when they were married, and told her that he didn't want to have kids ever. Things go from bad to worse when Penny throws a knife at Cal's head and he finally has to explain the Lindsey situation. A few days later, Cal takes Penny to her ultrasound appointment and things become...intimate between them again. Penny admits to understanding why he kept Lindsey a secret even though she wished he'd told her, and Cal continues to apologize. But they are back to being "friends" again. Not many days later, Dani, the youngest Buchanan, comes to Cal and tells him that her husband wants to get a divorce, after everything she'd done for him and loved him and stayed by his side through his accident and being paralyzed. When Dani goes to serve Hugh the divorce papers, she and Cal discover that Hugh had been cheating on her all along with his students. Penny offers to let Dani move in with her. To make matters worse, when Dani confronts Gloria about why she has never let Dani move up in the company, Gloria reveals that Dani isn't a Buchanan, as her mother had an affair and she was the result. During this time, Lindsey's mother reaches out to Cal because Lindsey's cancer is back and this time chemo just won't be enough, she needs a bone marrow transplant. So Cal goes through the testing and finds that he's a match. After the marrow is pulled out of him, Penny stays with him for a few days to take care of him. Then she goes along with him when he goes to finally meet Lindsey for the first time. While talking to his daughter, Cal has a moment of crystal clarity and realizes that it would be best for Lindsey if he didn't tell her that he was her father. While it saddens him, he knows it's for the best. That night, Penny goes home with him to offer comfort and they fall back into their role as lovers. With the exception of Penny realizing that she was still in love with Cal after all this time, everything was going great. Until Gloria stops by again. This time she tells Penny that Cal's company was expanding to the East Coast and that Cal was moving to New York. While Penny doesn't believe Gloria, she calls the heads of the company to find out the crushing truth. She then goes to confront Cal, tells him that she never wants to have anything to do with him ever again because all he is is a lying bastard who doesn't know how to trust. Hell of a time for him to realize that he loves her, too, huh? With that, she goes home and cries with her friends. Reid, who also happens to be one of Penny's best friends, goes to Cal and the two brothers proceed to get into a fist fight on the front lawn of Cal's house. After the fight, the brothers are cool again. And then Lindsey shows up. She tells Cal that she knows he is her father and she's excited by the prospect of having more family once she learns that she has two uncles and an aunt. She then forces Cal and Reid to go to the hospital because the First Aid Walker was applying was doing nothing for their wounds. At the hospital, Cal talks to Dani and realizes what he needs to do to get Penny back. First, though, he goes to Gloria's office and quits, saying he's never again going to have anything to do with her after the way she has hurt Penny and Dani. Then he goes over to Penny's house and begs for forgiveness and tells her just how much he loves her, that he'll do anything to get her back, anything for her to marry him and have a family with him. Of course she accepts and they live happily ever after. So, I've finally finished the Buchanan series at long last. This is probably one of my favorite contemporary romance series ever. The characters are just so alive to me and the stories are so eloquently written that I can't help but love them. That being said, I am said to see this series at an end, not just for me but in general. Lucky for me, though, I'll be able to read the books any time I want. Cal Buchanan was a character I loved from all the other Buchanan books so I knew I'd love him in his own book. I will admit, though, to experiencing moments of frustration with him. However, those moments in no way detracted from his appeal. And one of the most appealing things about him was how he always tried to protect those he loved, particularly Dani. He is a man with trust issues that he never realized he had until the love of his life steps back into his life. He finally comes to terms with his guilt over giving his daughter up for adoption and realizes it was the best thing for her. I enjoyed seeing Cal grow into himself and finally realize that it is okay to let others into his heart. Like Cal, I loved Penny from the other Buchanan books, but she drove me absolutely insane at times in this book. That being said, however, I have to say that I admire her. She is an independent woman not afraid to do things on her own, like having a baby. She has dreams and goals for her life and would do anything to achieve them. Also, despite everything, she was there for Cal when he needed her. So, while we had our ups and downs, I loved and enjoyed Penny's character. While I absolutely love Reid, he drove me nuts sometimes in this book. And I will admit that I was jealous of his and Penny's relationship for Cal. I wanted to say, "No, no, Penny, go talk to Cal! Not Reid!" However, Reid is probably one of the best friends a girl could have. I mean, the man was willing to get into a fist fight with his brother because he made Penny cry. Who wouldn't want a best friend like that? I felt for Dani in this book and almost wanted to go into the book to give her a hug at some points. Even though I'd already known about Hugh, the bastard, cheating on her and divorcing her and Gloria cruelly telling Dani she wasn't a Buchanan, it hurt my heart to read that. And Hugh, don't even get me started. I wish Dani had let Cal punch him. As much as like Gloria from Sizzling and Tempting, it was just so hard to hold onto that during Delicious, and Irresistible, because of how hurtful she was to her family. I was glad that Penny was able to stand up to Gloria, too. The thing that bothered me most about this novel was Walker and Naomi hooking up. Now, I absolutely love and adore Walker, but I actually teared up when he kissed and went home with Naomi. I know it's because I've already read Irresistible, in which he falls in love for Elissa, so I felt a little like he was cheating on Elissa, even though I know he wasn't because he hadn't even met her yet. I already knew, too, that Walker and Naomi slept together once from Irresistible, but it just broke my heart to see the evidence right there in front of my after I'd read his happily ever after with Elissa. Again, this is a fantastic series and I believe that it deserves every star that I've given it. I know I'll be rereading these books for many, many years to come.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Alaina

    save the drama for your grandmama. OR in this case, hate the shit out of that women because GLORIA was a pain in my ass! I hated this woman. Despised the way she manipulated her own grand kids and the people in their lives. Once I met Penny and Naomi and knew that they weren't going to put up with her bullshit, I was in heaven. Somebody needed to step up to them because these guys and Danny sure as hell weren't going to do it. Other than that, Delicious was a pretty fun audio to listen to. The che save the drama for your grandmama. OR in this case, hate the shit out of that women because GLORIA was a pain in my ass! I hated this woman. Despised the way she manipulated her own grand kids and the people in their lives. Once I met Penny and Naomi and knew that they weren't going to put up with her bullshit, I was in heaven. Somebody needed to step up to them because these guys and Danny sure as hell weren't going to do it. Other than that, Delicious was a pretty fun audio to listen to. The chemistry between Cal and Penny was amazing. Even if the drama between them was so freaking stupid, annoying, and frustrating to deal with. Communication is key to every relationship and these two were dumb as rocks. I don't necessarily have a favorite character out of this series yet but that might change once I dive into book 2 - who knows! Overall, I enjoyed this book and I can't wait to see what the hell Gloria's going to dish out to her "unworthy' grand kids.

  4. 5 out of 5

    willaful

    I unintentionally read this series in exactly reverse order, which I now see is really a shame; there are continuing story lines and I probably would have appreciated the other books more if I’d gotten the order right. On the other hand, perhaps I liked this one the most because I read it last? Anyway, what I had read about the first couple’s story always made this sound like the most interesting book of the series, so I was happy to finally get it; ironically enough it turned out to be almost t I unintentionally read this series in exactly reverse order, which I now see is really a shame; there are continuing story lines and I probably would have appreciated the other books more if I’d gotten the order right. On the other hand, perhaps I liked this one the most because I read it last? Anyway, what I had read about the first couple’s story always made this sound like the most interesting book of the series, so I was happy to finally get it; ironically enough it turned out to be almost the opposite of the story I was anticipating, but very good anyway. Ex-spouses Cal and Penny find themselves in each other’s lives again when Cal hires Penny as the chef for a family restaurant that needs a major overhaul. There’s no emotional agenda on his part, he just needs the best chef. But unexpected events bring them closer together, leading them to discover truths about the past that had kept them apart. This is the second story in a row I’ve read about a couple who were parted by a dealbreaker, which really highlights how much better this one was. In this case, the dealbreaker was Penny’s desire to have children, and the big hook of the story is the fact that Penny is pregnant, via a sperm donor, when they meet again. Or at least that’s what I thought; I expected a story about Cal’s jealousy and needing to come to terms with the pregnancy. In fact, the story was not about that at all. The real issue between Cal and Penny was his inability to emotionally commit to her. Cal is detached towards their relationship for much of the book; at one point he thinks, “Two months ago, he’d never given Penny a thought.” Normally I would be incredibly turned off by that from the hero of a romance. But here the back story is so interesting, I was able to understand Cal and forgive him. I appreciated the slow development of the new relationship between the characters, which made their reunion seem plausible. I also really enjoyed all the backstage detail about the restaurant business, and the set-up for Cal's sibling's stories, even though I had already read them. I think this is the best Mallery book I've read, which considering that it wasn't the story I was expecting, and had the type of hero I normally hate, is really saying something.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Andy

    I really liked this book from the first chapter. There's something about women in charge and in the workplace that gets to me. It's so empowering and just wonderful to see. The only thing that really struck me with this book as sad, is that there's almost never any gay characters in this kind of romance. Like not even side characters, and I kept thinking about that and it made me sad. The main thing I hated about this book was Gloria and her stuck up and hateful ass attitude. She really needs a I really liked this book from the first chapter. There's something about women in charge and in the workplace that gets to me. It's so empowering and just wonderful to see. The only thing that really struck me with this book as sad, is that there's almost never any gay characters in this kind of romance. Like not even side characters, and I kept thinking about that and it made me sad. The main thing I hated about this book was Gloria and her stuck up and hateful ass attitude. She really needs a good clobbering or to just fucking leave. I hope Dani has it out with this bitch once and for all sometime in this series. The romance was good, but Cal kept making so many of the same mistakes again and again that it was annoying and repetitive. Also, Penny never failed to blow up about everything Gloria told her, even when she knew better! Half of the drama probably would've been solved had Penny asked Cal instead of exploding about the news. Or ya know, if Cal hadn't had secrets in the first place. Definitely looking forward to see how the rest of the series plays out.

  6. 4 out of 5

    thadine

    This is the first book of the Buchannan series, and features the oldest brother, Cal. Cal needs to hire a top chef to save his ailing family business. The best one he can find just happens to be his ex-wife Penny. Cal and Penny have been divorced for three years. After Penny had a miscarriage, Cal revealed to her that he didn't want to have children. Unable to accept this, Penny finally left him. With her biological clock ticking, and no man on the horizon, Penny decides to have IVF in order to h This is the first book of the Buchannan series, and features the oldest brother, Cal. Cal needs to hire a top chef to save his ailing family business. The best one he can find just happens to be his ex-wife Penny. Cal and Penny have been divorced for three years. After Penny had a miscarriage, Cal revealed to her that he didn't want to have children. Unable to accept this, Penny finally left him. With her biological clock ticking, and no man on the horizon, Penny decides to have IVF in order to have a child. "Penny Jackson knew that it was probably wrong to be so excited to see her ex-husband come crawling back, but she was willing to live with the character flaw." When I read this opening line, I thought I'd love the heroine and the book. She sounds refreshingly fun yet realistic. I was wrong. There was a lot of potential but I just couldn't believe how easily Penny falls for Cal. She keeps emphasising the fact that they have been divorced for three years, and that she is therefore completely over him. Considering he broke her heart and lied to her, I find it very hard to believe that she has absolutely no anger or bitterness towards him, even if she is still attracted to him. Cal admits to Penny that he never really loved her, and that though he was not exactly happy about the miscarriage, he was relieved when it happened. Yes, there is a fine distinction between the two, but the bottom line is that he didn't really want the baby. His nasty grandmother reveals various secrets Cal kept from Penny which also negatively impacted their marriage. After all this, for some bizarre reason Penny thinks she can now get back together with him and things will be different this time. I have no idea what she bases this on considering Cal still hasn't told her that he loves her, and he wasn't the one who told her his secrets. There are also a few side stories which I suppose are used to set up Cal's siblings for their own books. Again, I found the characters somewhat unbelievable. Cal's sister Dani discovers her husband cheating on her. He had an accident when they were still dating, leaving him paralysed from the waist down. She loved him so much that she still married him, and has supported him financially and emotionally for the past six years. Yet when her marriage breaks up, she claims that she no longer loved him anyway and it is mainly her pride that is hurt not her heart. All I could think was, "How convenient." There are other examples I could give, but basically what ruined this book for me were the unrealistic characters and their relationships. I wasn't looking for a lot of angst, but I couldn't believe the lack of bitterness all around. I don't know if I'll bother reading the rest of this series.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Novel

    Three years after her divorce, Penny is now a very popular chef. She's doing fine on her own and also pregnant through IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) until she got a call from her ex-husband and asked for a meeting. It wasn't a secret that Cal's family owned restaurant---The Waterfront, is in deep trouble and as a desperate attempt to revive the business he needs the best chef for the restaurant. Cal knows that he will have to beg the known chef to accept the position, unfortunately for him, the b Three years after her divorce, Penny is now a very popular chef. She's doing fine on her own and also pregnant through IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) until she got a call from her ex-husband and asked for a meeting. It wasn't a secret that Cal's family owned restaurant---The Waterfront, is in deep trouble and as a desperate attempt to revive the business he needs the best chef for the restaurant. Cal knows that he will have to beg the known chef to accept the position, unfortunately for him, the best chef is his ex-wife. Working together to rebuild the family restaurant is the beginning of their second chance. They began talking about what failed in their marriage, however, nothing is easy for the two. Work, family and pregnancy is getting on their way...plus, Cal's grandmother is determined to pull them apart. It was definitely an enjoyable read. I like reading books about second chances (as long as there was no cheating involved), it just shows that people are willing to forgive and forget for the one they loved. *sigh* Anyway, since this is the first book in the series, we also learned the stories of the other Buchanans. I didn't like Cal much at first because he seriously have communication issues. He's kept too many secrets which hurt Penny. However, I'm glad that he was able to open up in the end. Penny is such a strong woman. I liked her because she's independent and strong willed. She fights for what she wants--- she want to have a baby, she went through IVF procedure and got pregnant! I truly admire her guts. Gloria is such a witch! That old woman is very manipulative and is willing to hurt anyone who gets on her way. I feel bad for the Buchanan siblings because they were raised by such an evil woman. I'm sure we'll see more of her on the next book. I would definitely read the other books in this series. I will have to jump to book 4 though because I want to know what happens next to Dani. =p

  8. 5 out of 5

    Edna

    I liked this one a lot more than the last SM book I read. However, I'll start with the bad first. The romance, unfortunately wasn't good enough. I have an intense dislike for Cal. There were too many strikes against him. A serious part of me wanted her to forget all about him and find someone else who's actually worthy.    Gloria, what a piece of work. She's as much a bitch as Jed Titan's an asshole. Way to go with writing antagonists, SM. Now what I liked about this book, the secondary characters I liked this one a lot more than the last SM book I read. However, I'll start with the bad first. The romance, unfortunately wasn't good enough. I have an intense dislike for Cal. There were too many strikes against him. A serious part of me wanted her to forget all about him and find someone else who's actually worthy.    Gloria, what a piece of work. She's as much a bitch as Jed Titan's an asshole. Way to go with writing antagonists, SM. Now what I liked about this book, the secondary characters. They provided a lot of laughs and smiles. Reid, especially caught my eye. What can I say, I have a thing for charming guys plus he's was a baseball pitcher. I liked his relationship with Penny, the way he was there for her, how he beat up Cal for making her cry. Walker is intriguing and I liked him right at the beginning just for the fact that he's a marine. I don't even know what to say about Dani. She was really put through the ringer in this one but I look forward to seeing her build herself back up. And Naomi with her strong personality, how could I not like her. Her past was heartbreaking and I hope to read more about her. Overall, it was good, just not amazing but I'm eager to read the other Buchanan books. 

  9. 4 out of 5

    Susan (susayq ~)

    All I have to say is that Penny Jackson is a better woman than I am, and I put up with a lot of crap. I would have never taken Cal back after all that he lied and withheld from her...not going after her when she left him and their marriage, changing his mind about wanting children, withholding the fact that he had a child he gave up for adoption as a teenager that he was still keeping tabs on, telling her he never really loved her (or didn't love her enough)while they were married, not telling h All I have to say is that Penny Jackson is a better woman than I am, and I put up with a lot of crap. I would have never taken Cal back after all that he lied and withheld from her...not going after her when she left him and their marriage, changing his mind about wanting children, withholding the fact that he had a child he gave up for adoption as a teenager that he was still keeping tabs on, telling her he never really loved her (or didn't love her enough)while they were married, not telling her that he was planning on leaving town. I could go on and on. The sad part is, I kept reading cause I just knew Susan Mallery would turn it around. Do I think Cal begged enough to be forgiven? Nope, as stated earlier, I would have walked away and NEVER looked back. But, this is Romancelandia where people don't always act like people in the real world would. I'm looking forward to the rest of this series to see where the brothers and sister end up and what happens to their bitch grandmother, Gloria. I really hope she gets what coming to her for her villainy.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jessi

    The descriptions of food in this book are, well, delicious. However, the rest of the story falls a little flat. The story is based around a divorced couple who rediscovers each other while trying to save a failing restaurant in Seattle. Everyone in the story has kept hurtful secrets. The secrets are all revealed, but I didn't feel that the characters worked through the emotions. Instead, all problems were solved by too much Deus ex Machinas. This was the first in a series, but I don't think I'll The descriptions of food in this book are, well, delicious. However, the rest of the story falls a little flat. The story is based around a divorced couple who rediscovers each other while trying to save a failing restaurant in Seattle. Everyone in the story has kept hurtful secrets. The secrets are all revealed, but I didn't feel that the characters worked through the emotions. Instead, all problems were solved by too much Deus ex Machinas. This was the first in a series, but I don't think I'll pick up the rest of the books.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    2.5 stars ⭐️

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lady Allison

    3.5-4 Stars It's been three years since the divorce, but Cal Buchanan has finally come back begging to Penny Jackson. Nevermind that it's only for a job as a chef at his family's failing restaurant in order to kick it back into gear. Details, details, what matters is now he needs her. A woman is entitled to enjoy a little retribution from the man she had to leave because he was so detached & wouldn't build a family with his own wife, a man who never came for said wife. So, the Executive Chef job 3.5-4 Stars It's been three years since the divorce, but Cal Buchanan has finally come back begging to Penny Jackson. Nevermind that it's only for a job as a chef at his family's failing restaurant in order to kick it back into gear. Details, details, what matters is now he needs her. A woman is entitled to enjoy a little retribution from the man she had to leave because he was so detached & wouldn't build a family with his own wife, a man who never came for said wife. So, the Executive Chef job should be a cinch. Build a good staff, even better reputation, ownership over every recipe she puts out there, a much better salary, and save up for her own business. If only life ever went as planned, right? I enjoyed reading about Penny's struggle & successes as a pregnant chef in what she calls "a man's world" full of cussing, flying knives, & quick tempers. Her friendship with Cal's brother, Reid, was touching to see since he was such the ladies' man but defended her as his own. She was easy to relate to & a solid character. I've never been a fan of the ex-boyfriend/husband becomes lover plotline, but I'll admit that Susan Mallery did a pretty good job at it, I didn't mind at the end when they ended up together. I didn't end up screaming "You already tried it & it didn't work, you idiots!" So, bonus points for that :) Also, Susan Mallery is really good at writing the bitchiest, most evil villain I've ever read in contemporary romance! First, Jed, in the Lone Star Sisters series & now Gloria Buchanan! There are no words for this evil woman, but I am definitely impressed by how much I can hate one character. I can't say it was the most memorable book ever, but I really did enjoy the behind the scenes business stuff we saw & I look forward to the rest of the series, esp. Reid's book.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Riri

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I expected so much from this book, but it was such a huge let down. Usually what I love in second chance romances are the flashbacks or at least some scenes where characters reminisce about their past together, good or bad. There is not a single one of those here. We aren't even told how they first met, there are brief mentions of what happened in the past and why it went wrong but nothing too deep. I also don't like Cal at all. His character is so superficial and one dimensional, I don't understa I expected so much from this book, but it was such a huge let down. Usually what I love in second chance romances are the flashbacks or at least some scenes where characters reminisce about their past together, good or bad. There is not a single one of those here. We aren't even told how they first met, there are brief mentions of what happened in the past and why it went wrong but nothing too deep. I also don't like Cal at all. His character is so superficial and one dimensional, I don't understand his reasons for whatever he did, one bit. Why bother getting into a relationship if you're going to keep so many damn secrets from the person and not give even your fifty fcking percent? Gloria is supposedly the villain in this book but I am honestly thankful for her. If it hadn't been for her, Callister wouldn't have told a single thing to Penny. Also, in hindsight, the only reason she is able to hurt the h is because H let it happen by hiding things from her time and time again. He gave Gloria the power, despite being aware of the fact that she would misuse it. So, honestly, is Gloria the antagonist or Cal himself? The secondary characters are also very frustrating. Let me start with the lesser of all evils, Reid - I don't mind the whole playboy, fck them and forget them thing but I do mind objectification of women. His bar's dress code is short shorts and a skimpy top and other characters thought it to be a special trait of Reid, that he is just soo charming to get away with it. Also, the whole Naomi situation? Again, I don't mind the playgirl thing, in fact I prefer that in my heroines but you know what I do mind? Cheating. Basically she doesn't even know if she's cheating or not because she's not sure if her estranged husband has divorced her yet. Does she realise that if she is indeed still married, she's making her partners a non consenting victim in the scenario? Also, later on she admits that she still might be in love with her husband. Wow, just wow, so she runs away from him, has sex with multiple people over the course of 4-5 whatever years while still being in love with him and not feel guilty at all. I know she is hurting but I just can't digest the way she coped from the pain. Maybe I am too old fashioned for this book. Also, another thing (maybe I am just nitpicking at this point), Walker mentioning that, Ben, the person who took a bullet for him, was a great guy but a 'lousy' marine every damn time grated me. The guy took a fckin bullet for you by simply sensing there was danger and pushing you out of the way and these are the first words that comes out of your mouth everytime you introduce him. Slow claps. Penny is the only reason I am giving this book 2 stars. She truly deserved someone who was way better than Cal because honestly, this kind of a relationship would never result in true love in a real life scenario.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Dorottya

    2.5 Aaaaaargh. Why? Why do you have to ruin the execution of a wonderful idea? I just can't... I loved the main concept and the moral / emotional dilemmas that came with Penny and Cal's history and relationship. It was really unique, realistic enough for me to care, interesting to ponder on, and full of tension... I really liked those parts of the novel that dealt with their personalities, decisions, getting to know what happened in the past, what led to those happenings and how they find their wa 2.5 Aaaaaargh. Why? Why do you have to ruin the execution of a wonderful idea? I just can't... I loved the main concept and the moral / emotional dilemmas that came with Penny and Cal's history and relationship. It was really unique, realistic enough for me to care, interesting to ponder on, and full of tension... I really liked those parts of the novel that dealt with their personalities, decisions, getting to know what happened in the past, what led to those happenings and how they find their way to each other again (OK, I have to admit, I am a SUCKER for second chance romances). However... when I started reading this book, up until about the 20-30th page, I was like, "WHOAH. I think I found the 1 star book of the year". Some of the dialogues were REALLY cheesy and forced and not too unique (basically your typical run-of-the-mill "sassy" female character with wayyyy too over the top banter to be taken seriously and badly written lines)... and the characters... oh god... I mean, there was a bit of backstory built for them, but whoah... it not only had one token overly sex-crazed best friend but TWO! This is one of my most hated tropes ever, when you have a supporting character whose personality ends in "she's / he's my friend" and "all she thinks about and does is sex and seduction". And it was just pushed too far. Later, there were still some stuff I did not really like. The portrayal of the sex scenes for most part was decent, but oh god, there were some really clumsy (and that type of ridiculous that was supposed to be sexy) sentences. I also did not care for this typical "now I love him, now I hate him" thing for no reason, just to fill the pages and create conflict. The last thing I really did not like was this typical soap opera "let's have every single bad thing that could happen to people for shock factor and plot tool from miscarriages to cheating".

  15. 4 out of 5

    Bethany

    4.5 Stars This was a great start to a series of books by Susan Mallery. I'm looking forward to the rest of the series. 4.5 Stars This was a great start to a series of books by Susan Mallery. I'm looking forward to the rest of the series.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Leslie

    I generally don't review audiobooks simply because I usually don't have a print copy to refer to while writing the review. And since my memory isn't always great and I'm often reading more than one book at a time, the need to check details happens. This time I'm going strictly from memory so consider yourself warned. :) This is one of those second chance at love romances although through much of the story I wasn't sure the heroine should give the hero a second chance. Penny and Cal fell in love, I generally don't review audiobooks simply because I usually don't have a print copy to refer to while writing the review. And since my memory isn't always great and I'm often reading more than one book at a time, the need to check details happens. This time I'm going strictly from memory so consider yourself warned. :) This is one of those second chance at love romances although through much of the story I wasn't sure the heroine should give the hero a second chance. Penny and Cal fell in love, married and had a good life or so Penny thought. Then things started to unravel and Penny walked out, thinking that would jar Cal out of his apathy. But Cal let her go. Penny still doesn't know what caused Cal to shutdown and give up but she's moved on with her life, building a good career as a chef. Now she's back in Cal's life and she's determined to make their working relationship work. Cal Buchanan is in desperate need of a chef and the only one that will do is his ex. Lucky for him she doesn't hold a grudge and is will to work for him, on her terms. I liked Penny from the start. She knows what she wants and stands her ground with Cal, not accepting anything less than what she wants in the negotiations of her contract. Cal, well... the more I got to know him, the less I liked him. This dude had secrets up the wazoo! The romance between Penny and Cal is slow to pick in because neither wants to pick it up. They both want a strictly working relationship and a short one at that. Cal has only agreed to the job of manager for four months, then it's back to his own business, a chain of coffee shops called 'The Daily Grind'. Penny's fine with that, figuring she can handle being around Cal for a few months. It was interesting because really, in the beginning, they both meant what they said. They didn't want to get involved again. But as they spend more time together and find that they still care about each other. The physical attraction is still there and they eventually act on it. It came as no surprise that they got together, what I did like is that Penny didn't get all crazy stupid in love. She still had her own agenda and her baby was priority number 1. Cal was busy still keeping secrets and thinking he knew what was best for everyone. Ugh! The three remaining Buchanan siblings throw more complications into the mix in the form of marital problems, a ladies man and a war veteran. I liked the three siblings more than I liked Cal, which bodes well for the rest of the books in the series. I also liked that they still had decent relationships with Penny and didn't hold it against her for walking out on Cal. So the question is - does our hero redeem himself by the end? Is he worthy of a second chance with Penny? This is a romance, so in the end Penny thought "Yes", Cal was worthy. Me, I'm not so sure. There was groveling and an argument could be made with the 'old habits are hard to break' theory. But Cal kept disappointing me with his constant need to protect everyone he loves by keeping secrets. Sure, he comes clean in the end but that was due more to circumstances and others finding out than to him simply revealing what he had kept hidden. This would have worked better for me had the hero not got on my nerves so much. There were times when I found myself actually hoping they didn't get back together which is just silly since it is a romance. In the end, I still felt that Penny deserved better. I did like the setting of the restaurant - all the foodie lingo and the chaotic atmosphere of a busy restaurant. I also liked what I read about the siblings enough to continue with the series. I'm just hoping Cal's brothers Walker and Reid, are far less annoying.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Greta

    3.5 stars Summary: Since her divorce from Cal three years ago, Penny has become a sought after chef. Now Cal needs her to work for him, to save his family's restaurant. Penny is a different woman now. She's even pregnant (via in vitro) and ready to be a mother on her own. As they work together they come to realize how much they still matter to each other. Penny also learns Cals secret, the one she never realized was driving a wedge between them all those years ago. Cal has a daughter that he gave 3.5 stars Summary: Since her divorce from Cal three years ago, Penny has become a sought after chef. Now Cal needs her to work for him, to save his family's restaurant. Penny is a different woman now. She's even pregnant (via in vitro) and ready to be a mother on her own. As they work together they come to realize how much they still matter to each other. Penny also learns Cals secret, the one she never realized was driving a wedge between them all those years ago. Cal has a daughter that he gave up for adoption, and he has never gotten over the guilt. Their romance rekindles, and they both come to accept the mistakes they made the first time around. In the end they take their second chance at happily ever after. Things I liked: -This is the first book in a family series, so a lot of the story also involved getting to know Cal's brothers and his sister. I liked getting a peek at each one of their lives and it has made me curious about the other pols in this serie. - The story was told mostly from Penny's perspective, but there were sections from Cal's perspective which were insightful. -I liked that the two main characters had not spent years pining for each other, but had honestly grown and matured in their time apart. - Although it was a little weird that Penny was already pregnant, I liked the Cal and Penny's relationship. It wasnt built around just physical attraction. It was defiantly more about mutual respect and support of one another.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Gail

    This is the first in Mallery's Buchanan family series. Cal is the oldest son, who's been arm-twisted by his nasty grandmother into coming back to the family company to save the flagship restaurant in the chain. He needs to hire a fabulous cook, but the best available is his ex-wife who is now in a position of power. She puts in her contract that she doesn't have to deal with grandma. I read this book in a binge with a lot of other Mallery books, but they all made distinct impressions. The hero a This is the first in Mallery's Buchanan family series. Cal is the oldest son, who's been arm-twisted by his nasty grandmother into coming back to the family company to save the flagship restaurant in the chain. He needs to hire a fabulous cook, but the best available is his ex-wife who is now in a position of power. She puts in her contract that she doesn't have to deal with grandma. I read this book in a binge with a lot of other Mallery books, but they all made distinct impressions. The hero and heroine have to deal with past mistakes, with present complications, and with family--especially nasty grandma who just hates to be nice to anybody. I've known a few people like that, but not many, thank goodness. This is just a nice, straightforward romance with the only suspense element what grandma will do next. I liked it a lot.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Tracy

    This book just didn't hold any magic for me. I could tell they were falling in love (or should I say back in love? By the end of the book, I still wasn't convinced that he had ever really loved her the first time around.) But for some reason it didn't feel like a love story to me. It's not that he wasn't repentant for his mistakes - he was, but he kept making the same sort of mistakes. It took him too long to learn from them. The big grovel at the end was impressive, but not good enough for me. T This book just didn't hold any magic for me. I could tell they were falling in love (or should I say back in love? By the end of the book, I still wasn't convinced that he had ever really loved her the first time around.) But for some reason it didn't feel like a love story to me. It's not that he wasn't repentant for his mistakes - he was, but he kept making the same sort of mistakes. It took him too long to learn from them. The big grovel at the end was impressive, but not good enough for me. The sub plots were all very interesting. I'm not saying this was a bad book, just not a great love story.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jim son of Jim (formerly PhotoJim)

    I'll try to come back and write a real review when I have time. In the meanwhile, I'll say that this was definitely better than average. The timeline didn't always work in my head. But what I really liked is that the characters were very real. They are all rather flawed and I like that. There is no perfect white knight that makes the other person better. It's just a group of people trying to get along better. Well except for Gloria obviously. I'll try to come back and write a real review when I have time. In the meanwhile, I'll say that this was definitely better than average. The timeline didn't always work in my head. But what I really liked is that the characters were very real. They are all rather flawed and I like that. There is no perfect white knight that makes the other person better. It's just a group of people trying to get along better. Well except for Gloria obviously.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    I loved how unpredictable this story was and how everything you could imagine went wrong. It felt more realistic to me since life tends to be messy and full of twists and turns.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Dee

    Two-haiku review: They're three years divorced Can she go to work for him? Save family business? Did he ever love? Really liked these characters Lots of depth to plot Two-haiku review: They're three years divorced Can she go to work for him? Save family business? Did he ever love? Really liked these characters Lots of depth to plot

  23. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    I’m calling this. This is Ultimate Contemporary Romance. This is peak. Susan Mallery, standing ovation. This is forced proximity with an ex. This is secret baby done right. This is huge family to fill out the rest of the series. This is *mwah* perfect. I love Penny, uber competent chef who will have her baby no matter what anyone says. I love Cal, emotionally constipated romance hero forced to come to terms with his family and the people who love him. The secrets Cal keeps drive me crazy and I was I’m calling this. This is Ultimate Contemporary Romance. This is peak. Susan Mallery, standing ovation. This is forced proximity with an ex. This is secret baby done right. This is huge family to fill out the rest of the series. This is *mwah* perfect. I love Penny, uber competent chef who will have her baby no matter what anyone says. I love Cal, emotionally constipated romance hero forced to come to terms with his family and the people who love him. The secrets Cal keeps drive me crazy and I was on the edge of my seat every time a new one came out. I love Gloria, the uber bitch grandmother. I put this on my Want to Read years ago and i’m glad I read it now that I’m a little older and can appreciate the sort of relationship that can only be expressed by a shrug and a confused expression. I LOVED this book. Read it.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Anja Arowana

    The story about restaurant and food is fascinating to read. I kinda enjoyed Penny and Cal realionship here. And my godness... if you are a couple, please communicate!. And I HATE GLORIA. She is so rude, manipulative, overall she is a NIGHTMAREEEE....! Overall 3.5 stars from me.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Gokce ~Muslin Myst~

    I gotta admit, I didn't expect this book to be this good. I've only read one book by Susan Mallery before, and I think I was told that it was one of her early books and after reading this I can totally believe that. It was clear she had improved her writing between the two books, I enjoyed this very much. This is the first in a series where we're told the happily ever afters of the four Buchanan siblings. The first one takes the oldest brother Cal Buchanan and pairs him up with his ex-wife, succe I gotta admit, I didn't expect this book to be this good. I've only read one book by Susan Mallery before, and I think I was told that it was one of her early books and after reading this I can totally believe that. It was clear she had improved her writing between the two books, I enjoyed this very much. This is the first in a series where we're told the happily ever afters of the four Buchanan siblings. The first one takes the oldest brother Cal Buchanan and pairs him up with his ex-wife, successful chef Penny Jackson. I'm not much into rekindling passion. Nor am I into children involved romance stories. I don't know why. Of course I'll have to correct that statement now cause Susan Mallery did a marvellous job in making me interested in all of them in this one book. In addition to all this, with the ex-couple and a troubled family line, you'd be right to expect some emotional baggage. And when I found out about the said emotional baggage I thought any other time, it would've been too much for me in a contemporary romance. In this one? With Susan Mallery's writing skills? Well, let's just say emotional baggage? Yes, please. I'd really like to congradulate the author here, for taking the heavy subjects and making them lighter and the whole story just as much enjoyable and delightful and funny. There were many times I laughed in this book, many lines of the characters that made me love them. A lot. And then there's the whole chef thing going on, which is something I'm most interested in with a sister planning to go into the same business. With all the internship stories I've heard from her, I can say that what goes on in the kitchen intrigues me. And, I don't know much about the business, but I thought Susan Mallery did her research here. At least enough to engage this cooking-allergic gal. The romance, the emotional problems, the humor and the down and dirty were all well balanced in this book. This is a series I'll definitely be following on, and an author whose books I'll watch out for. Thanks, Leah, for recommending this book and author to me, you did a great service to my romantic mush side :)

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jasmin

    Unfortunately, Naomi had seen Cal naked. She'd walked in on them making love once. After retreating, she'd stood behind the closed door and complained bitterly about people who didn't have the common courtesy to make some noise while doing it so the world could know what they were up to and not accidentally walk in. The quote above, is one of the most striking things Susan Mallery has taught me. That quote alone, made me conclude that Mallery is brilliant and very wise. Anyway, if there's 3-in Unfortunately, Naomi had seen Cal naked. She'd walked in on them making love once. After retreating, she'd stood behind the closed door and complained bitterly about people who didn't have the common courtesy to make some noise while doing it so the world could know what they were up to and not accidentally walk in. The quote above, is one of the most striking things Susan Mallery has taught me. That quote alone, made me conclude that Mallery is brilliant and very wise. Anyway, if there's 3-in-1 instant coffee, there's also 2-in-1 books. That is what this book is. It's 2-in-1. Not only have you got a romance novel in your hands, but also an educational one. I have read this, and I felt that I have hit two birds with one stone. If you have plans of opening a restaurant, pick this book up. It presents a lot of probable problems one could encounter when you have your own restaurant. Delicious is a funny and light read packed with many laugh out loud moments, and tons of times, made me hungry just imagining Penny's fish and chips. It is only now that I have read a book where the couple has been married but divorced. At first the story was very enjoyable to the point that I declared "I will be a fan when I finish this book." However, the last few pages made me take back my statement. Again and again, events which are similar were just being thrown into my face, that it became frustrating. One is enough, two is too much and the third time around had the potential of choking me. For me, it just took too long for the H/h to get their happy ending, considering that they already been divorced though they deserve to be together. Well, I just guess that love is sweeter, the second time around. If it worked with Cal and Penny, I'm hoping that the second time around, me and Mallery will be in better terms.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Julie Barrett

    Delicious by Susan Mallery Penny Jackson is going to work for her ex husband in his restauart to turn it around. Cal Buchannan and his family owned a lot of restaurants. She wants more than just a salary and a job. She wants to take what she creates with her, her name on the menu, a week off and the one to select the general manager and a percentage of the business. This would give her what she needed to start her own in a few years time. She's got a secret and she's not told her new boss. His brother Delicious by Susan Mallery Penny Jackson is going to work for her ex husband in his restauart to turn it around. Cal Buchannan and his family owned a lot of restaurants. She wants more than just a salary and a job. She wants to take what she creates with her, her name on the menu, a week off and the one to select the general manager and a percentage of the business. This would give her what she needed to start her own in a few years time. She's got a secret and she's not told her new boss. His brother Reid, just done with baseball due to his arm injury didn't think it was such a good idea for her not to tell his brother. Danni Buchannan is the sister who has worked her way up in Burger Heaven-another of the busineses. She is upset because she wanted the Waterfront but Cal's ex wife is going to be the chef there. Hugh and Danni are having problems also. Cal is hiding things from his past as well that may break up the whole business idea. Naomi, Penny's best friend is now also working at the business due to Penny's advice. She been hooking up with one of Cal's brothers. Walker is back and on the search for 'ashley'. his best friend died in the war and he wants to tell her how much he had talked about her. he searches all over Seattle to find her from yearbook leads. The taste tasting of what Penny wants to offer is amazing-he can't decide what spices she had used but they are just great. Things heat up extremely as her hormones are out of control and he finds her just so much more sexy now. He knows her body well even when it was pregnant before. Cal then decided he didn't want kids-she had had a miscarriage and had witnessed the pain. Things are also out of control at work, problems arise that continually need looking after til they discover who's behind it all. good beginning book of a series

  28. 4 out of 5

    ɑƨħŵɑɡ ♥Team Magnus Damora FOREVER♥

    I am really liking Susan Mallery's writing style. Even how she can write her characters. I'm not necessarily fan of her "guys" but certainly the women come up with are certainly impressive. They leave their mark on you. The plot is very basic actually. Penny Jackson, a very talented chef and a to-be mom, gets a job offer from her ex-husband (Cal) to run a restaurant. Now both of them parted ways in a very bitter way so to speak. They both are convinced that what's between them is over, but is it? I am really liking Susan Mallery's writing style. Even how she can write her characters. I'm not necessarily fan of her "guys" but certainly the women come up with are certainly impressive. They leave their mark on you. The plot is very basic actually. Penny Jackson, a very talented chef and a to-be mom, gets a job offer from her ex-husband (Cal) to run a restaurant. Now both of them parted ways in a very bitter way so to speak. They both are convinced that what's between them is over, but is it? Among this basic plotline, lies a heavy drama. Where deceptions, lies and secrets are soon to come storming over our characters' lives. Now I wanna talk about Gloria. That woman made me sooo mad I wish she's a real woman so I can just give her a piece of my mind. She gets between people, not for their own fault, but she just do it out of evil intentions. One of my favorite lines is between her and Noami: Naomi: "I slept with Walker and Reid" Gloria: "slut" Naomi: "if that's the best you got I wonder why they're scared of you" OMG! that was EPIC.. Naomi-Penny were super marvelous as besties. One I'd really wished I had.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly Kincaid

    This was a quick, light read. I adore foodie romance, so of course I was sucked right in. It's clear that Susan Mallery did a lot of research on restaurants and that she knows her stuff-- the details were very accurate and fit into the story nicely without being obvious. I liked the twist of Penny and Cal being a divorced couple who obviously had differences, but that they weren't out to kill each other-- it made it more believable when their feelings were rekindled. Penny's IVF pregnancy was ni This was a quick, light read. I adore foodie romance, so of course I was sucked right in. It's clear that Susan Mallery did a lot of research on restaurants and that she knows her stuff-- the details were very accurate and fit into the story nicely without being obvious. I liked the twist of Penny and Cal being a divorced couple who obviously had differences, but that they weren't out to kill each other-- it made it more believable when their feelings were rekindled. Penny's IVF pregnancy was nice too, something different from a lot of other books I've read. Walker's book (the next one) looks yummy (admittedly, he was my favorite brother from he minute he hit the page) and I'll definitely read it. Also should add that Mallery is masterful with her sex scenes-- just enough to be sexy and provocative, but not so much that I didn't feel the tender emotions behind the act. Well done, for sure!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Booklover

    Finished the Buchanan series all 4 books must say Susan Mallery has done an awesome job with Buchanans Buchanans is story of 4 sibblings Cal,Walker,Reid & Danielle.Villian is their grandmother Gloria she is real bitch in Cal's Story but eventually she changes n accepts all 4 of them as they are n stops playing games with them.actually liked how Gloria changes,how all 4 of them find love of their life n happiness in their life This is Cal's and his ex-wife Penny's story,actually liked how these 2 u Finished the Buchanan series all 4 books must say Susan Mallery has done an awesome job with Buchanans Buchanans is story of 4 sibblings Cal,Walker,Reid & Danielle.Villian is their grandmother Gloria she is real bitch in Cal's Story but eventually she changes n accepts all 4 of them as they are n stops playing games with them.actually liked how Gloria changes,how all 4 of them find love of their life n happiness in their life This is Cal's and his ex-wife Penny's story,actually liked how these 2 understand each other n find the reasons their marraige failed n how Cal also changes n opens his heart for Penny.even adored Penny-Noami friendship Recommend Buchanan series,do read all 4 stories

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