On the Square by Brenda Murphy

This is a new, wonderful and delightful approach from Brenda Murphy

What was the book about?
Celebrity chef Mai Li needs to start over after a very public and embarrassing breakup, which also caused her to lose her show. Headed back to her hometown, with the intention to renovate the old and very dilapidated restaurant of her parents, life seems the need to start over.  

Contractor Dale Miller is a single mother who is struggling to make ends meet, after her ex almost sent her into bankruptcy. She isn’t impressed by Mai’s celebrity status, on the contrary she dislikes her, but the pay offered is too good to turn down.  Will they be able to pass their egos to work together and maybe build something more than a restaurant? 

Featured Tropes
contemporary, chefs, ff, single-mom, small-town, butch-femme, steamy-romance, home-town-girl, inter-racial-couple, lesbian, returning-home, friends-to-lovers

Book Strengths
This book presents several positive things besides being a captivating story; we got minorities’ representation, strong women, interracial couple, butch-femme romance and relatable latebian (coming out later in life) story. We are used to reading Brenda Murphy’s BDSM books, and I think she was very brave to try something entirely different. She did a great job with the start of this new series. And of course, being a Brenda Murphy book, we get to enjoy excellent sex scenes, although different and very light on the BDSM side, but very sexy and sizzling hot, nonetheless.

Book weaknesses
The pacing is rough at times, some scenes felt cut, like a bit of the dialogue was missing, but this wasn’t too big to stop the enjoyment of the book. Also, after the characters difficult start, the instant lust feels somehow unreal, a little more of time to develop would have been better. But the story progresses well enough to forget about this.

Character Chemistry
Both characters are relatable and it is easy to like them. They have a wonderful chemistry despite their rough beginning. There are times I wanted to slap both of them to make them talk. We all know what happens when we assume, and they enjoyed doing this a lot. It was interesting to meet Mai’s younger sister Yvonne who is disabled; I loved how caring she is for her. Also, I liked the interaction of Mai with one of Dale’s sons, Noah who wants to be a chef. Hope in future books we get to know some more about Mai’s backstory

Heat Rating
🔥 🔥 🔥 🔥 

Wrap up
It’s an interesting introduction to a new romance series, with compelling characters and sizzling sex scenes.


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