Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Opposite of You by Rachel Higginson

I’ve sworn off men. 

All men. 

Famous last words, right? You’re expecting some epic tale of reluctant love and my dramatic change of heart? Well, you’re not going to get it. 

I’m stubborn. And headstrong. And I’ve just survived the worst three years of my life. After escaping an abusive boyfriend to live in hostels and cheap hotels while I worked my way across Europe, I’ve come to two conclusions. 

The first? Now that I’m back home, I’m going to squander my expensive culinary degree on a food truck that caters to the late night drunk crowd. 

The second? I’m going to prove to the bastard across the plaza that my street food is better than his fussy five course monstrosities.

Killian Quinn might be Food and Wine’s Chef to Watch Out For. He might have a Michelin Star. He might have every food critic in the city wrapped around his too-large fingers. But he’s also pretentious and unbearably arrogant and the very opposite of me. 

So he can keep his unsolicited advice and his late night visits and his cocky smiles. I want none of it. Or him. 

I want the opposite. 

5 stars
Review by Jen Skewes

The Opposite of You was fantastic.  I adored this book and the characters.  I always look forward to Rachel Higginson’s books.  Her writing is flawless and she always makes me feel.  And I don’t mean that she makes me feel the deep emotions I mean in general she just makes me feel what the characters are feeling.  She has this ability of making you feel like you are a part of them and their lives.  Whether those feelings are happy, sad, hurt, pain or joy, it does not matter because she makes you feel it.  And this book was no different.

Vera ran away from her home town a few years ago when things with her ex got so bad that she just needed to pick up and go.  She wanted to find herself and at the same time follow the dreams that she had for herself, live her life the way she wanted to.  But when her father becomes ill she goes back home to help take care of him.  She has never given up on her dream of becoming a chef but she has a different plan in mind, opening a food truck.   She has decided to use her culinary skills to own and operate a food truck making comfort food that has her own unique twist to it.

She sets up her truck for business directly across from a well known restaurant where the head chef, Killian Quinn, is well know for his skills in the kitchen.  But this is the spot that works for her.  Killian is hot and sexy and from the moment she first see him she is certainly attracted to him.  But he can be cocky, arrogant and sometimes a bit obnoxious.  He is everything that she needs to stay away from.  Her focus is her food truck, plus after her last relationship she has sworn off men, until Killian Quinn somehow squeezes his way into her life.  She hates him but at the same time she wants him.  With everything that she has been through can she truly trust another man and open up to him as well?  Or will it get in the way of her career?

I think what I loved the most about this book was for one the storyline.  It was different, and just a fun story to read.  The other part of the book that I really loved was the characters and not just Vera and Killian but the whole set of characters.  They all played a part in this story and I loved them.  Killian was this character that may have been a little hard to like in the beginning but for me personally I loved him.  He found this way to not only taste Vera’s food but to critique it as well.  He gave her unsolicited advice that only made her hate him more.  But that is what I loved about them.  I loved the dynamic between them, the back and forth banter between them, the flirting and the connection.  Of course as the reader I felt like Vera did, wondering what Killlian wanted and why he was so obsessed with her food.  But at time goes on you see another side of Killian, one that I think many people do not see.  I loved him because he could be sweet and kind but also because of who he was, even when he was being obnoxious he had a good heart.

Vera has been through so much and I loved how she finally was able to find herself and be the strong woman that she truly is.  She did not take Killian’s crap and gave it back to him just as good.  She stayed strong and in a way it pushed her harder. 

I loved Vera and Killian but this story wasn’t just about them.  It is about a girl and her best friend who are always there for each other, a sister and brother who no matter what stick together, and a father and daughter who have a beautiful relationship, even if he wasn’t always there while growing up you see how much this man truly loves his daughter and how proud of her, he is.  I loved this one so much and cannot wait for the next one. 

I clenched my teeth so hard, my jaw ticked. He was a pushy, intrusive asshole. And completely right. Damn him. I shoved my way between him and the stove, grabbing for the red pepper flakes, just to make a point that this was still my kitchen. 
“You went a little light.” 
He peered over my shoulder, his chest pressing momentarily against my back. His deep voice rumbled in my ear. “Careful, chef.”
I shivered. I couldn’t help it. He made the relentless summer day feel frigid compared to his body heat. His breath danced along my earlobe and despite the savory sauce filling the kitchen with Mediterranean scents and tangible defeat, all I could smell was him.
The whisk in my hand trembled once, twice. I leaned back into him, unable to resist exploring what it would feel like to be pressed against his hard chest, how he would make me feel against his body.
I had to know.
He leaned closer, and my shoulders settled against him, his hand landing on my hip with the lightest touch. A ripple of uncertainty vibrated through me. I should pull away. I shouldn’t have gotten this close to begin with.
I started to step to the side and Killian’s fingers dug into my hip, holding me in place, taking the decision away from me. His touch was light only seconds before now it was strong, familiar, possessive. He was used to getting his way and I’d suddenly stopped coming up with reasons why I shouldn’t let him have it. 

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