This was my second Ella Frank book and I'm so happy to report that it did not disappoint! Exquisite definitely measured up to it's title. I have a major book crush on Mason. The characters hooked me instantly and drew me right into the story. They were extremely likeable and they have you rooting for them from the beginning. At the same time, however, their confrontations are so delicious that you are also cheering them on when they lob insult after insult after each other. It's a fun story that I enjoyed reading from cover-to-cover but it also has depth, obstacles, and heartache.
Mason Langley is the super hot chef in town and owner of the acclaimed restaurant aptly named Exquisite. He is sent on an errand as favor to his mom, Catherine, who owns the flower shop in town, to deliever roses to Dr. Lena O'Donnell at the hospital. What he expects will be a short task turns into a long, drawn-out, pain-in-the-ass nightmare. Lena is a rude, impatient, and ungrateful.
Lena musters all of her remaining energy to attend a work dinner at Exquisite later that evening and she's shocked to run into Mason again. Rather than run the risk of having him spit in her food, she decides to apologize, but with these two it's not that simple. They clash at every turn.
"Apologize huh? And how's that going so far? As far as I can tell you've just further insulted me," he paused and then from out of no where his mouth opened and he heard himself ask, "How about you make it up to me by having dinner with me?"
When Lena shows up at his restaurant for their date, she doesn't last 10 minutes before he gets so angry at the constant insults that she lobs at him, that he kicks her out. She's shocked to run into him again at an Irish Pub and is even more shocked to find out that he knew she would be there thanks to her so-called-friend, Shelly. He convinces Lena to dance with him and that's when the right kind of sparks finally start flying. Mason asks her out on a second date and that's when things really heat up. They begin to casually see each other and their chemistry is off the charts.
"Let's start with the eating. I'm starving."
That's because you had a hard workout last night."
Watching her he noticed a slight flush creep over her cheeks. "Or just something hard?" she whispered.
"Oh look at you flirting with me! And dirty flirting. I like you Lena O'Donnell."
Their banter throughout the entire book is one of my favorite things about it. I've mentioned time and time again how I have a major soft spot for witty banter.
"Watch it Lena. That tongue has much better uses than being sassy."
"I hear lots of threats, but see little follow through."
Things go well until Mason's mom becomes ill. He discovers that Lena has made his mother a promise, and by extension kept a huge secret from him, one that is unforgiveable. You have to pick up this book to find out if the pain and secrets are something that these two can overcome.