Published by Harlequin Teen, the book is 268 pages.
Note: This review is based on an eARC I received from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest thoughts about the book.
Cami Broussard has her future all figured out. She’ll finish her senior year of high school, then go to work full-time as an apprentice chef in her father’s French restaurant, alongside her boyfriend, Luke. But then twenty-year-old ex-Marine Julian Wyatt comes to live with Cami’s family while recovering from serious injuries. And suddenly Cami finds herself questioning everything she thought she wanted.
Julian’s all attitude, challenges and intense green-brown eyes. But beneath that abrasive exterior is a man who just might be as lost as Cami’s starting to feel. And Cami can’t stop thinking about him. Talking to him. Wanting to kiss him. He’s got her seriously stirred up. Her senior year has just gotten a lot more complicated….
STIR ME UP is a sweet, fun, romantic and absolutely heartwarming story by author Sabrina Elkins. It’s a love story that brings together two unlikely characters – Cami Broussard, a high school student and chef-in training, and Julian Wyatt, an injured war veteran and former marine.
When Cami first lays eyes on Julian, she is shocked by his injuries and her heart immediately goes out to him. But her sympathy is short-lived, as from the moment he opens his mouth he is rude and insulting. Having to adjust to his presence in her life and in her home is one thing, but she’s not about to put up with his attitude. No matter what he’s been through. And no matter how gorgeous he is.
It’s not as if she doesn’t have her own problems. Her father is pushing her to go to college. Her boyfriend is pushing for more of a commitment than she’s ready to give him. And she hasn’t figured out what she wants to do when she graduates.
But she certainly doesn’t want to have to give up her room to an irritable and ungrateful house guest. One who argues with her. One who drives her crazy. One who she can’t seem to stay away from. One who makes her feel things that her boyfriend doesn’t.
Author Sabrina Elkins created an utterly captivating story that is both charming and sexy with characters that are lovable and sympathetic. She brought depth to her story through characters that have had to deal with loss, face hardships and overcome incredible obstacles. She brought excitement with a love story that is at first flirtatious and fragile but which grows in its strength and its intensity.
She gave readers something unique through her character Cami’s passion for food. And she gave them something to smile about with a story that delivers on its promise to stir things up for Cami Broussard.
STIR ME UP is a quick and incredibly entertaining one-sit read with a deliciously appealing dynamic between the two central characters. It is a must for fans of contemporary romance, love stories that promise the possibility of a happily ever after and stories that are well-written, engaging, thoughtful and romantic.
Reviewer gives this book…
On a personal note…
When I picked up this story I could not put it down. STIR ME UP was a totally addictive and super-quick read.
I was expecting a story that was light and fluffy – a cotton candy read – but was surprised by its layers. Happily surprised.
I’d been an avid fan of chick lit before I started reading YA and it got to the point where each story felt formulaic – girl meets boy, girl gets boy, girl loses boy, angst, angst, angst, girl gets boy back on the last page. That was not at all the case here.
STIR ME UP was clever, it had depth, it presented some real issues. It had a main character who was strong and passionate and determined and focused. I loved that she was able to see Julian for who he was, not the injuries he sustained. And I loved that the author presented this in a way that was believable and not over the top.
The story spanned just about a year in the characters’ lives. It took the time to develop the characters. It didn’t rush the love story. It didn’t make light of the seriousness of Julian’s losses. It didn’t present an unrealistic relationship between the characters. It didn’t pile on the angst just for the heck of it.
It was sweet, it was romantic, it was sexy as hell at times. It had its moments of heartbreak. It had just the right amount of tension and angst.
The added bonus was how the author incorporated Cami’s passion for cooking and for creating recipes into the story. I am not a foodie, nor am I a cook, but I loved reading those passages where Cami was preparing a dish for the restaurant or her family. It made her more three-dimensional, it made her interesting. It made this story unique.
And it made me love this story all the more.
Of course I loved the swoon-worthy marine. I loved the back-and-forth between Cami and Julian, the electricity, the sexual tension. I loved the romance and found myself hoping for a HEA – a rarity for me.
But it was everything all together that made this story as amazing as it was. It gave me all the smiles. It gave me the happy feels. And I don’t say this often about contemporary romance, but STIR ME UP is a total must read.
I actually had two favorites. But as one of them was from right there at the very end, I thought it would be best not to reveal that here. So I chose the one from just a bit earlier in the story, the one that made me sigh.
He kisses me long into the night, until my lips are swollen and my heart is full and my hands feel electric from running over his back and chest. And then, once the taste of him is locked inside me, once I’ve memorized the feel of him, I curl up against him and fall asleep.
This review is based on an eARC I received from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest thoughts about the book.