Series: Frenched #2
on October 20th, 2014
Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo
Twenty-eight year old Coco Thomas knows the recipe for disaster:
1) Agree to plan last-minute engagement blowout for spoiled Mafia princess before you realize her choice of caterer is Nick Lupo, a despicably gorgeous young chef with a hot new restaurant in town, a reality TV show victory, and a romantic past with you—one that did not end well.
2) Strike a deal with Nick in which you agree to spend a weekend with him in exchange for his services, under the strict conditions there will be no talking about the past, no second chances, and definitely no sex.
3) Violate all three conditions within 24 hours and spend two glorious days remembering what made you fall for the sexy, egotistical bastard in the first place, and why it hurt so much when he broke your heart.
Add one road trip, plenty of good scotch, and endless spoonfuls of chocolate cake batter drizzled over your body and licked off inch by oh-my-God-yes-right-there inch, then just admit it.
You’re totally FORKED.
If you’ve read a Melanie Harlow book you’ll notice that her books take place in Detroit. I asked Melanie, who is also from Detroit, to give us a list of 5 places in Detroit and tell us what she loves about them. She not only did this, but she also gave us the connections that these places have with her books as well! 😉
Five places you have to check out the next time you’re visiting Detroit
by Melanie Harlow
OK, this is hard but here are 5 places I really love, in no particular order. Since I love a good cocktail, this list has a theme…
- The Detroit City Distillery: http://detroitcitydistillery.com/
This distillery and tasting room is located in Detroit’s Eastern Market, which is one of the coolest places in the city. I love the history and the local produce and the revival that’s taking place there. The guys that opened the Detroit City Distillery were really inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit of Detroit during Prohibition—and you know I love that!
What I sip there: The Brown Derby, made with their Two Faced Bourbon. Yum.
Connection to my books: The Speak Easy series mentions Eastern Market, and Joey’s house is located in that area.
2. Two James Spirits: http://twojames.com/
Two James was the first licensed distillery in Detroit since Prohibition. How cool is that? Plus it’s located in Corktown, Detroit’s oldest neighborhood and home to a lot of Irish immigrants. Corktown is experiencing an incredible renaissance now—tons of great places to eat, drink, and hang out, including the tasting room at Two James.
What I sip there: Two James Old Cockney gin is amazing!
Connection to my books: In Forked, Coco and Nick share the five-spirit tasting flight at Two James. She’s also a fan of the Grass Widow Bourbon!
3. The Sugar House: http://www.sugarhousedetroit.com/
Also located in Corktown, this little craft cocktails bar often has a wait to get in, but the bartenders know their stuff. Plus they all look like a young Daniel Day Lewis as Abe Lincoln but with tattoos.
What I sip there: The Queen Anne’s Revenge
Connection to my books: In Yanked, Mia, Coco, and Erin meet for drinks at The Sugar House. (I deleted the actual scene from the final book, but they do mention meeting there!)
4. Cliff Bell’s: http://www.cliffbells.com/
Probably my favorite spot in the entire city. This was an old speakeasy, and when the current owners reopened it, they kept the 1930s vibe. From the moment you walk in, you feel transported. They have live jazz on stage (I never miss The Hot Club of Detroit) and serve delicious food too. The French fries are divine! Also, this sounds weird but I love the ladies room there…it’s a lounge with little seats at vanity mirrors. So old-fashioned.
What I sip there: champagne sometimes, usually followed by a gin martini.
Connection to my books—the decor inspired the club I created for The Speak Easy series.
5. Roast: http://www.roastdetroit.com/
This fancypants restaurant in the historic Book Cadillac Hotel (now a Westin) is pretty pricey, so I usually sit at the bar and enjoy a couple small plates and a drink or two. Mr. Harlow and I spent our 10th anniversary here this year, and the hotel upgraded us to a suite. I was fancypants for a night!
What I sip there: a glass of red wine from their incredible list. Maybe a Chateauneuf du Pape in honor of Lucas and Mia!
Connection to my books—none, really. I’ll have to get on that…look for it in Floored!
Another great book from Melanie! Coco Thomas is Mia’s (from Frenched) best friend and business partner. Mia is in the middle of finalizing her wedding details so Coco takes over managing their event planning business. Coco is currently living with her parents and is drooling over a house she can’t really afford. In order to make enough money for a down payment on said house, Coco takes on a job planning an engagement party for a Mafia Princess. Little does she know that this job will take her back into the arms of her ex, the man who broke her heart, Nick Lupo.
Nick and Coco got together in college (Go State!) and were together for most of their college career. They made a spontaneous decision that instead bringing them closer together like expected, it instead caused Nick to leave Coco. After reading his reasons, I can understand why, but he could’ve handled it better or at least TALKED TO COCO before he did what he did. They probably both would’ve came out of that whole situation still together if they had. But it’s alright, because it looks as maybe it was good for both of them that it did happen that way. They went off and grew up, found their places in the world. When Fate was ready she brought them back together and showed them that they belonged together, just 7 years later than either of them thought.
While Coco may have irritated me a bit through out the story, I still enjoyed the book. Though honestly, I always expect the characters to irritate me at some point.
I think what I liked most about the book was Nick Lupo and his connection to Tiny & Joey from Melanie’s other book series, Speak Easy. I really LOVED that series and I was so glad that they got a little part in this story line. It was like having an extended Epilogue for the Speak Easy series that you didn’t expect! It was a wonderful surprise. But back to Nick..honestly..there is nothing hotter than an Italian man that can cook..and bake. YUM, I would love to bake with him! Especially when it got down to licking the cake batter off the spoon, er thigh? Ok! Count me in!
I enjoyed this story and I think you will too. Though I do suggest that you read Speak Easy first, so you can meet Nick’s ancestors who are mentioned in this story. 😉 Also, don’t forget to check out FRENCHED, the first book in this series, if you haven’t already! 😉
The Frenched Series