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Peek Inside Into the Fire

Heir to the Calabrese restaurant empire, Jackson Calabrese can buy whatever he wants, but if his new restaurant is going to succeed, he’ll need help. There’s only one chef with the culinary creativity to reinvent their menu: former rival—and lover—Lila Grant. Seducing her back into his bed—and his kitchen—should be easy. But after the way things ended between them, Lila wants revenge, and she’ll take it served delicious bite at a time

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She’s cooking up a recipe for revenge…

Heir to the Calabrese restaurant empire, Jackson Calabrese can buy whatever he wants—except creativity. He can craft perfect paella, but if his new restaurant is going to take New York by storm, he’ll need help. And there’s only one chef with the culinary creativity to reinvent their menu: former rival—and lover—Lila Grant. The one woman with all the right ingredients to drive Jackson wild. And damned if he doesn’t want another taste.

During their time at the culinary Academy, Lila brought the heat in the kitchen and between Jackson’s sheets. Seducing her back into his bed—and his kitchen—should be easy. But after the way things ended between them, Lila isn’t giving anything away for free. Jackson may have made her an offer she can’t refuse, but she wants revenge, and she’ll take it served hot…one delicious bite at a time.


"Smart, decadent, and sexy to the last bite." --Kimberly Kincaid, author of Drawing The Line

"The chemistry between the characters makes this one hot read! The descriptions of the food give a sense of realism and are simply mouthwatering." --RT Book Reviews Top Pick 

"Amanda Usen has given us a book that has romance, sexiness, humour, wonderful realistic characters a great storyline and food. And for someone who loves all of the above, it was a perfect read." --Nicola, Goodreads

"Amanda Usen writes a great story and this is no exception. This is one you won't want to miss." --Ayekah, Goodreads 

Additional Details

ISBN: 9781622661350
Series: Hot Nights, Book 1
Release Date: Jun 10, 2013
Page Count: 201
Imprint: brazen
Genre: contemporary
Tropes: enemies to lovers, revenge

Select Featured Reviews

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By Claire May 19, 2014

4 - "Pick your position, sweetheart. Ladies choice" Stars.

I really enjoyed this one Jack and Lila, were both likeable and easy to get along with.

A love story with lots of food in it is always going to ring my bell, and this was a great, entertaining sexy read, not too long, it hits all the right sp ...more

By Barbara ★ December 28, 2017

I really liked both the hero and heroine, though I did want to smack both of them upside the head at one point or the other. Stubborn, prideful idiots! Miscommunication is used so well in books that it mimics real life a little too well. You would think as readers we'd translate this knowledge to ou ...more

By Nicola May 19, 2013

This was a fabulous read from start to finish. Amanda Usen has given us a book that has romance, sexiness, humour, wonderful realistic characters a great storyline and food. And for someone who loves all of the above, it was a perfect read.

Lila and Jackson were wonderful easy to love characters. Bo ...more

By Kat June 13, 2013


Lila Grant been waiting forever to finally shine through her culinary graduates but she faces her competetion Jack Calabrese the man who has it all and has the family name that does him justice. It true what they say, Chefs never share their secret recipes. Just before the big cook off, Lila a ...more

By a & e June 14, 2013

BEAUTIFUL!!! I loved it. I always enjoy reading stories about the culinary world, there's just so much talent out in the world, even in the form of cooking. What I really liked about this story is that the author got her facts straight and made it easy to relate to even if you weren't a 5 star cook ...more

By MountainKat October 31, 2016

*4- Stars*

This book was basically one great big misunderstanding! And it worked. The problems were well rooted in the hero and heroine's insecurities, so it was understandable how they acted and reacted. I enjoyed it and would read the author again - especially for that U in her last name! ...more

By Liza June 30, 2013

***4.5 out of 5 stars***

I was lucky enough to get a review copy thanks to the publisher from NetGalley. This is the first book I've read from Amanda Usen, but won't be my last.

I completely fell for both Lila and Jackson from the very first chapter. The misunderstandings that take place between them ...more

By SandyL August 15, 2015

This was a quick, sexy and cute story about two chefs who are both attracted to each other, but their lack of confidence hinders their relationship. Delilah Grant and Jackson Calabrese met in culinary school and share a night of passion right before a big cook-off competition. Six months later Lily ...more

By Irene June 26, 2013

3.5 stars rounding up to 4 stars ...more

By Ayekah July 24, 2018

Incredibly good book. Lila and Jackson are the top two students at Culinary school and polar opposites .Jackson comes from a wealthy family who already own multiple award winning restaurants across the city, winning this last competition in school and the prize money is of no consequence to him.
Lila ...more

By Connie N. May 08, 2020

#1 in the Hot Nights romance series

What a pleasant surprise from a new-to-me author! Both characters are appealing, and I knew exactly what each was feeling. Jack and Lila graduated from cooking school together, in a competition that ended on a bad note. Although talented and attractive, both charac ...more

By Traci September 08, 2018

Wow! Excellent fast paced STEAMY kitchen cooking romance !! Jackson & Lila were so much fun to read about! This is the kind of book that draws you in immediately & you simply cannot put it down because the tension & chemistry between these two is so great & Amanda certainly does not make you wait to ...more

By Mary April 21, 2019

Competing Cooks

Good story about cooks in school and their final competition before graduating. Jack won with Lila’s idea which she told him after he took her to bed. They led their lives without each other until Jack found her and planned a meeting. He was opening a new restaurant and thought he nee ...more

By Sharon September 13, 2018

Great storyline

Well written with good descriptive passages steamy without what some consider bad language. Make sure you have a snack handy as the menus and foods made my mouth water and I was starving! The author writes the synopsis far better than I ever could suffice to say definitely worth the t ...more

By Teresa August 07, 2018

4.0 - nice read. Not too in depth emotionally but definitely not fluff. The push and pull of their feelings, as well as their hurtful words to each other, get a little tiring after a while and I kind of want to smack some sense into them both. But, I liked how they slowly built trust, and hung out, ...more

By Suzette July 19, 2018

A quick read. Something you would read laying on the beach on vacation. Cool characters with lots of foods that will make your stomach rumble. There are are a lot of characters but not a lot of depth just a lot of fun. ...more

By Heidi September 03, 2018

Fun easy read. Some minor irritation in the lack of communication, but pretty typical for a light, standard romance plot. Set up was interesting sounding and unique enough to pique my interest, and overall enjoyed this. ...more

By Arthea August 07, 2018

A Passionate pair.

I would have given this book five stars if the heroine wasn't such a drama queen. But overall it's a really good read. ...more

By Janice June 28, 2020

A great easy, romance about two budding chefs. I enjoyed the pace each of the characters followed. I highly recommend this romance/ love story as it doesn't disappoint. ...more

By Sandra Taylor December 16, 2018

Into the Fire (Hot Nights series Book 1)

I thought it started quite well, but then it seemed to drag a bit. Finally ended ok with a happy ever after. ...more

By Margarette Dibble August 08, 2018

5 Stars

I would recommend this book to adults who enjoy stories that are funny, steamy and romantic, with wonderful characters both male and female. ...more

By Karen Connell September 24, 2018


I read this book in less than a day simply because I couldn't put it down and didn't want it to end . Totally riveting ...more

By Kelly May 30, 2013

I have to say first that this is a 4 star book. It may not seem that way when you first start reading this- just bear with me here.

If I hadn’t said I would review this book, I would have not finished it before I even finished the first chapter. It starts off with them at the end of school and they ...more

By Erin June 15, 2013

The old phrase “too many cooks in the kitchen” aptly applied to these characters, because when Lila and Jack were in the same room together there was one of two things happening: crazy lusty sparks, or feisty bickering! This was one of those stories where you just wanted to take both main characters ...more

By Stephanie July 05, 2013


I have to say this was a steamy quick read with a main pair that sizzle when they are near one another and a hero that really needs to learn his own true value.

Lila just wants to win this last competition in culinary school so she can pay off some student loans and have a better starting point po ...more

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3.88 avg rating
Amanda Usen

About the author

Amanda Usen

Amanda Usen knows two things for certain: chocolate cheesecake is good for breakfast, and a hot chef can steal your heart. Her husband stole hers the first day of class at the Culinary Institute of America. They live in Western New York with their three children, one crawfish, two guinea pigs, a tortoise, and a beagle. Amanda spends her days teaching pastry arts classes and her nights writing romance. If she isn't baking or writing, she can usually be found reading a book and trying to get out of cooking dinner.

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