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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Blog Tour/Review ♥ Just a Taste by Shannyn Schroeder ♥ #giveaway $10 GC

 Just a Taste
The O’Learys # 5
By: Shannyn Schroeder
Releasing January 19th, 2015


Grief has brought them together again—will love open the door to their future? When it’s an O’Leary in the picture, finding out is just part of the adventure…

Carmen Delgado is left reeling when her father dies. Taking care of him has been her sole purpose for so long, she’s forgotten what it’s like to have dreams of her own. And with steady, sexy Liam O’Leary inheriting a share in her dad’s successful food truck, Carmen is suddenly free to explore her life’s possibilities. She never expected Liam to provide the kind of temptation she’s not sure she can resist…

A talented chef, Liam O’Leary has been itching to open his own restaurant for years—and the death of his mentor is a reminder that time passes too quickly. Gus’s Taco Taxi isn’t exactly what he dreamed of, but he can’t desert Gus’s daughter. Working side by side is an unexpected pleasure—and grownup Carmen is alluring in all new ways. Is love on the menu—or will old fears and insecurities drive them apart?

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A Review by Wendy

4 Discovering Yourself
 * * * *

Things in life do not always follow the path we thought they would and when that happens... we sometimes lose ourselves in the taking care of others... This is the theme of this book. We have Carmen who has been helping her family for years... first when her sweet mother passed. Then she assisted her father on the venture of his food truck; he sold his successful restaurant to his brother and carried the business out to the streets... Carmen had gone to school for business and refused to work the truck or cook... the memories of cooking together with her mother was too much to bear. We meet Carmen trying to recover from another devastating loss, the death of her dad....Carmen is overwhelmed...she is alone and must take a look at her life...see a path she wants for once...and she has no idea...

Liam is at a turning point, as well. He has been working as a chef at an upscale establishment after years of paying his dues... dues he started with Carmen's dad at his Mexican restaurant by washing dishes. There he knew he wanted to be a chef and he took every moment... every chance he could to learn from Gus. It didn't matter he was the only "white boy"... it didn't matter his hands turned into prunes every night... he was going to culinary school and learning... he had goals and Gus saw the desire and talent. Together they would work... Liam watching, absorbing all things food... while also watching and seeing Carmen be a teenager.... off limits to all.

Liam finds out about the funeral through the voice mail Carmen made to all who meant something to Gus. He goes and then follows back to the home...and there in the kitchen he sees Carmen... hiding from all of the family... who wanting to direct her as to what to do next... it is too much... Liam comes to the sink... takes over and allows Carmen to sit... and just be...they have much in common as he lost his dad...and he is remembering what all the aftermath was like...

People leave; he cleans up and then over a few days... he looks in on her... she is a wreck...He cleans up the house, takes her for a walk and a bonding starts...It brings back feelings they had but never acted on from the past... but without either discussing it. 

The interesting part of all of this is the will...Gus left the food truck to both of them, 50/50 for one year. After that they can sell or do whatever...At first Liam wants to just give his half to Carmen... as he doesn't believe he should have it but she will not allow it. He thinks this over; makes the jump and takes it on, leaving his chef position.

The relationship of Liam and Carmen grows as they work towards this common goal and sparks are not just flying of the grill....No, there is real Heat there and Liam is just as surprised as she is... we get to watch and experience all the banter... the push pull of strong minded people and how they come together... it is spicy/sweet and I am all for it.

There are a couple of things in this story which made it interesting beyond the romance element... Food is a way we experience so much... it can be a labor of love and family... it is tied to us as we need to eat to live... but when it becomes an enemy to our bodies and self image... it can become a never ending battle. Carmen has these issues from childhood and unfortunately it robbed her of experiences it shouldn't. This was handled so well... I appreciated the arc of this concern and those of us who may have a love/hate relationship with food and weight will too.

The other issue addressed was figuring out what we want out of important it is to not lose sight of yourself while assisting others... to not hide away and forge through tough times... to make time to experience all what life has to offer... and it doesn't have to be big trips or journeys... it can be in moments... but to recognize and be present.

Now this is part of a series... and I came to it there were references of couples and family... and long established ways...and I was fine with it. In fact, so fine, I will probably go back and start the series. You have an established Irish family with a pub, many brothers and sisters... and a Mother who runs the show... so it came into play in this book with some possible conflict and affection. 

I thoroughly enjoyed the read and if you have any interest in food, food trucks and hunky hot chefs... then I think this is a great pick off the menu.

A gifted copy was provided by author/publisher for an honest review.

Author Info

Shannyn Schroeder is the author of the O’Leary series, contemporary romances centered around a large Irish-American family in Chicago and the new Hot & Nerdy series about 3 nerdy friends and their last spring break. When she’s not wrangling her three kids or writing, she watches a ton of TV and loves to bake cookies.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads 


(DVD of the movie CHEF, $10.00 Amazon or B&N Gift Card or Keeper Kase with O’Leary’s Cards)


Scooping up another bite of polenta, she turned her fork over, and keeping her eyes locked on his, she swirled her tongue over the fork. He swallowed hard and leaned closer. Screw dinner. If she wasn’t hungry, he could think of more interesting things to do with her tongue.
He reached out and cupped the back of her neck, pulling her closer. Even with the corner of the table between them, his mouth met hers. He tasted the truffles and her wine. His jeans became tighter as his dick hardened, but he would be happy to continue feasting on her mouth.
Her fork clanged against the dish between them, startling them both. Carmen jerked back. She breathed heavily and he watched the swell of her breasts rise and fall. Her pulse fluttered against his palm.
She pulled away from him and stood. “We should clean up the dishes.”
He jumped up and grabbed her again. Her ass leaned on the edge of the table as he pressed his body to hers. He wanted to push her back onto the table and strip her, but he knew she wouldn’t go for it. Liam trailed openmouthed kisses down her neck. Her breath hitched.
He shifted again so his thigh pressed between her legs. She gasped with a high little squeak, and then gripped his shoulders as she began to wiggle her hips. In his head he pictured her dancing through her bedroom, hips shaking in rhythm, and how much he’d wanted to be up against her. Feeling her writhe beneath him quickly became a top priority.
Dragging his mouth away from her skin, he cleared his head. When he spoke, his voice was gravelly with need. “Do you want to stop?”
Her eyes fluttered open. “Huh?”
His dick throbbed against his zipper, making coherent thought more difficult. “Carmen.” He waited until she focused on him. “Do you want to stop?”
“No,” she answered quickly. She leaned forward and kissed him again.
He grabbed her hand and pulled her through the apartment to his bedroom, flipping on lights as they went. In his room, he kicked a pile of dirty clothes out of the way so she wouldn’t trip. In his head, he heard his mother scolding him for being a slob. But then he turned to Carmen and pulled her back into his arms and all thought fled.
Liam began unbuttoning her shirt, kissing his way down, when Carmen’s hands stopped his. He looked at her in question.
“Before we go any further…I…” She closed her eyes. When she reopened them, she looked scared.
Crap. That was never a good look in the bedroom. “What?”
“I don’t really know what I’m doing.”
Whoa. “Are you a virgin?” He scanned his memory for any mention Gus had ever made about her having a serious boyfriend and he came up empty. Was it possible that she’d made it to her late twenties without sex?
“No, but I don’t have much experience. I just…don’t want you to expect, I don’t know.” She collapsed on the bed and flopped back, throwing her arm over her face.
For as sexy as she’d been all night, he looked at her now and saw that she was pretty damn cute. She had performance anxiety.
Liam crawled over the top of her until his thigh was nestled between hers. He stayed propped on an elbow and with his other hand shoved her arm aside. He traced a finger down her cheek. “Do you want to do this?”
She nodded.
Thank God. “Then don’t worry about it. Just do what feels right.” His hand trailed a path down her neck, over her shoulder, and then down the side of her body. She trembled beneath him and he wanted so much more. “If I do something you don’t like, say so and I’ll stop. And if there’s something you like that I’m not doing, tell me.” Not that he could imagine not doing everything to her.
She cringed. “That’s just it. I don’t even know what I like.”
“Then we’ll figure it out together.”


  1. Thanks so much for hosting. I'm glad you enjoyed the book

  2. Thank you for hosting today! GREAT Thoughts on the wonderful release! I too have to start from book one I enjoyed this one so much!