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REVIEW: Hungry for More by Diana Holquist

Dear Ms. Holquist:

book review I almost didn’t write this review because it was such a struggle for me to pinpoint why I didn’t respond well to it given that I liked The Sexiest Man Alive so much. Ultimately, I think I failed to connect to the hero and heroine in a "it’s not you, it’s me" manner.

Amy Burns is a psychic who went on to Oprah to reveal Oprah’s one true love. Unfortunately, Amy and her psychic voice Maddie have had some communication problems of late and just when Amy needs her (in front a live Oprah audience), Maddie decides to stop talking to Amy altogether. Amy’s goal, notwithstanding her humiliation in front of Oprah, is to find Maddie.

Amy tracks Maddie to a gypsy named Roni to a restaurant in Philly called Les Fleurs. There she finds the hot chef/owner James LaChance but no Roni. Amy expends a huge amount of effort to find Roni which is extraordinary in that Amy’s only other huge expenditure of effort in the past is related to doing nothing, being a ne’er do well.

James LaChance’s claim to fame, other than his cooking prowess, is his bedroom prowess. He’s well known for his virility and the fact that his overpriced dishes are all inspired by women. All the dishes are named Denise, Josie, Trudy, Amanda, etc.

Throughout the story Amy has imaginary interviews with Oprah and James has imaginary sex with Amy. They spar and look at each other hungrily. All this is observed by a young Rom boy who works for James and dreams of being the next Top Chef (actually really just dreams of being a rich and famous chef like James).

From my many hours watching Top Chef and my own wait staff experiences, the restaurant parts are full of authenticity. Amy’s character growth from being an irresponsible and immature girl to a woman is appealing and James’ exudes a lot of macho sex appeal. James’s restaurant and James’ as a chef are my favorite parts of the book. I loved the waitstaff and the foul mouthed sous chefs. I loved James’ idea that the restaurant was a team and everyone had everyone else’s back even if he arbitrarily decides what mistakes get you kicked off (showing up late) and what keep you on (being hot like Amy). (That’s really not what I see when I watch Kitchen Nightmares but that would probably explain why those restaurants are going out of business and why James is close to getting his third star).

Food + sex = greatness in most equations so why did this story take me a week to read? I had a hard time with Amy as the con. I wasn’t sure if she ran cons because she liked the thrill; because it was the only way to make a living and she did so reluctantly. It seemed like the morality of the story was that the cons were run on bad people so the con was essentially good. But Amy runs cons on everyone from fifteen year old Tony to thirty something James. It’s not that Amy doesn’t grow. She totally does. By the end of the book, she’s changed. But I really wanted to know the “why” of the con so that I could believe in the fact that she could give it up. Further, I never really bought any depth of relationship between James and Amy. After four days of Amy working in James’ restaurant, he declares her his biggest weakness. Really James? That kind of shows that you’ve got the depth of a saute pan. Maybe women are your greatness weakness but Amy, a chick you’ve known all of four days?

I keep thinking as I review this book that I should have liked it. And maybe it was PMS. Bad time of the month, season, year, and that had I tried some other time, I would have appreciated it. Alas, I’ll blame this lackluster response on Gisele. Of course, I’m still up for the next book and I suspect I might re-read this one in a few months and see if I have a different response. In essence, this review is a plea for someone else to read the book and tell me that I am all wet. Or right. B-

Best regards

Jane

This book can be purchased in mass market from Amazon or Powells or ebook format.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

8 Comments

  1. Jessica
    Sep 23, 2008 @ 21:31:03

    I bought this on Sunday (on a whim), finished it this morning, and mailed it out via paperbackswap.com this afternoon. This just didn’t do it for me. I didn’t give a lick about Amy or her con, or her voice, or her fascination with Oprah.

    I bought it because I love food and restaurants and behind the scenes glimpses at stuff. I got that, but the romance left me flat and HEA ho hum

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  2. Jane
    Sep 24, 2008 @ 09:00:45

    Ah, so I am not the only one. Jessica, I felt like something was wrong with me that I didn’t like the book. It seemed like it had all the ingredients (har har) for a book that I would like. The Oprah thing didn’t really bother me, although it was a tad overplayed, particularly in the epilogue, but I think the con bothered me the most.

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  3. Leeann Burke
    Sep 24, 2008 @ 10:47:53

    I also picked up my copy this weekend. I loved the other books in the series and look forward to reading this one. I’m keeping it as reward for when my edits are complete.

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  4. Barbara B.
    Sep 24, 2008 @ 11:55:04

    Thanks for the review, Jane.

    This book sounds ridiculous. Is it a romantic comedy?

    ReplyReply

  5. Jane
    Sep 24, 2008 @ 12:46:34

    I think it is supposed to be funny, as in humorous but not slap sticky. I’ve enjoyed Holquist before and I really like her “voice” but this one didn’t work for me.

    ReplyReply

  6. Grace
    Sep 24, 2008 @ 15:11:42

    To me, “Hungry for More” was a satisfying conclusion to the “One True Love” series. Having had glimpses into Amy in the first two books, I was very curious to hear her story and see what the author had in mind for her. I found the heroine’s behavior to be very much in line with the Amy I had come to know, and watching her evolve throughout the book was a treat . But really, what girl would stand a chance at resisting James? Ms. Holquist always delivers a sigh-worthy hero, and this one was no exception.

    I found the author’s use of humor witty and fresh. All three of her books are romantic comedies, but each one had its own unique expression of humor. Hearing voices and having imaginary conversations with Oprah? That is so Amy. I have to say I found this aspect of the story quite amusing.

    This reader is looking forward to what this author has in store for us next. I can only hope it is another series.

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  7. Rachel C
    Sep 25, 2008 @ 06:57:41

    Okay, I see where you’re coming from with Amy, she is a woman you love to hate, but I think you missed the subtle hints as to why she’s the way she is. Take a close look at what Maddie has done to her life and you can see why Any has taken the road she has. She continuously moves on before getting attached. Having to hang round and wait for Roni can only lead to confusion for Amy. She’s growing attached where she never has before. And if you take a closer look at James he’s essentially the same.
    I haven’t read the first two but have them and plan to get to them soon, but I think you might have done this book a disservice by reviewing it in the frame of mind you seem to be in. If you do pick the book up again, as you suggest, you might want to revisit it here to let us know what you thought when you’re feeling more yourself.
    As a whole I found the book engaging, funny and definitely sexy. The heat was not just in the kitchen and I felt completely satisfied with the ending, neither James or Amy would have wanted a big HEA fanfare. The whole loving and being loved thing is new to them and their stepping into their future with caution and enthusiasm.

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  8. Jessica
    Oct 13, 2008 @ 13:42:52

    I am reading Sexiest Man Alive right now and it’s, by far, a better book. The glimpses of Amy are more interesting than a book about Amy herself. I do like Jasmine in this earlier book and find the hero more interesting and multi-dimensional. I wont write the author off and will just chalk this last book up to series fatigue.

    ReplyReply

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