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Once Burned (Close to the Heat, #1)
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Once Burned

(Close to the Heat #1)

3.4  ·  Rating details ·  50 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
Temptation never tasted so good.
Close to the Heat, Book 1

With a chance to win a cooking competition that will advance her career, the last thing food truck chef Pepper Joseph needs is a distraction. Except she’s got a heaping helping of it in the form of fellow chef Darien Priest, the man who broke her heart.

It’s been years, and she tells herself she’s over his betrayal, b

ebook, 97 pages
Published November 13th 2012 by Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
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Rating details
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Apr 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
4,25 stars

I loved this book! Cooking competition show AND romance, be still my heart. I've read a few Dee Carney books and I have to say this was the best one yet for me!

I love her characters and Pepper and Darien are definite favorites. With Darien it was like Dee Carney peeked into my brain and plucked out what I consider a dream hero: a hot, tattooed, bald-headed chef who knows how and when to grovel.

Don't want to neglect mentioning Jen and Sol. Loved them as secondary characters and sideki
Penny Watson
Nov 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Sexy quick read. The food descriptions are fabulous, the sexual tension between the H/h is hot. This is my first IR romance, and I thought it was very well done...touched on racial issues that affected their past relationship, but had an excellent and very sexy resolution to the conflict. After all that build-up with the sexual tension, I wish there had been more hot lovin. :^) And I LOVE books with recipes at the end.

Grade: B+

Feb 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013, for-review, romance
You all know how much I love culinary romances, so as soon as I glimpsed the cover of Once Burned I knew I had to learn more about it, because it sure looked like one very hot and delicious story, and now, having read it I can confirm that the cover perfectly conveys the tone and heat level of the story!

Once Burned is centered around a cooking competition for food truck chefs to win the “honour as the city’s top truck chef”, there are several rounds, in each one of them the judges up the ante by
Nov 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: betrayal, tattoos
Pepper Joseph fell in love once and was burned badly, she promised herself to never again trust fellow chef Darien Priest whose very presence puts her on edge. Now playing against each other in a cooking competition, Darien is trying to conjure up a way to apologize for his past behavior and get another chance at being with the only woman he has ever loved.

Full review on Sensual Reads
★Codie Abibliophobic ★

3 1/2 stars

Jun 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Review originally posted here:

One day on Twitter I was talking about my desire for a “Kitchen Nightmares” like romance book, and Carney and I got to talking about her foodie series. When she asked if I was willing to review the first book, I jumped at the chance. Afterall, who doesn’t love a good foodie romance?

This book was short, almost too short. I loved the setup, and think the blurb does a great job of laying out the general plot line. However, I wou
Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews
Shey's review posted on Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews

3.75 Stars

The 1st installment in Dee Carney’s Close to the Heat series ONCE BURNED is a short and quick read. It gave enough background to understand what had happened to Darien and Pepper and why they are at such odds with each other even though they try to deny their feelings.

Ten years ago Darien Priest was a young and stupid kid that broken his best friend Pepper’s heart. He loved her even then but living in the South he succumbed to the pr
Nov 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is one of those rare contemporary romance books that I devoured. I loved that Pepper knew what she wanted, wasn't whining, was older, still single, and normal!! She owns her own business, a food truck that sells gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches. Her business is doing great, and she's entered a competition to win 10,000 that will help her out a lot if she wins-which she is determined to do. There's just one hitch: Damien Priest. He's the one guy she can't stand but at the same time has neve ...more
Nov 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: earc, kindle
This is my first book by Dee Carney. I have always wanted to read her but it just never happened until now. This is a short read that you can finish in one evening. Perfect size for those of you who don't want to still be reading at 1AM not that i have anything against that or don't do it myself now and then. lol Darien and Pepper have a history together from back in high school. Darien let peer pressure keep him from having a relationship with Pepper back then. He knew it was wrong and has regr ...more
Judy & Marianne from Long and Short Reviews
Originally posted at:

Darien Priest was the competition. He continuously set up his food truck right near Pepper’s and they were competing against each other in a race for a big cash prize – ten thousand dollars worth of it. Having already been burned by the sexy man in the past, Pepper is determined not to place her heart – or trust – in him again. Despite their rocky, complicated past, she’d struck an uneasy, if fiercely contested, truce and beginnings o
Rebekah Weatherspoon
*Perfect if you like the Food Network. And sex.*

grrr i hate novellas. why? because when i like them i always want them to be longer, gosh darnit! i really liked this story. the only thing that kept me from giving it a full 5 stars was a short "this could be solved with communication" moment. but it is short, i swear.

Pepper and Priest are teenage friends who couldn't make the step to lovers because Priest is a dummy when it comes to the people around him. Years later, still friends and now rival
I'm not usually bothered by mental lusting, but there was just way too much of that going on. There wasn't a single scene that didn't have the characters mentally fucking each other, even when it made no sense. I was really interested in reading about two competitors falling for each other, and that wasn't what I got.

I liked the author's voice a lot, so I'll be checking out her work, but this one just wasn't for me.
Dec 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
I enjoy foodie romance, and as I'm familiar with Carney's work I had to read this one. It is on the short side but a fun, fast-paced story. The romantic urgency between Pepper and Priest is palpable and yet, while not explicit, rather hot. I like that there's a follow up story, looking forward to it.
Sep 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2013
I loved this book. The two chefs were both strong, attractive characters. Very sexy, natch. The descriptions of the food made me drool. And the love story was sweet & sexy. My only complaint: it was too short. I wanted more time with Darien and Pepper, more sweet and sexy scenes.

Bought from kobo.
Nov 19, 2012 rated it liked it
2.5 stars

The sex in a "dank" stairwell made me want to hose them down with Lysol and I hate how you never get a really clear explanation of what Priest did to Pepper when they were in school. Other than that, it was fine.
This would have probably got 3 stars but didn't like circumstances of the love scene in this book.
Nov 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Very good story. Believable. I would recommend....
Feb 18, 2013 rated it it was ok
I liked the characters, but the sharp ending threw me.
Carole Shelby
DNF!!!!! I didn't like it at all. Not my type of romance I sppose.
Danyell Wallace
rated it really liked it
Dec 16, 2012
rated it liked it
Apr 05, 2014
rated it it was ok
Dec 18, 2012
rated it liked it
Feb 19, 2013
rated it it was ok
Jan 17, 2013
rated it it was amazing
Aug 16, 2012
rated it liked it
Feb 07, 2013
rated it liked it
Jan 18, 2014
Jenny Tran
rated it really liked it
Jun 22, 2015
Gigi staub
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Dec 19, 2012
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Dee is a best-selling, award winning author of erotic romances in the urban fantasy, paranormal and contemporary genres. She also writes erotica under the pen name, Morgan Sierra.

Dee began writing short stories in middle school, but did not attempt completion of a novel until almost ten years later—which despite good intentions was never finished. Almost ten additional years later, she challenged

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