What they say: Cami Broussard has her future all figured out. She'll finish her senior year of high school, then go to work full-time as an apprentice chef in her father's French restaurant, alongside her boyfriend, Luke. But then twenty-year-old ex-Marine Julian Wyatt comes to live with Cami's family while recovering from serious injuries. And suddenly Cami finds herself questioning everything she thought she wanted.
Julian's all attitude, challenges and intense green-brown eyes. But beneath that abrasive exterior is a man who just might be as lost as Cami's starting to feel. And Cami can't stop thinking about him. Talking to him. Wanting to kiss him. He's got her seriously stirred up. Her senior year has just gotten a lot more complicated...
- Stir Me Up by Sabrina Elkins was published by HarlequinTEEN in October 2013 (US) and December 2013 (UK).
What I say: I have been (impatiently) waiting for Stir Me Up to be released in the UK and it was definitely worth the wait. Sabrina Elkins has written a story which is endearing, sweet, sexy and extremely poignant.
17-year-old wanna-be chef Cami has her home life invaded by her Stepmother's nephew and wounded war vet Julian. Because of Cami and her French Chef father's love of food Stir Me Up is very food oriented with lots of receipes and food themed convos.
Cami is in that awkward phase in her life where she's nearly finished school and is planning what to do next. Her father wants her to go to Uni, whilst Cami wants to train as a professional chef. She has a boyfriend who (at least to me) she doesn't really seem that into and seems generally stick in a rut.
When Julian first arrives he's extremely grumpy and rude. Cami finds it difficult to handle his pretty horrific injuries and Julian is depressed and fed up. Julian has gone from a popular, handsome soldier to an ex-marine who is badly wounded and shocked. A lot of the story focuses on the banter and arguing between Cami and Julian as they both try to come to terms with the changes in their lives.
I cried on several occasions whilst reading Stir Me Up because Sabrina Elkins has created a really heartwarming and heartbreaking story. The relationship between Cami and Julian is a slow burn and is really realistic. I wasn't always sure of what role Cami's boyfriend served other than to make Julian jealous, because he wasn't really a bad guy but he obviously wasn't the hero or anti-hero of the story.
I loved the recipes included at the end of the book and enjoyed all the food scenes. I love baking so it was good to see Cami having mishaps.
I really liked the ending (don't worry I won't spoil it) and found it totally believable and fitting to both the characters and story.
4 Stars in my Sky!
My fav non-spoilery quotes:
- "Come on. If you could do anything in the world, what would it be?" "Kill your prom date."
- "Why, are you offering to swap some with me? Because I've got something right here you can spit on if that guy from last night wasn't enough for you."
- "This is why big parties are no good." "They're good. Chaos is good." "Good? There are people humping in the closet. Before cake." "Oh no," Julian teases. "Not before cake!"