Into the Fire (A Hot Nights Series Book) (Entangled Indulgence) - Amanda Usen So I have this problem

I kinda sorta get irritated by the 'small misunderstanding and no communication leading to one big mess scenario' in books

I might irritate me only slightly

Really no big deal, it's just I read it, and think

If I'm being honest, I began to get frustrated around the 10% mark. I almost DNF'd it 5 times. But being the masochist that I am, I drudged on, waiting and hoping that the next chapter brings with it one redeeming quality.

Jack and Lila are about to enter a culinary compeition at the Academy. Jack is rich and heir to a restaurant empire, but he is constantly trying to prove himself to his father, and hopes the competition will be his big advantage. Lila is drowning in school loans, and desperately needs the prize money from the competition to help put at least a minor dent in her debt.

So the night of their graduation party, one thing leads to another, and they sleep together. Lila has always had a crush on the sinfully sexy chef, so of course it doesn't take much from Jack to seduce her.

In the post-coital glow, they each share their planned recipes for the competition that is to take place the next day. When Lila hears Jack's recipe,she loses faith in her own recipe idea. She then runs out on him in the middle of the night, and decides to have a last minute change to her plans in order to one-up Jack.
(Lila's insecurity and doubts is a common theme here)

Now Jack is suffering from an insecurity of his own. He is constantly doubting his skill as a chef. When he hears what Lila plans to make, he thinks his own dish will pale in comparison. So he goes to the competition fully resigning himself to his inevitable loss.

Now here's where the fun part starts...

When he sees that Lila had a last minute change, he assumes that she lied to him the night before, to throw him off. So to spite her, he steals her originally planned recipe. Lila's last minute change doesn't pan out, of course, so she loses the competition, and holds the mother of all grudges for Jack for stealing her idea.

Now let's pause here, shall we? If Jack and Lila used the same recipe at the competition, they'd be disqualified. Lila changes her plan to a completely different dish. But yet she HATES Jack with a passion because he stole her idea, and she lost.

Right then...moving on

Now in the middle of opening his own restaurant, Jack is in dire need to tweak his menu. He knows of only one person that fits the bill...Lila! (duh!)

Lila drove me out of my ever loving mind in this book. She had hundreds of opportunities to talk to Jack, I mean the man brought it up often enough. But, nope, she doesn't want to come off as weak. Jack makes assumptions of his own...and this just makes for one big ol mess.

Basically, we have

Followed by Jack's idea

Then some stuff happens
(insert opportunity for conversation here for the misunderstanding to be finally resolved)

Followed by Jack's idea

Then some more stuff happens

(insert plenty more opportunities for conversation here)

Followed by Jack's idea

This goes on and on and on and on

I should have been somewhat invested in their relationship right? But NOPE!

I would expect this sort of set up in a YA or a NA novel. But this is contemporary. Their inability to communicate continues until the very last page. I almost felt like I was reading a YA novel at times, based on their conversations.
"You need to talk to your dad, Jack. Talk, not yell."
"If you like him so much, you talk to him."

There was a resounding theme in this book. Lila doubts everything, and her response to a situation she doesn't know how to deal with is to just run away from it. Jack's idea? Use sex.

My problem with the book was with the plot and only with the plot. The writing was good, and I'd gldly read another book from this author in the future. Unfortunately this type of scenario is my ultimate hot button, and it drove me crazy.

The book ends with a perfectly cheesy HEA and they resolve all their issues, but...

*ARC courtesy of Entangled Publishing via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

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