In small-town Cadillac, Texas, Carlene Lovelle and her cousins' fancy panty business, Bless My Bloomers, is booming. But irony strikes when Carlene discovers another woman's silk bikini underwear in her husband's briefcase. Lenny Joe hasn't just crossed the line, he's left it in his dust, so Carlene's taking her revenge to the kitchen.
For ten years, Lenny Joe's team has dominated Cadillac's Red-Hot Chili Cook-Off. But with Carlene's Bless My Bloomers team now in the ring, it's anyone's game—and when there's pride and food involved, things are bound to get messy.
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Kathryn - 3.5 Star
This is the first Carolyn Brown novel I’ve ever read- I understand that she writes a couple of different genres so I wasn’t really sure what to expect out of The Red-Hot Chili Cook-Off except that perhaps it had something to do with chili!
I actually really enjoyed the plot lines and action of the book- I found the characters funny and expressive and for the most part appreciated the pace of the novel. For me the drawback was that there were a lot of different characters to try and keep track of. The town included a plethora of gossiping and sometimes interfering women so those ladies (although very amusing) almost became one voice for me.
The three cousins were well established character-wise but each of them had parents that I kept mixing up and they all moved house a lot too which didn’t help matters. I was really interested in the running of Bless My Bloomers though, a great idea for a shop, a great name and a generally fabulous idea. It gave the cousins a spirit that would have been lacking if they didn’t have this solid business to structure themselves with. Although I liked each of them for different reasons I most related to Patrice for her sense of adventure and to Carlene for her gutsiness. Alma Grace made me crazy but there’s always got to be one of those and all three of them made me laugh at one point or another.
My feelings about this novel are mixed- on the whole I enjoyed the story and solidly give it a good rating but I wish I’d spent less time trying to sort out who was who, I should have just rolled with it earlier on I think!
Thank you to Sourcebooks for our review copy. All opinions are our own.
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