Title: The Red-Hot Chili Cook-Off by Carolyn Brown
Cadillac, Texas Series Book Two
Imprint: Sourcebooks Landmark
Genre: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction, Romance
Length: 320 pages
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
More Than the Chili’s Heating Up Cadillac, Texas
Carlene Lovelle, co-owner of Bless My Bloomers lingerie shop, found a pair of fancy red-silk panties in her husband’s briefcase, and all hell is breaking loose. She custom-made those fancy bloomers herself—and she remembers the bimbo who bought them. If her husband had a lick of sense, he’d known there are no secrets in a town like Cadillac.
Carlene’s cohorts—and their mamas—plan to exact revenge on Lenny Joe where it’ll hurt the most: break his ten-year winning streak at the prestigious Red-Hot Chili Cook-Off. Never before has a woman dared to compete. But the ladies of Bless My Bloomers are cooking up a storm…and it seems the whole town is taking sides in the showdown.
Welcome to Cadillac, Texas, where the chili is hot, the gossip is hotter, and friends stick by each other, no matter what the challenge.
Carolyn Brown’s The Red-Hot Chili Cook-Off is another delightful fun-filled adventure in her Cadillac, Texas series. In this outing, a pair of red panties sets the small town on its ear when Carlene Lovelle, her cousins and their mamas decide to exact their revenge on Carlene’s cheating soon-to-ex husband by claiming this year’s Red-Hot Chili Cook-Off trophy. Hilarity ensues, rumors are flying and sides are chosen, but through it all, family and friends provide Carlene with plenty of support as she picks up the pieces of her life.
Alma Grace and Patrice know something is wrong when they arrive at work before their cousin Carlene. Both are flabbergasted at Carlene’s news that her husband Lenny has been cheating on her for months and she is planning to divorce him. Patrice is staunchly loyal and offers encouragement but both are stunned (and annoyed) when Alma Grace tries to convince Carlene to give Lenny the benefit of the doubt and save her marriage. Of course the girls’ mamas, Gigi, Tansy and Sugar are on hand to lend moral support, but things really heat up when Carlene’s horrid mother-in-law stirs up trouble with Carlene’s Aunt Sugar. The women are soon immersed in their quest for the perfect chili recipe but there is plenty of time for romances to unexpectedly bloom for two of the cousins.
Alma Grace, Patrice and Carlene are as close as sisters but the three women are completely different from one another. Alma Grace is deeply religious and super involved in church activities. Using scripture to prove her point, she prays for Carlene to forgive Lenny and honor her wedding vows. Patrice is a fun-loving party girl who lives her life exactly like she wants and could care less about what people think of her. Carlene’s struggles with her body image are resurrected when she discovers Lenny’s infidelities and she is the most affected by the strife with her cousins.
The town is scandalized by the upcoming divorce and the rumor mill is working overtime with all of the shenanigans going on. Gossip spreads faster than wildfire and longtime feuds heat up as everyone takes sides in the upcoming chili cook off battle. Cheating husband Lenny’s fall from grace is long overdue and the final revenge for his misdeeds comes from a surprising source.
The Red-Hot Chili Cook-Off is a lively and zany addition to the Cadillac, Texas series. The characters are vibrant and engaging, the story is endearingly off beat and full of down home folksy charm. A wonderfully heartwarming and highly entertaining novel that old and new fans of Carolyn Brown are going to love.
Although The Red-Hot Chili Cook-Off is the second novel in the Cadillac, Texas series, it can be read as a standalone story. Read my review of the first installment HERE.