01 October 2013

Stir Me Up by Sabrina Elkins

Stir Me Up by Sabrina Elkins.
Audience/Genre: New Adult.
Publication: October 1st 2013 by HarlequinTEEN (first published January 1st 2013)
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….

Reviewed by Kelly.

Stir Me Up is an easy to read story of one girl growing up in her father’s shadow. He is a French Chef in his own restaurant. He was a single parent to this girl, Cami, ever since her mother walked out on them. So she pretty much grew up in the kitchen. Her father is a very intense chef and everything has to be perfect. But he does love his daughter and truly wants the best for her. Cami wants to be a chef but her father wants her to go to college and have other options open to her.

Cami has a boyfriend, Luke, who also works in the restaurant. She is still a virgin and Luke is somewhat patient with her. There really wasn’t any chemistry there and eventually when Julian comes in the picture, Cami realizes that!

Julian is the nephew to Estella, Cami’s stepmother. But Estelle raised him ever since her mother died of breast cancer and his father had already passed away in the service of his country.

Julian comes into Cami’s life when he is wounded in Afghanistan and is brought stateside for recovery. He has lost part of one leg and broke the other. When Cami first sees him in the hospital, she is taken back as to how beat up he is. He was really the only one who survived the two blasts. He takes that hard and doesn’t give himself a break. He tried to save 2 others but the second blast was the one that hurt him and killed the others.
Needless to say, he has PTSD. He yells and pushes everyone away. Julian comes to live with them and takes over Cami’s downstairs bedroom. But little by little, Cami gets under his skin and he gets under hers and they realize there is an attraction and chemistry there. Cami doesn’t take anything from him. I love this part of the book:

When the muffins are ready, I take two of them, whip up two lattes and bring them into his room. “I brought breakfast for you two.” Julian’s across the room in his wheelchair, in sweats shorts and a plain 78 stir me up undershirt. He sees me and pulls the hand-knitted quilt from the hospital over his legs. “Oh how sweet of you,” Estella says, glancing at the tray. She’s right next to me. “Thanks, honey.”
“Sure. I wasn’t sure how you take your coffee, Julian” I look around, trying to figure out where to put everything. The dresser is a distance away, the bed is unsteady, and the night table is crowded with stuff. I wind up placing it all carefully on the bed. “I’m not an invalid,” he says. “I don’t need crap brought to me on a &%*#---“
A muffin hits him upside the face. “Cami!” Estella chides.

If you go to the end of the book, you get the recipe for that muffin!

Cami has a best friend, Taryn who picks up on the two’s chemistry before Cami does. She tells Cami to go for it. But Julian runs hot and cold with Cami. Cami just tries to be herself. Julian is really sweet and thoughtful underneath all the rough exterior. He is definitely swoon worthy, but aren’t all military men?!? Julian slowly recovers and gradually learns to walk on his own. When Cami’s father finds out about the two of them; the French man doesn’t take it well!! But what father would take it well; they want only the best for their daughters! And no one fits that category to any father.

Contains mature content and some sexual situations. If you like Katie McGarry then you will like this book!

In the end, both Cami and Julian have to decide what they are going to do with their lives. That is the real meat and potatoes of the book. And I like what happens with that!

4.5 stars

SABRINA ELKINS, author of STIR ME UP, has also worked as a journalist, movie copywriter and prep cook. She grew up in Vermont, graduated from USC, and now lives in Southern California with her husband and three kids.

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