|Jill Shalvis’s Room Service is the latest in the Harlequin Blaze Do Not Disturb series. If the other books in the series are anything like this one, I’m going to make sure I have them all. I read Room Service in one sitting and was ready for a second helping.
Television producer Em Harris has a problem — her first three shows have flopped due to no fault of her own. She convinces the network to give her one more chance. This time, she’ll put together a cooking show. All she needs to do is convince chef Jacob Hill to be the star of the program. She flies to New York, determined to sign him up.
Em meets Jacob before she ever steps into the hotel kitchen where he works. She enters an elevator and finds herself being kissed by a gorgeous man who wants to deflect the avid pursuit of two other women. When one of the women calls him “chef,” Em realizes the man she kissed was Jacob Hill.
I’ve read several of Shalvis’s books and have enjoyed many of her heroes. Jacob is compelling, but Room Service also introduces a terrific heroine in Em. She finds herself highly attracted to Jacob, and once she becomes involved with him, she devotes herself wholeheartedly to the relationship. Em is far from predictable — in one memorable scene Jacob shows her some of his favorite places in New York, and instead of being disappointed as he anticipated, she gets into the spirit of the journey.
But the best part of the story is its emotional depth. This book includes one of the most memorable love scenes I’ve read, one that begins with an erotic massage.
He wasn’t kidding before. He knew exactly how good he was with his hands, and before much longer, he expected her to cave, and he expected her to beg.
Her soft, helpless moan swiped the smile right off his face, jerking him out of his smug complacency. She was right on schedule and yet he hadn’t expected the sound to reach him.
Nor had he expected that having his hands beneath her skirt, out of view and yet on her bare skin, would seem like the most erotic thing he’d ever seen.
Much of the power of this scene is in moments like this one, where the effect on Jacob is clear.
Room Service also includes two secondary romances, which is a lot to pack into 250 pages. But Shalvis manages all three nicely, and the other subplots never overwhelm the main story.
The end of the book could have been a little stronger. It would have been nice to see Jacob’s change of heart from his perspective. But overall, Room Service offers not just an enjoyable few hours, but also a delightful romance.