Monday, July 9, 2012

GUEST LAUNCH PARTY + GIVEAWAY: Luscious by Amanda Usen

Please welcome fellow Sourcebooks Casablanca Author AMANDA USEN back to the blog! This time we're celebrating the release of her second "foodie" romance, Luscious

I am over-the-moon thrilled to announce the release of Luscious, my second culinary romance! The kitchen adventures continue as a newly divorced Olivia takes off for Italy with her high school not-quite sweetheart hot on her trail. Sean rejected her indecent proposal a few months ago when she was married, but now that she’s free, he’s determined to take her up on her offer. Wherever. Whenever. Italy would be perfect. Sean is determined to do whatever it takes to convince her to return to Norton with him…anything except break her heart.

Anybody who has read my debut, Scrumptious, knows I love heartbreakers, I truly do. Give me a hero or heroine who is hard to catch and even harder to keep, and I’ll read for hours. But in Luscious, Olivia doesn’t want a heartbreaker. She just got rid of a fast-talking, smooth operator who left her life and her restaurant in shambles. The last thing she needs is a bad boy…but what about a truly good guy? A man who wants to empower her and prove things can be different with him? A guy who isn’t afraid to try new things, whether it’s an unfamiliar Veronese dish or a blindfold made from a drapery tie? Now that man is as hard to resist as the Valpolicella that flows freely in her parents’ Italian villa.

I always joke that my husband is my sheep in wolf’s clothing. He looked like a bad boy. He acted like a bad boy. But after I married him, I discovered he’s really one of the good guys. He cooks dinner, does laundry, entertains the children and delights in finding ways to make his family happy. Reader, I’m glad I married him, even though I didn’t know what I was doing. But that’s real life, and we’re talking about fiction. What went in to creating Sean, the elusive good guy hero, hard to find and highly prized? It all started with a black and white picture of Matt Damon during the Bourne era. He looks cautious. Smart. Full of hidden strength. The look on his face says he’s politely waiting for you to make the first move, but then he’s going to pounce. He’s not perfect, but he’s perfect for Olivia. If you had asked me a year ago if I thought it was possible to create a good guy hero, I might have scoffed and said, “Heck no, good guys never get the girl.” But Sean and Olivia taught me differently.

I love bad boys and probably always will. Bad boys hit the spot, but a good guy is a rare treat too. I know Olivia doesn’t have any complaints. ;-)

Here’s a little taste of Sean:

“He turned her gently in his arms and pulled her body into his. They fit together. Pressed against him, she felt soft and womanly, desired. His hands coasted slowly over her hips, up her back, to her shoulders, and down again, molding her body firmly to his. Her head fell forward to rest on his shoulder, her lips a fraction away from his neck. He smelled of clean skin and sharp af­tershave. Her awareness of him grew with every breath. This was Sean, she reminded herself—solid, depend­able, thoughtful Sean.

She raised her head. The rising moon lit his blond hair and she reached up to brush her palm across his head. She half expected the glow to rub off on her hand. She touched his cheek, watching him watch her. There would be no faking it with Sean. He was too observant. He’d guess, or he’d know.

Was that what she wanted? She moved restlessly against him. He moved with her, making her gasp. If he kisses me, I’ll say yes.

His eyes flashed, as if he had read her mind, and his lips descended.”

For the chance to win one of two copies of Luscious and see why Sean is such a catch, comment below and tell me about your favorite good guy or bad boy hero.

Thanks to Amanda for joining us today! To enter her giveaway, please comment and leave an email address where we can reach you. Winners will be chosen on Tuesday! 


Eat, play, love…
Plain old ice cream just isn't going to cut it. To beat these blues, chef Olivia Marconi needs the good stuff: rich, creamy tiramisu gelato. And no place better to get it than Italy. But a fresh start is nearly impossible with Sean Kindred dogging her every move. She's been burned by his too-hot-to-handle antics before. Though there's no denying the man can still get her all fired up. Could a weeklong affair finally turn into something more lasting...or will it all go up in flames?

Praise for Scrumptious:

“Usen’s debut rules the kitchen with lip-smacking prose and rowdy protagonists who put Iron Chef to shame.” —Publishers Weekly

“A sexy, heartfelt, laugh-out-loud culinary romance.” —Louisa Edwards, author of Hot Under Pressure

“Readers can practically taste, see, and feel every word.” —RT Book Reviews

“The perfect dish for your reading day.” —Romance Junkies
Amanda Usen knows two things for certain: chocolate cheesecake is good for breakfast and a hot chef can steal your heart. Her husband stole hers the first day of class at the Culinary Institute of America. They live in Western New York with their three children and an ancient beagle. For more information, please visit and follow her on Twitter, @AmandaUsen.


  1. Congratulations on your new release, Amanda! Sexy men and good don't get no better than that!

  2. Thanks, Carolyn! You got that right! Nom, nom, nom!

  3. I think J.D. Robb's Roarke is the ultimate good & bad guy rolled into one. He's got all the wicked allure of a bad guy, and yet the devotion and tenderness of a good guy. But i can't wait to read your take on a 'good' hero!

  4. Thanks for the givweaway. Loved Scrumptious. Cannot wait to read Luscious. Best wishes with it.

  5. The titles alone make me want to go off my steady diet of historicals. Congrats, Madam Romance Chef. I trust there are a few more courses planned?

  6. I have been waiting for this book since I read Scrumptious. Love food related books.

    Good luck with its success.

  7. Congrats on your release, Amanda! Love the excerpt! Romance, food and a sexy guy? What's not to love!

  8. Christi, I looooove Roarke. In fact, it might be time for a J.D Robb fix!

    Helen, I'm so glad you liked Scrumptious. Thank you!

    Grace, I'll never lose my appetite for chefs! ;-) I hope so!

    Shana, thank you so much! :-)

    Pat, that is delightful. You made my day! Thank you!

    C.H., thanks so much! I feel the same way about men and food. ;-)

    Thanks for stopping by, everybody. I really appreciate your good wishes!

  9. Your post made me think of the hero's that I have read lately. Jamie from Outlander came to mind because he actually did seem like such a good guy.

    little lamb lst at yahoo dot com

  10. Congratulations and wishing you much more success!

  11. Congratulations on your new release!
    A recent favorite good guy hero of mine is Ty Garrison from Jill Shalvis' Lucky in Love.

    kliu107 (at) gmail (dot) com

  12. Congrats on the latest release, Amanda!

    Sean sounds like a fabulous hero! Some of my favourite heroes are Bones from the Night Huntress series and Zsadist from the BDB series :)


  13. Your book sounds really good. I like reading books with pets and food in them.

  14. Lil, I have been in love with Jamie Frasier for, what, twenty years now? GREAT choice!

    Amelia, thank you! :-)

    Kristy, I haven't read that yet...but now I will. Jill Shalvis is great!

    Winnie, I would say Zsadist is the ultimate bad boy here. I love the BDB!

    Anonymous...thanks you! Lots of food in Luscious! :-)

  15. Congratulations on the book! I like Rehvenge from BDB.


  16. Your book sounds awesome! My favorite good guy is Rio from Echoes at Dawn. He's intriqued me from the first. I'd love to be entered to win!

  17. Hi Amanda!
    Congrats on the latest release! My favorite bad boy hero is definitely Bones from the Night Huntress series. I actually didn't really like him at first, but he definitely grew on me:)

  18. Good Afternoon! Thanks to all who commented. Here are the winners:

    Helen L.
    Pat L.

    I'll be in contact shortly.


  19. Thanks so much. Am waiting to hear from you. Am so happy.