Kitchen Heat

A Restaurantland Romance (Book 1)

This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Buy on Amazon Buy on Buy on
*This page contains affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site at no additional cost to you.
Send NetGalley books directly to your Kindle or Kindle app

To read on a Kindle or Kindle app, please add as an approved email address to receive files in your Amazon account. Click here for step-by-step instructions.
Also find your Kindle email address within your Amazon account, and enter it here.
Pub Date 02 Nov 2023 | Archive Date 03 Dec 2023
Pumpjack Press, Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), Members' Titles

Talking about this book? Use #KitchenHeat #NetGalley. More hashtag tips!


Welcome to the Rose and Thorn restaurant where steamy romance is always on the menu.

Kassi is ever the optimist. She uprooted her life and moved across the country with her young daughter to give her damaged marriage one last shot. Now she's broke, stuck in Portland and feeling like an idiot. Worse, her degree in filmmaking won’t pay the bills.

When Kassi lands a waitress job at the infamous Rose and Thorn restaurant, she thinks her luck may finally be changing, especially after meeting Clay—head chef and the most beautiful man she’s ever seen. Their white-hot attraction is instant and undeniable. But after her marriage disaster, Kassi has sworn off relationships or even dating, maybe forever.

So, what's a girl to do? Put him in a sexy screenplay, of course.

Kassi is writing a movie script for a contest. It’s a long shot, an impossible shot, but it could be her ticket to Hollywood. She comes up with a new plot about a hot chef and a waitress falling madly in love (and bed).

It doesn’t take long before Kassi's imaginary relationship and reality collide in unpredictable ways but as things steam up in the restaurant kitchen, not everyone may be able to stand the heat, including hunky Clay. Turns out he’s dealing with a heartbreak of his own that he may never get over, not even for Kassi.

Kitchen Heat is the first in the Restaurantland Romance series, a slow burn friends-to-lovers story crackling with off-beat humor and featuring a flirtatious cast of waiters, customers and cooks, set in the pre-internet 1990s before cells, social media and streaming. 

Welcome to the Rose and Thorn restaurant where steamy romance is always on the menu.

Kassi is ever the optimist. She uprooted her life and moved across the country with her young daughter to give her...

A Note From the Publisher

eBook: 9798988297406 ($5.99)

eBook: 9798988297406 ($5.99)

Advance Praise

Take one single mom, add one devastatingly handsome but broken man, stir in an eclectic mix of misfits from the weirdest city in the U.S., jack up the temperature, and you have “Kitchen Heat: A Restaurantland Romance.” Kathleen McFall and Clark Hays of "The Halo Trilogy" and "The Cowboy and the Vampire" fame have flexed their writing muscles again in a whole new direction, and it’s their steamiest yet.

“Kitchen Heat” is a love story at its core, but it’s also a study of relationships: the how, why, and who of interactions, what drives us, the mistakes we inevitably make, and the concessions necessary to make it all work. It’s not just about sex (spoiler alert: you won’t be disappointed there) — it’s about how regular people with complicated lives and personal tragedies go about finding their place in a chaotic and mixed-up world.

Renee Struthers, Go! EastOregon Magazine

“Kitchen Heat" follows Kassi to Portland, Oregon, in a last-ditch effort to save her marriage and create a stable family for her young daughter. Kathleen McFall and Clark Hays paint a passionate portrait of a young woman on the cusp of change who redefines the nature of real romance in her life … a story that delves into influences and undercurrents, making "Kitchen Heat" as thought-provoking as it is attractive … a colorful tale that follows the evolution of a relationship's promise and opportunity.

D. Donovan, Sr. Reviewer, Midwest Book Review 

A fun and flirty romance, left my heart full of hope for the new love blooming in Rose City ... and my stomach yearning for a Chef Clay brunch special!

Nancy Miller, Educator 

Take one single mom, add one devastatingly handsome but broken man, stir in an eclectic mix of misfits from the weirdest city in the U.S., jack up the temperature, and you have “Kitchen Heat: A...

Available Editions

EDITION Paperback
ISBN 9781734519792
PRICE $16.95 (USD)

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (EPUB)
Send to Kindle (EPUB)
Download (EPUB)

Average rating from 80 members

Featured Reviews

Thanks to Netgalley and the Publisher for this ARC. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.”
My favorite part of this book is the workers of Rose and Thorn restaurant, they were so supportive of each other, and the work environment was soothing. Never have I seen such a wonderful working environment. I also liked Kassi's Mother, Gina. She was integral in mending the MC's relationship. I liked how she saw the situation from both of their sides and she gave amazing advice.
Now, our MCs, I liked Clay better(it might be because he's a chef). I just liked him. I also liked Kassi, she was a wonderful mother and very good in co-paarenting even though her ex was extremely annoying. As usual, the daughter, Samantha, was also a star in the book. I liked how the MCs were driven and determined to achieve their goals.
Their relationship was very cute too and beautiful, I liked it! I also liked the miscommunication trope. I felt it was needed for both of them to re-discover themselves and let go of past traumas.
This book was amazing and you should give it a try.
#kitchenheat #mcfallandhays #kathleenmcfall #clarkhays #romance #netgalleyarc #netgalley #bookstagramnigeria #bookstagramafrica #nigerianbookstagrammer

Was this review helpful?

Kitchen Heat is book 1 in the Restaurantland Romance series by Kathleen McFall and Clark Hays.
This is one series I’m going to absolutely love.
This 90s slow-burn, friends-to-lovers story was an absolute blast! And I can’t wait for book two.
I have to say…. This cover art is totally giving me Saved by the Bell vibes! 😍
I really enjoyed this book! As soon as I picked it up and started it, I knew that I was going to want to finish it as soon as I could.
I love McFall and Hayes writing style and can't wait to read more of their work!
Kassi and Clay were just amazing and their story was sweet, captivating and charming.

When can I read book two?

I would like to thank NetGalley and Pumpjack Press for the opportunity to read this ahead of its publication date in return for my honest review.

Was this review helpful?

I loved this book! Good pacing. Strong characters. Uplifting. Some places made me laugh, although there are quite serious parts too, Kassi and Clay are both trying to get over their own not-great past love lives, and help each other, even as they are very attracted to one another, but scared of new love. It felt real, including the single-mom bits. The kitchen back and forth was also fun, like I was right there with them all, cooking and hanging out. Definitely recommend.

Was this review helpful?

This book was really good, funny in 0laces, really made me laugh out loud, I loved the characters smd the romance, will definately be recommending this book to all my family and friends.

Was this review helpful?

Kitchen Heat is set in the 90's and I love that❤️. When gadgets weren't famous unlike today the people seem to focus on new technologies. Before It was simplier but still fun. There were some lines that made me laugh so much I even said "I agree so much because I'm from the future hahaha. Because I'm reading this in the year 2023 hahaha"
I really like the character of Kassi and Clay and the bond between them. I think they are soulmates. Overall I enjoyed reading Kitchen Heat.

Was this review helpful?

Readers who liked this book also liked: