Thursday, September 26, 2013

Book Review: Stir Me Up by Sabrina Elkins

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Stir Me Up
By:  Sabrina Elkins
Release Date: October 1, 2013
Publisher:  Harlequin Teen
Source:  Publisher
Mature Content:  16 & Up

GR's Summary:

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…

 My Thoughts:

Stir Me Up is an excellent debut by Sabrina Elkins.  This Young Adult Contemporary Romance was a real page turner.  Cami and Julian's love story made me swoon from both the sweetness and spiciness of their relationship.  There's nothing sexier that a handsome man in uniform, then add into the mix that he's a gorgeous marine, (sigh), a wounded war hero, (swoon), incredibly tender, and protective towards the woman he falls in love with.

Cami Broussard has grown up in the kitchen of her father's French Restaurant, Etoile, located in Northampton, since she was a young child.  She has a talent and passion for creating beautiful and delicious dishes.  Her mother deserted her father when she was a child, and remarried to a woman named Estella.  Cami's father asks her to accompany Estella to Germany when they find out Estella's nephew, Julian, is in critical condition from an IED explosion in Afghanistan.  Cami doesn't want to leave her long term boyfriend Luke or her job at the restaurant, but agrees to go to support and assist Estella in any way that she can.  Cami and Julian get off to a rough start when they first meet.  He suffers from P.T.S.D., is angry, bitter, and full of guilt from not being able to save the life of his fellow soldiers.  Then, Julian comes to live with Cami's family, and let's just say things really begin to heat up between the two of them!

Stir Me Up was told from Cami's point of View, and her tone was authentic to that of a typical 17 year old.  It brought me back to my senior year in high school, and the exciting mind set of myself and my good friends as we were closing one chapter in our lives and preparing to embark on both an exciting and scary journey into our futures.  Ms. Elkins captured this transition in life perfectly.  I remembered my senior year in high school, and it made me smile as I thought back to sitting with friends at lunch, going to parties, talking about guys and the future with my best friend.  I enjoyed the depth of the main characters Cami and Julian.  Cami was indecisive about her future, was exploring her options, and trying to make the "right" decisions for her future.  Yet, the answers were in front of her all along.  I loved her passion for cooking, and it made me want to get in the kitchen and try out a few new recipes on my own.  I loved how she communicated her love, and feelings through the food she made.  Tuesday night family dinners in the Broussard home reminded me of the typical family.  They were fun and a great way for the whole family to connect.  I loved how Ms. Elkins went into detail about the food cooked at home by Estella, (especially because she really couldn't cook) and the cuisine in the family restaurant.  I loved learning about French food, and hearing Cami and her father speak to each other in French, when they didn't want any one else to understand their conversation, or were just speaking with affection.  

Julian was going through such a traumatic time in his life, and I could feel his frustration, anger, bitterness, guilt, and feelings of helplessness.  I mourned right alongside him for the life that he once pictured for himself, but was no longer in his grasp.  He went through the grieving process, and his emotions were vividly and realistically portrayed and overwhelmingly heartbreaking.  The romance between Cami and Julian was beautiful.  There was no insta-love between the two of them, even though It was obvious that the two shared some amazing mutual chemistry, and were passionate towards one another.  I appreciated how a solid friendship was developed before the romance.  This made for more passion. intensity, longing, and swooning.

My Rating:

I give Stir Me Up, by Sabrina Elkins 4 Delicious, Sweet, Sensual, and Swoon-Worthy Stars!  If you are a fan of mature young adult contemporary romances, I highly recommend Stir Me Up.  It has a great story, with interesting characters, and you will not be able to stop turning the pages!  Fans of Jennifer Echols will enjoy this story immensely!  Add this one to your TBR!  Now that Ms. Elkins is on my author radar, I plan on following her writing career and can't wait to read her next story!  

My Favorite Quotes:

"I want you, I whisper.  The words just spill out of me.  And suddenly, I realize they're true.  I do want him.  Kind of desperately."  (eARC, Pg. 153)


"I grip him and lose myself somewhere in the expanse of his chest, in those ridged abs, in the warm earthy smell of him, the rich sounds in the back of his throat, and the taste of him as he engulfs and then, in turn, consumes me.  The build inside me heightens, grows intense."  (eARC, Pg. 158)


"Julian, I need you.  Not in the ways you can see.  But in ways that I feel.  If I'm your life raft, we're in trouble--because you're mine."  (eARC, Pg. 183)


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About the Author:

I am a former journalist who worked for the Los Angeles Daily Newsand other newspapers in the greater Los Angeles area. Prior to this I worked in advertising, writing ad copy for corporate travel accounts and major motion pictures. My first job out of college was as an administrative assistant to an executive chef and a food & beverage director at a Four Seasons hotel. I also spent some time working as a prep cook for Spago in Beverly Hills.

I received my Master's degree in Journalism from the University of Southern California. While in graduate school, I had the privilege of studying fiction writing under renowned author Hubert Selby, Jr., and comedy writing under famed comedian Shelley Berman. I am a past participant of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers Summer Writing Workshop.

Raised in the woods of Vermont, I now live in the greater Los Angeles area with my husband and three children. STIR ME UP is my first novel.


  1. This is the first review I've read for Stir Me Up. It does sound like a really good YA. I'm glad you enjoyed it so much, Lindy. Nice review!

    1. I'm so glad that I am the one to introduce it to you. It was really sweet! Thanks for stopping by :)

  2. Cool. I like it when people write solid and realistic characters that match their age :) Plus, I love the title. It sounds like a good read.


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