Hot Under Pressure (Rising Star Chef, #3)

Hot Under Pressure (Rising Star Chef, #3) - Louisa Edwards This is the final book in the Rising Star Chef series, and while it's not difficult to predict what will happen (or even the outcome), the journey that Ms. Edwards takes us on truly feels like a completion.Beck has been the mysterious fish chef on the Lunden's Tavern team. Stoic, tall, and tough, Beck isn't the kind of guy who lets anyone in. He's grateful for the Lundens for hiring him and not asking a lot of personal questions; he feels part of their family - something he's never really had.In the second book, we learned that Beck and Skye Gladwell had been married ten years ago... or rather, still ARE married. We now know that Beck's given name is Henry, and that he joined the Navy - in opposition to the hippie, peace-loving Skye and her avant garde artist mother and playwright father.In this book, we learn much more - like how they met, their first kiss, and the trials and tribulations of the short 2 years (or so) that they had together in San Francisco. The Lunden's East Coast team and Skye's West Coast team are, of course, in the finals of the Rising Star Chef competition. Here's where we *finally* understand the singular "chef" in the competition title: Only ONE chef (with a sous chef) from each team competes head-to-head for the title. Since we would rightfully assume that the East Coast team would choose either Max (experienced at competitions) or Jules (the exec chef and go-to girl) for their representative, of course something has to happen to prevent that. And it's not difficult to predict what happens, but it's interesting the way that it's all handled. Once again, all but the two main characters and the pairing of Clare & Kane are virtually ignored. That's my primary beef with these books. It's possible to focus on 2 couples, yet bring the supporting characters in more - especially since we've come to know them so well from the other 2 books. I didn't miss it quite as much this time, because the focus on Beck & Skye revealed a LOT about each and this mysterious relationship.While very romantic, Beck's final presentation... surprises. Yes, he's trying. Yes he knows he needs to open up, if he has any chance of reuniting with Skye. But Beck is *so* open - he lays his heart, mind, and soul out on those plates. It's almost too difficult to bear. And very out-of-character. I'd expect him to attempt to open up, and to do so somewhat... enough to let Skye in and then continue to practice. I surely didn't expect what happened. It makes a great story and a wonderful ending. I'm just not sure that Beck would be able to be that open...As for the end-ending... well, it's not difficult to guess. It just sucks that regardless of who wins, you know that Beck & Skye will be together. That either means she has to give up her dream restaurant (The Queenie Pie Cafe) & move to New York, or Beck has to leave Lunden's Tavern (his only real family in years) to be with Skye in San Francisco.