Quincie Morris has never felt more alone. Her hybrid-werewolf first love threatens to embark on a rite of passage that will separate them forever. And just as she and her uncle are about to debut Austin’s red hot vampire-themed restaurant, a brutal murder leaves them scrambling for a chef.
Can Quincie transform the new hire into a culinary dark lord before opening night? Will Henry Johnson be able to wow the crowd in fake fangs, a cheap cape, and red contact lenses? Or is there more to this earnest fresh face than meets the eye?
As human and preternatural forces clash, a deadly love triangle forms and the line between predator and prey begins to blur. Who’s playing whom? And how long can Quincie play along before she loses everything?
“Cynthia Leitich Smith is the Anne Rice for teen readers. Smith has a vivid imagination, her intricate plot keeps readers guessing until the very end.” — The Bloomsbury Review
“Notions of predator and prey are deliciously explored in this gothic elixer, a dark romantic thriller that is equal parts Bon Appetite and Dracula.” — The Horn Book Review (on Listening Libraries audio production)
“Tantalize is a thinking reader’s horror novel and an entertaining, empowering ride.” — The International Reading Association’s Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy
“For those who enjoy the horror of the original Dracula or the heart-wrenching sorrow of Romeo and Juliet, Smith’s book will be a fresh, updated version of these timeless classics.” — Kliatt
“An intoxicating romantic thriller… Quincie’s longing for a physical relationship with her boy-wolf is as palpable as the taste of the food… Smith adds a light touch of humor to the soup, but the main course is a dark romance with all the gory trimmings.” — The Horn Book Magazine
“If Joan Bauer took a crack at dark fantasy, the result would probably be something like this gothic-horror comedy…the immersion in food culture–including an overhauled menu, as grisly as it is gourmet–successfully builds on the sensual aspects of vampire mythology.” — Booklist
“Quincie must make a terrifying choice in a heart pounding climax that will have teen readers weeping with both lust and sorrow.”— Kirkus Reviews
“Readers will be rewarded with an impeccably paced suspense story, a sexy romance, and a tough and witty heroine.” — The Bulletin of the Center of Children’s Books