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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Thrilling Read
Thank you to the wonderful publication house Quercus for kindly sending me a Hardback cover of this twisted novel. Psychological thrillers aren't usually my cup of tea and I requested it, thinking it was a love story which it kind of was, but holy moly! What a novel.

From start to finish, I was hooked. The letters from the husband's killer were just incredible...
Published 9 months ago by Emma Louise

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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unsatisfying read
This novel is accessible women's fiction, with a darker edge. It's narrated by Saffron Mackleroy whose husband was murdered 18 months earlier. Saffron has a lot to cope with: her 14 year old daughter has just shared a big secret, Saffron has a difficult relationship with food, and her husband's killer has started writing to her and threatening her family. Can she hold her...
Published 3 months ago by Jay


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unsatisfying read, 8 July 2014
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This review is from: The Flavours of Love (Paperback)
This novel is accessible women's fiction, with a darker edge. It's narrated by Saffron Mackleroy whose husband was murdered 18 months earlier. Saffron has a lot to cope with: her 14 year old daughter has just shared a big secret, Saffron has a difficult relationship with food, and her husband's killer has started writing to her and threatening her family. Can she hold her life together and recover from her husband's devastating death?

Dorothy Koomson has an easy, readable style and is a good storyteller. However the novel is incredibly farfetched - we are supposed to believe that Saffron knew who killed her husband from the start but didn't turn the murderer in because of a big secret involving her daughter. By halfway through I was losing patience and by the time the secret is revealed the book fell completely flat, as the 'secret' is really small and contrived. The ending is also wrapped up far, far too neatly for my liking.

It's an ok read, but this lack of plausibility makes it unsatisfying.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Thrilling Read, 11 Jan 2014
This review is from: The Flavours of Love (Hardcover)
Thank you to the wonderful publication house Quercus for kindly sending me a Hardback cover of this twisted novel. Psychological thrillers aren't usually my cup of tea and I requested it, thinking it was a love story which it kind of was, but holy moly! What a novel.

From start to finish, I was hooked. The letters from the husband's killer were just incredible and they even made me look around at my surroundings, just in case...

The prologue and first chapter were both jam-packed with drama and the big reveal about Saffron's daughter, Phoebe, was extremely shocking and I absolutely loved reading about how that particular storyline unfolded. It did at times take over the husband's killer storyline but once the letters began to arrive, the two combined perfectly.

In terms of the killer, very little was revealed and I did have my own ideas right from the beginning yet I was wrong about who the killer was. In my opinion, I think more should have been revealed as I finished the book only knowing two things about the husband's killer - the gender and why they murdered him.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping!, 12 Jan 2014
This review is from: The Flavours of Love (Hardcover)
Firstly I'd like to thank ED Public Relations for sending me this book to read and give an honest review. I've enjoyed books by this author in the past and was excited to see where her latest book would take me...

A very intriguing prologue began this story of life, loss and turmoil, I was taken on a rollercoaster ride of emotions and can easily say that it was my favourite book by this author!

Flashbacks were slowly feeding me information about That Day and those that came before and after, I thoroughly enjoyed putting together all the pieces of the puzzle. There were references to a secret between Saffron and her daughter Phoebe, I thought I knew what the secret was but when a mysterious letter arrived I began to rethink my theory. As the letters continued I found myself struggling to understand why Saffron kept it all to herself, this was a side of the story that didn't make sense to me.

A whodunnit that also involved Phoebe kept me guessing throughout, I loved how the author managed to surprise me as I read through the book. I was captivated by the way Saffron dealt with everything that was thrown at her, I felt that it was written in a believable manner, in fact the authors writing really jumped out at me because of its honesty.

About halfway through there was another serious issue thrown into the mix, this wasn't my favourite part of the book but it did give me a better insight into Saffron's character. Another character I have to mention is Aunty Betty because she had such a fun, vibrant personality, she brought a touch of humour to an otherwise serious storyline.

This was a gripping mystery with many different factors that kept me entertained throughout!
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, emotional and full of suspense, 7 Nov 2013
By 
Megan ReadingInTheSunshine (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Flavours of Love (Hardcover)
I love Dorothy Koomson's novels, and I've always thought of her as such a talented author and one of my favourite authors, so I was so excited to start The Flavours Of Love.

Saffron Mackleroy's husband Joel was murdered 18 months ago, and since then Saffron has been trying to work on and finish The Flavours Of Love - a cookbook that Joel started before he died. But although everyone thinks that Saffron is coping, the reality is very different. Things take a turn for the worse after her 14 year old daughter confesses something to her, and then her husband's killer starts writing to her claiming to be innocent...

You look at the cover and initially think "What a gorgeous cover!" expecting perhaps a romantic story, but what you actually get after you've read the description and the book is such a richer and darker story that pulls you in immediately. I read The Flavours Of Love in two sittings, I wanted to do it in one but unfortunately on this occasion sleep won that competition but as soon as I woke up I had my head buried back in the book, and WOW. Just WOW.

The novel is brilliantly written from the first sentence, I could feel the terror in my bones and the tension radiating from the pages. I instantly had so many questions - How did Joel die? Who is the murderer and why are they writing letters? And what has Saffron's daughter confessed? I was HOOKED and I just had to keep reading because I wanted to know.

There is a bit of moving backwards in time and then to the present day again, but Dorothy does this with such ease that the story flows naturally. I especially liked that the letters had their own part in the story and I'll be honest, they were chilling to read, I could almost hear the sinister tones in them and I raced on, my heart beating wildly. The Flavours Of Love is such a clever novel in that it is not just about Joel's murder and the killer, but there are so many more topics and issues effortlessly woven in, such as family problems, coping with grief, the loss of a parent, careers, and cookery too.

The characters are fascinating in their own ways. I warmed to Saffron straight away as I really felt for her with her loss, and her life as he struggles to keep her family together and going after such a terrible event. And at the same time, I was desperate to know what she was holding back. I LOVED the addition of Aunt Betty, she provided a refreshing mood and I loved her moments in the book, I don't want to say too much but in many ways she made the book for me.

The Flavours Of Love is gripping, full of suspense and will bring out many emotions. A thoroughly brilliant book!
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3.0 out of 5 stars The Flavours of Love - Dorothy Koomson, 21 Oct 2014
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Tried and Tested (UK) - See all my reviews
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I don't know if I have ever been so torn when writing a book review. There's a part of me that absolutely loved this book but then there's also a part of me that was extremely frustrated by it and wanted to throw it against a wall.

For the first half of the book I really didn't like Saffron, the way she acted around her children and the way she let them treat her, I really wanted to give her a slap and tell her to get a backbone and start parenting. Usually when I don't like a main character I'll give up on a book but I loved the writing so much that I stuck with it. There were so many other characters that I enjoyed reading about (I adore Aunty Betty) and about half way through the book Saffron came to her senses and did an about turn, realising what a muppet she'd been and changing into the sort of person I could imagine married to her husband (the person she was in the 18 months following Joel's death is not the sort of person he'd have married).

The characters are one of the things that make Koomson's writing so special, she can draw such vivid characters that evoke really strong feelings. There was more than one person in the book that I wanted to physically attack, I'm not usually a violent person but I could imagine these people in my life and it would not have had a good outcome for any of us!

Dorothy Koomson always manages to take a story where you think you know what is happening and then throw a huge spanner in the works and twist it all on it's head. This is what I was expecting with this novel, she knows who has killed her husband and she has kept it a secret (this isn't a spoiler, we're told it very early in the book) because of a reason involving her daughter. Knowing how talented Koomson is I expected there to be something big, that I'd never have thought of which made me go "obviously, she couldn't have gone to the police with that", there wasn't, it was small and I was so annoyed because NOBODY would have let their husbands killer go free for such a BS reason.

I love Koomson's writing, if anyone else had written thisstoryline then it wouldn't have been as engaging and all the little annoyances would have been enough to make me put it down and give it a solitary star but Koomson's writing style is amazing and she still managed to suck me in.
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4.0 out of 5 stars So much to love in this book, 13 Oct 2014
By 
C. Bannister (Jersey, CI) - See all my reviews
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Saffron was widowed in the most awful circumstances eighteen months before the book starts, her husband Joel was murdered and left to die by the side of the road. Saffron’s daughter Phoebe is now 14 and within pages we realise that she knows more about her father’s murder than she let onto the police, but what the secret is soon overtaken by the present when Saffron is called into the school to be told by the headmaster that Phoebe has another secret and one that needs immediate attention. With her younger son Zane and a demanding job the grieving Saffron has more than enough on her plate, but this is a study in keeping going one step at a time through whatever life throws at you.

This book is crammed full of issues which in the hands of a less accomplished author could have produced something of a mismatch of a book and far less breath-taking mainly because all of her characters are beautifully drawn displaying evidence of the author’s training in psychology. The result is real people with good and bad points far away from stereotypes as is possible, the sort of people you meet daily. The contrast between good intentions and bad decisions are illustrated many times through this delightful array of personalities, none more so than the brilliant Aunt Betty who becomes part of the household.

With the characters forming the backbone of this novel along with their issues the author also has managed to pace the book by switching times as far back to the beginning of Saffron and Joel’s relationship. Although the time periods jump about building a picture of their life this is far from confusing with the chapters clearly marking the time before or after the day of Joel’s death. Meanwhile in the present day the tension builds at a steady pace as poor Saffron has more sinister things to deal with and the battle is on to keep her family safe. Added to this there is some fledgling romance to bring a tear to the eye as Saffron comes to terms with the fact that her husband has truly gone.

The title of the book refers to the cookbook that Joel was compiling before his death and we are treated to a few of these recipes and those his wife is experimenting with in an aim to finish it in his memory giving the book a truly original feel.

There is lots to love in this book and the only slight criticism I have hinges on the original secret kept by Phoebe and unfortunately the one on which the whole book hinges, just really didn’t feel of sufficient magnitude not to come clean but the rest of the book is so wonderfully executed that I simply had to overcome my reservations and join Saffron through some dark days and nights.

I’d recommend this author to anyone who loves character driven and although this book doesn’t lend itself well to the searing dry humour of some of her previous books it is still makes an appearance from time to time.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A psychological thriller of a tale with plenty of twists and turns to keep you thinking., 2 Oct 2014
This review is from: The Flavours of Love (Paperback)
It was in 2010 that I last read any novels by Dorothy Koomson, I did not rate either of them very highly, probably why I still have some of her titles sitting on my bookshelves unread. Having now read ' The Flavours of Love' I need to look at them again. Yes this was better than anticipated I am glad I decided to give this author another try. After all the ones I read previously were written over ten years ago and writers do change their writing style over the years, like us all they are maturing. My introduction to her writing had been back in 2006 when I read and enjoyed My Best Friend's Girl, maybe it was a mistake to add her back catalogue to my wishlist at that time. Never mind her writing has taken a change of direction and is now classed as 'emotional thrillers' so she is back on my reading list and The Flavours of Love did not disappoint me.

The Flavours of Love deals with how the protagonist Saffron copes with becoming a widow after the murder of her husband. It is eighteen months since her husband was murdered and she has decided to finish writing a cookbook that he had been working on when he died. Through past and present we gradually learn what was and in fact still is going on in her family's life life, all is not as it seems. Both she and her daughter are keeping secrets that may well ruin their lives, but of course the truth will come out in the end. How though? That is for me to know and you to find out when you read the novel for yourself.

A psychological thriller of a tale with plenty of twists and turns to keep you thinking. Recommended to fans of this genre, although rather different from Sophie Hannah I think it may well appeal if you enjoy her novels.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling, 7 Sep 2014
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I would have given this 5 stars as I really enjoyed it and couldn't stop reading it, but I just could not believe a mother would keep a secret that would reveal the killer of her husband and the father of her children. It didn't ring true at all.especially as the secret was so unimportant. Other than that compelling reading and I really got into it and the characters.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hard, 5 May 2014
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Well written but very emotional. Caused me a few emotional moments and a bit of depression at times. Like all her books it covers many different aspects including bereavement, child abuse, eating dis orders, murder, complicated family lives and all narrated by a slightly emotional and neurotic single mother. Not one I would like to read again in a hurry.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A great mystery, if a little far-fetched, but still well worth a read, 30 Sep 2014
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Another great book from Dorothy, although I did find it a bit far-fetched at times, and to be honest I wasn't convinced by her argument for keeping quiet re what she knew about her husband's murder. I particularly liked when she went loopy at the male character who almost wrecked her daughter's life. The difficult relationship, the never being good enough for her son, which she had to endure at the hands of her mother-in-law was also well portrayed. Choosing the best for her kids, even if it meant sending one away for his safety and sanity was particularly poignant. And knowing who your real friends are, and getting rid of those who just thrive on others' misfortunes was also key. I thought the relationship of teenage daughter and mother was shown well and the fact that her daughter could confide in another adult, but not in her, and the hurt which she felt at this made me fast forward to the future and hope I would never be in the same position.
Worth reading, but not her best. Still 4 stars though!
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The Flavours of Love
The Flavours of Love by Dorothy Koomson (Hardcover - 7 Nov 2013)
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