If ever there was a book I wanted to crawl into because of its sumptuous, seductive descriptions of food, then it was this one! Don't let the somewhat frothy chick-lit style cover fool you, because this isn't frivolous, not one little bit. What it is is the perfect mixture of romance, food and a little bit of a ghost story on the side. Believe me when I say that I devoured every single page.
Successful Chef Elena Alvarez has her scars. The sole survivor of a horrific car accident twenty years earlier, she is still facing up to the ghosts of the past. After being fired by her on-off lover from her current restaurant job, she is offered a second chance to start over- setting up a new restaurant in Aspen. Can Elena let go of her past to make her new life work? And more importantly, can she trust enough to have another chance of love?
As I have said, this is a great novel- despite what I think are some unfair critiques by publishers on the Amazon US site! If I'd paid attention to them then I never would have read this at all, which would have been a real shame. The plot flows remarkably well and the characters are all developed into believable people with flaws and quirks that make this story a bit different from the typical run of the mill romance. Even flashbacks to the past are successful and not at all tedious, thankfully! I also enjoyed the seductive Mexican recipes included in every chapter- particularly tamales and the delectable sounding hot chocolate which left me drooling. Definitely one I will try soon. Sometimes stories with recipes included in the actual chapters don't work very well, but these were a success and a nice tie in to the current aspect of the plot.
For me, this book loses half a star merely because in comparison to the rest of the story I felt the ending a bit too abrupt... or maybe I just didn't want it to end at all?! If you enjoy foodie fiction and sensual romance then this is a book you definitely shouldn't miss. I'm looking forward to see what else this author has came up with. Highly recommended.
**NB: If you enjoy books with a foodie theme then I would also suggest books by Judi Kendricks and Anthony Capella- sensational foodie romances!
I wholeheartedly agree with what Nic, previous review says. This is not frivolous chicklit, it's an indepth story of a fight back to happiness and a letting go of the ghosts of the past. It is about a chef and as such is very foody and has receipes for various New Mexican dishes throughout. I would agree that the end is perhaps a little rushed. (A little quibble, why is the dog on the front cover nothing like the descriptions of the delighful Alvin, who is a Chow mix and not a labrador as pictured?)
Irecently read a previous book by B O'Neil, which was good, however, I couldn't put this one down until I'd finished it.
If ever a book should a) Have a different cover, b) Come with scratch'n'sniff pages,and c) Have a soundtrack CD sneaked in it's back cover, then this is it! It must be the most sensual and sensuous book I've ever read-with it's luscious descriptions of Spanish and Mexican food, anyone who loves to cook, eat good food and at the same time salivate over an exceptionally well-written first novel, then go for this book, you won't be disappointed.