Title: Sugar and Spice and All Those Lies
Author: Evy Journey
Pages: 181 pages
Plot: Cooking a wonderful meal is an art. An act of love. An act of grace. A gift that affirms and gives life—not only does it nurture those who partake of the meal; it also feeds the soul of the creator. These are lessons Gina learns from her mother, daughter of an unfortunate French chef.
Gina is a young woman born to poor parents, a nobody keen to taste life outside the world she was born into. A world that exposes her to fascinating people gripped by dark motives. Her passion for cooking is all she has to help her navigate it.
She gets lucky when she’s chosen to cook at a Michelin-starred restaurant in the San Francisco Bay Area where customers belong to a privileged class with money to spare for a dinner of inventive dishes costing hundreds of dollars. In this heady, scintillating atmosphere, she meets new friends and new challenges—pastry chef Marcia, filthy rich client Leon, and Brent, a brooding homicide detective. This new world, it turns out, is also one of unexpected danger.
Can the lessons Gina learned from her mother about cooking and life help her survive and thrive in this other world of privilege, pleasure, and menace?
Thoughts: First of all, a very Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you. I hope you are celebrating love and life with your loved ones not just today but every day. Today I have chosen to review a contemporary romance novel which is little sweet and a little spicy.
We follow Gina an aspiring chef who is a cook at one of the best restaurants in the Bay Area. She has had a very modest upbringing. But what she has received the art of cooking from her mother. She is passionate about her work and is focused on making things work for her.
The restaurant Gina works at is often visited by the elite of the town. One fine day Leone arrives on a date, who happens to be Gina’s childhood friend, Christi at her restaurant. Gina’s dish and Gina herself catches Leone’s fancy. After dumping Gina’s friend, he peruses Gina endlessly in various ways to go out with him. A crazy argument between Gina and her friend leads to involvement of a police officer and the story picks up from there.
What I liked about the book was the pace and the concise narration. I felt the characterization was a bit loose and I didn’t connect to any of the characters much. Gina’s character had great potential of connecting with the readers and it did at the start of the book but as the book progressed her character became a bit vague. The story was quite predictable but the good prose made the book a good read.
Overall, the book was an easy breezy read with some crazy fights, torn love, revenge, jealousy, romance and lots of food.
Evy Journey, writer, wannabe artist, and flâneuse (feminine of flâneur), wishes she lives in Paris where people have perfected the art of aimless roaming. Armed with a Ph.D., she used to research and help develop mental health programs.
She’s a writer because beautiful prose seduces her and existential angst continues to plague her despite such preoccupations having gone out of fashion. She takes occasional refuge by invoking the spirit of Jane Austen to spin tales of love, loss, and finding one’s way—stories into which she weaves mystery or intrigue.