Saturday, May 9, 2020

#ARCREVIEW: A Taste of Sage By Yaffa S. Santos

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A Taste of Sage By Yaffa S. Santos
Publisher: Harper Collins
Release Date: May 19th, 2020
Format: egalley*
My Rating: ★ 1/2

GoodReads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ 

Lumi Santana is a chef with a gift: she can perceive a person’s emotions by tasting their cooking. Despite being raised by a mother who taught her that dreams and true love were silly fairy tales, she puts her heart and savings into opening her own fusion restaurant in Upper Manhattan. The restaurant offers a mix of the Dominican cuisine she grew up with and other world cuisines she is inspired by.

When her eclectic venture fails, she is forced to take a position as sous chef at a staid, traditional French restaurant owned by Julien Dax, a celebrated chef known for his acid tongue as well as his brilliant smile. After he goes out of his way to bake a tart to prove her wrong in a dispute, she is so irritated by his smug attitude that she vows to herself never to taste his cooking.

But after she succumbs to the temptation and takes a bite one day and is overcome with shocking emotion, she finds herself beginning to crave his cooking and struggling to stay on task with her plan to save up and move on as soon as possible. Meanwhile, Julien’s obsessed secretary watches with gnashed teeth as they grow closer and becomes determined to get Lumi out of her way permanently.

I really struggled with what to rate this book. I didn't think it was bad, but there were certain things about it that fell flat to me. I think this is a debut, so I think it can be so hard with a first book. In general, I enjoyed this book but there could have been some finessing.

I saw a lot of reviews really not like Julien at all. I honestly didn't think he was that bad? He was a jerk but it was interesting to me that Lumi saw him as more having high expectations from his staff. I think this was supposed to be a little enemies to lovers, but I didn't feel like her hatred of him was all that strong throughout the book. I also felt like there could have been a little more to when they do get together. Also on another note, I will continue to harp on romance books that don't use any form of birth control in intimate scenes. It bothers me so much! I just assume they book will become an accidentally pregnant book.

One thing I was really bummed about was Lumi's gift. I thought this was a cool element to bring in and it is part of a huge conflict later in the book. I just had a lot of questions about it and none of those got answered. I think I just wanted a little more about this. It felt like it was a heavy part of the book early on but then once it comes back into play I had kind of forgotten about it.

I liked that this book also included recipes at the end of the chapters. I thought that was a cool thing to add! I'm a vegetarian so I would never eat half of them, but I thought it was a nice touch for a book about chefs.

I think I would read another book from this author. I think this was good, not bad, but I could have liked a few things done differently.

*I received a review copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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