Book Title: Sugar and Spice and All Those Lies by Evy Journey
Category: Adult Fiction, 240 pages
Genre: Literary / Women's Fiction
Publisher: Sojourner Books
Release date: December 2017
Tour dates: Feb 1 to 16, 2018
Content Rating: R (Two bedroom scenes, some violence)
Cooking a wonderful meal is an act of love. An act of grace. A gift that affirms and gives life—not only does it nurture those who partake of a meal; it also feeds the soul of the person who creates it. These are lessons Gina learns from her mother.
Gina is a young woman born to poor parents; a nobody (her words) who wants to taste life outside the world she was born into and her passion for cooking is all she has to help her do so. She gets lucky when she’s chosen to cook at a Michelin-starred restaurant in the San Francisco Bay Area where she finds a world of a privileged class with money to spare for dinners that cost hundreds of dollars. A world of new friends and new challenges—one that exposes her to fascinating people who’re also gripped by dark motives.
Amidst her culinary adventures, she becomes good friends with pastry chef Marcia, and falls in love, in different ways, with, two very different men: Leon, a rich regular client who has been dating Cristi, her friend from childhood, and Brent, a brooding homicide detective. This other world, it turns out, is also one of unexpected danger that eventually threatens her life.
Can the lessons she learned from her mother about cooking and life help Gina survive and thrive in this other world of privilege, pleasure and unexpected danger?
A few years back I read all three books in Between Two Worlds series by Evy Journey and I enjoyed them, especially the second book, Hello, Agnieszka!, which I thought was the best out of the three books.
I was therefore eager to read Journey's latest novel. Romance, French cuisine and intrigue are a perfect combination, especially when included with a catchy title and a great book cover that suits the novel well. Journey's writing flows at an even pace and for the most part this was a super quick read. It was also a light read and unlike her other books, I wasn't emotionally invested in the characters. I did like that the main character, Regine (Gina) Lambert, was a chef in an haute cuisine restaurant. This was a great setting, as I love to cook. Her family's history revolved around cooking and food, something I am very familiar with in my Italian culture. So I could relate to her passion for cooking.
I'm not a fan of insta-love, however, and that's mostly what the romance entailed. Apart from good looks, I was not taken in by either of the men that Gina simultaneously loved. I found the characters lacked maturity and there was what felt like teen drama throughout. There was some growth of character for Gina as she works hard to fulfil her dreams and accomplishes them.
There are two explicit sex scenes in the novel, hence the R rating but no foul language at all. If you like light romance books that include lots of delicious food and some intrigue, then this might be a fun and easy book for you to read.
To read reviews, please visit Evy Journey's page on iRead Book Tours.
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.
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