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?
This is my fourth book review for this talented author. In 2015 I reviewed all 3 books in her Between Two World series, so couldn't wait to give into her latest offering - Sugar and Spice and All Those Lies. I wasn't disappointed. While all four books I have read are at their core Romance novels, they also offer a deeper plot line. For Sugar and Spice, the added elements include cooking and danger.
Gina is a character everyone can relate to. She grew up poor in a loving family and chooses to walk away from an early marriage proposal that would lead her to an expected life to embrace a demanding career as a chef. The demands of working under a top chef in a high-end restaurant leave her little time for a personal life, which she is fine with.
Then two men come into her life. One a reserved detective - Brent - who is illusive and hard to read. Her soul is drawn to this handsome man, but he doesn't seem to offer any encouragement or hope.
The other - Leon - is a rich, charming restaurant customer who slowly wears her down with his constant attention and draws her into his world. Although he is a playboy by reputation, she throws caution to the wind so she can see how the other half lives. However, a previous phantom girlfriend is jealous and begins to send Gina threats. Is her life in danger? And Leon's father isn't excited about his son's relationship with someone of her social status. Will he throw a wrench in their plans to wed?
An enjoyable read to curl up with over a cuppa that offers a little bit of everything - cooking, intrigue,mystery, danger and love.
Buy the Book: Amazon ~ Add to Goodreads
Meet The Author -
New updated interview with the author - HERE!
Previous interview with the author covering her journey to become an author - HERE!
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.