Happy Friday folks! Hope you’re all doing well and looking forward to a somewhat relaxing weekend. It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these. And I do me a while, like since January. But in my defense book reviews aren’t my main goal so, yeah…Anyway let’s get to the fun shall we.
The wine: I didn’t actually go out shopping for this wine. I mean in the current climate I’m not out shopping much at all. However I still would like my wine, so enter wine subscriptions to the rescue! This wine was part of my second shipment and can I just say how lucky I was when I saw it. A “fancy” French wine to go with a book that takes place partly in a French restaurant.
It had just the right amount of sweetness for me. Not overt, but subtle. Extremely pleasing to my palate. Just a little fruity, and not too dry. It is one I’d happily buy again.
The bath bomb: I’ve had this one since December. The family and I spent the holidays in Arizona with my in-laws and while out shopping I stumbled across this boutique bath shop. Which incidentally also sports a French (sounding) name. The snicker-doodle scented bomb from Soap Des Jour smelled great in solid form but sadly once it dispersed in the water the smell went away. To me, the whole point of having something that smells so good when I buy it is to keep that full experience while I’m having my bath and this was a bit of a let down. I have a few others from this shop, so hopefully those fair better.
Now, the book:
Lumi Santana is a chef with the gift of synesthesia—she can perceive a person’s emotions just by tasting their cooking. Despite being raised by a single mother who taught her that dreams and true love were silly fairy tales, she decides to take a chance and puts her heart and savings into opening a fusion restaurant in Inwood, Manhattan. The restaurant offers a mix of the Dominican cuisine she grew up with and other world cuisines that have been a source of culinary inspiration to her.
When Lumi’s eclectic venture fails, she is forced to take a position as a sous chef at a staid, traditional French restaurant in midtown owned by Julien Dax, a celebrated chef known for his acid tongue as well as his brilliant smile. Lumi and Julien don’t get along in the kitchen–to say Lumi is irritated by Julien’s smug attitude is an understatement, and she secretly vows never to taste his cooking. Little does she know that her resolve doesn’t stand a chance against Julien’s culinary prowess.
As Julien produces one delectable dish after another, each one tempting Lumi with its overwhelming aromas and gorgeous presentations, she can no longer resist and samples one of his creations. She isn’t prepared for the feelings that follow as she’s overcome with intense emotions. She begins to crave his cooking throughout the day, which throws a curveball in her plan to save up enough money and move on as soon as possible. Plus, there’s also the matter of Esme, Julien’s receptionist who seems to always be near and watching. As the attraction between Lumi and Julien simmers, Lumi experiences a tragedy that not only complicates her professional plans, but her love life as well…
Clever, witty, and romantic, A Taste of Sage is sure to delight and entertain readers until the very last page.
A Taste of Sage is the debut novel for Yaffa Santos. This was a different kind of read for me because it wasn’t 100& straight contemporary, there is a tiny bit of magical elements which was a fun twist.
The title tells you this is a foodie romance and another neat twist was the inclusion of the recipes Lumi cooks throughout the story. Now for the meat of things…
Lumi is Dominican and has a real love for food. When she talks about the creation and the experimentation with flavors you can feel her passion. She is in her element. I loved her joy and enthusiasm. Losing her restaurant took a little of that from her which was understandable. On the flip side there’s Julien. I don’t want to say he didn’t have the same passion, but his wasn’t as pure. He was more about the status and the prestige and he was that stereotypical “nightmare” chef. Basically he and Lumi were oil and water.
I fully admit I can be hard on characters sometimes. They make or break a book for me. I don’t see myself as them, but more I relate to them as people I’d want to hang out with or not. Me and Lumi…we’d chill. She’d make some good food. We could laugh talk and discuss the best wines and bath bombs because she is a woman after my own heart when it came to that. LOL Julien…eh let’s just say he’s that friend of my husband that I tolerate, but if he missed coming to the cookout I wouldn’t be sad.
All jokes aside the story had its moments. Being able to see Julien through Lumi’s eyes, especially in relation to her gift of tasting emotions through foods is what saved him for me. Because yeah…at times I struggled.
Overall this was a great debut novel. Great food talked about. Diverse characters. And simply a fun fresh take. I’m looking forward to Yaffa’s next book for sure.
Where to buy