A Taste of Sage: Yaffa S. Santos

” 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… “

bookshop.org

Could you imagine being able to taste the emotions of someone, Positive or negative, you can feel exactly how they felt as they were making your food? Lumi has that gift, that at times feels more like a curse. For as long as she can remember Lumi has had to be cautious when it comes to food because the emotions of others could drastically affect her own health.

Lumi was also taught not to trust in men or happily ever after’s. After working hard and going to culinary school, Lumi decides to go for her dreams and opens a restaurant that blends the Dominican food she had growing up with food from around the world. Seeing the joy on her customers’ faces brings her so much happiness, sadly though she’s falling further and further behind on bills to keep it open.

I absolutely love the meet-cute in this book. Don’t know what it is about a confident man hitting on someone, not realizing, in the same breathe he’s insulting them. What woman doesn’t want to be insulted and hit on within a minute of meeting someone?

Julien, a chef that likes everything organized and by the book, ends up blowing up at a customer who asks for ketchup. Who asks for ketchup at a fancy French restaurant?! After kicking out the customer he gets irritated with his sous chef, who ends up quitting on the spot.

Lumi ends up losing her restaurant and needs to find a new job. Little do either of them know, she ends up interviewing to be Julien’s newest sous chef. Working side by side, attraction grows, and both struggle to maintain a professional distance.

After working together for months, and thinking they’re finally getting along, a horrible accident befalls Lumi. Will Lumi and Julien be able to overcome the obstacles in their path to a Happily Ever After or will they go their own separate ways?

I really enjoyed this story, I love that there are recipes spread throughout the book! The few times I’ve seen romances, (set in a restaurant or bakery) have recipes, it’s usually only one or two in the very back of the book. At only 293 pages “A Taste of Sage” would be the perfect book to take with you to the beach or park.

Published by Noelle Loves Books

Growing up, Japanese and Indigenous, it was hard to find books that showcased stories and worlds that accurately portrayed Noelle’s experiences. Fantasy quickly became her main love, as you could really be anyone, anywhere. As the years went on, and technology grew, Noelle was finally able to see more stories and authors that looked and felt like her. Noelle is open to all genre’s though she can mostly be found reading own voice, fantasy, and romance. Ratings: 5 Stars: Completely blew me away 4 Stars: Loved the story but didn't feel completely blown away by it 3 Stars: Liked the overall concept of the story but either had poor execution, had a lot of plot holes, or was written poorly 2 Stars: I struggled to understand the plot, poorly written, or just had really unlikeable characters along with a poor writing 1 Star: Horribly written, major plot holes, or extremely unlikeable characters and plots.

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