Monday, January 12, 2009

Delicious by Sherry Thomas

I picked up Delicious by Sherry Thomas, because it was listed in Library Journal's best books of 2008. I was in the mood for a romance, so I figured I'd give Delicious a try. Having read it, Sherry Thomas is now one of my new favorite romance authors. I went back and read her debut, Private Arrangements, and I'm anxiously awaiting her new title which is due in May.

Delicious is set in late nineteenth century London. The heroine, Verity Durant, is an infamous chef renowned for both her extraordinary cooking, and her affair with her late boss. She has chosen to live a life outside conventional norms. Stuart Somerset, on the other hand, is the half brother of her former employer, and her new employer when he takes over his brother's estates. He is a rising political star, who is fully expected to become Prime Minister some day. He has spent his life trying to overcome the stigma of his illegitimate birth.

Both Verity and Stuart are driven by demons from their past, and their past has ruled their adult lives. Their growing relationship with each other spurs them to rethink the direction their lives are heading, and the reasons for the choices they have made. Thomas does a wonderful job of slowly revealing the truth of their past, and has created a cast of well rounded, and layered characters, who are neither perfect nor infallible. Even the secondary characters have interesting back stories.

This book may remind some of the novel and movie, Like Water for Chocolate, because of the tantalizingly lovely descriptions of food, the way that food and people's reactions to it reflect their emotions and inner life, and the fairytale motif that runs throughout the novel. This is a fun and satisfying read, that left me hungry for a gourmet meal, and for more by this author!

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