Foodie Favorites

I’m totally a foodie. I live on Pinterest, scouring for new recipes to try out at dinner each night. I start planning my lunch break stop at about 10 a.m. each day. I have an actual bucket list of foods I want to try before I die. Most people plan activities and attractions for their vacations; all I care about is what new restaurants I can try and can I get some local specialties there!

davidsonMy love for food translates onto the page too. It always has. In high school I was into mysteries and one of my favorite authors was Diane Mott Davidson, who’s central character is a caterer who somehow always becomes embroiled in some mystery she has  to dig her way out of whilst also creating delicious party foods, which Davidson gives you the recipe for. I should’ve seen back then I had a “problem”…. LOL

And stories centered around food are still some of my favorites to read and I find them in even more abundance in the romance genre. So today I thought I would share some of my favorite pieces of “foodie fiction.” See if anything strikes your fancy!

Burn for You by J.T. Geissinger

burn

I mentioned in my recent review that this one had me salivating in more ways than one. The creole recipes that chef Bianca whipped up in her New Orleans restaurant were almost as tempting as our hero, Jackson “The Beast” Boudreaux! Recipes are included in each chapter intro and there are several that I added to my recipe box to try out in the future.

Book Rating: ****    |     Foodie Factor: *****

The Opposite of You by Rachel Higginson

opposite

This is one of my favorite enemies-to-lovers novels. Vera Delane opens a food truck that specializes in comfort food with a street food edge. She operates in the parking lot of her brother’s bike shop. The only problem is that the chef at the Michelin-star-earning restaurant across the plaza wants her gone. So why does he visit her so often??? I gave this one four stars, but I really can’t remember why I didn’t give it five… Killian is a bearded hottie who can cook??? He’s probably my perfect man. And Vera’s recipes had me checking Facebook to see hot many food trucks I could find in our tiny town (Just four. We need more. Also, I had the most perfect burger from one of those trucks for lunch today!).

Book Rating: ****    |     Foodie Factor: ****

Bittersweet by Sarina Bowen

bitter

This one is a little different than some other foodie fiction, and I really enjoyed it! In Bittersweet, Bowen introduces us to the Shipley family. They’ve been growing apples in Vermont for years and the eldest son, Griffin, has used those apples to perfect hard cider. Audrey was sent by the restaurant conglomerate she works for to obtain Shipley cider for their restaurants at the best price possible. When she and Griff get together there is genuine heat — in and out of the kitchen!

Whether it’s Audrey’s or Ma Shipley’s culinary delights or Griff’s unbelievable cider that Bowen is describing, the reader is salivating. How does Bowen make cider sound so….sensual? I don’t know. But Audrey wasn’t the only one feeling weak in the knees as Griff talked about his *ahem* apples.

Book Rating: ****    |     Foodie Factor: ****

Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel

water

Tita De La Garza has been forbidden to marry. As the youngest child, it is her duty to take care of her family. But she is desperately in love with Pedro, who marries her sister in order to be close to her. What’s a girl to do? Tita throws her passion into her cooking! No, I mean literally. She makes a chicken for Pedro so succulent that, when her sister eats it, she practically bursts into flames. She becomes unbearably hot all over.

Esquivel uses the recipes in Like Water for Chocolate to actually forward the story along. The recipe at each chapter’s opening foreshadows what will occur in the chapter. And to her, food is not only sensual – it’s comforting and sweet. It’s love.

My favorite food-related quote from the novel:

“She felt so lost and lonely. One last chile in walnut sauce left on the platter after a fancy dinner couldn’t feel any worse than she did. …. That marvelous chile in walnut sauce. Within it lies the secret of love, but it will never be penetrated, and all because it wouldn’t be proper.”

Book Rating: *****    |     Foodie Factor: ****

Chocolat by Joanne Harris

chocolat

Again we’re exploring the sensuality of food, and I’m loving it. But specifically Harris is using chocolate luscious, decadent chocolate to give insight into the hearts and minds of one town’s inhabitants.

Warning: Chocolat is not to be read with Godiva in the house. It. Will. Not. Last.

Favorite quote describing chocolate:

The air is hot and rich with the scent of chocolate. Quite unlike the white powdery chocolate I knew as a boy, this has a throaty richness like the perfumed beans from the coffee stall on the market, a redolence of amaretto and tiramisù, a smoky, burned flavor that enters my mouth somehow and makes it water. There is a silver jug of the stuff on the counter, from which a vapor rises.

Book Rating: ****    |     Foodie Factor: ***** (because, chocolate)

Wallbanger by Alice Clayton

wallbanger

OK, this one might be a stretch to be considered foodie fiction, but Caroline loves to bake and I loved reading about it (…and her sticky buns). So I’m counting it!

Wallbanger is so fun and sexy; I loved it. Side note: I can’t believe I didn’t review this! I just went to link to my review and there is none there. I may have to remedy that; this one was too good not to review.

Caroline just moved into her dream apartment and everything is perfect. Until the middle of the night, when she discovers her thin walls allow her to hear everything that goes on in the apartment next door. And that sexy wall-banger has a lot going on next door!

Simon and Caroline end up doing a lot of cooking together, both in the kitchen and in the bedroom and it is so much fun. If you are a foodie or a fan of romantic comedies either one, Wallbanger should be on you TBR!

Book Rating: *****    |     Foodie Factor: ***

Honorable Mentions

Here are some recent reads that I didn’t really love. They all garnered three-star reviews from me. But they did make me hungry with their food descriptions, so they need to be on the list too.

Sweet Addiction: Dylan owns Dylan’s Sweet Tooth and she’s always baking up something that makes me want to run to my local bakery… Tarts? Chocolate cake with peppermint icing? Sign me up for it all!

Simply Irresistible: OK, so I didn’t actually give this one three stars. I really didn’t care for this one at all. But the treats Georgeanne cooks up in her catering business made the chore of reading this novel slightly more bearable.

The Coincidence of Coconut Cake: This is You’ve Got Mail meets Hell’s Kitchen or something like that. And it almost hit the mark with me, but just landed slightly off. When Luella’s restaurant gets a bad review from her town’s critic, she has no idea said reviewer is the same handsome man who she (literally) ran into today while carrying a coconut cake! It’s a shame he stopped by on an off night. Because her food – and the way Reichert describes it – is mouth-watering.

My Foodie TBR

I’m always looking for more book recommendations that focus on chefs, bakers or foodies like myself. These are a few from my current TBR list. Am I missing something great? Drop me a rec in the comments! I’m always looking for more foodie fiction!

 

 

 

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