February 22nd, 2014
A NO-NUT Sundae again, but I hope you enjoy my following review of Cooking Up Love by Gemma Brocato. This is only my second review, but I’m getting better at it, I reckon! But geez, are they getting too long? So much to say! 🙂
Other reviews coming:
The Dragon’s Heart – Eden Ashe
Risk Factors – Calisa Rhose
Return of the Fae – Lynn Cahoon
Gentleman’s Folly – Daisy Banks
Beneath the Skin – Amy Lee Burgess
Armed With Steele – Kyra Jacobs
Rayven’s Keep – Kylie Wolfe
Do leave a comment how you feel about the review, or even better check out her book!
Without further ado…
Review of Cooking Up Love by Gemma Brocato
Cooking Up Love is Book 1 of the Five Senses series, where Miss Gemma has creatively tied each to one of the five sense organs of the human body: vision, hearing, smell, taste and touch. And within that clever premise, she builds a romance that blossoms around that sensation. For Cooking Up Love? You guessed it! Taste. Jemima George (love the name!) is a professional chef after all.
It may surprise you that Cooking Up Love is Miss Gemma’s debut as it reads much better. It’s written with a confident voice and lacking so many of the cliche’s that normally seem to fill early romancers. Hers is an honest, humorous and clear storytelling voice, that very much reminds me of Nora Roberts. In all the good ways. You cannot deny the queen of romance and Miss Gemma has a style that I can connect to, just like our gazillionaire Nora.
She sets the series in the small town of Granite Pointe on the eastern seaboard outside of Boston. One of Miss Gemma’s greatest strengths is with her characterization, how the internal and external struggles with Jem and Jack propel the story forward. They are believable characters that do real things. Not extraordinary that make you roll your eyes, thinking “that never happens” but real likable people that you root for because you’ve been there yourself. Well except for Jem’s claustrophobia – but I have the same deathly fear of heights, so I can relate girl! Now, I just need a bit of kissy kissy to keep me preoccupied on a plane…LOL
I also know by my sneaky-peaky of the next book in the series to be released in May 2014, Hearts in Harmony, that the characters are all linked, and we get to check in with the HEAs from earlier books to know they are all going well. I love this about series writing, because in a good romance you invest so much of your heart into the hero and heroine, just like in Cooking Up Love. Another strength in Miss Gemma’s storytelling, and one I consider the most important in romance writing.
But Cooking Up Love is also about the mystery. With a couple layers of suspenseful elements, it becomes a page-turner and the reader is engaged and committed to the end. I don’t want to ruin anything here for you, but suffice to say that the combination of who-dunnit in a small town setting where everyone knows…well everyone…things can still turn out as you least expect it.
A couple of my favorite quotes from the book:
“When she caught sight of his lean fingers tracing pencil marks on the plans, or pointing out something he’d changed since the last time they met, she found herself breathless, imagining how wonderful those fingers would feel trailing over her body.” – I love man’s hands. LOL
“No question, if she got involved with him it was going to be a complicated, crowded relationship. It would be her, plus Jack, plus all their baggage and damage from other loves.” – Because ain’t that the way?
The best part about CUL is there are four more books to come! Well done, Miss Gemma. I give Cooking Up Love 5 Cherries (to top all of those wonderful pies).
(And I KNOW my first two reviews are both 5 cherries, but hey, if the book deserves it…And I don’t go halfsies)
Happy Sundae folks!