Publisher: Bantam Books
Source: I bought this book
Famous in Paris, infamous in London, Verity Durant is as well-known for her mouthwatering cuisine as for her scandalous love life. But that’s the least of the surprises awaiting her new employer when he arrives at the estate of Fairleigh Park following the unexpected death of his brother.
Lawyer Stuart Somerset worked himself up from the slums of Manchester to become one of the rising political stars of England’s Parliament. To him, Verity Durant is just a name and food is just food until her first dish touches his lips. Only one other time has he felt such pure arousal—a dangerous night of passion with a stranger, a young woman who disappeared at dawn. Ten years is a long time to wait for the main course, but when Verity Durant arrives at his table, there’s only one thing that will satisfy Stuart’s appetite for more. But is his hunger for lust, revenge—or that rarest of delicacies, love? For Verity’s past has a secret that could devour them both even as they reach for the most delicious fruit of all…
Delicious is a book that I picked up because I was curious. I read Private Arrangements some time ago and found the switching back and forth from present to past frustrating and at times confusing. The reviews that I came across were so positive, I thought I’d give this author another try.
Verity Durant is a well-known cook, famous for creating mouth-watering meals for Bertie Somerset. In the first chapter of the book, Bertie drops dead in the middle of dinner and his estranged brother, rising political star, Stuart Somerset inherits the estate as well as the cook. This book, like Private Arrangements, hops back and forth in time. One must be on the ball to read this book and keep track of the story. Verity actually met Stuart 10 years prior and shared one night of passion. She has been following his life and now Fate has brought them back together. Stuart proves to be more intuitive than Verity is comfortable with and she always seems to be on the edge of leaving.
This book has positive aspects as well as negative aspects. On the positive side, the descriptions of food are positively orgasmic! As one reviewer commented, “this book would have been better suited to someone who is way more into food than I am.” I have to say that I agree. I can certainly appreciate wonderful descriptive writing but a good portion of this book is spent describing the preparation of food, the look of food or someone commenting about the taste of the food. I guess I’m just not that taken with food!
On the negative side, there are several situations that one must suspend all sense of reality. At one point in the story, Verity decides to have a bath in the master’s bathroom. The scene is quite involved and of course the master comes home and discovers her. Makes for some really steamy descriptions, but really, would that really have happened? Also, if Verity is so well known a cook, why is she working in a common household – why hasn’t she been snatched up by a duke?
This is now the second book I have read by Sherry Thomas and while I admire her writing ability, the jumping of time frames I continue to find frustrating and I simply didn’t like the characters very much again. I find that I need to either like characters or find some redeeming qualities to them in order to like the book overall. I may try another book by Sherry Thomas, but I’m not sure. I certainly understand why the reviews are all over the map, she obviously appeal to certain people, and frustrates others!
RT Reviews obviously disagrees with me as they give this book 4.5 stars and say the following about Ms. Thomas: “She dazzles with her intelligent, compelling story and memorable characters. This well-crafted romance places her among the very finest of the next generation of authors.”