4.5 stars, increased to 5.
The first thing you will notice in this novel is the massive attention to detail that Ms Kerr has included. French, Italian, the Sydney waterfront and wider areas, backstage at a high end restaurant… it has it all!! Even oyster farming. Each scene is crafted to be a feast to the senses – sights, smells, tastes are all thoroughly explored.
A holiday fling with an Australian celebrity chef might just end up being more than French tourist, Angelique, can mix into her Michelin-bound delicacies.
Angelique is on vacation when she is left destitute by a thief at a backpackers’ hotel and is forced to find work. She is hired as a chef at Rosettis restaurant where Vincent is the Head Chef.
Vincent is wary of the French dessert chef not just because his celebrity status attracts attention from total strangers, but because he didn’t get to vet her qualifications before she landed in his kitchen courtesy of his mother and grandmother. But she is as alluring as her desserts and he just can’t get enough of her.
Confident that her troubles in Australia will soon be behind her, Angelique keeps her focus firmly on earning enough money to get home to France and back to building her career. She hasn’t counted on her holiday fling with the celebrity chef becoming something that might threaten her plans.
The story is sweet and funny, and the character of Nonna is the perfect quintessential Italian grandmother – you’ll love her. The rest of the family too.
My only gripe was that the reason for the disagreement between Vincent and Angelique wasn’t very well explained. I went from one page to the next wondering what it was that actually happened. Having said that, I was invested enough in the novel that I didn’t want to go back and work out what I missed – I wanted to plough forward, to find out what happens!
Very much recommended for a weekend read with your feet up and a glass of Prosecco.