Monday, June 22, 2020

A Taste of Sage by Yaffa S. Santos

Lumi Santana is crushed when she loses her restaurant. Now, with debt piling up and no other choice, she has to take a job working with a man who infuriates her to no end! What's more, Lumi's ability (curse) of tasting a cook's emotions in their food, means she will never, ever touch a dish made by the man.

Julien Dax is known for his strict French cooking and his command of his kitchen. But when he hires Lumi as his sous chef, he finds that her tendency to ad lib recipes at will is charming. As time goes by, he finds himself falling for the strong willed chef, willing to do whatever it takes to win her over. 

But Lumi has so many reasons to resist. Her main reason: men cannot be trusted! The job is a means to an end, paying off her debt and saving to start a new restaurant venture. And no matter how much she finds herself warming to him, she vows never to become involved! Unfortunately for Lumi, Julien's own talents are a bit harder to resist and she finds herself, in spite of everything, secretly sampling his cooking. What she discovers surprises her to no end! But will her growing taste for his dishes lead to something more or will Lumi find once again that falling for, and relying on, a man will lead to disaster?

If you're looking for a lighter read, you cannot go wrong with Yaffa S. Santos's debut!

Lumi is a strong-willed Dominican chef intent on sharing her culture and her passion for food with everyone around her. And she does that through her restaurant, Caraluna. But Lumi's regulars aren't enough to keep her restaurant going and, unfortunately, she eventually has to give up the business. 

Meanwhile, Julien Dax has lost yet another sous chef. He's bossy and particular and not one to let even the smallest slight go. 

Sadly, Lumi's first run in with Julien is not a pleasant one and when she applies, and gets an interview, for a sous chef position a friend alerts her to and discovers it's working for Julien, she's definitely not going to take it! But, the need for an influx of cash is too much and Julien convinces her to give it a try. 

The two chefs are both stubborn in their own right. And they both have baggage galore! Add to that Lumi's synesthesia, which allows her to taste a cook's emotions, and you have a recipe for a tantalizingly steamy read!

A Taste of Sage reminded me just a bit of the Sarah Michelle Gellar film, Simply Irresistible, where people can taste her emotions in the foods she cooks. This is the opposite and it's kind of a plague for Lumi. Most of the time, unless she's cooking for herself, she limits herself to processed foods so that she doesn't have to worry about any nasty emotions seeping into the flavors of the meals she eats. But when she really trusts someone, she does let them cook for her. Considering the fact that cooking for someone can be quite an intimate act, and this is a rom com about two chefs, it adds an interesting flavor to the book. 

A Taste of Sage is a sweet read with just the right amount of drama, steam, and food. Oh, and there are recipes too!

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