Genre: Chick-lit, Romance, Retelling
Susan Napier’s family once lived on the success of the high-end restaurants founded by her late grandfather. But bad luck and worse management has brought the business to the edge of financial ruin. Now it’s up to Susan to save the last remaining restaurant: Elliot’s, the flagship in Edinburgh. But what awaits Susan in the charming city of Auld Reekie is more than she bargained for. Chris Baker, her grandfather’s former protégé—and her ex-boyfriend—is also heading to the Scottish capital. After finding fame in New York as a chef and judge of a popular TV cooking competition, Chris is returning to his native Scotland to open his own restaurant. Although the storms have cleared after their intense and rocky breakup, Susan and Chris are re-drawn into each other’s orbit—and their simmering attraction inevitably boils over. As Chris’s restaurant opens to great acclaim and Susan tries to haul Elliot’s back from the brink, the future brims with new promise. But darkness looms as they find themselves in the crosshairs of a gossip blogger eager for a juicy story—and willing to do anything to get it. Can Susan and Chris reclaim their lost love, or will the tangled past ruin their last hope for happiness?
I’d like to begin by saying I was a fool for not realizing Mary Jane Wells was listed as the narrator. So when it started I squealed in joy because she is one of my absolute favorite narrators. She gives each character their own voice and personality, no matter what is on the page! I will ALWAYS listen to something by MJ Wells.
That being said, I think she made the story.
I snatched this up because it sounded as if it promised a romance surrounding food, and I’m a sucker for chef shows and anything food related. I also was overjoyed to see it listed as a Persuasion retelling! Sign me up, right? Except there is minimal romance, and in fact the romance doesn’t show itself until the last 10% of the novel. The entirety actually follows the drama and family issues surrounding the main characters, Susan Napier and Chris Baker. It was interesting learning about the families intricacies, and we do learn quite a bit as the constant diving into family histories does well to explain everyone inside and out.
The writing style lent grand visuals of the city, and of course the food and love of it. The prose was reminiscent of a historical romance, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
In the end it was a bit more frustrating than not… so it’s a solid 3.
What is your guilty pleasure baked good?