Audience: YA Regency Romance
Length: 352 pages
Author: Jennieke Cohen
Release Date: January 11th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads
Culinary delights abound, romance lingers in the air, and plans go terribly, wonderfully astray in this cheeky and charming historical tale, perfect for fans of Bridgerton or Dickinson.
It’s 1830s England, and Culinarians—doyens who consult with society’s elite to create gorgeous food and confections—are the crème de la crème of high society.
Helena Higgins, top of her class at the Royal Academy, has a sharp demeanor and an even sharper palate—and knows stardom awaits her if she can produce greatness in her final year.
Penelope Pickering is going to prove the value of non-European cuisine to all of England. Her contemporaries may scorn her Filipina heritage and her dishes, but with her flawless social graces and culinary talents, Penelope is set to prove them wrong.
Elijah Little has nothing to his name but a truly excellent instinct for flavors. London merchants won’t allow a Jewish boy to own a shop, so he hawks his pasties for a shilling a piece to passersby—but he knows with training he can break into the highest echelon of society.
When Penelope and Helena meet Elijah, a golden opportunity arises: to pull off a project never seen before, and turn Elijah from a street vendor to a gentleman chef.
But Elijah’s transformation will have a greater impact on this trio than they originally realize—and mayhem, unseemly faux pas, and a little romance will all be a part of the delicious recipe.
IT WAS SWEET.
I know nothing about My Fair Lady. Apparently this is a gender bend on that? Maybe so.
I did think this book was incredibly sweet. I liked the plot set-up and all of the FOOD. Oh my goodness, so much baking and cooking. I think I was hungry half the time just listening to this because everything sounded delectable. I’m a sucker for a good cuisine book and this nailed it.
I struggled the most with Helena. I knew her character was meant to be unlikeable but wow did she really annoy me. Hallelujah for the growth she showed in the end after Penelope and Elijah both showed some backbone and told her to get with the program and off of her high horse.
Penelope and Elijah were easily one of my favorite parts. Such a tender and slow burn acquaintances to lovers romance. I adored the way they connected over food and their history. The meaningful conversations surround those of mixed race and Jewish decent in the time period brought another complex layer to this read. I really enjoyed this one and the audiobook was fantastic too.
Overall audience notes:
- YA Regency Romance
- Language: none
- Romance: kisses
- Trigger/Content Warnings: racism, anti-Semitism, discrimination, misogyny, loss of parents