Title: Recipe For Love
Author: Katie Fforde
Version Read: Hardcover
Publication Date: March 1st, 2012
Categories: chick-lit, fiction, romance
Summary (Goodreads): Take one aspiring cook, one judge, and a spoonful of romance…
When Zoe Harper wins a coveted place in a televised cookery competition she’s thrilled. It’s a chance to cook her way to fame and fortune and the little delicatessen she’s set her heart on.
The first task has hardly begun when she finds herself with rather too much on her plate. Not only has she got to contend with the fiercely competitive and downright devious Cher, but she’s fast developing an inconvenient crush on one of the judges – the truly delicious Gideon Irving.
All too soon there’s more than canapés, cupcakes and cordon bleu at stake. Will Zoe win the competition or is Gideon one temptation too far? And is Zoe really prepared to risk it all for love?
I like Katie Fforde’s novels. Especially when I want something fun and usually fairly light to read as a change of pace. I quite enjoyed Recipe for Love as well.
I enjoy cooking contest shows (at the moment my favourite is the Great Australian Bake-Off) and the cooking contest in Recipe for Love had a nice sense of authenticity, but didn’t bog down the book either. I have seen cooking contest in other novels, and not all of them have done it well. This particular one however was nicely incorporated into the storyline, and you got a nice sense of the competitors and the personalities of everyone in the contest.
I really didn’t like Cleo, from the very beginning. I had to admire her tenacity and how focused she was on her goal of winning. However, forcing your fellow contestant and room-mate to deal with some rather unfair situations goes beyond fair play and into sabotage. It was mostly petty things, but the things she did weren’t great – or easy to prove she had done them. She was very well written, and it just goes to show in the reaction I had to her.
To offset Cleo, Recipe for Love had Fenella and Rupert, who owned the estate where the competition mostly took place. The very pregnant Fenella was a particular favourite of mine, and I enjoyed her interations both with Zoe and the other contestants, as well as her interactions with Rupert (and Glory, the baby). Rupert’s parents also show up and they are a handful to say the least. Talk about being in the last century. They did however provide for some very funny moments in the novel.
Some people will have an issue with this novel because Zoe and Gideon’s relationship could well be construed by the public and other contestants as cheating. Especially since Gideon is a judge. However I thought it was dealt with quite well, particularly as Gideon made sure he wasn’t showing Zoe, or any other contestant, any particular favour.
All in all a great weekend or rainy/sunny day read. One to take with you on holiday because you don’t have to concentrate to much, but it’s still an enjoyable story.