A Taste of Sage

Yaffa S. Santos. Harper, $15.99 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-0-06-297484-6
Santo cooks up a disappointingly bland debut romance between chefs. After the failure of Lumi Santana’s experimental Dominican restaurant in Manhattan, Lumi reluctantly takes a position as sous chef in Julien Dax’s traditional French restaurant. At first, Lumi and Julien butt heads, as Lumi attempts her own spin on traditional dishes, but Julien is attracted by Lumi’s beauty, and Lumi—who possesses the ability to discern a chef’s emotions when she eats their food—is intrigued by the depth of flavor and feeling in Julien’s cooking, and the two begin a romance. After Julien’s secretary, Esme, secretly assists in cooking a dessert, Lumi claims she can taste the bitter flavors of Esme’s jealousy of Lumi. Still, the women’s conflict fails to adequately complicate the plot, which plods along toward its happy ending with few surprises for the protagonists and little to no character development for Santos’s supporting cast of largely indistinguishable colleagues and friends. Santos’s creativity and humor, however, shine through occasionally in the recipes that accompany many chapters (for Lumi’s Rice Chex Smoothie, preparation instructions simply read, “Don’t”; others, such as a bouillabaisse with rouille, sound appetizing). Unfortunately, her recipe for romance is not equally inspired. Agent: Nick Owen, Pontas Literary & Film Agency. (May)
Reviewed on : 03/10/2020
Release date: 05/01/2020
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 288 pages - 978-0-06-297486-0
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Audio book sample courtesy of HarperAudio
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