Margherita’s Recipes For Love by Elisabetta Flumeri and Gabriella Giacometti
Review by Kylie Thompson
Rating: 3.5 stars
Genre: romance, cooking
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Margherita is a woman with a dream, who might just have gotten distracted and wandered down entirely the wrong road to get there. Heartbroken and preparing herself for life as a divorcee, Margherita packs her menagerie into her car and flees Rome. There’s only one place to go, really, with her world falling apart around her: Roccafitta, Tuscany. Her home.
But Margherita’s dream of reopening her mother’s restaurant might just be out of reach without making deals with devils. And in Roccafitta, the devil just so happens to be a gorgeous new arrival to the town. Nicola Ravelli is a man on a mission, buying up the vineyards for mysterious reasons that have the town elders worried.
It’s hate at first sight, until the pair realise they need each other. Nicola needs a chef to help him woo reluctant winery owners. And Margherita needs money if she’s ever going to get her restaurant back, let alone renovated and opened.
But can food really heal a broken heart, or bring about a new romance?
‘Margherita’s Recipes For Love’ is cute. It’s funny, it’s romantic, and it’s undeniably sweet. But it’s a little heavy-handed on the cheese factor at points. If you’re happy to settle in with the sort of romance where the food mentions fly thick and fast, then you’re probably going to love it. Food, in a lot of ways, is Margherita’s life. She sees the world in terms of flavours and foodstuffs, and if those are the sort of woo-woo shenanigans that’ll drive you crazy, it’s good to know it before you start reading.
Honestly, I like that the authors ran with the cheese factor, even if I rolled my eyes once or twice. Sure, it won’t work for every reader, but it was incredibly in-character for the heroine, and even if not always perfectly executed, it gave readers glimpses into Margherita’s personality and world view.
This is one of those sweet, gentle romances, so if you’re looking for graphic encounters, this isn’t the book for you. And if food based imagery isn’t your particular brand of ‘fade to black’, it could be an issue. But if you’re feeling a little cynical and jaded, this might well be the book to get you laughing again. It’s sheer, unapologetic escapism chock full of romance and sentimentality, there to leave you grinning or book hugging rather than seriously contemplating the world. And hey, even if the story isn’t quite your cup of tea, you might have fun trying the recipes.
They look delicious, after all. The main recipes from the story are all listed, letting you try your hand at culinary seduction (or letting you woo yourself with some amazingly tempting treats).
There are elements of the story that bother me, but that’s because I’m more crime reader than romance afficianado. I prefer cause and consequence to the ‘just this once it’s okay’ approach to problems. But those niggling issues weren’t enough to drag me out of the story too much, and didn’t stop me enjoying the overall work. It’s not a perfect read, but it’s a pretty good one. And if you’re looking for some sweet escapism in a gorgeous setting, this should definitely be added to the TBR pile.
‘Margherita’s Recipes For Love’ is published by Simon & Schuster, and is available at your favourite online and physical stores.