Saturday, 23 July 2016

Book Review - The Taste of Summer by Kate Lord Brown

Amazon UK
Title: The Taste of Summer
Author: Kate Lord Brown
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Orion
Publication Date: 28th July 2016 
Rating: 4.5 Stars

Every summer, in a rambling castle in Kenmare, south west Ireland, the TV crews descend to film the nation's favourite cookery competition. For Diana, a celebrated TV chef, it's a way to keep her castle running. But this summer, it will be different. There's a lot more at stake than the perfect muffin. Bea, the cupcake queen, is determined to remind everyone why she deserves her own TV show, at whatever cost. Connor, the bad boy of the restaurant world, is determined to put his lurid past behind him and turn over a new leaf. And food blogger Darcy finds that returning home to the castle means stirring up some long-buried feelings for someone she'd never quite forgotten.

When I was offered a chance to review this book I was slightly apprehensive, I had never read anything by the author before and her back catalogue just didn't call out to me at all but yet this blurb was interesting and I do love a book that involves cookery. I am delighted that I took the chance to read this, as I found it gripping, tasty and interesting to read and I really enjoyed the story. 

The Taste of Summer is very likely to make you feel hungry, my stomach kept rumbling as I read about some of the delicious recipes that were being used, as well as the cooking competition. The story focuses around the four judges for the final of TV programme Top Chef. 

There is Diana who owns The Castle, a hotel and restaurant in Kenmare, Ireland, who is looking like she may be retiring soon. Darcy her daughter, who is a food blogger and just starting to make a name for herself in the States. Connor Ricci who runs the Michelin starred restaurant in The Castle, and who is a big name in his own right, and been working alongside Diana for years. Finally there is Bea who has been hired in specifically for this series, who is mainly a baker specialising in Black Velvet cupcakes and is the sort of person I realised very early on that needed to have a close eye kept on her. 

During the first part of the book, we are told not only the story of what is happening in Kenmare, but also about a young woman in 1969 who is in a horrible marriage. I found the young woman's story fascinating and slightly shocking, and yet it took a while to connect the dots at all for the connection between the two stories to become apparent. 

I think anyone that enjoys watching TV cookery programmes, reading or looking at food porn, will love this book, as will fans of women's fiction generally. It is a reasonably paced story, with lots of  ups and downs, and I loved seeing how everything came together. It was a very pleasant book, that I thoroughly enjoyed reading, and it's a story that I didn't really want to end. I would love to see a sequel. 

Thank you to Elaine Egan and Netgalley for this review copy. This was my honest opinion. 

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