Author: Sherry Thomas
Mass Market Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Bantam (July 29, 2008)
Famous in Paris, infamous in London, Verity Durant is as well-known for her mouthwatering cuisine as for her scandalous love life. But that’s the least of the surprises awaiting her new employer when he arrives at the estate of Fairleigh Park following the unexpected death of his brother.
The lawyer Stuart Somerset worked himself up from the slums of Manchester to become one of the rising political stars of England’s Parliament. To him, Verity Durant is just a name and food is just food, until her first dish touches his lips. Only one other time had he felt such pure arousal—a dangerous night of passion with a stranger, a young woman who disappeared at dawn. Ten years is a long time to wait for the main course, but when Verity Durant arrives at his table, there’s only one thing that will satisfy Stuart’s appetite for more. But is his hunger for lust, revenge—or that rarest of delicacies, love? For Verity’s past has a secret that could devour them both even as they reach for the most delicious fruit of all.…
If you liked Sherry Thomas’ debut novel “Private Arrangements”, then prepare yourselves to be bowled over with this book, her next powerhouse of a novel! Sexy, soaring, savage and oh-so good – that’s “Delicious” for you! Where to begin? The fantastic characterizations, the complicated story, the sheer romance or how it all ends? To repeat myself, it’s all just SO good! Thomas does a wonderful job of creating a story that’s not for the faint of hearts. There’s nothing simple or demure or conventional about “Delicious” or its protagonists.
I’m not a personal fan of stories where sex dominates everything else, to the point there is no story. Here, it’s the idea of it (and a distant memory) that continuously tantalizes the principals (and the readers) almost the length and breadth of the novel. The incredible part is, a great deal of it happens without the hero even seeing the face of the heroine (that’s just one of the suspense elements in this story). It’s a testament to Thomas’ excellent writing prowess that this true and tried plot device works marvelously.
Thomas’ female leads are generally unconventional, but Verity Durant takes the cake - literally and figuratively. Nothing startling by today’s terms, but her life experiences are totally unlike what one has come to expect from a heroine of a historical romance. At the lowest point of her life, this woman reinvents herself to cook like a master! Similarly with leading man, Stuart - an illegitimate son of a nobleman whose ambition and hard work has brought him close to being Prime Minister. Essentially they’re the same, but the societal abyss separating them is deeper than Marina Trench. Their love is enough to bring tears to the eyes of the readers. And yet, is it strong enough to overcome social prejudices? And therein lays the crux of this exhilarating romance story.
But the heart of this novel is Food! If you’ve never considered Food an aphrodisiac before, you will after reading this novel. The descriptions are so evocative that readers can almost taste the buttery Madelines or feel the texture of the pottage against their tongues. Thomas raises dishes from being just sustenance to ambrosia when crafted by Verity. It’s little wonder her employers are so easily seduced by her. You will be too!
Sherry Thomas is now on my auto-buy list. She is that good, fellow bookworms!