If you’re like me, you’ve watched every episode of The Great British Bake Off (or Great British Baking Show for us American viewers) you can find on PBS or Netflix. You devoured the all-too-brief holiday special (which I thought was a bit like the Quarter Quell in Hunger Games, what with the returning contestants.) Now you’re hungry, not just for complicated breads and pastries you’d never make in your own kitchen, but also for a book that will give you the same feel as watching the show.
I find GBBO a warm, calming program to tune in to. It’s the hot bath and cup of tea of television. The sensation is a bit like why I read Romance. There may be drama or troubles, but in the end, Paul and Prue will find something nice to say and everyone will have their Happily Ever After at that big party in the final episode.
What I truly want though, is for two of the contests to fall in love. How amazing would that be? You see them flirting while they bake, helping each other out, and then at the end of the season learn they’re a couple? It hasn’t happened yet, but maybe it’s happened in fiction.
So, I’m turning to you, amazing readers of All About Romance. Do any of you know of Romances that would fit the bill for this? Rival bakers falling in love? Cooking show contestants romance each other between takes?
I’d like to share the few titles our reviewers recommended, and I hope you’ll add some of your own in the comments.
Hot Under Pressure by Louisa Edwards (Suggested by Dabney)
Henry Beck thought he’d already faced the toughest kitchen challenge of his life. After all, what could top sweating it out as a Navy cook on a submarine? But when he learns his competition for the title of Rising Star Chef is the sweet hippie girl he married…and left…ten years ago, the heat is on.
Now Beck and Skye Gladwell are going head to head in the finals…and sparking up old flames every time they touch. But Skye wants more than a win over the man who abandoned her when she needed him most—she wants a divorce! Then her sexy almost-ex makes a deliciously dangerous proposition. He’ll give in to her demands, but if his team wins the RSC, he has a demand of his own…one last taste of the only woman he ever loved.
A Taste of Heaven by Penny Watson (Suggested by Maria Rose)
“Create one perfect bite.”
Good little widow Sophia Brown always follows the rules. When the producer of a cooking competition requests an amuse-bouche, the chefs stick with proteins. Sauces. A savory concoction. She has only one shot to impress the judges on A Taste of Heaven. But in a moment of defiance, she creates an extraordinary dessert, one that combines both the bitter and the sweet, just like her own life.
That one bite changes everything.
After a year grieving for her dead husband, forty-seven-year-old Sophia is finally ready to break out of her shell. Unfortunately, there is a large, angry obstacle standing in her way. Scottish chef Elliott Adamson has a chip on his shoulder the size of Loch Ness, and he’s blocking her path to victory.
Spurred by her daughters, she embarks on a poignant adventure that takes her from the wildflower fields of Vermont to the wind-swept vista of North Berwick, Scotland. Fear, courage, and inspiration from unlikely places will mark this journey, and Sophia is determined to persevere until the very end.
**At time of writing, A Taste of Heaven is available from Amazon for 99c.**
Deep Dish by Mary Kay Andrews (Suggested by Maggie)
Battling TV chefs—a handsome Georgia redneck and a struggling young professional woman—find themselves competing for a coveted weekly time slot on national television in Mary Kay Andrews’s delightful New York Times bestseller Deep Dish. The incomparable Mary Kay offers heaping portions of humor, heart, and sass that fans of Fannie Flagg, Jennifer Crusie, Adriana Trigiani, Emily Giffin, and the Sweet Potato Queens simply will not be able to resist, as the winner-take-all cooking competition gets intense, especially when love ups the ante.
Have you read any of these and what other titles would you suggest? Let us know in the comments, or if you just want to talk about Great British Baking Show, I’m here for that too (my possible favorite contestant ever is Rahul).
~ Haley Kral