A Taste of Heaven
What happens when a grumpy, arrogant Scottish chef meets a young widow on the set of a reality cooking show? Sparks fly on and off camera in this delightful romance.
Sophia Brown tragically lost her beloved husband after many years of marriage and raising two daughters. She loves to cook, turning even simple meals into fine examples of presentation and balance. When her daughters, concerned about their mother’s well-being, enter her into a reality television cooking competition, after an initial protest, she rolls with the punches and plays along.
The competition is not exactly what she expected, however. Instead of just a contest between amateurs vying for top prize, each amateur must pair with an experienced chef and work together to reach the end of the competition. Enter Elliott Adamson, a burly Scot with a foul temper and zero patience. It’s definitely not love at first sight and this pair will need to overcome a lot of animosity to work together to reach the finish line.
This is perhaps what I loved most about this story. Besides the fact that the protagonists are older than those typically found in romances (Elliott and Sophia are in their mid- to late-forties), they aren’t lusting after one another each second and honestly have to work through their differences in personality to achieve success. Elliott wants to be in charge. In fact, he demands it. Sophia is able to coolly handle him even as he infuriates her. Their feelings develop as they butt heads, eventually forming a partnership that works both on and off set.
The reality show aspects are fun, especially for a reality television junkie like myself. I could really picture the smooth host and judging panel, the brightly lit set, and the behind-the-scenes drama that unfolds. The fun atmosphere of a cooking show provided a nice counterpoint to the poignancy of Sophia’s widowhood and Elliott’s intensity. The romance is very much character-driven and the true strength of the story is the vividly drawn characters, particularly Elliott with his bad attitude and Scottish pride.
One caveat: This story will make you hungry so have plenty of snacks on hand. If you’re looking for a different sort of romance with mature protagonists and plenty of humor and memorable moments, I recommend A Taste of Heaven. Though I’m still not tempted to try haggis.