A Taste of Sage

A Taste of Sage

by Yaffa S. Santos
Setting: New York
Genres: Magical Realism, Romance
Published on May 19, 2020
Pages: 302
Format: Paperback Source: Owned

Lumi Santana is a chef with the gift of synesthesia—she can perceive a person’s emotions by tasting their cooking. Despite being raised by a single mother who taught her that dreams and true love were silly fairy tales, she takes a chance and puts her heart and savings into opening a fusion restaurant in Manhattan. The restaurant offers a mix of the Dominican cuisine she grew up with and other world cuisines that have been a source of culinary inspiration to her.

When Lumi’s venture fails, she is forced to take a position as a sous chef at a staid French restaurant in midtown owned by Julien Dax, a celebrated chef known for his acid tongue and brilliant smile. Lumi and Julien don’t get along in the kitchen and she secretly vows never to taste his cooking. Little does she know that her resolve doesn’t stand a chance against his culinary prowess.

As Julien produces one delectable dish after another, Lumi can no longer resist his creations. She isn’t prepared for the intense feelings that follow, throwing a curveball in her plan to move on as soon as possible. Plus, there’s the matter of Esme, Julien’s receptionist, who seems to always be near and watching. As the attraction between Lumi and Julien simmers, Lumi experiences a tragedy that not only complicates her professional plans, but her love life as well...

Clever, witty, and romantic, A Taste of Sage will delight and entertain until the last page.

I had to make sure I got a foodie book in for Wyrd and Wonder. This is a book that combines magical realism with romance.

Lumi is able to taste the emotions of the people who make the food that she eats. She’s talented chef who is forced to take a sous chef position after her own restaurant fails. It is humiliating for her. The stuffy French restaurant is a far cry from her creative Dominican cafe with a different menu every night.

I didn’t really get the romance here. They pretty much avoided each other all the time until they decided that they liked each other. They hadn’t even really spoken to each other much. I guess you could write that off as being physically attracted to each other or something but it seemed to come out of nowhere in the book because it was was time for the romance part of the story to start. They were fine together as a couple once they were together but the beginning didn’t make sense to me.

There were a lot of insecurities in each of their backgrounds that they needed to work through.

“To my mother, good men are like ghosts: everyone swears they’re out there, but nobody can substantiate having encountered one.” 

Add their hangups to drama at the restaurant and injuries and there is a lot going on in this book. It was an enjoyable read but I don’t know that it all adds up to something memorable. Some of the food sounded good though and there are some recipes in the book. There is a baked apple dish that I would try.