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The perfect book for ChocolatePages. Food Food and more food. Book Review: Craving London. By Jessica Stone.

The perfect book for ChocolatePages. Food Food and more food. Book Review: Craving London. By Jessica Stone.

Anyone who knows me well, will know I am a complete foodie. I wonder if Author Jessica Stone got that from my blog name or it was just lucky she contacted me with her new and first book, Craving London. I am honoured to have received an advanced copy of Jessica’s first published book and am very happy to tell my readers what I thought of Craving London. A warning, foodies get ready to buy another book. 😋

Just a little foodie photo to get you in the mood.

Description:

Still single five years after a broken engagement, 29-year-old food lover Jessica Stone decides to leave New York City for a fresh start in London, hoping the change in scenery would finally usher in a new relationship. In this all-consuming memoir, she indulges in one culinary adventure after another while undergoing the trials and tribulations of trying to date in a different country. Would she finally find the winning recipe for lasting love?

Craving London is an intimate journey of the heart and palate. Those engaged in a life-long love affair with food and travel—as well as a hunger for self-improvement and a curiosity for foreign culture—will find many ingredients to sink their teeth into here.

Join Jessica as she reinvents her life from scratch, reminisces about her Cuban roots, shares her favorite recipes, and attempts to unravel the nature of relationships…one rapturous bite at a time.

My Thoughts:

Let’s start this review off simply! This book is divinely delicious, amusing and gave me an appetite for good food and more chapters. I loved it.

The story begins with an end of a relationship and the start of a journey, a journey of self discovery, travel and taste buds. The Author writes her own story and brings with it recipes and meals that coincide with the situations she has found herself in, whether to enjoy during each chapter of her life or to satisfy herself despite the situation.

” …..if you can’t entertain yourself , how can you expect others to come along for the ride?”

I have read lots of foodie romance books, But this one is different. There is no fluffiness in Craving London. Jessica Stone writes with finesse, describing her discovery of a new city – it was amusing for me to read the differences in language between what Jessica knew as American terms to my own British language.

” Mr Darcy was at the market pushing a trolley ( the British have a way of making even shopping carts sound quaint).”

Along with life in a new city and a new dating life in London there are foods to go with each date whether it be weird or wonderful.

As Jessica fell in love with British food, so did I all over again. My favourite part of the book was the foodie talk and recipes, but there are plenty of other parts to get the reader turning the pages too. There are many amusing dates and dumpings. One of the best excuses I have heard to not see someone again is towards the end of the book. I won’t tell you what it is, but it was funny enough for me to take a photo of the sentence and send it to my Mum! She laughed too.

I thought I would enjoy Craving London, I wasn’t expecting it to be a book that I would rave about and consider buying as Christmas gifts for friends and family. Craving London is this new Author’s first book and what a spectacular first book it is. Highly recommended.


Links:

Goodreads

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Jessicamstone.com

Jessica also made a trailer for her book. It’s very good and makes you want to delve in to Craving London. You can pre order now by going to my links section.

 
6 Comments

Posted by on October 3, 2020 in Baking, Books

 

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Battered: A Whipped and Sipped Mystery (Whipped and Sipped Mysteries Book 1) by G. P. Gottlieb

Battered: A Whipped and Sipped Mystery (Whipped and Sipped Mysteries Book 1) by G. P. Gottlieb

Thank you to Author G.P. Gottlieb for my copy of Battered , A Whipped and Sipped mystery. I was happy to read and review this book after the Author contacted me with a recipe for chocolate sauce! Tempt me with chocolate and I will agree to many things 😉

Description:

Alene Baron is the proud owner of Whipped and Sipped, a café that offers healthful, delectable food and drinks. Her life consists of dreaming up new recipes, raising her three children, and arguing with her ex-husband–until her neighbor and close friend is murdered. She imagines nearly everyone she knows as a possible suspect. After a second attack, Alene is determined to find the true killer … before she, or her family, become targets.

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Published August 6th 2019 by D. X. Varos, Ltd

My Thoughts:

I was attracted to this book because it seemed like a cosy mystery filled with foodie talk. I was right in that it is a cosy mystery and the food chat is deliciously tantalizing

Alene runs the Whipped and Sipped cafe. She has a lot of friends, family and colleagues. When one of her friends is murdered, she is shocked and wants to find out who the killer is. Then when someone else is hurt, Alene gets worried. Who is this dangerous person around her friends, family and much loved cafe.

Along the chapters, we read about lots of comforting foods that Alene makes. Her recipes sound so delicious and most of them are healthy too. These kind of tasty morsels make me enjoy books even more so.

I did find that there were a bit too many characters to keep track of at first. There is a list of all the characters and who they are at the beginning of the book. While this would be very helpful in a paperback, it wasn’t much use in my ebook.

Alene is a great character and she is described so well and fully the the reader gets a real sense of who she is as a mother, friend, employer and person.

Despite being an easy reading cosy mystery, I didn’t guess who the murderer was . There were a lot of red herrings to keep us guessing and keep the plot alive.

“Battered ” is a cosy mystery that made me hungry and led me to really visualize the Whipped and Sipped cafe. I enjoyed the foodie chat within the cafe and Alene’s home actually more so than the mystery.

I would recommend Battered to readers who enjoy cosy mysteries and good foodie books. There is also a list of recipes included at the back of the book which Alene has made within the story. I particularly enjoyed the spiced nuts.

Links:

Goodreads

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

www.gpgottlieb.com


About the author:
Already known for her imaginative baking and fabulous dinners, G.P. Gottlieb began writing throughout her varied career. After recovering from breast cancer, she turned to writing in earnest, melding her two loves, nourishment for mind and body in recipe-laced murder mysteries. She is also the host of New Books in Literature, a podcast of the New Books Network.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on November 23, 2019 in Books

 

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BookReview #BlogTour: The Sinking Chef, by Sylvia Ashby & #Giveaway.

BookReview #BlogTour: The Sinking Chef, by Sylvia Ashby & #Giveaway.

Welcome to my stop on the book blog tour for the new book by Sylvia Ashby, The Sinking Chef Pot Love 2. Thank you for much to Jenny NeverlandBookTours and Author Sylvia Ashby for my copy of the book and for my space on this tour. 

sinking chef

Description:

Ashley has a YouTube channel, The Sinking Chef. It’s filmed right in her kitchen, so she doesn’t go out much. When James calls with an offer to take her to lunch – the same James that got her fired from her dream job three years ago – she accepts. Against her better judgement, of course.
Now Ashley has all kinds of secrets and things are only going to get worse.

The Sinking Chef (Pot Love 2) is a light, enjoyable and easy to read romantic comedy. With Sylvia Ashby’s gift of humour there is plenty to laugh and smile about, but the book does have its serious moments.

The Sinking Chef Cover-1

Published April 17th 2017 by Vangtorp Volumes

My Thoughts:

This is the second book in the Pot Love series, but I didn’t actually realise this until I had already read the book, so I think it is safe to say that it is fine as a standalone. I didn’t feel anything was missed out or that I was confused at all. Although, as always reading the first book first is better! There is also a free Pot Love book on Sylvia’s website which has recipes. (I assumed that was where the ‘2’ in Pot Love 2 came from. Duh me!).

As regular readers of ChocolatePages would know, I do enjoy a good foodie book, and more recently I have taken a liking to books involving social media. When I read the description of this book a cookery channel on youtube and humorous, I was pretty sure I would enjoy the book. I did enjoy reading The Sinking Chef, very much. Ashley is a very likable character who I could relate to and often I would cringe for as she makes silly decisions which seem to make her life easier for the moment, but both she and I will know will make things much harder for the future! I wanted to shout at her that I could see what will happen if she does this that and the other. Ashley is like the girl next door, or the insecure girl that we are or were at one point. I think every woman will be able to understand part of Ashley. 

As a chef, we have a few lovely recipes added in and also a few laughable ones too…… (Pot Noodle… shh!). No, really, as a Chef, Ashley is talented and I found the food talk quite delectable.

Ashley is a funny character as she tends to ‘read on the internet’ about everything and more often than not finds a reason or explanation for whatever it is ‘on the internet’.

“I’ve read on the internet how to recognise it. This particular one is called the silent treatment

The Sinking Chef involves love, life, laughs and a good dose of scrumptious foodie talk. The Sinking Chef was an easy, funny read that gave me butterflies in my stomach on more than one occasion! I definitely recommend this book and look forward to reading more of Sylvia Ashby’s work.


CHEF BLOG BANNER

Don’t forget to visit the rest of the brilliant bloggers on this tour. If the book sounds good to you, then enter the blog tour giveaway to win 1 of 3 prizes which include an Amazon gift voucher and ebooks of The Sinking Chef. You can enter the rafflecopter giveaway on any of the blog tour sites and on here on ChocolatePages. Good Luck.


giveaway-badge

 

The Sinking Chef giveaway 

INTERNATIONAL

RAFFLECOPTER – CLICK HERE!

1st prize: £25 Amazon voucher and an eCopy of the book

2nd and 3rd prize: ecopy of the book


 

Links:

Twitter/@bysylvia_a

www.sylvia-ashby.com

Goodreads.

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

 
9 Comments

Posted by on September 24, 2017 in Books, Giveaways

 

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Book Review: Summer at The Comfort Food Cafe, by Debbie Johnson.

Book Review: Summer at The Comfort Food Cafe, by Debbie Johnson.

Thank you to Netgalley and Harper Impulse for my copy of this book. I would also like to thank Irena from BookDustMagic  for recommending this book to me. Irena has been a lovely bookish friend to me over the past while and I hope we can keep swapping book recommendations and continue our bookish chat. Thanks Irena. 

book friend

Description:

The brand new book from best-selling author Debbie Johnson will make you laugh, make you cry, and make you raid the pantry in the middle of the night…

The Comfort Food Cafe is perched on a windswept clifftop at what feels like the edge of the world, serving up the most delicious cream teas; beautifully baked breads, and carefully crafted cupcakes. For tourists and locals alike, the ramshackle cafe overlooking the beach is a beacon of laughter, companionship, and security – a place like no other; a place that offers friendship as a daily special, and where a hearty welcome is always on the menu.

For widowed mum-of-two Laura Walker, the decision to uproot her teenaged children and make the trek from Manchester to Dorset for the summer isn’t one she takes lightly, and it’s certainly not winning her any awards from her kids, Nate and Lizzie. Even her own parents think she’s gone mad.

But following the death of her beloved husband David two years earlier, Laura knows that it’s time to move on. To find a way to live without him, instead of just surviving. To find her new place in the world, and to fill the gap that he’s left in all their lives.

Her new job at the cafe, and the hilarious people she meets there, give Laura the chance she needs to make new friends; to learn to be herself again, and – just possibly – to learn to love again as well.

For her, the Comfort Food Cafe doesn’t just serve food – it serves a second chance to live her life to the full…

Kindle Edition, 293 pages
Published April 29th 2016 by HarperImpulse
comfort food

My Thoughts:

It was the name of this book that attracted me straight away. I love books that are foodie focused. I haven’t read any books by this Author before, but I had an idea of what to expect by the name, cover and blurb. The cover is just lovely isn’t it?

The book begins with Laura and her two children still grieving after the death of their Husband / Dad. Laura applies for a summer job in Dorset at The Comfort Food Cafe, this means leaving their home in Manchester for the summer. 

The way the cafe was described totally lived up to my expectations, it sounds like a really beautiful place and a lovely place to work and enjoy the summer. With its bookshelves, board games, photos and pictures, one which says:

“We will assume you want your hot chocolate with marshmallows and cream, unless you appear to be dead”

Laura meets all kinds of fantastically weird and wonderful people during her stay, and although we meet quite a few sideline characters, they are all easily memorable and add a little extra to the story. 

The idea of The Comfort Food Cafe, is as it sounds to provide comfort food for all the customers. I was hoping that the comfort food would be a much larger part of the book, with loads of foodie descriptions, perhaps a few examples of cake recipes and Laura baking. This was my only disappointment with this book. I wanted more food!!! I don’t know if this is just me being a greedy chocoholic, and the rest of you would find food talk irrelevant? But this is my review, so there! ;-). One of Laura’s treats which sounds amazing is her chocolate bar milk shakes, I would definitely try one of those if I could go to the cafe.

There were many humorous moments in the book too, one in particular involving her underwear. If you read it, look out for that scene! And another where she mentions, ‘The Grand Old Duke of York’, which I will remember myself!! Even Jimbo the dog does things to make us chuckle.

“….he got off his lead at a campsite in Scotland and threw himself right into the swimming pool, splash in the middle of an aquarobics class”

One of the side characters that I liked was Becca, Laura’s sister, a care free single girl, with such a warmth and sisterly love. If there is another book about the developments at The Comfort Food Cafe, it would be nice to hear more from Becca.

This book was heart warming, funny and reminded me that there is always hope. Regardless of what happens in life, there is comfort food, friends, family and the beach!

Links:

GOODREADS

AMAZON.CO.UK

AMAZON.COM

Twitter/debbiemjohnson

debbiejohnsonauthor.com

While I was reading this book, I entered a Harper Impulse giveaway, and was lucky enough to win 4 more Debbie Johnson books. Have you read any of these? What did you think?

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Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
 
20 Comments

Posted by on May 28, 2016 in Books

 

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Book Review: The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy E Reichert.

Book Review: The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy E Reichert.

Thank you to NetGalley, GalleryBooks and Author Amy E Reichert for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

I want to start this review by sharing with you my thoughts on this amazing cover, as many of you know, I love foodie books. Just by looking at this cover, not even reading the description, I knew I wanted to read this. Then I read the description and was ready to dive head first into this.

Description:

YOU’VE GOT MAIL meets HOW TO EAT A CUPCAKE in this delightful novel about a talented chef and the food critic who brings down her restaurant—whose chance meeting turns into a delectable romance of mistaken identities.

In downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Lou works tirelessly to build her beloved yet struggling French restaurant, Luella’s, into a success. She cheerfully balances her demanding business and even more demanding fiancé…until the morning she discovers him in the buff—with an intern.

Witty yet gruff British transplant Al is keeping himself employed and entertained by writing scathing reviews of local restaurants in the Milwaukee newspaper under a pseudonym. When an anonymous tip sends him to Luella’s, little does he know he’s arrived on the worst day of the chef’s life. The review practically writes itself: underdone fish, scorched sauce, distracted service—he unleashes his worst.

The day that Al’s mean-spirited review of Luella’s runs, the two cross paths in a pub: Lou drowning her sorrows, and Al celebrating his latest publication. As they chat, Al playfully challenges Lou to show him the best of Milwaukee and she’s game—but only if they never discuss work, which Al readily agrees to. As they explore the city’s local delicacies and their mutual attraction, Lou’s restaurant faces closure, while Al’s column gains popularity. It’s only a matter of time before the two fall in love…but when the truth comes out, can Lou overlook the past to chase her future?

Set in the lovely, quirky heart of Wisconsin, THE COINCIDENCE OF COCONUT CAKE is a charming love story of misunderstandings, mistaken identity, and the power of food to bring two people together.

 

COCO

My Thoughts:

This book begins with a quote by Julia Child, so if I didn’t already think I would love it, I did after that.

julia

The book then introduces us to the main character Lou and her Fiance Devlin. I took an instant liking to Lou, as she spoke about new recipes inspired by how she feels in her clothes. Lou is a true foodie at heart. I also took an instant dislike to Devlin, Devlin calls Lou ‘Elizabeth’, as that is what he prefers! I like an Author who can give you feelings towards the characters in the first chapter.  

Next we meet Al, who dubbs Lou as Miss Coconut Cake, as she is carrying the most delicious looking cake when they first meet. As Al and Lou’s relationship continues, we get to know a bit more about each of them. Al is British and is visiting and working in Wisconsin. Lou shows Al her city and as Al gets shown the city, we as the readers do too. Lou is a great tour person and shows us lots of foodie places, I am assuming these places are all real and now I really want to visit. The Wisconsin State Fair has:

Apple Cider Donuts,

Honey Filed Sticks,

Cranberry Scones and

Root Beer Flavoured Milk!

wisconsin food

This book made me want to eat out in restaurants all the way through, with the delicious descriptions and scrumptious ideas that Lou comes up with.

“….duck fat roasted new potatoes with ……cherry sage cream sauce. For desert, a chocolate souffle with coconut crisps”.

The supporting characters Otto and Gertrude are almost like adoptive parents to Lou, they are so likeable and such an adorable couple.

coco

I borrowed this Gertrude quote from Amy’s Twitter page @aereichert, its very cute isn’t it.

The book has much more to it than just food though, I loved the characters, the descriptions the storyline and how I could just sail through the book imagining each chapter in my head and really feeling Lou’s emotions, her ups and downs and her hunger.

I thought it was a nice touch to the character that Al was British, so to read how the Author describes the differences between the American ways and the British ways was amusing.

“We do eat turkey in England, just with slightly different trimmings”

There are so many reasons to love this book. I definitely will give it 5 stars and look forward to hearing lots more from this Author.

Links:

GOODREADS

AmyEReichert.com

TWITTER

FACEBOOK

AMY COCO

I just found out that Amy has another book due out in summer 2016 called ‘Luck, Love and Lemon Pie’. So looking forward to that one!

Have you read this book? Have you made the delicious coconut cake? Do you love foodie books like me and if so recommend me some more?

 
4 Comments

Posted by on September 27, 2015 in Books

 

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Book Review: ‘So, You Think You’re A Celebrity…. Chef’ by Caroline James.

Book Review: ‘So, You Think You’re A Celebrity…. Chef’ by Caroline James.

I would like to give huge thanks to author Caroline James for being, first an incredible author and second an incredible baker!

I was extremely lucky to have been sent a fabulous package from this lovely lady, which included a copy of this book, and a home made brownie. Caroline warned me that reading the book may make me feel like eating Brownies!! It did, in fact I made 2 batches myself while I read this.

This is the lovely parcel that I received:  ♥

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How thoughtful with the wrapping too. Here is the delicious brownie which I devoured.

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So, on with my review of the book, as always my honest opinions will be given. 

Description:

Mix together…

A tough-cookie media agent who’s clawed her way to the top, and a con-man who wants to open a cookery school. Add in a washed-up celebrity chef whose career needs re-building…
Flavour with…

An ageing rock star fresh from rehab, and a Sloane Ranger food writer who gets her own TV show…
Bring to the boil…

At a Gourmet Food Festival, in Ireland, where anything goes!

When media agent Hilary Hargreaves travels to Ireland to look at a campaign for a new cookery school, she meets a blast from her past – the romantic but feckless chef Mickey Lloyd, who is hell-bent on resurrecting his flagging career. Her tough demeanour is rocked as it becomes apparent Mickey’s intentions involve more than a stint behind a stove in his quest to pursue her. But as plans for the school gain momentum, she realises that she’s developing more than a passing interest in reformed alcoholic Long Tom Hendry, who owns the crumbling old mansion where the school will be homed. Hilary has many ingredients to juggle with her demanding client list – which looks set to boil over if she doesn’t keep control. From London’s bustling Soho, to Southern Ireland and the sunny shores of the Caribbean, has Hilary got too much on her plate and is she really prepared to risk it all for love?

 


Paperback, 284 pages

Published October 4th 2013 by ThornBerry Publishing

cel chef


My Thoughts:

This is a 5 star book that I absolutely loved and devoured. It tells the story of a group of characters who each have their own storyline, but all come together in a way. Hilary owns a company that promotes chefs and cookery. We have Zelda, who was my favourite character. She is very la di da and is doing a cook off in some of the poorer areas of the country. Then we have Bob, who is Hilary’s assistant and loves all the celebrity gossip. Hilary and Bob both travel to Ireland to decide whether to promote and invest in a new cookery school. There Hilary meets an old love, Mickey, and a new friend who is Long Tom Hendry. Long Tom is an older rock star who is a recovering alcoholic wanting to return to his music.

At the beginning of this book, the author put a list of all the characters and who they are. I thought this was brilliant, during the first few chapters I skipped back to this page a good few times to see how each character came into relevance to the story. I haven’t seen this in a book before and I thought it was a great unique idea.

I love books that involve tempting food, gossipy stories and a host of fabulous characters. This was exactly that. I loved how they visited The Good Food Show, which I have had a lot of experience with. I loved how they spoke of the foodie markets and shows in Ireland. Also all the delicious foods that they ate in restaurants and on set. Here in comes Gorgeous Gary and his amazing Brownies. This is not just a book about delicious food though, the storyline is excellent and I loved how the author gave each character their own little plot and you can see how they intertwine as the book continues. 

This is a 5 star book, that I absolutely loved. 

 This book is available on Amazon. 

You can also follow the author Caroline James on Twitter @CarolineJames12  

If you have read this or plan to read it, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Happy Reading.

chocolate-heart-of-chocolate1

 
15 Comments

Posted by on May 2, 2015 in Books

 

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