Blurb: Claire “Neely” O’Neil is a pastry chef of extraordinary talent. Every great chef can taste shimmering, elusive flavors that most of us miss, but Neely can “taste” feelings—cinnamon makes you remember; plum is pleased with itself; orange is a wake-up call. When flavor and feeling give Neely a glimpse of someone’s inner self, she can customize her creations to help that person celebrate love, overcome fear, even mourn a devastating loss.
Maybe that’s why she feels the need to go home to Millcreek Valley at a time when her life seems about to fall apart. The bakery she opens in her hometown is perfect, intimate, just what she’s always dreamed of—and yet, as she meets her new customers, Neely has a sense of secrets, some dark, some perhaps with tempting possibilities. A recurring flavor of alarming intensity signals to her perfect palate a long-ago story that must be told.
Neely has always been able to help everyone else. Getting to the end of this story may be just what she needs to help herself.
Review: When I read the blurb for this I was intrigued. The concept sounded like something new and incredibly interesting. Come on, cake! How can that not be interesting! Sadly, the cake descriptions were probably the best parts of the book.
It felt like I was constantly waiting for something to happen. When is the romance going to come into the story? It IS marked as a romance (double checked other places than my library to be sure). I was also constantly looking for a little bit more detail on Neely’s talent or what was actually going on with her life and why she moved back home or… on anything that WASN’T about cake.
By the end of the book, I was still waiting. We did finally learn the reason for her to move and start up her business, but that issue wasn’t actually resolved. There was a brief conversation that makes you think you know but no actual action taken towards that end. We got a few more details about the talent that is really just the fact that she has a psychic ability that is apparently tied to flavors (which I still think is a really awesome concept, it just wasn’t fully fleshed out), but… isn’t always apparently. Again, still not totally clear as there just wasn’t any background at all on it.
I was also still waiting for what classified this book as a romance. If you want to call very, very brief hints and a small reveal of a bad marriage and a light interest in another person a romance, then I think it is time to rethink that because this just wasn’t a romance.
This book had so much potential, but I don’t think it lived up to it. I probably could have given it a 4 star for creativity, but there was very little substance. If you want a food analogy to go along with the cake, it was kind of like eating cotton candy. Heavy on the sweet, gone in a second and left wondering what happened, and not very satisfied.