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Contemporary Romance Review: Sugar by Kimberly Stuart


Sugar by Kimberly Stuart 

Egalley courtesy of Skyhorse Publishing

Synopsis from Goodreads
After realizing her coworkers at L’Ombre, a high-profile restaurant in NYC, will never appreciate or respect her, Charlie Garrett allows her ex-boyfriend, Avery Michaels, to convince her to work for him as executive pastry chef at his new Seattle hotspot, Thrill. She’ll have her own kitchen, her own staff—everything she ever wanted professionally.

When she arrives at Thrill, however, she realizes that Avery wanted more than a pastry chef for his restaurant—he wanted a costar for the reality show they’re filming about the restaurant and its staff. Charlie is uncomfortable with the idea at first, but she soon realizes that this is her chance to show the world what women in the kitchen are capable of. She sets some ground rules with the film crew, signs a non-disclosure agreement, and promptly meets the man of her dreams, Kai, off-camera.

The show, and her demanding work schedule as head of the pastry kitchen, makes it nearly impossible for Charlie and Kai to spend time together. Drama on and off the set soon take a toll on Charlie’s well-being, forcing her to choose if life in front of the camera is worth sacrificing life behind the scenes.

Sugar is a contemporary romance, set in the high-pressure commercial kitchens of New York and Seattle. A funny and clever story of how a female chef learns to thrive in the ruthless world of premier restaurants.

Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | Book Depository


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 I always enjoy books where cooking is a part of passion or profession, and Sugar did not disappoint in that regard.

Charlie Garrett is an extremely organised, well put together and driven workaholic. She's been working very hard in a prestigious restaurant in New York on a promise that she will become the head pastry chef when her current boss retires. Instead, she is showered with constant psychological abuse while her boss takes credit for her work, puts her down and dangles the carrot of his possible retirement under her nose.

When her old flame, Avery, shows up out of the blue and invites her to become the head pastry chef in his new restaurant Thrill in Seattle, the temptation is too much to bear. She packs up and moves.

However, she soon discovers that living close to her best friend, having a gorgeous apartment and a big salary has been covering the fact that Thrill participates in a new reality TV show, and they want Charley as one of the stars.

While it'll propel Charlie to the heights of her career and she will get all that she dreamt of, the price is suddenly too steep. The loss of privacy, the lies, the pretence of a rehearsed drama of reality TV and a missed chance of a relationship with a gorgeous man she met only a few months earlier push her out of her comfort zone and make her dig deep to discover what she really wants from life.

This is a great story of self-discovery with scrumptious desserts in between. The romance is sweet and very realistic, which I appreciated.

Kai, the hero Charlie falls in love with is a decent, sweet and funny guy who owns a small diner and can cook a storm. There is great chemistry between him and Charlie, and he gives her many chances as the pressures mount up, but ultimately he can not deal with her being in public eye and loss of normal, private life, so things fall apart.

Actually, all the characters in the book are very engaging and easy to sympathise with, and overall, it's a feel-good story, well-researched on a matter of chefs' lives and the world of reality TV shows. I totally enjoyed it and won't hesitate yo read Kimberly Stuart in the future. Recommended.

* * *
Я всегда с большим удовольствием читаю книги, в которых кулинарные способности - часть любимого хобби или профессии, и в этом отношении Сахар не разочаровывает.

Чарли Гарретт-чрезвычайно организованный, болезненно систематичный и сумасшедший трудоголик. Она работает в престижном ресторане Нью-Йорка шеф-пекарем, где ей обещано место главного пекаря как только её босс уйдёт на пенсию.

Только вот этот день никак не приходит, а вместо этого на неё постоянно сыпятся оскорбления и унизительные оценки её творчества с тихого одобрения дирекции, пока после 8 лет ожидания ей становится невмоготу и она принимает предложение работы от своего бывшего бойфренда и становится его главным шеф-пекарем в ресторане в Сиэттле.

Переехав, она обнаруживает, что за привлекательной квартирой и высокой зарплатой скрывается дополнительное требование: ресторан участвует в шоу реалити ТВ, и продюсеры хотят Чарли быть одной из его звёзд.

С одной стороны, участие в проекте запустит её карьеру в стратосферу. С другой стороны, стоит ли того потеря личного пространства и постоянное наблюдение за ней зрителей. Добавьте к этому, медленно развивающийся роман с Каем - обворожительным владельцем дайнера и талантливым поваром, который разваливается из-за ТВ шоу, и Чарли приходится решать очень быстро чего она на самом деле хочет от своей жизни.

Милая история, живая и реалистичная. Чарли, Кай, Авери, лучшая подруга Чарли - занимательные характеры, которым невольно симпатизируешь вовсю между описаниями вкуснейих дессертов. Рекомендую, и буду без колебаний читать этого автора опять.
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