Friday, February 21, 2014

Mini Reviews - Foodie Duds: Dolci di Love & Cinnamon and Gunpowder

Summary Blurb:
New from the author of House of Daughters- an irresistible confection of love, loss, and Italian sweets in the delectable tradition of Chocolat

Corporate star Lily Turner abandons the boardrooms of Manhattan for the steep streets of Montevedova when she discovers her "perfect" husband, Daniel, has another family tucked away in the hills of Tuscany. Once there, her plight attracts the attention of the Secret League of Widowed Darners, an all-but-invisible army pulling strings behind the scenes to create happy endings. Soon founding members, Violetta and Luciana, are scheming to mend Lily's broken heart-and to enlist her help for their struggling pasticceria.

With the lush landscape of a sumptuous Tuscan summer in the background, and the tantalizing scent of fresh-baked cantucci in the air, Dolci di Love is the joyful celebration of a modern recipe for life.

My Blabberings:
This was a typical light lit book that I thought was going to have much more foodie elements than it actually did.  Sure, the protagonist ends up staying in an apartment above a bakery and there is a small element of baking…but that’s it.  I liked the book just fine, but I didn’t love it. 

2.5/5 stars
Summary Blurb:
A gripping adventure, a seaborne romance, and a twist on the tale of Scheherazade—with the best food ever served aboard a pirate’s ship

The year is 1819, and the renowned chef Owen Wedgwood has been kidnapped by the ruthless pirate Mad Hannah Mabbot. He will be spared, she tells him, as long as he puts exquisite food in front of her every Sunday without fail.

To appease the red-haired captain, Wedgwood gets cracking with the meager supplies on board. His first triumph at sea is actual bread, made from a sourdough starter that he leavens in a tin under his shirt throughout a roaring battle, as men are cutlassed all around him. Soon he’s making tea-smoked eel and brewing pineapple-banana cider.

But Mabbot—who exerts a curious draw on the chef—is under siege. Hunted by a deadly privateer and plagued by a saboteur hidden on her ship, she pushes her crew past exhaustion in her search for the notorious Brass Fox. As Wedgwood begins to sense a method to Mabbot’s madness, he must rely on the bizarre crewmembers he once feared: Mr. Apples, the fearsome giant who loves to knit; Feng and Bai, martial arts masters sworn to defend their captain; and Joshua, the deaf cabin boy who becomes the son Wedgwood never had.

Cinnamon and Gunpowder is a swashbuckling epicure’s adventure simmered over a surprisingly touching love story—with a dash of the strangest, most delightful cookbook never written. Eli Brown has crafted a uniquely entertaining novel full of adventure: the Scheherazade story turned on its head, at sea, with food

My Blabberings:
***first ever foodie fiction DNF!!***

I really thought I was going to love this book - the premise sounds so unique and fun.  But alas, it just didn't grab me despite its foodie bits and swashbuckling bits.  I kind of want to blame the narrator (Wedgewood, the chef pictured on the cover) because he was so naive and whiny.  So yeah...I wasn't a big fan of Wedgewood but maybe I just wasn't in the right frame of mind to read this tale.  I know a lot of folks on Goodreads seemed to like this book so maybe I'll give it another chance next year!

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