I’ve just hit a bad run, guys. I can’t seem to pick the right galleys lately. A Taste of Sage was truly disappointing with very few redeeming qualities.
Chef Lumi’s restaurant Caraluna goes under and she is forced to take a job with chef Julien Dax at his French-style restaurant. She dislikes Julien, for his harsh words and for running a tight ship. And because of this, she refuses to taste his food: Lumi has a special gift making her capable of knowing someone’s feelings when they cooked the food she eats. Resentment and tiredness can ruin a dish, just as happiness and love can improve one. Unable to resist, she tries one of Dax’s meals once…and it’s a taste she just can’t get out of her mouth.
I can’t emphasize enough that this whimsical twist was the only redeeming part of this story. I got absolutely lost in Santos’ writing style: her description of food, of cooking is absolutely beautiful and incredibly fun to read. I think there’s a lot of potential to create something great from that talent alone.
HOWEVER, everything else was just bad. The romance? Unbelievable. The characters? Flat. The story line? Rushed and hard to follow. I felt like I was sprinting through this book just by reading it at a normal pace. I couldn’t keep up with unbelievable turns in their “relationship”. And truly, Julien and Lumi’s romance felt like an afterthought compared to the food. Honestly, I’m also just here for the food at this point.
Character development was seriously lacking. I could feel what Santos’ intended for the characters, and I truly did want to like them, but their lack of well-rounded-ness absolutely ruined this book. Trashed it. It wasn’t heartfelt or anything I felt myself consumed by. I didn’t even know these people, you know? You can’t just give a character like two quirks and call it character development. Just no.
Pass on this one, friends. No need to bother. Hopefully the remaining stack of galleys I’ve got left turns out a bit better!
A Taste of Sage was provided to me by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. It will be released on May 19, 2020.