Top critical review
Lackluster hero but enjoyable romance
Reviewed in the United States on April 18, 2015
Any book that can combine food and romance has already got me interested, and Delicious delivered. It wasn’t the best romance ever, but it was sweet and charming. I’ve been trying to balance out the wheelbarrows of historicals that I’ve been reading lately with some contemporaries, and Susan Mallery’s name popped up on a list of them.
The plot is simple: Cal owns a restaurant that’s part of the family chain. He needs a new head chef, and the only one that’s good enough just happens to be his ex-wife. Penny, who divorced Cal when he revealed he didn’t want kids (after a heartbreaking miscarriage, to boot), is pregnant through IVF because she didn’t want to wait for a man. Cal not only has to come to terms with his new hire being pregnant, but he has to acknowledge the mistakes he made during their marriage and how he hurt Penny.
Penny is pretty much the best part of Delicious. I love strong female characters, and Penny can hold her own in a male-dominated restaurant kitchen. She’s also smart, sensible, and funny. Unfortunately, she fell for Cal again too quickly, not putting up much resistance after declaring that she was over him. I guess she just has a soft spot where Cal is concerned, even when he’s acting like a total jackass.
Delicious wasn’t a memorable or particularly original book, but it was an enjoyable one. The secondary characters, particularly Reid, Cal’s charming baseball player brother, were a great addition. I can definitely see how this book sets up the rest of the series. While I liked reading Delicious, I’m not sure if I would read another Mallery book again, unless the premise really intrigued me. I guess I’m too spoiled by Jennifer Crusie‘s over-the-top, wise-cracking contemporaries to enjoy a milder romance.
Check out this review and others on my book blog here: https://ellectricbookreviews.wordpress.com/2015/04/17/review-of-susan-mallerys-delicious-buchanans-book-1/