Review of ‘Flavor of the month’ by Georgia Beers, Audiobook narrated by Lori Prince
I cannot emphasise enough how an audiobook brings the written words to life by adding an extra layer to the storytelling and highlighting the feelings and emotions created by the author. That’s why it’s so crucial to choose the right narrator for the story so it makes a perfect match. There are some outstanding author/narrator partnerships in lesfic for us audiobook fans to enjoy such as EJ Noyes/Abby Craden, Lee Winter/Angela Dawe, Cari Hunter/Nicola Victoria Vincent or, in this case, Georgia Beers/Lori Prince. Perfect match in lesfic heaven.
When Charlie Stetko’s girlfriend dumps her, she is left unemployed and homeless. She leaves Manhattan to go back to her small hometown of Shaker Falls, Vermont to stay with her parents and work in the town’s bakery. There she meets again Emma Grier, her former girlfriend. Emma thought Charlie was the love of her life, that is, until Charlie left her to go to New York. Now she owns a popular restaurant in town and doesn’t want to get involved with anyone. Until the paths of life lead them back to each other…
‘Flavor of the month’ is an enjoyable second-chances, return to hometown romance with, as you can guess, a good amount of culinary show and tell. Be warned: don’t read this when hungry because Ms. Beers’s food depictions are dangerously tempting. This author really knows how to describe the sensuality of food as in one of my favourite books, ‘Starting from Scratch‘. Like in that novel, baking is a buffer and an enhancer in the relationship between the characters. Food is their safe place, their common ground, where their chemistry sizzles (pun intended). Ms. Beers is very detailed in her descriptions and the reader almost can actually taste those baking goods. They are a reading treat.
In my humble opinion, books in which food has such a prominent part should have very little angst. ‘Flavour of the month’ doesn’t shy away from important themes such as family, friendship, and bereavement, but it balances that heaviness with a big dose of comfort food. The result mirrors the satisfaction that homemade baking goods provide, a state of feel-good, contented satisfaction.
My only criticism of this book is that I felt that it ended too abruptly. I don’t think that every book needs an epilogue but this story really cries out loud for one. I recently heard Ms. Beers explaining that she sometimes prefers to end her books in ‘happy for now’ instead of ‘happily ever after’ and this novel seems to be the case. I totally respect her artistic decisions. Having said that, there are some loose ends in this story, like the subplot with Emma’s mother, that could have benefitted from closure in the form of an epilogue or an additional chapter.
As I said at the beginning, some writer/narrator partnerships are perfect matches. Lori Prince is a great voice for Ms. Beers’s stories, especially the ones that are low on angst like this one. For the dramatic ones, such as ‘Too close to touch‘ there’s always Abby Craden at hand. However, in ‘Flavour of the Month’, Ms. Prince gets the playful, sensual tone exactly right, her voices are youthful and light as the characters but she also knows when to inject emotional charge to the story. A great lesbian second chance romance audiobook with impeccable performance, 4.5 stars for the story, 5 stars for the narration. Overall, 5 stars.
Duration: 8 hours, 36 minutes