Jessica Harris is a successful professional cyclist recovering from a serious injury who is forced to travel from Britain to Australia in order to sort the inheritance of her estranged brother. Down under she meets chef and single mother Lillian McAllister, Jessica’s brother close friend. After an initial antagonism both women start enjoying each other’s company, but Jessica is only temporarily in Australia so a future together isn’t an option, or is it?
This is Ms. Fonseca’s second novel, both set in Australia, which is beautifully described. ‘Food for love’ is a slow-burn burn romance inspired by the author’s childhood memories of cooking with her family. The story partly focuses on the sensuality of food and Jessica’s journey to its enjoyment, lost since her mother’s death. Lili plays a bigger part beyond her role as a romantic interest, she is Jessica’s link to Australia and to her estranged brother. Additionally, food plays a big part in her reconnecting with her Indian roots and life’s small pleasures.
Having said that, the book dwells, in my opinion excessively, on too many culinary details. Maybe the author’s purpose was to emphasise the importance of food but the level of detail seems to create the opposite effect. I’m a food lover, but for me the story dragged in some parts and lost focus. In this case, less would have been more.
The main characters are well written and there is good chemistry, kudos for presenting an interracial couple which isn’t so common in lesfic. The child character is very realistic, which is also uncommon and it’s a pet peeve of mine. The secondary characters are mostly well rounded, with some exceptions like Lili’s ex girlfriend who seems a bit stereotyped. All in all, this is an ok romance with very little angst and an almost complete certainty of where the plot was heading to.
Overall, a good romance if you are a food enthusiast and you don’t mind loads of culinary details. 3 stars.