I received a review copy
Claire “Neely” O’Neil is a pastry chef of extraordinary talent. Every great chef can taste shimmering, elusive flavors that most of us miss, but Neely can “taste” feelings—cinnamon makes you remember; plum is pleased with itself; orange is a wake-up call. When flavor and feeling give Neely a glimpse of someone’s inner self, she can customize her creations to help that person celebrate love, overcome fear, even mourn a devastating loss.
Maybe that’s why she feels the need to go home to Millcreek Valley at a time when her life seems about to fall apart. The bakery she opens in her hometown is perfect, intimate, just what she’s always dreamed of—and yet, as she meets her new customers, Neely has a sense of secrets, some dark, some perhaps with tempting possibilities. A recurring flavor of alarming intensity signals to her perfect palate a long-ago story that must be told.
Neely has always been able to help everyone else. Getting to the end of this story may be just what she needs to help herself.
Now I’m all for a good foodie book, which this one definitely turned out to be, but there was another bit of pizzazz in here that I wasn’t expecting but was happy to read about. In the blurb it mentions that Neely can taste feelings, though I wasn’t quite sure what that meant. Turns out she has an ability to be able to read people, to really get a glimpse (almost like visions) into their lives. I absolutely loved that and it pushed the book from like to love for me. I am all for some magical realism in my reading. Top that with terrific writing, delicious chapters, and plenty of food for thought with Neely’s personal situation, and this was a recipe for success.