Author: Kristen Painter
Published: December 17th, 2010
Procured: Downloaded from Amazon for free while on sale
Texas-born Kelly Spicer is not just one of Manhattan's hottest young chefs, he's also one of the city's most eligible bachelors. Desperate to help his grieving sister, Kelly uses the magic cookbook passed down through his family's generations to conjure up a recipe of chocolate-laced persuasion to enlist the help of the only woman he thinks can reach his sister.
Psychologist Meredith Black has buried two husbands, an experience which has made her an expert in grief and pushed her to pen two books that landed her on the Oprah show and the best seller list. A cynic in matters of the heart, her success does nothing to ease her belief that she's a jinx. She vows never to love again and when she makes that sentiment public, dating Kelly becomes her best damage control.
Funny at times, The Perfect Dish wasn't exactly what I expected. Kelly Spicer, Famous Chef in New York City, wants nothing more than to help his sister get over the death of her husband. Using a little extra persuasion from his family's magical cookbook, he convinces the best selling psychologist and grief author Meredith Black to help his sister try and get pass the startling grief. However, there is a lot Kelly doesn't know about Meredith and his heart has a mind of its own.
I had originally downloaded The Perfect Dish for 2 reasons. First, it was by Kristen Painter and I'm a huge fan of her Blood Rights series. Second, it was free and that hit on my one and only challenge for the year, Why Buy the Cow. I'm sad to say though, I only liked this book. It wasn't really that bad and one of the reasons I only liked it is truly a personal thing.
The Perfect Dish, was mostly well written. Kristen Painter does an excellent job of winding up a story that makes the reader want to continue on. My only real problem with the story line though is the magical cookbook. It was such a small portion of the book that it almost seemed like it wasn't necessary. Like the whole book could have stood on its own without the "magical cookbook". I would have loved if the magical cookbook would have been a bigger part of the story, but I like paranormal aspects in books.
Now, my personal "thing" with the book. What do you all think when you see that cover? I think, with such a large whisk, this book has some tantalizing promise of some excellent romance scenes. That is where my complaint comes in. Now remember, this is truly a personal thing. My complaint is quite a few peoples joy. There were no "bedroom" scenes. There was all this buildup and tension complete with a shirt ripping in the back of a taxi cab, and no follow up detail. I don't mind a clean romance, but you have to understand that there were quite a few instances that hinted at the nature of this book not being a clean romance and that's kind of why I wanted to read it. Anyway, like I said, personal opinion.
Overall though, the story was pretty good. I still enjoy Kristen Painter's writing and pacing and I think she has a knack for writing good books. There were a few characters that could have used further development and Meredith was stubborn as hell which was something I liked about her. So, I give The Perfect Dish a 3 out of 5 and recommend it to those who enjoy Adult Fiction with a touch of the Paranormal. Also, it's fairly clean as in there are no sex scenes, you just know they are going on and there is not really any swearing. I'd probably rate it a PG-13 on a movie scale.