Beginning January 1, 2013

Stop by the new site and take a look around.

Friday, March 5, 2010

That Taste of Orange by Valerie J. Patterson

That Taste of Orange by Valerie J. Patterson
Publisher: Eternal Press
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: Short (46 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Snapdragon

Can the taste of orange rekindle their passion?

If ever two people were perfectly suited for each other, it’s Sabrina and Chas. Both pastry chefs. Both excellent cooks. And both love the taste of orange. But the Christmas season has been a very busy time at their pastry shop, and they’re both feeling the weight of the long hours, the lack of personal time, and the stress of the holidays.

Sabrina wants nothing more for Christmas than to regain the wonderful relationship she once had with her husband. The very traits that drew her to him in the beginning are now driving her crazy. Chas loves his wife, but he’s overworked and needs some down time. When he suggests they need time apart—and neglects to tell her where he was one evening—Sabrina thinks the worst.

Will the end of the holidays signal the end of their union? Or can one juicy little orange bring them back where they belong?

Dieters beware… everything has flavor in this spectacular short novella. Every page offers another taste-temptation…from the first of the Christmas candy canes on through all sorts of delectable goodies. Ideally, you’ll want to read this with a lovely chocolate or orange filled tart, or perhaps some peanut butter fudge handy to nibble. If you don’t, you’ll have to steel yourself to read and only imagine the array of goodies they discuss, create, and enjoy. From the orange fondant cake with a layer of chocolate-orange velvet cream to the chocolate-orange liqueurs, your taste buds will be ready to eat the story.

Delightful as all the food references are, from the first, we empathize with poor Sabrina Montgomery. Her Christmas looks like a sad, deflated sort of holiday, since she is at odds with husband Chas. Their mutual exasperation – but also a sense of the true underlying affection – is apparent in their conversations. We see they are both nice people, and don’t quite grasp their difficulties. Right away, readers will want to step in and mediate. They are a couple that you will want to see recover and be together. Their dialogue is believable and often snappy or sarcastic. We perceive their efforts to treat one another more kindly, but then things simply go wrong.

Their years together are making both of them focus on the other’s faults. Sabrina realizes the danger – but in all the stress of running her shop, she does not also need family, no matter how well meaning, butting in to her sex life. Side issues of cooking responsibilities, shopping and the occasional family matter don’t deflect them from frequent arguments.

Who knew pastry chefs had such a stressful life? Their stress with one another leads to frustration, but more poignantly, to sadness. They share great memories of their lives together… but somehow, things have gone very wrong. ‘Why’ is a recurring theme. When Sabrina’s suspicions arise, it does seem like one more thing too many. Ms. Patterson keeps us guessing at the outcome from beginning to end. My only gripe; The build-up of resentment and anger and impatience is powerful and distressing and believable, throughout, while some things seem a tad too pat at the end.

This is a very evocative tale in a way, and beyond entertaining from beginning to end. Cake alone cannot keep lovers together. Do put That Taste of Orange on your must read list, and prepare for a lover’s adventure into a gourmet world.