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I received an ARC of this book via Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Susan Napier’s family once lived on the success of the high-end restaurants founded by her late grandfather. But bad luck and worse management has brought the business to the edge of financial ruin. Now it’s up to Susan to save the last remaining restaurant: Elliot’s, the flagship in Edinburgh.
But what awaits Susan in the charming city of Auld Reekie is more than she bargained for. Chris Baker, her grandfather’s former protégé–and her ex-boyfriend–is also heading to the Scottish capital. After finding fame in New York as a chef and judge of a popular TV cooking competition, Chris is returning to his native Scotland to open his own restaurant. Although the storms have cleared after their intense and rocky breakup, Susan and Chris are re-drawn into each other’s orbit–and their simmering attraction inevitably boils over.
As Chris’s restaurant opens to great acclaim and Susan tries to haul Elliot’s back from the brink, the future brims with new promise. But darkness looms as they find themselves in the crosshairs of a gossip blogger eager for a juicy story–and willing to do anything to get it. Can Susan and Chris reclaim their lost love, or will the tangled past ruin their last hope for happiness?
I’ve never read a book by this author before but the cover was sweet and – when I’m not reading or watching telly – I’m probably cooking or eating, so a book about all things food (which a pinch of romance thrown in for good measure) definitely appealed to me.
The descriptions of food are so rich and detailed you can’t help but feel a bit hungry. The culinary setting was nice to read plus the descriptions of Edinburgh were so beautiful, Moore has a talent for transporting a reader somewhere with words (I’ve been to Edinburgh myself but all I remember is watching Braveheart with my friends who we stayed with, drinking vodka out of an egg cup – don’t ask – and rain. Lots and lots of rain). I could’ve read pages and pages of description alone.
Whilst I liked the descriptions of food and places in this book, I’ll admit, I wasn’t crazy about the characters. I couldn’t argue with Susan wanting the restaurant to survive, and I liked her determination to get things done, but – as a character – I didn’t really care for her. This also extended to the rest of the characters in the book, I just found myself annoyed by or disinterested in the characters in this book.
I’m all about past lovers reuniting through some kind of circumstance but – with the very different lives of Chris and Susan – they actually spent a tiny amount of time in each other’s company so the romance just didn’t feel real (or very romantic) to me.
Saying that, I still enjoyed the book – though it didn’t stir up much emotion for me.
All Stirred Up will be published on 8th September 2020.
What have you been reading recently? I’d love to chat in the comments 😊.