Please note that I received this via NetGalley. This did not affect my rating or review.
I can't say much here. The heroine (Lumi) was likable, the hero (Dax) took a while for me to get there. There just needed to be more character development. I also thought that Ms. Santos just totally ignored the whole thing with the Fatal Attraction secretary. It just seemed to be hand-waved and it was just odd. I did love the recipes, and the description of the food in the book seemed great.
"A Taste of Sage" follows chef Lumi as she tries to give her own restaurant in New York a go. Lumi wants to have an eclectic clientele, and changes up the menu on a daily basis. She thinks she may be close to realizing her dream after dealing with her mother's voice in her head and on the phone telling her she's not capable of more. When Lumi's venture fails she has to go back to work as a sous chef to French chef, Julian Dax at his place called Dax. Lumi finds Dax off-putting and arrogant. She also doesn't think his style of cooking resonates with her style since he's all about the classics with no modernization. The two quickly start to feel something between them.
I honestly thought that Lumi was a bit naive at first. When she is told her venture is failing she just stuck her head in the sand. I liked the fact her friend helped her out with the job at Dax. I am realizing more now that we had gotten more of Lumi with her friends and other colleagues. Most of the book was her in the bath tub and then cooking something, while being irked at Dax. I don't know much about the restaurant world, but Lumi's style definitely didn't seem workable. I wish that we had gotten a chance to see her learning more from Dax and Dax learning more from her. I thought the book would end up similar to "Woman on Top" with the female character showing how to good wonderful food and how it slowly wakes up others senses around them. We do have Lumi with her special ability to taste people's emotions when she eats their cooking, but it didn't work it into the plot enough for me.
Julien or Dax as he was mostly called was fine. I just felt myself growing bored of him throughout the book. At first he irritated me, then I was just, eh. I wish there had been more there.
I did love the sexy times between the two of them, but sex scenes are no enough to have me return to a romance novel again and again. This just needed more time to simmer so we can see how the two have changed. We just jumped through so many things too fast I think and then we are in the epilogue a year later.