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review 2020-02-20 14:45
A Taste of Sage
A Taste of Sage - Yaffa S. Santos

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. 

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text 2020-02-18 21:41
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
A Taste of Sage - Yaffa S. Santos

So this was cute in parts, but other parts did not work for me at all. I liked the magical realism aspect of it (Lumi being able to taste other people's emotions). But I think the parts with the jealous secretary and her father got handwaved away too fast. I think this book needed more braising (see my pun) for it to resonate the way it should have. I did love the recipes though! I can't wait to try some.

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review 2020-02-18 03:34
Review: A Taste of Sage by Yaffa S. Santos
A Taste of Sage - Yaffa S. Santos

Reviewed for Wit and Sin


I adore a good culinary romance and I couldn’t wait to read A Taste of Sage. I enjoyed Lumi and Julien’s love of cooking and the way author Yaffa S. Santos writes those scenes will make foodies and non-foodies alike salivate. Lumi’s gift for Dominican fusion creations and Julien’s traditional French cooking were the highlights of this book, but unfortunately there wasn’t much else that I loved.

Lumi Santana is a likeable heroine and she’s easy to care about, especially after the heartbreaking closure of her restaurant. I hated seeing her dream shattered and I was rooting for her to succeed professionally every step of the way. In the meantime, Lumi has to pay her bills and that means taking a job as a sous chef at a traditional French restaurant owned by mercurial chef Julien Dax. Julien is shown to be a hot-tempered snob in the beginning, but that kind of fades. Julien isn’t an easy character to pin down, mostly because he isn’t as well-drawn as Lumi. Julien is, in essence, whatever the plot needs him to be at any given moment. He’s temperamental, he’s rude, he’s smitten, he’s obsessed, he’s devoted… There are some hints at depth to his character, but because he’s so inconsistent nothing really sticks out. Their romance is rather shallow and seems based on lust and a shared love of food more than anything else. I wanted to like them as a couple, but I really couldn’t work up any enthusiasm and simply did not care about their romance.

A Taste of Sage starts off as a fairly straightforward opposites attract story and I was totally ready to enjoy this beloved trope. But partway through things seem to just fall apart. There’s an overreliance on Lumi’s gift of synesthesia to further the plot and there’s also a minor “bad guy” who may not be so bad after all…? I can’t be entirely certain because many of the characters simply change according to what the plot calls for. I did like Lumi’s friends and would like to explore their characters more. But aside from Rafelina and Jenny, the rest of the supporting cast is thinly-drawn and inconsistent in their behavior. I also didn’t like that Ms. Santos defined every single heavy character by their weight and in incredibly frustrating terms. I grew tired of hearing people referred to as “portly,” “fleshy,” and “Michelin Man.” For example, I would have liked to learn more about Julien’s sister and the family dynamics that are brought up and then dropped, but sadly all I know about her is that she works in HR and is – to use this book’s term – “portly.”

A Taste of Sage had potential, but ultimately missed the mark for me. I enjoyed the culinary aspects of the story and Lumi was an interesting heroine for much of the book, but I wasn’t sold on the romance, the inconsistent characters, or the dropped storylines.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: witandsin.blogspot.com/2020/02/review-taste-of-sage-by-yaffa-s-santos.html
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