The Spice Master at Bistro Exotique
by Samantha Vérant
Publication Date December 6, 2022
Published by Penguin
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Genres: Fiction / Magical Realism, Fiction / Romance / Contemporary, Fiction / Women
***I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.***
A talented chef discovers how spices and scents can transport her—and, more importantly, how self-confidence can unlock the greatest magic of all: love—in this perfectly seasoned new novel by Samantha Vérant.
Kate Jenkins doesn’t believe in fate. She believes in a clear vision, meticulous planning, and hard work in order to achieve her culinary dreams. On the cusp of opening her own Parisian restaurant, Bistro Exotique, she isn’t even concerned when her standoffish—and annoyingly sexy—neighbor dismisses her as a crazy American tourist or when she meets the wildly eccentric Garrance, the self-proclaimed Spice Master of Paris, who ominously warns her of the previous owner’s failures.
Confident and optimistic, Kate keeps calm and cooks on. Until a series of unfortunate events derail her plans and her entire staff quits.
Kate is about to throw in the kitchen towel on her lifelong dream when Garrance offers to use her mastery of scents and spices to help her, but it comes at a price: Kate must work with Garrance’s son, Charles, a world-class chef and total jerk. After Kate hesitantly concedes to the deal, she slowly learns to open her heart and mind to new concepts, not quite sure if the magic she’s experiencing comes from Garrance’s spices, from within herself, or from the growing chemistry with Charles. One thing is certain, though: her kitchen is getting increasingly hot.
The Spice Master at Bistro Exotique by Samantha Vérant is an enemies-to-lovers romance that transported me to Paris where I found beautiful ingredients and lovely food. This book gave me serious food cravings as well as strengthened my desire to go to live in Paris.
Kate Jenkins has always dreamed of opening a restaurant in Paris. But, Kate is not a dreamer, she believes in hard work and a solid plan. Now, she’s on the verge of opening her restaurant after years of hard work and planning in a premium spot in Paris. Nothing will stop her success, not even the handsome man next door who thinks she’s a crazy American or his mother, Garrance, the self-proclaimed Spice Master of Paris, who ominously warns her of the previous owner’s failures.
When a series of events leads Kate to believe she might be cursed, after most of her staff quit, her neighbor, Garrance offers up her mastery of scents and spices. The only catch is that Kate must work with her son, Charles, the man she just can’t get along with. But, eventually working Charles ends up being less of a chore and more of a friendship.
I really enjoyed this enemies-to-lovers romance. First, I loved the setting. It’s clear that the author knows and loves Paris. Her descriptions of the farmer’s markets and the city were beautiful. Second, I love all the food and descriptions of the food. This book should come with a warning, “Will Cause Serious Food Cravings”.
The characters were well-developed and sympathetic. First are the meddling mothers and they were both a delight! It’s obvious they love their children and only want the best for them, but I’ll admit, they are a bit meddlesome, which makes for a great story. Kate is a bit serious, but once she opens up and lets her guard down and we could see her vulnerability as well as her humor, I grew to like her very much and wanted her restaurant to succeed. And Charles was a bit snooty at first, but he has a great sense of humor and I learned to love him as well.
I highly recommend The Spice Master at Bistro Exotique to anyone who enjoys romance. I received a complimentary copy of this book. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Have you read The Spice Master at Bistro Exotique?
Glad to hear you liked this one as it is on my TBR and one I really want to read! Your review just makes me even more sure I need to read it. Great review!
Enemies to lovers, Paris, and food! How could I resist this one?
I think I’m developing a soft spot for meddling older generation after reading it in quite a few contemporary romance and romcoms this year. This sounds so delicious.
This might be the only way I get to Paris, armchair travel in wonderful books. I love a good enemies to lover book. Wonderful review, Wendy.
We love almost anything set in Paris! It’s also cool that this takes place in the culinary world.
Then you’d both probably enjoy this one.
Enemies to lovers set in Paris – how can I resist? Excellent review, Wendy!
This does sound lovely & fun too, great review 😊
I’m starting this next. I can’t wait to read this now. It sounds lovely and heartwarming. Great review!
I hope you enjoy it too!
Enemies to lovers and a foodie book…Oui! Delightful review Wendy. This sounds wonderful.
Thank you, Kimberly!
So many things to like about this book!
There really is. Thank you, Linda
Sounds like a fun read! I like books that induce food cravings!
Me too! Thank you, Jolene!
Ooh! Enemies to lovers sign me up.
Thank you, Nadene
I haven’t heard of this one before. It’s sounds delightful. Great review.
This looks good!
Thank you, Greg!
I love a Paris setting too! And all that food! This sounds like a fun read. I am glad you liked it, Wendy.
Thank you, Wendy!
I really love when a book transports me o a different place!
I do too, Thank you, Angela.
I skimmed your review because I am just going to read this one soon.
Oh good! I hope you enjoy it!
It’s very clear how much you enjoyed this book – good review!
Thank you, Terrie!
I’ve never heard of this one but a Parisian setting is always going to appeal to me so I’ll keep an eye out for it.
The setting was beautiful!! and very well described.
I always get hungry if there is good food in a book.
Me too. Thank you, Rosie!
Enemies-to-lovers is such a good trope! Glad it worked well in this book.
It really did! Thank you, Joanna!
I have enjoyed other books by this author and this one sounds like I’d enjoy it as well! Wonderful review Wendy!
This was my first book by her, and I’ll have to look out for more. Thanks, Jodie.
Wonderful review Wendy. 📚🤗☕💜
Thank you, Susan!
Both the setting and food make this very tempting indeed. Lovely review, Wendy 🙂
Thank you, Mallika!
I love a book that makes you ‘feel’ the story…especially if it’s food cravings 😉
Thank you, Cathy, so do I!