Even though I am neither a chef nor a foodie, books where the hero or heroine can cook great food have always grab my attention. While I do like the nurturing aspect of assembling tantalizing food, that is not the biggest pull. The greatest appeal is the its creative aspect. Most of us can follow directions and cook, but taking basic, raw ingredients and making something tempting and luscious from taste and imagination—well, that's a special talent.
This fascination has no limits, pulling me from romantic suspense books like Angel Falls by Nora Roberts to How to Bake a Perfect Life, a women’s fiction book by Barbara O’Neal, to small town romance books like Home Town Girl and Almost Home, by Mariah Stewart to chick lit stories such as Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella and Meet Me at the Cupcake Café by Jenny Colgan.
But even more appealing is when the author incorporates symbolism or magic in the story along with the food preparation, bringing two of my favorite plot devices together.