Rummanah Aasi
 Chef Ashna Raje desperately needs a new strategy. How else can she save her beloved restaurant and prove to her estranged, overachieving mother that she isn’t a complete screw up? When she’s asked to join the cast of Cooking with the Stars, the latest hit reality show teaming chefs with celebrities, it seems like just the leap of faith she needs to put her restaurant back on the map. She’s a chef, what’s the worst that could happen? Rico Silva, that’s what.
Being paired with a celebrity who was her first love, the man who ghosted her at the worst possible time in her life, only proves what Ashna has always believed: leaps of faith are a recipe for disaster. FIFA winning soccer star Rico Silva isn't too happy to be paired up with Ashna either. Losing Ashna years ago almost destroyed him. The only silver lining to this bizarre situation is that he can finally prove to Ashna that he's definitely over her.
But when their catastrophic first meeting goes viral, social media becomes obsessed with their chemistry. The competition on the show is fierce…and so is the simmering desire between Ashna and Rico. Every minute they spend together rekindles feelings that pull them toward their disastrous past. Will letting go again be another recipe for heartbreak—or a recipe for persuasion?

Review: I have read a few Jane Austen adaptations, inspirations, and retellings. A lot of them are not very good and come across as fan fiction, but others who use Austen's framework lightly and tell their own story are usually successful. Recipe for Persuasion is one of the successful inspirations. Though this is the second book in the Rajes series, it can be read independently. 
In this powerful and nuanced second chance romance, we get the central romance as well as a strong story line featuring a contentious relationship between mother and daughter. Chef Ashna Raje fights to keep her late father's dream and his Palo Alto Indian restaurant afloat while clashing with her mother, who feels Ashna should pursue her own dream inside of clinging to her father's failing dream. In a fit of defiance, Ashna signs on to a reality TV cooking show, hoping the publicity and prize money will fend off her financial woes and reinvigorate the restaurant. This decision places Ashna squarely in the path of Brazilian football sensation Rico Silva, the man whose heart Ashna shattered in high school, who always lurks in the back of her mind, and her new partner on Cooking with the Stars. 
  I normally am not a fan of reality television featuring in books, but it works in this novel because it allows the characters to show their external and internal feelings. The chemistry between Ashna and Rico sizzles, mostly through silent eye communications that speak volumes when the right words can't be found. We are also given insight into Ashna's strained relationship with her mother in touching and at times difficult flashbacks to her parents' complicated past. As a reader I can understand both Ashna's and her mother's points of views and I don't fault them for their feelings, but of course things would have been a lot easier if they were able to communicate with one another. I was invested in both story lines and thought both were equally balanced. I did, however, wish we had a little more insight to Rico's parents and his unique upbringing. Overall, I really enjoyed this smart romance with depth and look forward to picking up the other two books in this series. 

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: There is some language, mentions of sexual abuse, and sexual situations. Recommended for older teens and adults. 

If you like this book try: Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors (Rajes #1) by Sonali Dev, Incense and Sensibility (Rajes #3) by Sonali Dev, Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake by Alexis Hall
1 Response
  1. I also quite like adaptations if they are done well and this one sounds like fun!

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails