Sugar – Kimberly Stuart

(Reviewed by JD Jung)

“Oh, to escape the daily hostility of Felix, the rampages of Alain, the snarky comments from the army of egocentric, narcissistic, self-absorbed males in the kitchen.”

Thirty-something Charlie Garrett worked at L’Ombre, a top Manhattan restaurant for six years. After long nights of “pursuing perfection” and unfulfilled promises that she would become head pastry chef, another opportunity suddenly comes her way.

Charlie’s ex-boyfriend from culinary school, Avery,  invites her to come to Seattle to become head pastry chef at his restaurant, Thrill. This will include a fantastic apartment and a salary to match.

Though she initially feels that moving to Seattle will be a step down from her trendy New York hot-spot, she realizes that she will finally live her dream and be able to see her long-time friend Manda.

Though Avery does keep his promises, there is an important detail that he keeps from Charlie. This secret doesn’t sit well with her, as she is rigid and always likes to be in control.

Add to that, a budding romance further threatens her need to be in control. And with her long, tedious work days, could she ever lead a life like Manda, who has a family and keeps reminding Charlie that there’s more to life than just a career?

Sugar is a fun, well-written novel sprinkled with light romance and yummy imagery. This is contrasted with the competitive  and often mean-spirited personalities portrayed in the story. The characters are enjoyable and well-developed and the story will keep you reading for hours.

With all of the heavy, depressing news in the world, Sugar will make  for a nice diversion. Just make sure you don’t  RWH (read while hungry).

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