**Disclaimer: I was given a free e-ARC in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley.**
Title All Stirred Up
Author Brianne Moore
Description from Amazon
Susan Napier’s family once lived on the success of the high-end restaurants founded by her late grandfather. But bad luck and worse management has brought the business to the edge of financial ruin. Now it’s up to Susan to save the last remaining restaurant: Elliot’s, the flagship in Edinburgh.
But what awaits Susan in the charming city of Auld Reekie is more than she bargained for. Chris Baker, her grandfather’s former protégé–and her ex-boyfriend–is also heading to the Scottish capital. After finding fame in New York as a chef and judge of a popular TV cooking competition, Chris is returning to his native Scotland to open his own restaurant. Although the storms have cleared after their intense and rocky breakup, Susan and Chris are re-drawn into each other’s orbit–and their simmering attraction inevitably boils over.
As Chris’s restaurant opens to great acclaim and Susan tries to haul Elliot’s back from the brink, the future brims with new promise. But darkness looms as they find themselves in the crosshairs of a gossip blogger eager for a juicy story–and willing to do anything to get it. Can Susan and Chris reclaim their lost love, or will the tangled past ruin their last hope for happiness?
Release Date September 8, 2020
I’m on a total Top Chef kick right now and when I saw this book was about chefs I was all in.
Some Things I Liked
- Chefs and restaurants. First of all, as I said above, I’m all about Top Chef right now so I loved that this book was on theme with my current TV obsession. Secondly, I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned this, but I used to work in a restaurant (for years when I was in college), so I really enjoyed the story from that aspect as well. All around, I felt like I really connected with these characters.
- Edinburgh. I also really love when books are set in Scotland. I’ve never been but I really want to. Every book I read about it just makes it sound more and more magical.
One Thing I Wasn’t Crazy About
- I thought the romance was kind of on the back-burner throughout the story. I found this tagged as romance on NetGalley and felt like it was more of a story of personal growth for Susan. The romance felt like a subplot at best. I would have liked to see it expanded on more.
I think the side characters in this story have a lot of spin-off potential. Specifically, I’d like to see a story about Susan’s sister, Julia. I also think that Aunt Kay would be interesting in any future stories. She seems like she has a lot to say about everything and everyone.
I liked this book. I think it was a bit mis-classified on NetGalley as I was expecting the romance to be more “in your face” but, I was pleasantly surprised by the way the story turned out. I liked the characters and I’d like to see more about the Napier family.
Recommendations for Further Reading
- The Marriage Game by Sara Desai – if you liked the cultural references and the idea of living up to family expectations that All Stirred Up explores, try this new release by Sara Desai.
- Island Affair by Priscilla Oliveras – if you liked the themes of a character who felt like she was not living up to her family’s expectations but managed to build a business for herself, try this new release by Priscilla Oliveras.
- A Sweet Mess by Jayci Lee – if you liked the chef and cooking themes in All Stirred Up, give this baking rom-com story a try.