About this book: Portia Cuthcart never intended to leave Texas. Her dream was to run the Glass Kitchen restaurant her grandmother built decades ago. But after a string of betrayals and the loss of her legacy, Portia is determined to start a new life with her sisters in Manhattan . . . and never cook again. But when she moves into a dilapidated brownstone on the Upper West Side, she meets twelve-year-old Ariel and her widowed father Gabriel, a man with his hands full trying to raise two daughters on his own. Soon, a promise made to her sisters forces Portia back into a world of magical food and swirling emotions, where she must confront everything she has been running from. What seems so simple on the surface is anything but when long-held secrets are revealed, rivalries exposed, and the promise of new love stirs to life like chocolate mixing with cream.
The Glass Kitchen is a delicious novel, a tempestuous story of a woman washed up on the shores of Manhattan who discovers that a kitchen—like an island—can be a refuge, if only she has the courage to give in to the pull of love, the power of forgiveness, and accept the complications of what it means to be family.
About the author: Linda Francis Lee is a native Texan now living on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The author of twenty books that are published in twenty countries, w hen Linda isn’t writing she love to run in Central Park and spend time with her husband, family, and friends.
Would I read this book, judged on its cover alone? Yes, because I think it’s lovely.
If this book were a movie, I would rate it: Surprisingly R for profanity and sexuality.
Reminds me of… Sarah Allen Addison
You’ll want to buy this book if … You enjoy racy novels set around a cooking/kitchen/food theme.
Why did I read this book? For St. Martin’s Press for review
Would I read another by this author? Possibly. I like her writing style and mystical spin, but I’d prefer the romance to tilt more toward PG.
My take: From the start, it’s hard not to enjoy the antics of precocious tweener Ariel and off-beat Portia. I also love the idea of wrestling with a difficult or unusual gift–in this case, “the knowing,” which Portia expresses through the creation of food. In this way, the novel reminds me of Susanna Kearsley’s The Firebird, though it’s completely different in tone.
I do have to say that The Glass Kitchen is far more sexually charged than I expected. Perhaps because of that, the story didn’t engage me as I’d hoped it would. I like there to be a reasonable basis for the hero and heroine to like each other first before giving into their physical attraction. I also found the pacing to be a bit more languid than I prefer. However, that could also be just me. Have I mentioned I’m an impatient reader?
The Glass Kitchen is written with a light touch, equal parts whimsy and warm-heartedness–which, though not a beachy book, makes it an appealing summer read.
Thanks to St. Martin’s Press for providing me a free copy to review. All opinions are mine.
End notes: Sweepstakes! In keeping with the theme, here’s your chance to win the grand prize of a KitchenAid Professional Mixer; 10 runner-ups will win a copy of the book. You have until June 30th to enter. Good luck!