Thursday, 4 June 2015

Book review: The Dish by Stella Newman


My edition: Paperback, published on 21 May 2015 by Headline, 416 pages.

Description: When Laura Parker first crosses forks with Adam Bayley, she's only after one thing: his custard doughnut. But when she takes a closer look she sees a talented, handsome man who outshines the string of jokers she's been dating.

There's just one problem. Adam's job means Laura has to keep her job as restaurant critic for The Dish, a secret. Tricky for someone who prides herself on honesty.

Can the truth be put on ice long enough for love to flourish?

And how can you expect your boyfriend to be honest if you're not quite telling the truth yourself?

Rating:



With a delectable title and beautiful pastel cover to match you might expect this to be a scrumptious read filled with mouthwatering dishes – and you'd be right. However, Stella Newman's latest novel is far more than a mere foodie delight; the story within the beautiful design is a sweet surprise and one that upon turning the final page leaves you craving more.

Laura Parker works as a PA for Roger Harris at The Voice magazine, which sounds like a job she is overqualified for, as her sister reminds her all too frequently, but she enjoys it immensely. Especially her super secret role as a food critic, which allows her to channel her true passion, writing, and eat out at some of the best places in the city to boot.

Things get a bit sticky for Laura, however, when she bickers over a doughnut with a guy (as you do). She has not had the best of starts to her day, so when she goes to one of her favourite cafes to treat herself to a custard doughnut and a stranger by the name of Adam beats her to the final one of the day she is determined to get at least one bite of the heavenly delight.

Her determination pays off not only for a slice of baked heaven, but also because she and Adam really hit it off. She finds herself in a bit in a pickle then when she realises that Adam works in the restaurant business and because of a certain slanderous review she has written for The Voice she would never be able to let him know about her foodie-critic alter-ego. The cookery odds may not be in her favour, but can Laura make the relationship work and continue her job at The Voice?

There has been a noticeable increase in cooking and baking inspired titles in recent years and I'm loving it. Whoever was the first author to combine food with fiction deserves a gold star (or at least a basket of still warm, home-made cookies). Particular favourites of mine include Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan, The Tea Shop on the Corner by Milly Johnson, The Art of Baking Blind by Sarah Vaughan, The Travelling Tea Shop by Belinda Jones and The Stall of Second Chances by Dana Bate, and The Dish is going straight into that list.

As a blogger, sometimes more serious reviewer, and lover of good food I instantly connected with Laura and her passion for the craft - particularly the unique and honest way in which she described her restaurant encounters. And even if you're not quite as much into food (though if you're not, what is wrong with you?!) or writing reviews, the protagonist will be someone you can resonate with; she's a normal girl with guy problems, we can all relate. The fact that the guy in question, Adam, is a cutie-pie is a big bonus.

The Dish is a delectable delight in more way than one. Just make sure you have an ample supply of sweet treats at hand before you dig in, because as soon as you open the novel the smell of the scrumptious food detailed within wafts off the pages and you will want to munch your way through a basket of freshly baked goods with Laura and Adam.

You can purchase the novel from Waterstones, Amazon.co.uk or your own preferred retailer.



Would you like to know more about the author? You can connect with her online at:

Blog: stellanewmansblog.wordpress.com

Twitter: @stellanewman


Many thanks to the publisher for copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review.

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