Narrator: C.S.E. Cooney
Published by Tantor Audio on July 21st 2015
Genres: Fiction, Contemporary Women, Romance, Contemporary, Family Life
Length: 7.5 Hours
A lot of my audiobook listening is done in the kitchen so it makes sense that I get lost in some foodie fiction now and then. I’ve listened to a few appetizing audiobooks lately and I’ll talk a little about each of them in this roundup. And bonus- all of these audiobooks are half-off right now on Audible’s Love for Sale event.
I can’t resist a good coconut cake I’ve been salivating over the cover of The Coincidence of Coconut Cake ever since I saw it. And the You’ve Got Mail comparisons didn’t hurt either. In Amy E. Reichert’s debut about mistaken identity, love, Milwaukee, and food, a chef falls for the food critic that panned her restaurant. When she finds out the truth can she ever forgive him?
Lou and Al meet-cute over a coconut cake – a birthday cake baked with love and care for her fiancé. But upon delivering the cake Lou finds her fiancé in a compromising position. (No cake for him!) That night food critic Al goes to Lou’s French restaurant Luella’s and it does not go well. Al writes a scathing review that hits Lou’s business hard. Lou’s personal and professional dreams are unraveling and she seeks solace at the local pub. She runs into Al and promises to show the British expat the hidden gems of the Milwaukee food scene. Little does she know that her business woes are due to the new guy she’s falling for!
C.S.E. Cooney reads the audiobook and she did a fine job with the narration. She does a nice job with Al’s British accent, sets the right tone for Lou, and makes the characters sound distinct.
This is a really cute read – with mouthwatering food descriptions, a sweet romance, and a delicious story. It made me want to visit Milwaukee to try out some of the cuisine referenced in the book. Bring on the movie! Looking forward to the author’s next book: Luck, Love & Lemon Pie.Delicious! by Ruth Reichl
Narrator: Julia Whelan
Published by Random House Audio on May 6th 2014
Genres: Fiction, Contemporary Women, Sagas, Coming of Age, General
Length: 13 Hours
Delicious! Is food critic/memoirist Ruth Reichl’s first novel, and it’s about food, love, sisters, and family. In Delicious! Billie Breslin leaves California for a fresh start at a dream job at New York’s Delicious magazine.
As an assistant at Delicious magazine, part of Billie’s job is to field customer service calls regarding the Delicious guarantee. If your recipe goes wrong, Delicious offers you your money back. When the magazine goes under, Billie is asked to stay on to continue with this task.
Billie and her sister gained notoriety in California when they started a successful cake business as kids. Billie no longer bakes and that’s part of the mystery of the story. She writes letters to her sister filling her in on all the changes in her life.
Billie also has a talented palate that catches the attention of her coworkers at Delicious and of Sal, a noted cheese shop owner. Everyone tries to stump her palate ability, but Billie knows her stuff.
In a story-within-the-story Billie discovers a secret room at Delicious that contains World War II era letters from a child to chef (and former Delicious employee) James Beard. Lulu’s letters take the story in another intriguing direction.
Billie falls for one of the patrons at Sal’s cheese shop (Mr. Complainer), whose job intersects with Billie’s at Delicious. A travel editor at the magazine takes Billie under his wing and offers her a makeover, while coaxing her to reveal her family secret.
There is a lot going on with this novel, and I thought the story really shined when food was the focus. Lulu’s letters were interesting but went on a little too long for my taste.
Julia Whelan narrates the audiobook, and I don’t think I would have been as patient with this one if I wasn’t listening to it. Whelan brings the story to life and it was a real comfort listen for me.
New York foodies will have fun with this one!Nuts by Alice Clayton
Narrator: Shayna Thibodeaux, Sebastian York
Series: Hudson Valley #1
Published by Simon & Schuster Audio on October 20th 2015
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Contemporary Women, Romantic Comedy, General, Fantasy
Length: 9 Hours
Nuts! is the first book in Alice Clayton’s new Hudson Valley series. Roxie left her small town behind to try to make it as a private chef in Los Angeles. When her mom gets the chance to compete in The Amazing Race, Roxie is called back home to Hudson Valley to run the family diner. A hot local farmer delivering nuts to the diner gets Roxie thinking this might not be a bad gig after all. Romance, laughter, and decadent desserts are on the menu in this charming romance.
Roxie’s professional life in LA hits the skids when a high profile client badmouths her over a butter mishap. So, it’s not the worst time to put a little distance behind her. She finds inspiration at the diner and changes up the menu, and starts offering cooking classes. But all along she knows that when the summer ends she’ll return to LA.
Complicating matters is Roxie’s attraction to Leo. She’s having lots of fun with the organic farmer and starts to question her life path. Could it be that the place she’s been running from all these years is the place she belongs?
Shayna Thibodeaux narrates the audiobook and I think she’s a great fit for this book. She does well with the witty dialogue and Roxie’s cheeky demeanor. Sebastian York is also credited as a narrator, but be aware that he only narrates the epilogue. I always enjoy York’s narration though! This was a worthwhile listen.
Nuts! has Alice Clayton’s trademark humor, sass, and romance and is a fun romp for foodie and romance fans.
For more foodie fiction recs check out my Thanksgiving Top Ten list.