Love on the Back BurnerLove on the Back Burner by Barbara Oliverio

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book, according to its subtitle, is a tasty romantic comedy, and it’s exactly that. And also brilliant. Lively and likeable Alexandria D’Agostino, the youngest child in a close, hectic Italian-American family, is a fabulous cook as well as a hard working marketer. However, her love life leaves a lot to be desired so she tries the old fashioned approach of winning a man’s heart through his stomach. If she puts her wonderful cooking into a guy, surely he’ll give her his heart in return. She tries cooking her dates’ favourite foods. But there’s another saying – too many cooks spoil the broth – and Alexandria gets rather too much advice from well meaning friends and family. Will she find ever the recipe for love?

Love on a Back Burner has all the ingredients for the perfect romcom. It’s peopled by fascinating characters who spring from the page with their energy. There are interesting settings that are clearly depicted for us. There’s lots of fun, dollops of anguish, and a well thought out and executed plot. Being a romcom, we know our heroine will probably eventually find happiness but we still get swept up by the frustrations and setbacks that life throws at her. You have to give it to Alex – her family would drive lesser people insane! She has big decisions to make but remains strong and in control, and never loses her sense of humour. The book ends with a generous and delicious collection of recipes of dishes mentioned in the story. And, so you know, the butterscotch pie is to die for.

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