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Topic: Delicious / Sherry Thomas

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Subject: Delicious / Sherry Thomas
Date Posted: 9/30/2008 1:17 PM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2007
Posts: 1,646
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Ok.  I admit I HATED Private Arrangements.  The time jumped around so much that it was barely readable.  Even so, I decided to give her another try.  The description sounded interesting.  It had some of the same issues with jumping around in time, but not as severe as PA.  I was also angry that the author kept the Hero and Heroine apart so long.  Then, there was not enough steam in my opinion, but OMG what an ending!  IMO, the ending redeemed the book.  I must have used up 1/2 a box of kleenex on it and my eyes were swollen the next day.  Because of the ending, I give it a marginal thumbs up, though its far from a keeper.  It did have some very problematic plot elements that stretched the limits of credulity.   I loved the food descriptions.  Made me want to look for madeline recipes. 

 

What did everybody else think?  I liked it enough that I'd read something else by Sherry Thomas, though she's not my favorite author. 

Date Posted: 9/30/2008 2:05 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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I've stayed away (so far) from getting this because of the jumping around(hate trying to keep times straight and I often read on night shift and don't need any challenges) and I hate hate hate a couple being separated for a long period of time. That's up there with the 'I had your baby and didn't think you needed to know' theme-line withe me. oh, and I'm trying to lose weight and just reading Laura Childs' Tea Shop mysteries had me craving cookies and stuff...so don't think this is the book for me!

Date Posted: 9/30/2008 3:50 PM ET
Member Since: 10/19/2007
Posts: 1,028
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Loved the beginning.  Lost me in the end.  Go figure. 

Date Posted: 9/30/2008 3:59 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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Well, you know I've got something to say about this book because I loved it, but I've been sick since yesterday with a stomach virus, so I'll have to be brief, and then I'm going back to bed:P  Hopefully I'll feel better later and can contribute a little more.  First, this one got big points from me for originality.  I can't even begin to describe how tired I am of the same old recycled plots.  I'm into historicals, so it's something I run into a lot.  What I like about Sherry Thomas in general is that she has the ability to take me out of my usual comfort zones and into subject matter that is usually a big turnoff for me, and she still delivers a highly engrossing book.  Regardless of how I'm feeling about what's happening in the story at any given time, I'm always absorbed, and the thought of putting it down because this or that is bugging me is simply out of the question.  I recommended this one as one of the books you buy new this year, and I still stick by making that recommendation, because of the reasons behind it.  I think something unusual & unique is always worth the cost of a new book:P   But that's just MHO.  I also agree with Claudia that great endings redeem a lot, and this one had a great ending, IMO.  However, for all that the heroine annoyed me at times, I never got fed up with her or bored at any point in this story.  I loved the hero.  He kept himself wrapped so tight, and the descriptions of him eating that dangerous food and pushing it away had me laughing out loud.  I loved the heroine too, simply because she had made such a hash of her life, and in the process of making yet another huge mistake, she meets this wonderful man and falls in love, but what is she to do about it?  She couldn't face telling him who she was and why she had come to him, even though meeting him turned out to be only right thing that she had managed to do in a very long time.  All of it - the separation, the lies, hiding from the hero, etc. - was understandable to me.  Not that she couldn't have done better, but that I could see it happening that way and sympathize with her & the mistakes she made.  Anyway, my mind isn't working well enough right now to go into more detail than that, but I'm sure I'll think of more I want to say about this book when I feel better:P

Date Posted: 9/30/2008 4:15 PM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2007
Posts: 2,728
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The jumping around between time periods bothered me a bit too- a  couple of times, I got confused and had to go back and reread sections to clear up the confusion.  I was annoyed by the concealed identity bit because it was so long and drawn-out...we KNEW he would find out eventually, and I was annoyed that in the end, it wasn't her who told him.  Then the bit about Michael's paternity was kind of weird for me...I just don't get why the author kept us in the dark about that, since it ended up being some random guy who was not a part of the story.  I figured it had to be someone at least mentioned in the story.

Now, all of that said, I did like this book.  Don't know that I loved it, but I did quite enjoy it.  I love books that feature food and cooking, because I love to cook, so that part of it was enjoyable for me.  I liked how the author paralleled the food with emotion.  Like Kim, I liked the originality of the storyline, and I even liked the subplot with Lizzy and Mr. Marsden.  And the HEA was definitely worth everything it took to get there- it was a VERY nice ending.

Date Posted: 9/30/2008 5:00 PM ET
Member Since: 7/25/2005
Posts: 24,599
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From Gourmet Magazine.  Makes 36

INGREDIENTS

1 3/4 sticks (14 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus additional for brushing molds
12/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh lemon zest
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1/4 cup whole milk
1 1/2 tablespoons mild honey

Special equipment: 3 nonstick madeleine pans with 12 (2-tablespoon) molds each

 

Preparation

Put racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 350°F. Brush molds with melted butter.

Sift together flour and baking powder into a large bowl, then whisk in zest.

Scrape seeds from vanilla bean into another bowl with tip of a paring knife (reserve pod for another use). Add sugar and rub together until vanilla is well dispersed, then whisk in eggs, milk, honey, and remaining 1 3/4 sticks melted butter. Fold into flour mixture until just combined.

Spoon a rounded tablespoon of batter into each mold, filling it about two-thirds full. Bake (with 2 pans on one rack), switching position of pans halfway through baking and rotating 180 degrees, until golden around edges and a wooden pick or skewer inserted into center of a madeleine comes out clean, 10 to 12 minutes total.

Turn out madeleines onto a rack and serve slightly warm.

Cooks' notes:
• These madeleines are best eaten when just baked.
• The batter can be made 3 hours ahead, then chilled, covered.
Date Posted: 10/1/2008 2:26 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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It just struck me as interesting that even though Claudia and I both had a number of problems with the book, she ended up feeling positively towards it and I ended up feeling negatively.  Perhaps because she hated Private Arrangements and I loved it. ;-)

What would you rate it numerically, Claudia? I'm thinking of that scene in "Annie Hall" where their therapists ask how often they have sex and Annie says "constantly - 3 times a week" and Alvy says "almost never - 3 times a week." 

Date Posted: 10/2/2008 1:03 PM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2007
Posts: 1,646
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I'd give it a B-/C+ rating.  Maybe 7.5 on a scale of 10.

Date Posted: 10/2/2008 1:56 PM ET
Member Since: 5/23/2008
Posts: 12,776
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Just finished.  Couldn't put it down the last quarter of the book or so. Loved the ending!

Date Posted: 10/2/2008 2:05 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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I'd give it a B-/C+ rating.  Maybe 7.5 on a scale of 10.

Ha - I guessed right! Isn't that interesting? We would both rate it the same, yet have such different feelings about it, almost certainly because of the expectations we went in with.

Date Posted: 10/2/2008 3:24 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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I've ceased to be surprised when we have such different opinions on books, even though I think the three of us (Willa, Claudia & me) have very similar tastes in historicals.  It shocked me the first few times it happened, but I'm getting used to it by now:P  I've raved enough about this book for everyone to know by now what I loved about it and why I think it's such a standout.  Anything more from me at this point would be redundant.  If nothing else, I think the curiosity factor would be a good motivator for keeping it on wish lists:P

Date Posted: 10/3/2008 12:06 AM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2007
Posts: 662
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I am getting a copy mailed to me now, I guess I am camping my mailbox again for another few weeks. 

Date Posted: 10/3/2008 2:13 PM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2008
Posts: 15,690
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I just got a copy of this book yesterday and I'm dying to get into it (although who knows when I'll start it because of other books I have to read). It will be interesting to see if our opinions differ on this book, Kim (I think our taste is pretty close in historicals.) 



Last Edited on: 10/3/08 2:14 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/16/2008 11:51 AM ET
Member Since: 8/12/2006
Posts: 1,012
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I have to say that I am loving this book for some reason.  I just started reading it and I don't want to put it down about halfway through.

I love when I get a book like this because I can't remember the last time that I picked up a book and just wanted to read all night.

Thanks to all of you who gave this one a good recommendation. 

I need to find more like this one :-)

Date Posted: 10/16/2008 12:52 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2007
Posts: 1,028
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I tried to hang in there, I really did. What really annoyed me were the food descriptions and how they went on and on and on. Kind of Like Water for Chocolate and Chocolat (though that was okay because of the Johnny Depp factor). I was more interested in how LIzzie and Stuart were going to work out their betrothal but no enough to get more than half way through the book.

Date Posted: 10/16/2008 2:05 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2007
Posts: 376
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What really annoyed me were the food descriptions

I guess because I read the food descriptions as not-thinly-veiled metaphors for sex, I enjoyed them and felt they enhanced the story! After all, creating sensual delights with food was her way of expressing herself. I guess they didn't read like that to you?

Date Posted: 10/16/2008 2:07 PM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2007
Posts: 2,728
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Oh, I LOVED the food descriptions!  But then I'm a cooking junkie, so am into that.  I can see how, if that's not your thing, it would get annoying, but I really enjoyed that aspect of the story.

Subject: Okay...
Date Posted: 10/16/2008 3:43 PM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2008
Posts: 1,899
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Everyone who has posted has got me intrigued.  I got this book about 2 weeks ago, but haven;t gotten to it yet because of other books.  (I guess we all know how that is!)  I need to tackle this book this weekend and see how I look at it.  I hated Private Arrangement as well....too jumpy. 

Thanks for giving me something to think about other than the fate of the economy!

 

Diana

Date Posted: 10/17/2008 10:55 AM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2008
Posts: 1,899
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Ok, I paused on Dog Days and picked up Delicious last night.  OMG!  I am at Ch. 17 right now (I wanted to stay up and finish the book, but I have to have atleast a few hours sleep before I go back to work!) and all I can say is WOW!  I can't wait to finish it this weekend.

Diana

Date Posted: 10/17/2008 12:37 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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The thing about the food... I could see where that would be a distraction to some readers.  I'm not even that much into cooking, although I seem to do all of it (AND WELL, btw:P) around here.  But anyway, I didn't mind it, even sort of enjoyed it, and I guess the reason why is because of the fact that Stuart is so anal retentive about food, and even though Verity is hiding from him through most of it, she's going to all of these extremes to tempt and seduce him with food, and his reactions to it are so adorable - to me anyway.  I just think he's so cute, and that whole dynamic between them with the food kept me very engaged with the story.

Date Posted: 10/17/2008 12:53 PM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2008
Posts: 4,433
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I would give this 3 stars. One thing is for sure, when I read this book I kept getting hungry...LOL be warn have some kind food with while reading this book.

Date Posted: 10/23/2008 3:42 PM ET
Member Since: 2/15/2007
Posts: 496
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Just had to bump this up because I WL this book becaause of this thread and am now obsessed with this book. I am about half way down and am torn between love and absolute hate of this book. Thomas delivers so many plot point that drive me nuts (promiscious heroine, H/H constantly driven apart for very few good reasons etc.) but I can't put it down. Can't wait to see how she brings it all together in the end. It is refreshing to read a historical that is NOT THE SAME as every other one on the market. Thanks for the recs guys.
Date Posted: 10/23/2008 5:12 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2007
Posts: 376
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remember: Food = sex in this book. Making it, eating it, it's all about seduction. It's a metaphor, not a cookbook, see? LOL!

Date Posted: 10/23/2008 8:34 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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Christina - "Thomas delivers so many plot point that drive me nuts (promiscious heroine, H/H constantly driven apart for very few good reasons etc.) but I can't put it down. "It is refreshing to read a historical that is NOT THE SAME as every other one on the market."

Lol!  I love it!  That's Sherry Thomas in a nutshell:P  Drives ya nuts, doesn't she?  I've caught myself reading something, and thinking "Oh, I hate that!", but I've got my nose jammed in that book, reading like a demon, and I couldn't put it down if my life depended on it.  If the house caught fire while I was reading one of her books, I'd be saving the book, and every man for himself:P

Date Posted: 10/24/2008 8:59 AM ET
Member Since: 2/15/2007
Posts: 496
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Well I did finish it last night and did not like the ending as much as I liked the rest of the book. I thought for as innovative as she is with the rest of the plot the ending is too predictable Regency HEA. Wont be keeping Delicious on my permanent bookshelf but I will be requesting Private Arrangements to read next. Thomas is definately on author that will be moved to the top of my WL/TBR pile.
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