Dear Nancy Verde Barr,

Last BiteLast Bite: A Novel of Culinary Romance is another wavering-between-three-stars-and-four book.  I’m coming down on the side of three stars.  It got better as the plot progressed, but it was definitely one of those cookie-cutter romances about a recently dumped woman who meets a flirtatious and devilishly handsome man who she resists for a while out of principle but eventually submits to.  Except this one was interspersed with really detailed cooking scenes, because you’re a tv prep chef.  I did enjoy the tour through Italy, though I thought the main character could have spent less time thinking about how much she loved the Italians, “her people.”  I think a lot of the probably enjoyable factors of this book were lost on me; pretty stereotypical hetero wooing, including a day of allusions to Roman Holiday (which I’ve never had any particular desire to see) doesn’t quite have the same appeal to a non-chef “finnochia” (apparently lesbians are called “fennel” in the Mother Country).  The side plot with the Russian Mafia was more interesting, and I did get a kick out of the main character’s Italian family.  All in all, this was a nice light read, but not something I’d pick up again.

Love,

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