08/10/2013

Book Review:Pot Love By Sylvia Ashby

Blurb: Ashley Burkе, a twenty-six years old International News presenter at an obscure regional channel, is your average next-door girl. She lives with her boyfriend, loves her work and secretly fancies her boss.

When Ashley loses it all through no fault of her own, well, apart from snogging her boss in the loo and getting caught by his fiancée, she needs to act fast to find a new job before rumours spread that she’s been fired. A lucrative vacancy comes her way–hosting a small spot in a popular day-time TV programme – but there is a catch. The job is a cookery spot and Ashley can’t cook to save her life.

Her winding roads take her from Chichester, to London and all the way to Sardinia, to find her way back to what she has lost. But not without breaking a few eggs along the way and taking а few falls.

Can learning to cook burn your heart? Is change inherently bad or can it bring happiness too? And can you befriend people and things you have a grudge with, in order to carry on?

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'Corinn, is the camera the only thing that’s been stolen?’

‘Yes.’

‘They haven’t taken your wallet, ID, phone?’

‘No. Why would they?’

‘Because they have a lot more value than an ancient camera.’ I hear how my words sound and back track. ‘No offence, I’m sure the camera must have been very special but…’

‘They’ve taken only the camera, because the pictures were in it.’

‘What pictures?’

‘The one I took of Jennifer Lopez snogging Kate Moss in a café'

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A fine debut. Sylvia Ashby wows readers with an excellent story line and fantastic doses of romance.

Ashley's on the brink of professional success being an International Newscaster, having the perfect boyfriend (who pays no heed to her work-related rants) except she's not secured about her job having only twenty seconds of airtime and dealing with her nemesis, Amanda, who's lead of Local news and has more than enough time on air. But more than enough isn't enough for Amanda as she wants Ashley's...('time' is an understatement) seconds.

Amanda is out to get Ashley's seconds, but is oblivious Ashley's secretly snogging her fiancé. And Ashley hates being the other woman, but it isn't long (a week or so) before Amanda finds out. Then it takes less than twenty-four hours for Ashley to be without a job...

After lots of weeks of moping, losing her boyfriend and her usual joie de vivre, she lands an interview to be the host of a cooking show. But she's terrible and highly clumsy at it-cooking, not presenting-after one incident of closely setting her kitchen on fire in an attempt to crack an egg for an omelet. Luckily she's called in for test-shooting in the new year, and with only twenty-two days to gain some culinary skills Ashley has to act fast before she faces the new year unemployed without a boyfriend, a mother who's known for I-Told-You-Sos and her local audiences finding out she's lost her job.

You should follow Ashley's journey as she tours the finest Italian restaurants in London and Italy with the help of sexy chef, Giacomo, sharpening her culinary skills.

Add burns, scalds, cuts and sultry kisses, then you have a recipe for pasta

I liked the story-line of this book. It's unique. I got reeled in right when I read the blurb. A newscaster loses her job, terribly clumsy, hasn't made a perfect omelet all her life without putting herself in danger, gains a job on one of the popular cooking shows and has to learn to cook in a fortnight plus a few days. A star to the story-line.

Such a relatable heroine. Day in and day out, the chick-lit genre is plagued with chickroineswho do not posses any culinary prowess or don't know the basics to make a meal. I am guessing what's being portrayed a lot is what happens in reality the most, so I am sure you women out there who can't fix something for yourselves and fail terribly to every time you make an attempt would sympathize with Ashley and even love her in the process.

I was nuts for the other characters in this book. From Vedhika the stylist (who I secretly adored than the main character), to her mum, to Francesca and even the characters I detested so much (Amanda and James). I loved reading about each and everyone of them (and that's a shocker since this book was written in first person).-A star to the characters.

Although I liked this book and would totally recommend it to anyone who's a clumsy cook, I really would have loved it if it was light and fluffy. With such a story-line, I wanted the humor to be raised above lip-twitching levels and more to laughing-out-loud heights. A few plot complications could have also made this book a five star read. I am honestly not against books with a smooth rhythmic plot complications but I would have loved it if there were so many twists and turns.

Overall, it's not bad for a debut, the romance/chemistry between our leads was fantastic and the vivid description of destinations throughout the journey from Finchley to London to Cagilari, Italy. Though it lacked consistent humor, that didn't prevent me from reading till the end-and what a fulfilling end it was. It had a great story line and was penned beautifully, all I wanted was a lot more to laugh at since most books over here that get five stars were because they were hundred percent laugh-out-loud reads.

My rating: Four stars.

Sylvia Ashby's zingy and deliciously entertaining debut is available on...(click image to purchase)

I recommend Pot Love for anyone in the mood for chick-lit with mild humor and lots of romance. If you also adore a great story-line which's unique you could also pick this up. Or perhaps you are fascinated by the world of TV, Pot Love gives in depth knowledge of the not—necessarily glitz, but—glam life of TV. This title is for you if you've been thinking recently of taking a little (—or however you decide to define it—)food trip touring the finest cuisines from London, Italy or maybe all Europe.

My work not done here. Off to post my reviews on Goodreads as well as Amazon.

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