by Nancy Verde Barr
Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Casey Costello isn’t doing so well in the romance department. Soon after she catches her dentist boyfriend with another woman, her job as an executive chef at a morning television show brings her in contact with Danny O’Shea, a sexy Irish chef who she knows would not be faithful. After all, he’s as good at flirting as he is at cooking.
When she’s not dodging Danny, she’s dealing with eccentric celebrity chefs, and trying to find out why the regular lovable chef on the program is putting her career in the hands of a sleazy manager. Casey’s food prep crew, including the four Tonys and an assistant who reminded me of Abby from NCIS, are a big part of her world. So is her large Italian family, who seem to spend most of their time together cooking or eating.
When Casey leaves with the the regular chef on the program to film segments for the show, the sleazy manager shows up, and so does Danny. Then things really start to cook.
I enjoyed so many things about this book. First, Barr’s down-to-earth voice, so easy to read. The story is told in first person, and it’s as if she’s talking straight to you. I normally prefer third person, but some voices are better in first, and this is one of them.
Then there’s the food. Yum, yum, yum. Mouth-watering, drive-me-to-the-kitchen (where I’m disappointed) food. I could tell the author knew her stuff, including the stories about the morning TV show she worked on. And as I was reading about the regular chef, I thought she sounded a lot like Julia Child. I finally read the bio on the inside back flap, and found out Barr was Child’s executive chef and culinary producer. After that, Barr was the culinary producer for Good Morning America show.
This book was a joy to read. If you love reading about food, romance and interesting characters, Last Bite is the book for you.