Aspiring chef Isa’s family life has fallen apart after the death of her Cuban abuela and the divorce of her parents. She moves in with her dad and her new stepmom, Margo, in Lyon, France, where Isa feels like an outsider in her father’s new life.
Isa balances her time between avoiding the awkward, “why-did-you-cheat-on-Mom” conversation with figuring out how a perpetually single woman can at least be a perpetually single chef. The upside of Isa’s world being turned upside-down? Her father’s house is located only 30 minutes away from the restaurant of world-famous Chef Pascal Grattard, who runs a prestigiously competitive international kitchen apprenticeship. The prize job at Chef Grattard’s renowned restaurant also represents a transformative opportunity for Isa who is desperate to get her life back in order—and desperate to prove she has what it takes to work in an haute kitchen. But Isa’s stress and repressed grief begin to unravel when the attractive, enigmatic Diego shows up unannounced with his albino dog.
How can Isa expect to hold it together when she’s at the bottom of her class at the apprenticeship, her new stepmom is pregnant, she misses her abuela dearly, and things with the mysterious Diego reach a boiling point?
This YA novel revolves around food and family, with y’all about grief, forgiveness, and a bit of romance. The reader can tell how important cooking and family are to Isa, it poor’s from the pages. The connection that Isa has with her Abuela (Lala) is amazing and I feel a lot of relation with that as I am very close with my grandma. Not only was there strong connections and beliefs, this book also had a strong female character who for only being 17 deals with everything quite well.
Now the romance. Enemy to lovers type of romance, and I loved it! It was so sweet seeing Isa go from utterly annoyed by Diego’s presence to growing feelings for him. I love seeing the vulnerability in characters and watching them fall for each other.
Thank you to NetGalley, the author, and publisher for the eARC.