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Recipe for Persuasion

Recipe for Persuasion

A Novel

eBook - 2020
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From the author of Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors comes another , clever, deeply layered, and heartwarming romantic comedy that follows in the Jane Austen tradition—this time, with a twist on Persuasion.

Chef Ashna Raje desperately needs a new strategy. How else can she save her beloved restaurant and prove to her estranged, overachieving mother that she isn't a complete screw up? When she's asked to join the cast of Cooking with the Stars, the latest hit reality show teaming chefs with celebrities, it seems like just the leap of faith she needs to put her restaurant back on the map. She's a chef, what's the worst that could happen?

Rico Silva, that's what.

Being paired with a celebrity who was her first love, the man who ghosted her at the worst possible time in her life, only proves what Ashna has always believed: leaps of faith are a recipe for disaster.

FIFA winning soccer star Rico Silva isn't too happy to be paired up with Ashna either. Losing Ashna years ago almost destroyed him. The only silver lining to this bizarre situation is that he can finally prove to Ashna that he's definitely over her.

But when their catastrophic first meeting goes viral, social media becomes obsessed with their chemistry. The competition on the show is fierce...and so is the simmering desire between Ashna and Rico. Every minute they spend together rekindles feelings that pull them toward their disastrous past. Will letting go again be another recipe for heartbreak—or a recipe for persuasion...?

In Recipe for Persuasion, Sonali Dev once again takes readers on an unforgettable adventure in this fresh, fun, and enchanting romantic comedy.

Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks


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JCLS_Ashland_Kristin Nov 24, 2020

This novel is pretty light on the Persuasion retelling, but still a fun romance. I'm not sure why authors think that simply having a family break a young couple up and then have them come together again as adults + throwing in a "half agony half hope" quote = Persuasion retelling. That said, I'll be tuning in for the 3rd installment in the series, which is a planned Sense and Sensibility retelling.

RandomLibrarian Jul 18, 2020

Review Excerpt: "Content warning: This book has ALL the triggers, and I’m a bit worried I’ve forgotten one, but here goes. Abusive/manipulative/neglectful/controlling parents. Alcoholism. Suicide of a parent (witnessed by the child – off page, but remembered rather vividly). Forced marriage and rape (off-page). Infidelity. Hero is orphaned at an early age and is not acknowledged by his father’s family. Plane crash. People who stress you out just showing up and letting themselves into your apartment to stay. Obviously, PTSD and panic attacks abound, but that seems entirely reasonable, don’t you think?

Now, this blurb is not precisely inaccurate (though in fact, Rico deliberately goes on the show in order to get some closure with Ashna), but if you take a look at that and think, ‘ooh, Jane Austen, cooking show, romantic comedy, own voices, this is just the fun, fluffy romance I need to get me through iso’, you will be in for a nasty shock. I mean, you saw that list of content warnings above. 'Recipe for Persuasion' is many things (including, yes, a rather adept retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion set on a cooking show), but a fluffy romantic comedy it is not.

What it is, is an intelligent, complex story about secrets and family and relationships. The main story takes place in the present, but it is firmly rooted in the events of twelve and of thirty years earlier, and the ways the various characters reacted to them at the time and since. It takes most of the book for us to learn precisely what did happen in the past, though one starts to get an increasingly horrified inkling pretty early on.

In short, 'Recipe for Persuasion' is a good book, but it’s not the book the blurb leads you to expect (and WHY do marketers do this, WHY WHY WHY it can’t possibly help a book in the long run???).

And I don’t want you to think that 'Recipe for Persuasion' is without humour – there are some lovely one-liners and banter as the story progresses, and there is a certain amount of things-going-disastrously-but-humorously-wrong in the context of the cooking show that reminded me of that slightly-slapstick sort of romantic or musical comedy film genre (and I suspect that’s where the rom-com marketing came from), but the overall tone of the book felt pretty dark to me, mostly because of the fact that the inside of Ashna’s head is a pretty distressing place to live."



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