A Taste of Sage
Lumi Santana is a chef with a gift: she can perceive a person’s emotions by tasting their cooking. Despite being raised by a mother who taught her that dreams and true love were silly fairy tales, she puts her heart and savings into opening her own fusion restaurant in Upper Manhattan. The restaurant offers a mix of the Dominican cuisine she grew up with and other world cuisines she is inspired by.When her eclectic venture fails, she is forced to take a position as sous chef at a staid, traditional French restaurant owned by Julien Dax, a celebrated chef known for his acid tongue as well as his brilliant smile. After he goes out of his way to bake a tart to prove her wrong in a dispute, she is so irritated by his smug attitude that she vows to herself never to taste his cooking.But after she succumbs to the temptation and takes a bite one day and is overcome with shocking emotion, she finds herself beginning to crave his cooking and struggling to stay on task with her plan to save up and move on as soon as possible. Meanwhile, Julien’s obsessed secretary watches with gnashed teeth as they grow closer and becomes determined to get Lumi out of her way permanently.

A Taste of Sage Details

TitleA Taste of Sage
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMay 19th, 2020
PublisherHarper Paperbacks
ISBN-139780062974846
Rating
GenreRomance, Contemporary, Fiction, Adult, Contemporary Romance

A Taste of Sage Review

  • Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
    January 1, 1970
    This book was.... bizarre? It started out fine enough, but as the book went on things got WEIRD. It started as a fun, cute contemporary but then it introduced some like slight fantastical elements and then things also got REALLY intense and dramatic and I honestly feel like this book gave me whiplash. Also worth noting- I listened to the audiobook of this one and the female narrator gave the hero the strangest """sexy""" whisper-y voice and it was so awkward to listen to. This just.. did not wor This book was.... bizarre? It started out fine enough, but as the book went on things got WEIRD. It started as a fun, cute contemporary but then it introduced some like slight fantastical elements and then things also got REALLY intense and dramatic and I honestly feel like this book gave me whiplash. Also worth noting- I listened to the audiobook of this one and the female narrator gave the hero the strangest """sexy""" whisper-y voice and it was so awkward to listen to. This just.. did not work for me.
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  • Nilufer Ozmekik
    January 1, 1970
    It’s sweet, witty, entertaining and promising start made me think “Yes! I found another feel-good rom-com will warm my heart and help me to forget my shitty and stressful day”! I felt like some four or five starred review was already coming up. So I poured more wine to my glass, extended my legs and started reading.I was so happy to be introduced to Lumi Santana, Dominican chef, lovely, relatable heroine loses her dream restaurant and trying to find a solution to make her ends meet, holding her It’s sweet, witty, entertaining and promising start made me think “Yes! I found another feel-good rom-com will warm my heart and help me to forget my shitty and stressful day”! I felt like some four or five starred review was already coming up. So I poured more wine to my glass, extended my legs and started reading.I was so happy to be introduced to Lumi Santana, Dominican chef, lovely, relatable heroine loses her dream restaurant and trying to find a solution to make her ends meet, holding her head above the water and she finally gets a job at French restaurant owned by Julien Dax.Yes, this is the moment we are introduced to our hero and wait for the couple’s sparkling, sizzling, growing chemistry. But guess what? It perfectly blows on your face and the only reason you cannot find the sparkle and hot chemistry, losing your interest and entire excitement is THAT PRETENTIOUS, MEAN, ARROGANT, A…HOLE HERO!Can a hero with worst traits sabotage the entire foundation of the book? Yes he can. Yes he will, he already did that.When I read a romance: I don’t care about clichés or same elements starting with enemies to friends and friends to lovers relationship dynamics. And of course something big happens to force the lovers break up. They suffer and some groveling later, one of them (mostly hero) makes a remarkable jest and takes his girl back, riding his horse into the sunset for their HEA!But this formula never works if one of the characters needs to be punched several times and there is no chemistry or reliable romantic elements. This book has dislikeable anti-hero killed not so reliable romance and forced chemistry.Overall: Writing of the book was not so bad but romance parts and character building failed me. I only gave 2.5 stars and rounded them up to 3 for the sake of the heroine and representation of Dominic culture and diversity elements. I still wish to read more books of the author but next time I’m begging her to create more likeable heroes!Special thanks to NetGalley and Harper Collins Publishers for sharing this romantic ARC with me in exchange my honest review.bloginstagramfacebooktwitter
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  • Berit☀️✨
    January 1, 1970
    Sweet and spicy! Yaffa S. Santos has cooked up a delectable tale bubbling with food and romance. Lumi is pretty bummed out when her Dominican restaurant goes out of business and she is forced to take a job as a sous chef at a traditional French restaurant. Even more irritating her new boss is a bit of an arrogant ass. He thinks he is gods gift to the kitchen and even though he is drop dead gorgeous Lumi is not impressed. That is... until she is. Lobsters, apples, tomatoes, tarts, kisses, turtles Sweet and spicy! Yaffa S. Santos has cooked up a delectable tale bubbling with food and romance. Lumi is pretty bummed out when her Dominican restaurant goes out of business and she is forced to take a job as a sous chef at a traditional French restaurant. Even more irritating her new boss is a bit of an arrogant ass. He thinks he is gods gift to the kitchen and even though he is drop dead gorgeous Lumi is not impressed. That is... until she is. Lobsters, apples, tomatoes, tarts, kisses, turtles, misunderstandings, recipes, and charm. This was a fun little treat. I really liked Lumi and all her sas. I also really liked the fact that she could feel the emotions of the person who prepared her food, that was a fun magical element to the story. Julian was hard to like, but I think deep down he was a good guy. The romance between Lumi and Julian didn’t always work for me. There was a turning point though where I got it, I just wish I had felt it earlier. I also wish we had got to know these characters a little better they weren’t quite as multi dimensional as I would’ve liked. The cooking in the book was great and I loved how they included the recipes. I would have definitely love to dine at Lumi’sie’s Dominican restaurant.This book in emojis 👩🏻‍🍳👨🏻‍🍳 🍲 🦞 🐢 🍏 🍅 🛀🏼*** Big thank you to Harper for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***3.5 rounded up.
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  • aarya
    January 1, 1970
    DNF at 34%It's amazing how disliking one MC can destroy all interest in a book. The premise is right up my alley and I liked the heroine. Unfortunately, I just can't with the hero. He's the kind of pretentious asshole who punches food critics in the face and tells customers to "educate their taste buds" when they ask for ketchup. Zero chemistry between him and the heroine so far (they're lusting after each other, but I don't feel genuine interest or respect between the two). I can't think of a s DNF at 34%It's amazing how disliking one MC can destroy all interest in a book. The premise is right up my alley and I liked the heroine. Unfortunately, I just can't with the hero. He's the kind of pretentious asshole who punches food critics in the face and tells customers to "educate their taste buds" when they ask for ketchup. Zero chemistry between him and the heroine so far (they're lusting after each other, but I don't feel genuine interest or respect between the two). I can't think of a single redeeming quality for the hero and that's a problem after 34%. I follow news in the culinary/fine dining world; the industry is rife with abusive and unhealthy practices, and it's difficult not to project my disgusted feelings onto Julien. I don't think that type of asshole presence in the kitchen is redeemable. His entire character arc appears to be "I'm an asshole to everyone but I'm secretly nice! So you should like and root for me." It's infuriating. You may read the book and think that I'm over-exaggerating here (that's fair! People respond to books differently). It's just that Julien really rubbed me the wrong way. Maybe he improves and the book gets better, but I'm not waiting to find out. DNF.Disclaimer: I received a free e-ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Anna Banana
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsA sweet romance with delicious food in every chapter that will leave you hungry and ready to try out some recipes at home!I loved that Lumi was Dominican and we got to learn so much not only about her culture through her family but also through her food. She's such a strong woman and has worked so hard to be successful and I loved that she never gave up on her dream even when it felt like things would never work out. I also really enjoyed Julien's character. He had an interesting backst 3.5 starsA sweet romance with delicious food in every chapter that will leave you hungry and ready to try out some recipes at home!I loved that Lumi was Dominican and we got to learn so much not only about her culture through her family but also through her food. She's such a strong woman and has worked so hard to be successful and I loved that she never gave up on her dream even when it felt like things would never work out. I also really enjoyed Julien's character. He had an interesting backstory that I honestly wouldn't have minded seeing more of in terms of his family and his relationships with them but overall I loved what a great guy he was, even though to people who don't know him well they think he's a huge dick. It's actually interesting that he's perceived as this rude, kind of douchy guy to work with but he's really the opposite. Yes, he cares a lot about his restaurant and has high expectations for the people who work there but I wouldn't say his expectations aren't realistic or things that any person would expect from people. The one thing that I found lacking a bit, even though I did enjoy it a lot was the romance. It all felt a bit superficial and like the foundation of the relationship/feelings came out of nowhere. I feel like we got those moments of seeing Julien be interested in her, but I never really understood how Lumi went from hating him to suddenly wanting to jump his bones? Also same for Julien in the sense of: I don't know how he went from being interested in this fire cracker woman who caught his eye to suddenly not being able to live without her and putting all his cards on the table after he talked to her outside of work one time. It all just felt so fast and insta-lovey and even though I was rooting for them the whole way through, I can't deny that the romance could've been written better. Perhaps if they spent more time actually getting to know each other, seeing them connect a few times and see that progression of "stranger who I'm intrigued by" to "wow this person is not who I thought they were and I'm liking what I'm seeing/learning about them". Overall, I would definitely read more by this author and I think that if you love books about cooking/food this will definitely be the book for you!*Arc given in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
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  • Sheena ☆ Oh, the Sheenanigans!
    January 1, 1970
    “A Taste of Sage” was uneventful, dull, and lacked appealed. The relationship between Lumi and Julien was just about non existent and there was no real connection at all between them beside a physical attraction. It had potential but the author failed to meet them which is unfortunate because I was really looking forward to a culinary romance. “A Taste of Sage” was uneventful, dull, and lacked appealed. The relationship between Lumi and Julien was just about non existent and there was no real connection at all between them beside a physical attraction. It had potential but the author failed to meet them which is unfortunate because I was really looking forward to a culinary romance.
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  • Mara
    January 1, 1970
    Ooo, this is tough to rate for me. Well first, I will say that this book will definitely make you hungry, so know that when you pick your timing to read it. The writing in this one overall is really strong- I very much enjoyed the authorial voice and would read something else from the author. I also liked the premise & the overall direction the story went. I think what trips this book up is that it doesn't fully work as a genre romance due to it's pacing. It's just a bit all over the place in te Ooo, this is tough to rate for me. Well first, I will say that this book will definitely make you hungry, so know that when you pick your timing to read it. The writing in this one overall is really strong- I very much enjoyed the authorial voice and would read something else from the author. I also liked the premise & the overall direction the story went. I think what trips this book up is that it doesn't fully work as a genre romance due to it's pacing. It's just a bit all over the place in terms of when different story elements were introduced, which made the flow of the book just feel off. I think there were also issues with the hero's characterization in terms of him being a genre romance hero.
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    I liked(ish) but didn't love this book. While technically it is a romance the main characters were definitely more in love with food than one another. They were written kind of strangely, with minimal interactions other than cooking alongside one another, which made their sudden switch from loathe to lust & boss/employee to romantically entangled feel a little bit forced. Maybe this is a metaphor for their food speaking for them and I just didn't get it at the time, which given Lumi's unique abi I liked(ish) but didn't love this book. While technically it is a romance the main characters were definitely more in love with food than one another. They were written kind of strangely, with minimal interactions other than cooking alongside one another, which made their sudden switch from loathe to lust & boss/employee to romantically entangled feel a little bit forced. Maybe this is a metaphor for their food speaking for them and I just didn't get it at the time, which given Lumi's unique abilities is entirely possible. Her instant switch from doting to distrusting gave me a bit of whiplash and at that point I was kind of over this book. It went from 0 to all the tropes in a paragraph, and the whole rest of the book was a bit formulaic and finished fast. Maybe the author was over it by then too? Another thing that bothered me was how quickly her burns seemed to heal, as well as the way that Julian kind of urged Lumi to have sex before her doctors okayed it. I don't think someone who recently had a large portion of their body severely burned would be overly concerned about that sort of thing in a matter of a couple weeks. All this being said there were a few redeeming qualities about this book. One, I loved that Lumi was a driven, creative, independent entrepreneur as well as a Latina and that Julian was a ginger who basically threw away a trust fund to follow his passions. I loved the uniqueness of Lumi's ability (although by the time it really came into play in the story I had nearly forgotten about it). I really enjoyed her strong support system as well, I also liked the addition of the recipes mentioned at the end of each chapter. All of these things were really promising and exciting to me, but were not enough to overcome the abundant aforementioned shortcomings.
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  • Felicia Grossman
    January 1, 1970
    This book is very special. In a way, it almost has elements of a modern beauty and the beast retelling, i.e. Lumi is a kind, open, creative, talented chef who lost her business and, to pay rent, has to take a job under Julien, an extremely commercially successful chef who is a bit, or more a lot, of a monster to work for, having lost sight of the soul of his food, and the feelings the food is supposed to give, in favor of perfectionist execution. Through working together, he's able to be inspire This book is very special. In a way, it almost has elements of a modern beauty and the beast retelling, i.e. Lumi is a kind, open, creative, talented chef who lost her business and, to pay rent, has to take a job under Julien, an extremely commercially successful chef who is a bit, or more a lot, of a monster to work for, having lost sight of the soul of his food, and the feelings the food is supposed to give, in favor of perfectionist execution. Through working together, he's able to be inspired by her to become a better chef and a better person. However, what makes the journey special and modern is that Lumi has her own arc, her own journey to figure out what she wants in life and how to balance her growing and changing dreams, and more how to accept help without feeling powerless. The writing is gorgeous and and the descriptions are amazing. The food and recipes really tie back so well to what the characters are feeling that they just work so well as additions to the book (kind of the way the do in Nora Ephron's Heartburn). I just thought all of it was super fabulous and unique and special.
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  • Sera Taíno
    January 1, 1970
    The premise of A Taste of Sage is irresistible - Lumi (Illuminada) Santos is the owner of a failed restaurant who goes to work for the Julien Dax, an arrogant, pretentious head chef at his famous French Restaurant. Lumi has a special gift - she can sense the emotions of a person through the foods they cook. This is an incredible gift, giving her insights into the people's emotions, no matter how they mask them from others. However, Lumi's first encounter with Julien leaves her so infuriated, she The premise of A Taste of Sage is irresistible - Lumi (Illuminada) Santos is the owner of a failed restaurant who goes to work for the Julien Dax, an arrogant, pretentious head chef at his famous French Restaurant. Lumi has a special gift - she can sense the emotions of a person through the foods they cook. This is an incredible gift, giving her insights into the people's emotions, no matter how they mask them from others. However, Lumi's first encounter with Julien leaves her so infuriated, she promises never to eat his cooking. Thankfully, this doesn't last long and soon Lumi discovers there is a disconnect between the nearly intolerable Julien and the emotions he transmits into his food. She learns who he is and slowly falls in love with him.The novel's sensibility is well-developed - there is no question Lumi lives for and through food. Her relationship with food reminds me of Tita de la Garza in the novel Like Water For Chocolate, and in fact, Santos makes reference to this novel as an inspiration in her author's note (fun fact - the first novel with romantic elements I read which featured Latinx leads was also Esquival's masterpiece). Santos does a very good job of imbuing the food in the novel with meaning beyond that of mere sustenance - the care for the recipes and dishes created by Lumi's hand is obvious throughout the narrative. The romance develops well, though Lumi's character is more richly developed than Julien's, even with the benefit of his POV chapters. There is more to Julien's character than meets the reader's eye, though he does too good of a job convincing everyone otherwise.For me, the story was a lovely elegy to the importance of food as a means of communicating, not only culture, but value, affection and, eventually, love. There are strong elements of women's fiction which might make a romance reader a bit impatient but in the end, what emerges is a delightful book that had me craving the delicious dishes featured within and the desire to share them with as much love as I could muster. ARC graciously provided by the author.
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  • Jamee Pritchard
    January 1, 1970
    A Taste of Sage is a romance centered around food and cooking and its hero and heroine, Julien and Lumi, are chefs. After she is forced to close her restaurant, Lumi is hired to be Julien's sous chef at his French restaurant. For a long stretch in the story, the love element seems to be one-sided with Julien secretly crushing on Lumi. But after some quick pacing within the story, Lumi soon finds her feelings for Julien amid her complex emotional history. There is some potential for more story de A Taste of Sage is a romance centered around food and cooking and its hero and heroine, Julien and Lumi, are chefs. After she is forced to close her restaurant, Lumi is hired to be Julien's sous chef at his French restaurant. For a long stretch in the story, the love element seems to be one-sided with Julien secretly crushing on Lumi. But after some quick pacing within the story, Lumi soon finds her feelings for Julien amid her complex emotional history. There is some potential for more story development in the book as well as the opportunity to further explore the origin of Lumi's ability to read someone's feelings through the food that they make. Also, at times, the romance between the two characters seems very forced. Julien is not a likable hero nor is his character well developed. Overall, this story was just ok.
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  • Obsidian
    January 1, 1970
    Please note that I received this via NetGalley. This did not affect my rating or review.I can't say much here. The heroine (Lumi) was likable, the hero (Dax) took a while for me to get there. There just needed to be more character development. I also thought that Ms. Santos just totally ignored the whole thing with the Fatal Attraction secretary. It just seemed to be hand-waved and it was just odd. I did love the recipes, and the description of the food in the book seemed great. "A Taste of Sage Please note that I received this via NetGalley. This did not affect my rating or review.I can't say much here. The heroine (Lumi) was likable, the hero (Dax) took a while for me to get there. There just needed to be more character development. I also thought that Ms. Santos just totally ignored the whole thing with the Fatal Attraction secretary. It just seemed to be hand-waved and it was just odd. I did love the recipes, and the description of the food in the book seemed great. "A Taste of Sage" follows chef Lumi as she tries to give her own restaurant in New York a go. Lumi wants to have an eclectic clientele, and changes up the menu on a daily basis. She thinks she may be close to realizing her dream after dealing with her mother's voice in her head and on the phone telling her she's not capable of more. When Lumi's venture fails she has to go back to work as a sous chef to French chef, Julian Dax at his place called Dax. Lumi finds Dax off-putting and arrogant. She also doesn't think his style of cooking resonates with her style since he's all about the classics with no modernization. The two quickly start to feel something between them. I honestly thought that Lumi was a bit naive at first. When she is told her venture is failing she just stuck her head in the sand. I liked the fact her friend helped her out with the job at Dax. I am realizing more now that we had gotten more of Lumi with her friends and other colleagues. Most of the book was her in the bath tub and then cooking something, while being irked at Dax. I don't know much about the restaurant world, but Lumi's style definitely didn't seem workable. I wish that we had gotten a chance to see her learning more from Dax and Dax learning more from her. I thought the book would end up similar to "Woman on Top" with the female character showing how to good wonderful food and how it slowly wakes up others senses around them. We do have Lumi with her special ability to taste people's emotions when she eats their cooking, but it didn't work it into the plot enough for me.Julien or Dax as he was mostly called was fine. I just felt myself growing bored of him throughout the book. At first he irritated me, then I was just, eh. I wish there had been more there.I did love the sexy times between the two of them, but sex scenes are no enough to have me return to a romance novel again and again. This just needed more time to simmer so we can see how the two have changed. We just jumped through so many things too fast I think and then we are in the epilogue a year later.
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  • Mia
    January 1, 1970
    I want to like this but nothing work.It was boring and there is no real romantic feelings until the end plus they have no chemistry.I liked recipes and that's about it.
  • Wendy
    January 1, 1970
    2.5 starsThank you to Harper Collins and NetGalley for a gifted copy of this book. All opinions of my own. Lumi Santana is a chef with a special gift - she feels the person's emotions by tasting their cooking. After her restaurant fails, she takes a position as a sous chef at Julien Dax's French restaurant. Julien is known for his cranky personality despite being a celebrated chef. Despite their clashes in the Kitchen, he can't help but be drawn by her and once she tasted his cooking, she couldn 2.5 starsThank you to Harper Collins and NetGalley for a gifted copy of this book. All opinions of my own. Lumi Santana is a chef with a special gift - she feels the person's emotions by tasting their cooking. After her restaurant fails, she takes a position as a sous chef at Julien Dax's French restaurant. Julien is known for his cranky personality despite being a celebrated chef. Despite their clashes in the Kitchen, he can't help but be drawn by her and once she tasted his cooking, she couldn't get enough of it.What I enjoyed:- The recipes - The book is filled with interesting recipes that I think I'd be interested to try! They aren't exactly the author's original recipes but they do sound really good. Much of the book is focused on the food which isn't necessarily a bad thing but I think the story could have been developed better.- Dual perspective - I liked that it was told from both Julien and Lumi's perspective. I always love that more than just getting one side.What did not work for me:- The writing - it feels forced. There's no depth to their relationship or even the individual characters. There's steam but even the execution around that was not very good.Overall, has potential but fell flat for me.
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  • Katie (patronusaurus reads)
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing a copy free for review. All opinions are my own.Doesn't it suck when an anticipated release isn't nearly as good as you wanted it to be?The story starts with Lumi, our main character, struggling to keep up with bills at her restaurant. Due to her off-the-cuff cooking style, it's difficult to maintain a steady base of customers, and her restaurant eventually goes under. She ends up as a sous chef for one of the pickiest, most demanding chefs Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing a copy free for review. All opinions are my own.Doesn't it suck when an anticipated release isn't nearly as good as you wanted it to be?The story starts with Lumi, our main character, struggling to keep up with bills at her restaurant. Due to her off-the-cuff cooking style, it's difficult to maintain a steady base of customers, and her restaurant eventually goes under. She ends up as a sous chef for one of the pickiest, most demanding chefs in New York City, Julien Dax--who promptly decides he wants to bang her.And that, my friends, is the crux of my issue with this book. I felt no chemistry between the two leads. I saw no reason for them to want to be together. And considering this is a romance, that's a pretty big deal! The relationship is the whole reason you read the dang book! I also thought this would be a bit more hate-to-love than it was, so that was a bit disappointing, but blurbs aren't always accurate so I feel like I can't really hold that against it.There was also a weird fantastical element that came out of nowhere and I was very confused. I didn't remember seeing anything about that in the summary, so it just felt very out of left field for this genre of book. It wasn't exactly bad, but it didn't feel like it felt with the rest of the book.I did enjoy the writing style. It wasn't anything crazy spectacular, but it was smooth and made this book easy to read, which is something I value in a romance. I want to be able to turn my brain off for a while and just enjoy the ride, and the writing style did that for me! One of my favorite things about this book was that recipes for most, if not all, the dishes mentioned were at the end of chapters. It would be really fun for a book club to read this and then when they talk about it, have a little potluck where everyone brings a dish from the book. Or just, you know, cook some delicious food for yourself.Overall, I think this book was just way off the mark from my expectations for it. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't really up my alley either.
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  • Kristina
    January 1, 1970
    A Taste of Sage by Yaffa S. Santos is a cute romance about Lumi, a Dominican chef, who was struggling to keep her restaurant afloat in New York City. Out of necessity, she ends up becoming a sous chef at Dax, a popular restaurant ran by The infamous Julien Dax himself. Their love story was initially a slow burn. A slow burn that raked up the anticipation and need for the couple to finally come together passionately. But I think I was a little let down.I enjoyed Julien’s character and appreciated A Taste of Sage by Yaffa S. Santos is a cute romance about Lumi, a Dominican chef, who was struggling to keep her restaurant afloat in New York City. Out of necessity, she ends up becoming a sous chef at Dax, a popular restaurant ran by The infamous Julien Dax himself. Their love story was initially a slow burn. A slow burn that raked up the anticipation and need for the couple to finally come together passionately. But I think I was a little let down.I enjoyed Julien’s character and appreciated the different sides of his personality that we learned and though I felt his feeling towards Lumi were genuine I didn’t understand where it’s depths came from. Same from Lumi. They spoke of soul connections but had had no meaningful interactions to warrant it in my opinion. That said, a lot of their reactions to each other didn’t make sense to me.Aside from that, it’s nice concept. I enjoy the tension in a “forbidden” love story.
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  • Elena Laing
    January 1, 1970
    Fantastically fun fiction for foodies! Aside from the great romance story, the book comes with delicious recipes that you can make at home. I enjoyed everything about this book, and finished it in an afternoon!
  • Yels
    January 1, 1970
    A Taste of Sage follows Lumi, a 30 something year old chef who has to close down her restaurant due to low clientele. She lands a job working for a 3 star restaurant as the sous chef for Julien Dax. Lumi and Julien had a disastrous run in before Lumi unknowingly applies to work in his restaurant. They start to interact on the daily basis but Lumi has a secret. Since she was a little girl, she can taste what the person is feeling when she tries their food. One day, Lumi tastes Julien's dish and t A Taste of Sage follows Lumi, a 30 something year old chef who has to close down her restaurant due to low clientele. She lands a job working for a 3 star restaurant as the sous chef for Julien Dax. Lumi and Julien had a disastrous run in before Lumi unknowingly applies to work in his restaurant. They start to interact on the daily basis but Lumi has a secret. Since she was a little girl, she can taste what the person is feeling when she tries their food. One day, Lumi tastes Julien's dish and things get complicated. I am so sad that I ended up not really liking this book. The beginning was great but somewhere in the middle, it lost me and the end made me sad. I love that Lumi is Dominican and it shows. I went full feral when the story kept mentioning her curls because same. I love the emphasis on food and how it brings people together because food is such a big part of Latinx culture. There was sprinkling of Spanish words that did not make me angry since it is how many US based Latinx individuals (including myself) speak. It didn't feel forced or weird. I cracked up when it was revealed that Lumi is short for Iluminada (Illuminated in English) and if that's not peak Latinx, I don't know what is. My main issue with the book is the relationship between Lumi and Julien. I am not opposed to instalove (love at first sight by any other name would smell as sweet) so that wasn't an issue for me, it was the rest. Lumi and Julien start as rivals, enemies, adversaries, whatever but Lumi quickly starts to work under Julien. I knew this was coming so it didn't bother me as much. Julien does have a POV in the book and they felt weird since imo it doesn't add anything to the story aside from Julien not really being the jerk everyone thinks he is. IDK maybe just don't be a jerk?? Lumi and Julien have very limited interactions until Julien makes the first move and this is only after they both act as complete weirdos (only looking at each other from a distance). The romance between the two wasn't there for me and it felt forced. It really started to bother me when Lumi suffers an accident and Julien takes care of her. The injury forces Lumi to wear bandages over her mouth meaning that she cannot speak up anymore. It effectively forces Lumi to give up her voice and that didn't sit well with me. Julien taking care of Lumi is supposed but there was one part when (view spoiler)[Julien thinks that he can have sex with Lumi since her injuries are from the chest up (hide spoiler)]. Absolutely gross and no thank you. Then Julien starts to force his way to Lumi's life after she told him that it was over. The end has this ongoing issue with the relationship status between Lumi and Julien. It felt very juvenile when these two are supposed to be in their 30's. Just TALK for the love of everything good. I wish that the book had focused a little more on Lumi's synesthesia and not just as a plot twist since it's pretty cool. Shout out to NetGalley for allowing me to read this book in advance in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Sarah Perchikoff
    January 1, 1970
    Lumi is down on her luck. The restaurant of her dreams has failed and she doesn't know where else to turn. So she ends up applying for a job as a sous chef at one of the top restaurants in Manhattan run by a famous-for-being-an-asshole chef, Julien Dax.When they first meet, the sparks go wild! They do not get along but there's something simmering between them. It continues to grow the longer they work together and culminates in them having sex IN THE RESTAURANT KITCHEN. Do I need to tell you the Lumi is down on her luck. The restaurant of her dreams has failed and she doesn't know where else to turn. So she ends up applying for a job as a sous chef at one of the top restaurants in Manhattan run by a famous-for-being-an-asshole chef, Julien Dax.When they first meet, the sparks go wild! They do not get along but there's something simmering between them. It continues to grow the longer they work together and culminates in them having sex IN THE RESTAURANT KITCHEN. Do I need to tell you the health violations here?? OMG.After the kitchen sex, they start a relationship, They go on cute dates, Julian cooks for her, and they work together better than ever. But there's someone on staff at the restaurant who would rather they weren't together and they're willing to do some extreme shit to make sure that's the case. This is where the story starts to go wrong for me. Lumi is in the kitchen by herself and she's poisoned and when falling to the floor, has a pot of boiling oil fall on her. I want to know why this was necessary? How does this make the story better or more complex? It feels like knocking a character down a peg for no reason. I don't know. It sits wrong with me, especially because Lumi is a woman of color and this is promoted as a romance.Which...yes, this is completely a romance, but what does this incident bring to the story? As a writer and a reader, sure it brings drama and gives Lumi another hurdle to jump over to get to the end, but it also feels like something put in to prove Julian actually loves her. Like because he loves her after she's burned, it's more real? I'm not in love with that premise. It feels like it's saying it's harder to fall in love with someone who looks different? I don't know if the story takes it that far, but I wish there was another conflict in its place.After the incident, Julian cares for Lumi even when she doesn't want him to. She's obviously wrestling with her new scars, but he still tries his best to make sure she knows he's there for her. The story goes on from there showing how they rebuild their relationship.I'm giving A Taste of Sage 3 out of 5 stars. It was a good romance and I enjoyed Lumi's relationship with food, but I wish it was better. It's up to you whether you're willing to try this one or not.A Taste of Sage comes out on May 19, 2020.Thank you to NetGalley and Harper Paperbacks for the free eARC in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Meredith Schorr
    January 1, 1970
    This was a slow burn for me, but it picked up in the second half. I appreciated the originality in the plot and the character development of Lumi. The romance was a good mix of sweet and sexy. Fans of foodie fiction will definitely enjoy that aspect of it! Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for my complimentary ARC. All opinions are my own.
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  • USOM
    January 1, 1970
    (Disclaimer: I received this book from Edelweiss. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) A Taste of Sage is mouth watering from the beginning. Full of sizzling chemistry between the main characters, there are also recipes so you can experience the flavors yourself! This tension they feel, starting off with a less than favorable meeting, resulted in some heat! They had some amazing banter which, to me, was indicative of their chemistry. The way they could go head to head (Disclaimer: I received this book from Edelweiss. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) A Taste of Sage is mouth watering from the beginning. Full of sizzling chemistry between the main characters, there are also recipes so you can experience the flavors yourself! This tension they feel, starting off with a less than favorable meeting, resulted in some heat! They had some amazing banter which, to me, was indicative of their chemistry. The way they could go head to head on those little insults and test each other. I also adored the supportive friendships in Lumi's life.full review:https://utopia-state-of-mind.com/roma...
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  • Dana
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Harper Perennial for a free copy!-2.5 rounded up to 3.-I truly liked the idea of this one and knew it would be cute. However, there was little chemistry between our main characters. Also, the climax had potential but fell flat. It was one page they were mad at each other, two pages later everything is great. Nope. Not buying it. I LOVED the recipes in the book and how the author described the food being made. I tabbed a few recipes for me to make.
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  • Joanna Bennett
    January 1, 1970
    eARC provided by publisher through NetGalley. All opinions are my ownI’ve been meaning to read a romance recently since I haven’t picked up one lately. A Taste of Sage filled that void in a lot of ways but there were a couple problems that I had while reading.Let’s start with what I liked. I did enjoy the main characters, Lumi and Julien. They each have their own point-of-view and I enjoyed reading both perspectives. Lumi is very headstrong and Julien is a grump in the kitchen but a soft teddy w eARC provided by publisher through NetGalley. All opinions are my ownI’ve been meaning to read a romance recently since I haven’t picked up one lately. A Taste of Sage filled that void in a lot of ways but there were a couple problems that I had while reading.Let’s start with what I liked. I did enjoy the main characters, Lumi and Julien. They each have their own point-of-view and I enjoyed reading both perspectives. Lumi is very headstrong and Julien is a grump in the kitchen but a soft teddy when he isn’t at work. They do a bit of bickering and honestly, I was here for it. Sometimes you just fall in love with the person you least expect.I also liked how the author included recipes after chapters. It really adds to foodie atmosphere she created. They also played off the the main characters and what they were actually serving.My biggest complaint about this book was how quickly it was for Julien to feel something for her. He didn’t want to settle down with his last girlfriend but was quickly infatuated by Lumi? It was hard to buy. People can change when they meet the right person but the timeline was just off for my personal taste.Overall, this was a good read. The cover is great and I think it matched quite nicely with the premise. If you love food or relationships that don’t start off on the right foot, this would be for you!
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  • sheena d.
    January 1, 1970
    Do not read this book on an empty stomach. For real. From apple ratatouille to shrimp mofongo to guava cheesecake, Lumi's recipes will make your belly grumble. And that's not the only part of your body that will beg for attention while you're reading...! The rivalry and stubborn resistance and eventual chemistry made me root for Lumi and J to figure things out (...even if I do still roll my eyes at Julien, lol), and I appreciated the little bits of wisdom we got from the sidekick characters---es Do not read this book on an empty stomach. For real. From apple ratatouille to shrimp mofongo to guava cheesecake, Lumi's recipes will make your belly grumble. And that's not the only part of your body that will beg for attention while you're reading...! The rivalry and stubborn resistance and eventual chemistry made me root for Lumi and J to figure things out (...even if I do still roll my eyes at Julien, lol), and I appreciated the little bits of wisdom we got from the sidekick characters---especially the strong women in Lumi's family. If you're looking for a feel-good book that  you won't be able to put down over a weekend, this is it.  You'll chuckle and shake your head the whole time; it's playful and provides insight into a world we don't get many chances to read about. Santos is changing that and I cannot wait to read more from her. And the best thing? Lumi's recipes are shared, so you can keep the story going in your own kitchen.
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  • Deanna Bailey
    January 1, 1970
    I received an Advanced Reader Copy via EdelweissThis book is a tasty, delicious treat! When you mix delicious food and hate to love romance in a book, you instantly have me hooked. Lumi Santana is a chef with the gift of synesthesia, she can feel a person’s emotions just by tasting their cooking. She tries to open a restaurant and it fails, and takes a sous chef position at a French restaurant with Julien Dax. Julien is a celebrated chef who is known for his good looks but bad attitude. Lumi can I received an Advanced Reader Copy via EdelweissThis book is a tasty, delicious treat! When you mix delicious food and hate to love romance in a book, you instantly have me hooked. Lumi Santana is a chef with the gift of synesthesia, she can feel a person’s emotions just by tasting their cooking. She tries to open a restaurant and it fails, and takes a sous chef position at a French restaurant with Julien Dax. Julien is a celebrated chef who is known for his good looks but bad attitude. Lumi can’t stand Julien, but tastes his cooking because it looks so irresistible and she’s overcome with intense emotions and has her wondering if she wants more. If you are looking for something fun, tasty, and will test your senses, you will enjoy this book.
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  • Other Rachel
    January 1, 1970
    3.5/5.A charming debut strengthened by the vivid prose about the scenery and the food, (Thank you for the brilliant idea of including the recipes in each chapter!). While the romantic arc could have been stronger by having more scenes of Lumi and Julien bonding in their mutual pining of each other - the part with the escape lobster is easily the best - their attraction to each other is undeniable. An ARC has been provided by NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
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  • Crystal
    January 1, 1970
    Lumi's beginnings in this book just broke my heart, but then Julian started putting it back together again! This book was unique, smart, romantic, and sexy too! I loved the recipes mixed in with the story, but I especially loved how these two were just what each other needed! I can't wait to read more from this author!
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    I never remember to add things on goodreads these days but I really liked this unusual little novel that has a hint of magical realism.
  • Karena
    January 1, 1970
    DNF @ 54%. This was a hot mess. Zero chemistry. Heroine has magical taste buds? Nope. This just left me yelling a lot.
  • Sónia
    January 1, 1970
    I received this book from the publisher through Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review.I was hoping I’d be on the minority and love this book because I love culinary romances and the magical realism hinted at in the synopsis really excited me. I expected a hilarious rom-com, but that was not what I got.This whole book can be describe in a few words: boring, uneventful, formulaic and forced.Lumi went from being a character full of life in the first two chapters to be one without a pinch of p I received this book from the publisher through Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review.I was hoping I’d be on the minority and love this book because I love culinary romances and the magical realism hinted at in the synopsis really excited me. I expected a hilarious rom-com, but that was not what I got.This whole book can be describe in a few words: boring, uneventful, formulaic and forced.Lumi went from being a character full of life in the first two chapters to be one without a pinch of personality whatsoever. I get that she lost her restaurant but for the love of all that’s sacred, that doesn’t mean she also needs to become boring and bland for most of the book.Everything I loved about her in the first few chapters was hardly in the story anymore. Her vibrancy, her love for her culture and the food. Instead she only reacts if Julian poked her enough, which I didn’t particularly like.Now Julian is an arrogant arse. And I love arrogant arses. Unlike most people I didn’t hate him but I also didn’t think he was complex enough to win my interest. He was clearly very passionate about food but his actions were a bit random at times? Like, if he is such a rigid boss, why did he ever accept any of Esme’s gifts? I wasn’t bothered by his attitude in the kitchen because it is my understanding that chefs tend to be on the volatile and strict side seeing as they work under pressure every day. But I was bored by an observation he made during Lumi’s recovery, when he wondered if they could still have sex even if her face was still recovering from having BURNS!Like wtf?! How can you tell us he loves her and then have his character say stupid shit like this?Which brings me to the romance. It felt forced from the beginning and it felt very one sided. On Lumi’s POV chapters there is no development of any kind of romantic feelings until the end of the book. Other than her finding him attractive, she barely even says good things about him. They don’t spend much time together before she decides to make out with him and when he suggests it, she seems surprised he even brought it up. Plus, they have no chemistry.I did like two things. The recipes, I even kept a few, and Lumi’s Dominican culture being important to her, even if we don’t see much of it after the first few chapters.I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone looking for a good romance because this is not it. The author seems to have picked the formula for a romance and then throw all the wrong things into the mix. It had the potential to bring something exciting and new to the genre and, in my eyes, it failed to do it.
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