Monday, January 16, 2017

Pasta Wars by Elisa Lorello

Katie Cravens is a successful CEO of Pasta Pronto, her very own diet frozen food company; she's a size 2, and happily engaged to a lawyer.  Everything sounds great, right?  

Except Katie comes home one day and finds her finance in bed with another woman.  And there are candy wrappers all over the floor!  Her finance's last zinger, as he moves out, is that his lover doesn't worry about what she eats, and that's what makes her more attractive than Katie.  Ouch.  That hurts.  

Katie's blows continue, as her company struggles to survive a recall notice on one of her meals after it makes people sick.  Hoping to save her company, she agrees to partner with the Caramelli family in Italy, famous for their restaurants and quality Italian cuisine. Luci Caramelli invites Katie to Italy to go over paperwork and meet each other.  Luci's twin brother Luca is the moody, extremely sexy chef who doesn't want to partner with Katie and considers her food fake and, well, crap.  But they need a shot in the arm in order to keep their restaurants open, and Katie's partnership just may help them do that.  

As you can imagine, Katie and Luca don't hit it off; the calorie-conscious workaholic and the Italian chef who values fresh, handmade pasta dishes over "plastic" food.  Luca introduces Katie to fresh pasta, biscotti, and the delights of antipasto.  Katie's trip to Italy gives her a chance to look at her life and heal her wounded heart.  Attracted to, yet completely infuriated by Luca, she's torn between raging lust and knowing she's got to go back to New York and take care of her company.  There's just no room in her life for Luca. 

I won't tell you anymore, because there is a little twist in the last bit of the story involving Katie, Luca, and a televised competition.  I liked this novel, but it is definitely on the lighter side and certainly a fun tale to read leading up to Valentine's Day.  I have to say the food descriptions made me want to try my hand at homemade pasta.  Katie's journey from a hard working woman who is so focused on being perfect and in control, to a woman who learns to relax, enjoy life, and enjoy food is one that is certainly believable.  Sometimes we get so focused on walking that straight line we forget to look up, take a breath, and slow down.  In a world where we're all so rushed and it's too easy to eat garbage, this book was a reminder to me to pay attention; most especially that eating the good stuff is worth the time and effort it takes to make it.  

Rating: 6/10 for a light romantic read full of delicious food, the Italian countryside, and a heroine who isn't perfect (and is actually kind of klutzy).  

Available in paperback and e-book. 

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