Foodie Romance Recommendations
By Jackie Lau
I don’t have a lot of hobbies, but one thing I love is food. Although I’m not a particularly skilled cook—I can make a decent, healthy meal, but I rarely try anything new—I love exploring restaurants, bakeries, etc. in my home city of Toronto. Toronto has so many great places to eat, and the diversity of the city is reflected in the food, too.
Food has played a role in some of my earlier books, but my Baldwin Village series is the first series in which it’s the focus. The first novel, The Ultimate Pi Day Party, is about a heroine who runs a sweet and savory pie shop, and second book, Ice Cream Lover, features a heroine who runs an ice cream shop. The books also show the characters enjoying various foods around the city. Dumplings, pupusas, ramen, poke bowls, charcuterie…in addition to lots of pie and ice cream, of course.
Fortunately I’m mostly immune to the food I write about—if I salivated every time I wrote something about food, I’d be in trouble! But when I read it’s a little different…I get jealous of the characters for what they get to eat.
I particularly like when food is part of the characters exploring the setting, since food is one of the things I focus on when I travel. One such book is The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy E. Reichert. The book is set in Milwaukee—I don’t think I’ve ever read another romance set in Milwaukee? The British hero is new in town and the heroine shows him around. Of course, he’s also a food critic who recently gave her restaurant a scathing review—he visited the restaurant on the worst day of her life, so the food wasn’t up to its usual standards—but she doesn’t know that…yet.
Then there’s Truly by Ruthie Knox. There are lots of romances set in New York City, and I often find myself disappointed that they don’t focus more on the food, because that’s one thing I like about visiting New York! Truly is different, though. The hero, a beekeeper and former chef, knows great places to take the heroine to eat, and he also cooks her delicious food.
Heroes who can cook well are also a favorite of mine, both as a reader and writer. It’s wish fulfillment of sorts, as my husband can cook but he isn’t all that good at it. Ben in Truly is a beekeeper and former chef. He makes the heroine French toast with walnuts and sautéed apples and whipped cream…that he whipped by hand. Let me tell you, I would love if my husband made something like that for me. Three Little Words by Jenny Holiday also features a hero as a chef—as well as a road trip.
Speaking of whipped cream… Delicious Satisfaction by Sabrina Sol is another great book for food, and there’s even a sex scene in which the hero sprays whipped cream on his dick. (In this case, whipped cream from a can, not stuff he whipped himself.) The heroine is a chef at a popular restaurant in Los Angeles, and I wish I could eat her creations.
If you like cooking competitions—plus grumpy heroes and older couples—I recommend A Taste of Heaven by Penny Watson. The hero, a professional chef, and the heroine, an amateur chef, are teamed up and make lots of great food together.
And if food trucks are your thing, definitely check out Adriana Herrera’s American Dreamer. One of the heroes runs an Afro-Caribbean food truck in upstate New York. Having been to the Finger Lakes area multiple times for vacation, I also love the setting, but the food…oh the food. I wish I had that food truck down the street from my apartment once a week. Their burritos and tostones sound amazing. (Toronto has lots of great food, but the food truck scene is not as big here as in some other cities.)
For more food truck romance, pick up Tif Marcelo’s North to You, set in San Francisco. The hero was the heroine’s high school crush, and she now owns a food truck that is competition for the Filipino restaurant owned by the hero’s family. For another book about a family-run restaurant, I’d recommend Short Soup by Coleen Kwan. The heroine’s and hero’s parents ran a Chinese restaurant together in small-town Australia, and the hero is taking over the business. Once again, a hero who’s a great cook. *Swoon*
If you like reading romances about food but not necessarily about chefs, A Bollywood Affair by Sonali Dev is wonderful. Another hero who’s a good cook, and he enjoys watching the heroine eat. There are so many mouth-watering descriptions of food, like potato sabzi, samosas, mango pickle…
Now if you’ll excuse me, all this talk about food is making me hungry…
Check out Jackie’s newest release:
Ice Cream Lover
Series: Baldwin Village #2 (Standalone romance)
Release Date: May 21, 2019
Formats: Print and ebook
I hate ice cream. Ever since my fiancée left me at the altar and skewered me in her bestseller “Embrace Your Inner Ice Cream Sandwich: Finding the Positive You in a World of Negativity,” I haven’t been able to stomach the stuff.
Unfortunately, my five-year-old niece is a budding foodie and her favorite place in the world is Ginger Scoops, a cutesy Asian ice cream shop. Since I’ve been looking after my niece a lot lately, I’ve spent too much time there, sipping black coffee, refusing to eat ice cream, and trying not to look at the owner, Chloe Jenkins. Chloe is obnoxiously cheerful, and I can’t stand her.
Naturally, I end up kissing her.
But I’ve sworn off women after the fiasco with my ex-fiancée, and I’m convinced I’m no good at relationships. Still, with Chloe I’m tempted to do the impossible: give love and ice cream another chance…
About the Author:
Author Jackie Lau writes romantic comedy with Chinese-Canadian heroes and heroines. She studied engineering and worked as a geophysicist before turning to writing romance novels. When she’s not writing, she enjoys gelato, gourmet donuts, cooking, wandering the city, and reading on the balcony when it’s raining. She lives in Toronto with her husband.