I got this book as an ARC from Edelweiss and I basically saw the title and cover and went “yes! another foodie novel!” I have realized recently that all an adult novel needs to attract me is the idea of there being food involved… Maybe that’s good? I don’t really know, but I am noticing that trend. Anyhow, Sugar is about Charlie Garrett, a talented pastry chef who is trying to work her way up in the industry to be a head pastry chef at a Michelin star restaurant in Manhattan. Unfortunately, she has been stuck at the same position for six years with the head chef’s promise of a promotion that seems like it will never actually come. Charlie’s ex-boyfriend, Avery Malachowski (who goes by Avery Michaels instead to simplify his Polish last name), decides to pay Charlie a visit one day because he has an up-and-coming restaurant in Seattle and he wants Charlie to be his head pastry chef. Little does Charlie know, Avery is actually motivated to take her on because of a potential reality television show deal, and he kind of tricks Charlie into coming before telling her that she is going to costar in the show with him. Sugar is a story about a woman in her mid-thirties trying to find her way in a tough industry and facing the new challenges of her whole life being on display for the world be entertained with. This causes some tension in her love life, with her new Seattle boyfriend Kai Malloy, and also starts to wear on Charlie’s overall sanity because she didn’t exactly choose to become a reality TV celebrity.
**That’s all I have without spoiling the whole story! So proceed if you have red the book and come back later if you haven’t read it yet!**
My Rating: 4 stars
I really liked Charie’s story from the start. It might be because I have a sister heading into the pastry chef career, but I thought it was nice that Charlie had a pretty no-frills life in New York City because that aspect could have been unrealistically played up. When Avery shows up and gives her this great opportunity to be his head pastry chef in Seattle I thought, just like she did, that this was amazing for Charlie’s career. But of course, there was a catch, there’s always a catch… Of course, Charlie moves from her modest studio apartment in Manhattan to a huge penthouse suite in Seattle, so much from romanticized living situations right? Gotta say, the new place sounded pretty great though, I wouldn’t turn it down if it was just handed to me either.
Avery is an aspiring reality tv star who is always thinking of himself. I really disliked him because he only cared about the attention he was getting from his show and his “star” pasty chef in Charlie that he didn’t listen to her when she said over and over again that she would rather not take part in a stupid reality tv show. There was all the behind the scenes insight of how the fights are staged and photos are altered and used for both good and bad press.
I enjoyed Charlie’s Seattle support system that was always there to help her through the mess Avery created for her life. Manda is a really great best friend to Charlie, and her husband is kind and helpful as well. I imagine their three children to be pretty cute, although probably constantly messy from the way Manda was constantly having to take things away from them. I was glad Charlie had them to turn to when she was going through a rough spot because of the show, and Manda was not going to rest until Charlie and Kai got together for good. It was a really cute relationship between those two best friends that I hope to have when I’m older too.
I loved Kai’s character because he really was everything that Charlie wanted in a man, and she almost lost him because of Avery and his show’s crew members insisting that she and Avery pretend to be in a relationship for the show. I loved that Kai owned a breakfast cafe because goodness knows the way to my heart is breakfast food ❤ And he seemed like a genuine guy that cared deeply for Charlie. I’m so glad they ended up happily together in the end. I am a realistic person so I know there’s always a chance they don’t actually stay together, but for the sake of a happy ending I’m glad that’s the way things ended up.
Let me know what you thought of this novel in the comments 🙂