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Yaffa S. Santos Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

A Taste of Sage (2020)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Yaffa S. Santos
Yaffa S. Santos is a romance writer best known for her debut novel A Taste of Sage. Santos says that this book combines her love for cooking and romance stories. The New Jersey-born writer is a Sarah Lawrence College graduate with a background in writing and visual art. Currently, Santos is based in Florida.

A Taste of Sage
A Taste of Sage is a romance story featuring Lumi Santana and Julien Dax. Lumi is a chef with a supernatural gift. By tasting someone’s cooking, Lumi could perceive their emotions. While Lumi grew up with a mum who believed that true love and dreams were just silly fairy tales, the hard-working woman saves up and starts a fusion restaurant n Manhattan. Her restaurant serves the Dominican Cuisine she grew up enjoying among other world cuisines. Lumi puts her heart, mind, and soul into her business, but unfortunately, the eclectic venture fails, and Lumi is left with nowhere to direct her creative energies.

To fill her time, get enough money to pay her bills, and ensure that she still continues doing what she loves, Lumi becomes a sous chef in a traditional French restaurant. Julien Dax, the restaurant owner, is a celebrated chef, but he is known to have an acid tongue and a brilliant smile that could melt the hardest of hearts. Lumi soon encounters Julien’s lousy side, and when he bakes a tart to prove her wrong, she is so annoyed that she vows never to taste his food. However, she soon succumbs, and just a bite of Julien’s cooking leaves her overcome with emotions.

From that first bite of Julien’s food, Lumi finds herself craving more of it, and her plan to save and get back to building her own restaurant takes a back seat. Lumi is not the only one charmed by Lucien’s radiant features and skills in the kitchen. His secretary is obsessed with him, and she is quick to pick the growing chemistry between Lumi and Julien. Determined to get Lumi permanently out of her way, Julien’s secretary takes her time to hatch a plan that is sure to accomplish her goal. Will her plan to eliminate Lumi work? Can the secretary withstand seeing the developing romance between Lumi and Julien, or will she just choose to leave?

This book follows Lumi and her love for food. The determined woman manages to start her restaurant even when the voices in her head tell her that she is not capable. While she loves to change the menu in her restaurant daily, the venture doesn’t pick up as expected. The fact that she kept going even when her friend tells her that she is headed for failure makes her a bit stubborn and naïve in business, but at least she gave it her all. Fortunately, she has a good friend who hooks her up with another job where she picks a trick or two about running a successful restaurant.

Lumi is a likable character. Despite all the odds working against her, this young and talented chef is determined to see her dreams come true. When her restaurant fails to take off as expected, Lumi doesn’t give up. Instead, she takes up a job that will allow her to save up and give her business another try. Lumi’s first encounter with Julien doesn’t go great, but once she senses the disconnect between his cooking and emotions, she begins to love the person he truly is. It is also great that this talented chef who lives for food is Dominican. Through her Dominican roots, the reader is introduced to the rich culture. Learn a thing or two about this fascinating culture through Lumi’s cooking and her family.

At first, Julien comes off as arrogant. With unrivaled skills in matters food, he acts like a god to his employees and customers who do not agree with his choices. However, below the façade is a good guy who expects nothing but perfection from those who are close to him. Most people who care about their business would act the same in his shoes. As a chef, Julien has learned that people expect too much from him, and he pushes his staff to meet and exceed these expectations. Julien’s back story is exciting, and, sadly, most people didn’t get to meet the sweet and gentle guy hiding behind the bossy and accomplished chef.

This is a sweet and spicy story with delicious foods that are sure to leave you hungry and some recipes you can try out to boot. It is a delectable tale filled with good food and romance. The magical elements bring some oomph to the story, just like the excellent cooking. It is intriguing to see how two people who couldn’t stand each other grow so close while doing something they both love with all they have. While this is not your usual romance where the hero falls madly in love with the heroine, at first sight, the chemistry between Julien and Lumi is undeniable. As you go through their small fights and disagreement, you will wish that they can stop all the bickering and concentrate on building a life together. This lovely couple enjoys a few sexy moments, but most importantly, Lumi brings out Julien’s side he had always kept hidden.

A Taste of Sage reads like a modern-day retelling of beauty and the beast. Lumi is a creative, talented, and kind chef who gets involved with an extremely successful Julien who turns out to be a monster to work with. However, by working together, Julien inspires Lumi to become better in her trade. Julien, on the other side, learns how to reconnect with the soul in his cooking. In the end, these two grow inseparable as they realize that they bring out the best in each other. This book is characterized by gorgeous writing, detailed descriptions, and amazing cooking. The author goes beyond the romance to highlight the importance of communication, affection, and genuine care for others. If you love cooking and are looking for a romance story with loads of good food, this book is a perfect choice.

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