Author: Amelia Betts
Publisher: Forever Yours (Grand Central Publishing) Hachette
Rating: 4 stars
Provided by Publisher
Blurb: Just one taste . . .
The only thing worse than a food addict falling for a chef is a food addict falling for a chef with a sex addiction. And yet somehow that’s exactly what I’ve done. With his tall, fit body, mischievous smile, and sexy Australian accent, Liam is double-chocolate gelato: a sinfully satisfying dish I can’t stop craving. He says we’re good together, that we can make each other better. But what if he’s wrong? What if we’re just feeding each other’s addiction? What if just one taste of Liam is too much?
Review: In a world filled with images of thin is beautiful, Mischa has spent a lot of time hating her own body. Her obsession with eating has taken over her life–her days were spent trying to determine what foods she could eat, how to get them, how to hide the evidence of them, and how to then deal with the aftermath. She didn’t purge, she wasn’t an exercise queen, she was just an overeater. In the Overeater’s Anonymous meetings she attended religiously, she never shared her feelings or her story–she just went to make herself feel better. It’s ironic that she’s majoring in nutrition in college, with her final project creating a detox shake program that people can follow to get healthy–which of course she doesn’t follow.
Mischa is one messed up girl. Having been abandoned by her father at age eight, she and her mother had lived a good but simple life. But she’d also learned early not to trust men–a sentiment that was only strengthened by the crappy behavior of her college boyfriend, who’d dumped her pretty quickly when she’d gained weight. She’s got self-image issues about her body and her weight; she’s got abandonment issues about men; and she’s got issues about who she is within this world that places so much importance and value on appearance.
Cue the sex addict man. Liam is an ex-rock’n’roll star from Australia who’s got a boatload of his own issues. Let’s just boil it down to sex for the purposes of this review. When Liam and Mischa meet in a mix-up of “Anonymous” meetings, the inevitable occurs…they hook up. But with each of them having what the other craves…Liam’s a chef and can provide her with lots of delicious food…and Mischa having a vagina…is there only trouble ahead?
What this book is NOT… is a casual romance about the hilarity of opposites attracting. It’s not a romp that will make you smile and then here’s the HEA. This is a nuanced read about the human condition. It’s about addiction and how people behave when they have one. It’s a window into the mind of an obsessed immature woman who’s so disinclined to look into her own issues that she’s more willing to trade off her body to a struggling, semi-amoral sex addict and pretend there’s a relationship than she is to actually face her own issues.
I think this is a powerful, meaningful book. But I do not think it’s a romance. It’s women’s fiction. It had some romance in it…but it was not a romance. It’s a hard, deep, and moving narrative about addiction and the power it holds over people. The changes Mischa made were hard and she had to choose to do them and I was happy for her. The ending was bittersweet, a HEA for now, which worked well for the book and its subject. Thanks for the read!