Thursday, 29 March 2018

Blog Tour Review: Sunshine and Secrets by Daisy James

Sunshine & Secrets (The Paradise Cookery School #1) by Daisy James
Published: March 19th 2018
Publisher: Canelo
Pages: 165
Available on Kindle
Rating: 4/5


When newly heartbroken, michelin-starred chef Millie Harper is offered a job overseeing the setup of The Paradise Cookery School she jumps at the opportunity. Leaving London and her memories of heartbreak behind she hops on a plane to the hilltop cocoa plantation in St Lucia.
But this beautiful island break might be more work than she’d expected….  With only two weeks to have the kitchen installed, cocoa pods going missing from the plantation and the notoriously relaxed island workmen to contend with, she’s going to need some help. Gruff but charming estate manager Zach Baxter, is only too happy to offer his opinions. As the two clash heads can they remain focussed on the job in hand and get the cookery school finished in time?


Heartbroken Millie Harper is about to set off to France for a  holiday with her mum, when sister Jen asks if she’ll fly to St. Lucia and oversee the installation and recipe testing for new cookery school for famous chef Claudia Croft instead. Being a Michelin-starred chef Millie is keen to develop her skills and jumps at the chance to spend time learning about a different cuisine and in such a fabulous location, what could be more perfect.

Millie’s idea of a tropical paradise is soon ruined when she’s left in the pouring rain on arrival and then met by grumpy estate manager Zach Baxter who doesn’t offer her the warmest of welcomes. With kitchen fitters that have a much more laid-back way of working than Millie is used too, missing cocoa pods and disastrous dates can Millie get the cookery school up and running in time.

Sunshine and Secrets is a book filled to the brim with delicious food descriptions, in fact 70% of the story probably revolves around food so if you’re not a fan then this is maybe not the book for you. I love food so really enjoyed all the food descriptions, especially those relating to chocolate, only problem was it left me very hungry. I also loved all the descriptions of St. Lucia, Daisy James has done an excellent job bringing this part of the world alive for me.

Millie was the perfect main character for this story as her passion for food is so contagious that she had everyone around her excited to be involved with the school and the chocolate recipes. This passion helps Millie to gain confidence and with more than one handsome man showing her some interest it’s the perfect place for her to forget about her heartbreak from ex-boyfriend Luke.

This was quite a short read with many characters being introduced, perhaps too many as most of the book is spent getting to know the characters and the main action in the story takes place quite near the end and felt very rushed. I was also a little disappointed with the ending as the story just kind of stopped. I think if the book had been a little longer with the ending drawn out a bit more it would have made the book more enjoyable for me. It does leave the story open for a follow-on book though which I would like to read.

Sunshine and Secrets is the perfect escapist read to a tropical paradise where food, flirting and fun are part of everyday life and is a great book to welcome summer into your life.

Thank you so much to Canelo and Netgalley for sending me a copy to review and inviting me to be part of the blog-tour.

About the Author

Daisy James is a Yorkshire girl transplanted to the north east of England. She loves writing stories with strong heroines and swift-flowing plotlines. When not scribbling away in her summerhouse, she spends her time sifting flour and sprinkling sugar and edible glitter. She loves gossiping with friends over a glass of something pink and fizzy or indulging in a spot of afternoon tea – china plates and teacups are a must.

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