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
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
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.