Delicious - Sherry Thomas My review contains spoilers and they're mostly my thoughts as I went with the book. This one's got 2 parts.

I've no idea where to start! My feelings are so conflicted about this one. It's nothing like Private Arrangements story wise (if you can exclude the flashbacks and the setting which is also the Victorian era), I can't say I'm enjoying it that much but I know I'm hooked, for reasons I'm yet to understand. I have nothing more to say about ST's writing style since it's as beautiful and crafty as it was in Private Arrangements. Still I skipped quite a lot of the narrative. Why? I'll come back to those after I discuss some other points. So let me point out some of the things that has been eating me up since I started reading this book:

1) The heroine Verity is a huge reason I'm not liking this book. Whatever you think of me but an easy conquest heroine who never learned her lessons about men isn't just the type I'll ever admire. She has been impregnated by someone unknown at the age of 16, slept with two brothers (even though they're half-brothers) and thinks she's in love with both, at least with one she thought she was in love with but he turned out to be an a$$ of the 1st water. Now, I tried my best to sympathize with her but I.JUST.COULD.NOT! She knows she has to curb her 'impulses' when it comes to certain men but she just decides not to do anything about it. So, I'd say she learned nothing from her past (flashbacks). But, after chapter 10, I began to feel some kind of pity for her, even a bit of sympathy, specially when I learned she'd been celibate since her night with Stuart, she's still in love with him. Some of her musings and despair kinda got to me. She knows what she'd done and knows she deserves nothing better in life still she dreams, even though they're as stupid as they were 15 yrs ago when she first came to work as a cook for Bertie. And, again, she's a relative (daughter?) of a duke? How come she'd sunk so low? I'm still confused about these issues. Also, her lies and deceptions, it's been going on for too long, I'm not sure how she'd managed to accomplish that feat.

2) The hero, Stuart is Verity's one night stand 10 yrs ago, when they supposedly fell in love (in that night) and he proposed to her. Verity did what she does best, lied and ran away! I actually like Stuart, even if he's not as intense as Camden but he's a sincere, sexy stuff and from what I understand he has been celibate too, since he met Verity (he never knew who she was though). So, see, overall a very good man. Much better than Bertie, whom I just hated. I believe he's been wasted on Verity. I have no idea how could he fell in love with her, a stranger he rescued one night (flashback)? Based on good looks and great sex?? Now, he hasn't even seen the cook and he's attracted to her by just eating her foods, even after knowing she was his half-brother's mistress? I don't feel any love in here, just lust, that's all. Now, since he's given up on 'Cinderella', he's engaged to be married and further his successful political career.

3) Food related eroticism. I'm no food connoisseur, neither I'm one of those people who relates food with sex. So, this part is kinda wasted on me lolz. I understand some of the foods that are mentioned but not all. This is why along with Verity's stupidest past indiscretions, I've skipped a large number of paragraphs throughout the book.

4) The flashbacks as I've just mentioned, I disliked the flashbacks in most cases, at least this far (I'm on chp 15 now). I felt like slapping Verity. She was being used and she did nothing about that. If her first time was a mistake (we still don't know who Micheal's father is), even the second time may have been a mistake, as she believed Bertie would marry her (how stupid!!), what about Stuart? How could she not show a little dignity, a little backbone ... A little something? I don't know what to think about her. Cinderella? I.THINK.NOT!!

Now, to some things I'm enjoying:

1) I'm more and more interested in the secondary romance plot between Stuart's fiancee Lizzy and secretary Will Marsden. I couldn't judge them for their past scandals. I actually liked the way this relationship is budding, and to know Will has some crazy obsession for Lizzy, who had no idea about it and actually didn't like him at all until now. Lizzy is no shy virgin either, she made a mistake 2/3 yrs ago but she'd shown more backbone and carriage than Verity IMO. I wish they had more scenes together, maybe even the main H/H of the book.

2) Some of Stuart's musings, about Bertie, their childhood and how things grew bitter when they were adults. Very nostalgic, in one scene Stuart actually was on the verge of crying thinking so many things are now lost with time, now that Bertie is dead. It came to him, as he found out Bertie wanted a picture of them together, taken when they were very young, to be buried with him. This kind of bits and pieces of scenes I loved very very much. I felt that longing, it was sad. Another scene was in flashback, when Verity and he met, she talked a bit about her own past and her son. I felt sad for her just in that scene.

Now the love scenes, nothing much there but one of those two were one of the craziest I've ever read. I think it's my first scene of that kind in any book. It was wicked, I was laughing really hard and it happened in a bathtub. :p I hope to see something between Will and Lizzy since I think they exude much more sexual intensity than Verity and Stuart!

I'll add back more when I finish the book and decide on my rating. :)

Lord, I'm lost for words again. This time because the book actually slapped me hard and made me see things so very differently, at least about Verity or Vera. Last 6 chapters of the book was so damned good, my eyes were wet and I had a loopy grin on my face. :D

There were things about Verity was revealed, including Micheal's father and her own identity. Yah, her deception went on for too long but I could sympathize with her as I learned about her past. She loved Micheal's father in her own way, they both were young (she 16, he 17) and it was a relationship her family would've never accepted because he was a groom. When she became pregnant, her aunt threatened her that she'd lock her away for the rest of her life. Verity ran away with Benjamin or Ben and thought they can marry and live their own life. Sadly, very very sadly, Ben died soon after. And they were so poor, couldn't afford to get married. Then there is a long history as to how she came to work as a cook, at first it was just a job, then she took it by heart etc etc. Then came Bertie. Well, I understood that poor girl has been unlucky in love again, this time trusting the wrong man. It all was revealed when she told Michael about his parentage. But, in Stuart, she found her prince, as I read in the last chapters.

Those 6 chapters were full of revelations. From Verity, from the Duchess of Arlington, who is her aunt and from Stuart. The scenes in the last two chapters took my breath away and made me cry. I can only say, those actually made it all up to me, I stayed up 'til dawn to finish the book. I just had to! Initially, I didn't like that Stuart, after knowing almost everything, wanted Verity as his mistress. Then I thought, since he's a prominent figure in politics, what can he do? Can't marry his cook. But, the last chapter before epilogue was ... well, as I said earlier, very good. You have to read to get the essence of it.

Now, to Will and Lizzy. Things were sorted out for them as well. There were scenes between them I loved. Love scene, though not exactly what I expected, was also good. What disappointed me was that there was nothing on them in the epilogue. I expected a little more info on them. Did they get married? When, how? etc.

I hovered between 2 and 3 while before this. I was seriously irritated by many things, as I've mentioned. But now, I'm willing to give it a 4. Sherry Thomas knows just how to change one's mind so dramatically, turning the whole thing inside out! I didn't pass a single paragraph this time, enjoyed them immensely and I couldn't but like Verity in the end. I even forgave her everything. What more could I ask for? So glad that I didn't skip this book after reading all those negative reviews.

PS: Did I mention how much I enjoyed Lizzy and Will's talks about 'attachment', 'music hall' and 'symphonic concerts'?? ;) lmao :p