Pasta Wars by Elisa Lorello ( 5 out of 5)
I don’t remember the specifics of how I met Elisa. I think I did a search on Amazon for books on Duran Duran and her book Friends Of Mine: Thirty Years In the Life of A Duran Duran Fan popped up. I quickly set about asking her to send a copy (Ingram couldn’t get it because they were not stocking that small pub at the time) and I would review it. She graciously did so, and of course I loved it. Then we became FB friends too, and the poor girl has to read my asinine statuses every day! My coworker remembered that I had been looking at the book online, and ordered a copy off of Amazon for me. It was a great surprise! Obviously, I loved the book because Elisa’s writing style has a way of making you feel as if she has adopted you and let you into her life. Not too many authors can pull that off these days, but she can! And that was her memoir. This was the first fictional book of hers that I read. She sent me an autographed copy of it, too. Thank you, Elisa. That gesture of kindness, by the by, did not influence my review. This isn’t a bribery situation. For if it were, Elisa forgot my Fannie May Trinidads. Her other fictional titles are Adulation, She Has Your Eyes, Faking It, Ordinary World, and Why I Love Singlehood. So if you want to get going in her catalog, there are her titles. However, add Pasta Wars to that list pronto. It is brought to us by the folks at Adaptive Books and is available only through the Barnes & Noble book chain and through Amazon.com. The other indie chains have to wait until the official release date of January 17, 2017 before we can sell it, but that won’t stop me from getting the ball rolling in advance. Put it on your lists, friends, if you are waiting until 2017. If not, get a copy now! And make sure you aren’t hungry when you pick up this book. Or you are SO totally screwed. But really, this is a great book to read whilst recovering from a broken heart, as well. Last September, I was undergoing a great deal of personal turmoil surrounding someone that I had been talking to for awhile and had strong feelings for, only to be thrown about again and again like a piece of rock candy to Secret Squirrel. I’m not sure why poor Elisa got the message but I poured my heart out to her, and she reciprocated with a wise advice and kind words, and better yet- a Louise Hay book that helped me. I took her advice, vanished from FB for awhile, got myself out of that headspace, and while I was going through one hell of an awful depression, life moved on. And so did he-with a mutual friend, it turns out. A year later, I have gone through some serious soul searching and come out devastated that the back and forth boomerang between us would not produce anything lasting beyond friendship. You get on and you get over, but distractions are a wonderful and welcome thing. The finality of this year and half experience was almost two weeks ago. I am SO glad I had this book to read, laugh at, and connect with on multiple levels. And how absolutely refreshing to read something light and yet full of life. No wooden characters in this pasta boat! Last but certainly not least, the message of love permeating throughout the book, was a balm that I can only cheesily write about in a book blog, but with full disclosure and seriousness, someone like myself really needed to read something with the underlying message it carries forth. Never step down from what you believe on, and never give up hope on finding “The One”. I am so glad I found Elisa and her gift that keeps on giving us more novels, especially this fun romp. I am utterly besotted. You will be, as well.
Katie Cravens is the CEO of Pasta Pronto, a highly successful brand of nutrition-conscious meals. She’s planning her wedding when an unexpected early return to home finds her fiance Max in bed with the hostess from a favorite recipe. She tosses him out and the engagement as well. As things typically do in real life, the wheels come off the road and a food poisoning outbreak in the line leads to lawsuits and stock prices plummenting. Katie just can’t catch a break, until she finds out that the world famous Caramelli Ristorante of Rome could go into a partnership with her and quite possibly save her and the company’s ass. She takes off to convince the brother and sister duo to partner up with her. Luci, the sister, and Katie hit it off, and she is all systems go. Luca, the stubborn hot-headed hot-as- hell brother, is a tougher nut to crack. He openly derides Katie’s line of ft foods, and argues about the merger. Then he decides to give Katie a chance to gain his respect- by learning how to cook and eat like a true Italian- and if she manages to do it, he’ll acquiesce. This gig of war produces more than its fair share of chemistry, food appreciation, and fights. You can’t have explosive chemistry like these two without something blowing sky high. A close call ends with a heartbroken Katie heading back to the States, only to have her media publicity team tell her that they have a competitive cook-off between her and Luca scheduled (“Pasta Wars” is the name) for television. Katie objects at first, until her spurned feelings come to the surface as she accepts the challenge. Can she do this and get her revenge on Luca? Can she win for the sake of her company? More importantly, can she keep her feelings away from Luca while she battles for the soul and sanctity of her company? Will she get the blue ribbon? Will she get her just desserts? Will she get the guy? Pick up a copy and find out in this light-hearted, romantic foodcom. You’ll be glad you took a bite.