Sophie Valroux’s Paris Stars

Berkley. Oct. 2021. 368p. ISBN 9780593097748. pap. $17. F
Vérant’s follow-up to The Secret French Recipes of Sophie Valroux is a story about food and following one’s dreams in the face of insecurity and adversity. After being fired from a New York restaurant, French-born chef Sophie retreats to her late grandmother’s estate in France to run the property and its restaurants with the help of a loyal staff and her fiancé, Rémi. Reminders of her beloved grandmother are everywhere and help improve her culinary confidence. Sophie’s creative dishes receive rave reviews, and she dreams of earning coveted Michelin stars in a field dominated by men. However, not all is well. She is insecure about serving as a mother figure to Rémi’s young daughter and has accepted an invitation to cook at a high-profile event for elites even though she has misgivings about the host’s intentions toward her. Adding to the complications of the event, she suffers an injury that causes a potentially career-ending loss of taste and smell, which she keeps secret even as she forges ahead with the menus.
VERDICT Readers will root for the feisty and determined but vulnerable chef to succeed in her pursuit of professional and personal success and happiness. For foodies who like strong heroines and romance.
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