Helena and Penelope are firm friends and Culinarians in their final year of school. They are now turning their attentions to the final projects they must complete before the end of the school year. Penelope has decided to showcase non-European cuisine in honor of her Filipino heritage and Helena has just found the opportunity of a lifetime in the form of one Elijah Little. Ever since his parents passed away, Elijah has hawked pasties on the streets, him being Jewish having robbed him the chance of ever being able to own a shop of his own. When the girls stumble upon him one night, Helena decides that her end of year project will be to turn Elijah from street vendor to gentleman. However not everything is smooth sailing and before long the trio find themselves in deeper water than they ever could have imagined.
This book was a delight to read and man did it give me an appetite! The author certainly has a gift for describing delicious food and I would jump at the chance to have dinner at hers sometime haha. The story was lighthearted and entertaining but also delved into deeper issues like racism which I wasn’t expecting but really enjoyed. The characters all came off as very polished which made for a clean feeling story. Even Helena, who became incredibly stand-offish towards the end, felt well rehearsed, which took away from the emotional experience as a reader but created a good atmosphere for the story.
On that same note, I really wasn’t expecting Helena’s change of character, however it did make sense in terms of the plot. I wish she could’ve had more of a redemption arc though. I enjoyed the romance between Penelope and Elijah for most of the book. It is a slow burn which isn’t my favorite trope but I was enjoying it! Right up till the end where the pining became too much. Know this is solely my personal opinion but I just can’t stand when a character make choices which hurt the one they’re in love with because they feel unworthy and think that, even though there is every sign the other person loves them back, somehow this will work out great for both of them. It’s just problematic to me in so many ways.
Other than that though I can say that I had a fun time with this book! And I just received the author’s previous work, A Dangerous Alliance, which, after reading the excerpt found at the end of My Fine Fellow, I can’t wait to read! Happy Reading 🙂