Thursday, May 5, 2011

Glass Road PR: My Review of Holy Guacamole

Here's a description of the book from Lamp Post Inc.:

"Nestled along San Diego’s coast, the former romantic getaway of the silver screen’s most notorious lovers is now the sizzling hacienda of Bonnie Miller’s culinary boot camp. 'If you are what you eat, make it hot, spicy and irresistible,' is her motto, and this queen of Southwestern cuisine enjoys quite a savory life; success, fame, and a reputation for the finest palate west of Barcelona. That is, until a pot-rattling bang causes Trace Domingo, a washed-up sports writer, to crash into her life. His arrival turns up the heat at the culinary boot camp as Bonnie discovers in life’s recipe book, it is not the spices which add the most flavor, but how truly hungry you are."

My Rating: Fall

My Review:

Holy guacamole is right--this book is some ride! The book is divided into three sections: "Appetizer," "Main Course," and "Dessert." And let me tell you, that "Main Course," especially, is one full plate of unusual, "novel" fare!

The "Appetizer" is like a rather bizarre (and intimidating) version of Food Network Star. The food descriptions are fabulous. However, the character descriptions are a bit wanting on the realistic side, although their quirkiness does have its own charm. It was very hard for me to connect with the characters, especially the heroine. Once I learned about her past, I could sympathize more with her, but I couldn't really relate to her.

The "Main Course" is like the movie Romancing the Stone. It's certainly jam-packed full of adventure and some humorous (and not-so-humorous) situations, but it's all so far-fetched that I found it very difficult to take anything seriously, even the moments sprinkled in towards the end that were supposed to give the story a sort of moral. The villain was quite a bit like the one in Romancing the Stone--someone who appears like a nice guy (wealthy with a huge "castle" hidden in Mexico and, in this case, some mad cooking skills) who has a big ego, lots of henchmen with guns, and an appetite for revenge. Certainly difficult to swallow, but not without suspense, nonetheless.

The "Dessert" is certainly the "icing on the cake"--very sweet, but perhaps piled on too thickly for the discerning palate. It's a fitting conclusion to the book, and there are no loose ends left lying around, but (again) it might be a little too neat and tidy (and a tad corny) for real life.

Overall, this is one of those books that offers too much imagination and not enough realism. (Perhaps like eating too much unhealthy food, so that it fills you up but doesn't leave you satisfied.) I appreciate the creativity involved, but it was a bit overdone for my taste. But if you're in the mood for a wild and different sort of story, you might enjoy a helping of Holy Guacamole.

*With thanks to the publisher and Glass Road PR for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*

About the Authors:

"Denise, a former stenographer and devourer of books, is the couple’s editor and technician.

Dan fine tuned his creative storytelling in high school as a way of explaining why he missed class whenever the surf was up.

Their shared passion for the written word has led to a growing collection of awards. The couple enjoys living in Southern California’s “Avocado Capital of the World” where they maintain a laid-back lifestyle as they run a cabinet shop, raise four children, and tend a small ranch.

Okay, maybe it does get a little hectic."

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