Love a la Mode by Stephanie Kate Strohm

If the Food Network and Anna & the French Kiss had a baby, the result would be Love a la Mode by Stephanie Kate Strohm.

Take two American teen chefs, add one heaping cup of Paris, toss in a pinch of romance, and stir. . . .

Rosie Radeke firmly believes that happiness can be found at the bottom of a mixing bowl. But she never expected that she, a random nobody from East Liberty, Ohio, would be accepted to celebrity chef Denis Laurent’s school in Paris, the most prestigious cooking program for teens in the entire world. Life in Paris, however, isn’t all cream puffs and crepes. Faced with a challenging curriculum and a nightmare professor, Rosie begins to doubt her dishes.

Henry Yi grew up in his dad’s restaurant in Chicago, and his lifelong love affair with food landed him a coveted spot in Chef Laurent’s school. He quickly connects with Rosie, but academic pressure from home and his jealousy over Rosie’s growing friendship with gorgeous bad-boy baker Bodie Tal makes Henry lash out and push his dream girl away.

Desperate to prove themselves, Rosie and Henry cook like never before while sparks fly between them. But as they reach their breaking points, they wonder whether they have what it takes to become real chefs.

Perfect for lovers of Chopped Teen Tournament and Kids Baking Championship, as well as anyone who dreams of a romantic trip to France, Love la Mode follows Rosie and Henry as they fall in love with food, with Paris, and ultimately, with each other.

Love a la Mode is a sweet combination of cooking competition and YA rom com, and the results are delicious. Henry and Rosie are so adorable together (Henry’s side of the crush is especially endearing), and seeing them try and balance their blossoming romance with the pressures of school and competitive cooking made for a delightful read.

This book is just pure fun; there’s substance to the plot, but the overall feeling is like a warm, fluffy hug. This is comfort reading at its finest.

And fair warning: you may find yourself craving baked goods and baguettes before the book is over. Strohm definitely captures the magic of cooking and fine food (think of Remy in Ratatouille), and the result is mouth-watering.

A delightful treat all around, Love a la Mode is in stores November 27th.

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