Those of you who follow Hoorah to Health know that I love food. But what you may not know is that I also love to read. I was just on my Goodreads account and was kind of in awe over the fact that I've read 337 books in the past 8 years. Wowza!
I honestly love books so much that I could blog about them just as much as food. But I digress... Okay, here you have it. Seven must read foodie fiction books that you are sure to savor!
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#1 - The Apple Orchard
Sonoma County is not just known for its fine wine, but for its apples too! This story takes place at Bella Vista, a beautiful hundred-acre apple orchard. Tess Delaney has the perfect career in San Francisco reconnecting historical treasures to their rightful owners. The only thing missing from her life is the closeness of family.
Dominic, a handsome attorney, arrives at her shop to inform her that the grandfather she never knew is in a coma. Tess learns that she is set to inherit half of the estate, which includes his apple orchard business; the other half going to a half sister she never knew she had.
The Apple Orchard is a charming story of love, family, some mystery, some history, and yes FOOD! Her half sister Isabel happens to be a celebrated chef and is the main character in the book's sequel, The Beekeeper's Ball.
#2 - The Lemon Orchard
The setting for this romantic novel takes place in an orchard as well, a lemon orchard in the breathtaking Santa Monica mountains by the sea. Luanne Rice's writing is so descriptive that you will feel like you are actually there! I loved learning about the trees and swear I could even smell the lemons.
Julia is house sitting for her aunt and uncle when she finds herself drawn to an attractive man who oversees the lemon orchard. Roberto is a Mexican immigrant and tends the trees to help support his family back in Mexico. The two seem to be from different worlds but have one thing in common. They both lost their daughters, only Roberto's Rosa was never found.
What I loved most about The Lemon Orchard is how it places you in the shoes of someone else. Someone you know absolutely nothing about. It's a tale of love, heartbreak, and hope.
#3 - The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane
Don't you just love how books allow you to travel to places you've never been? The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane will take you to a remote mountain village in China, home of the Akha people. Not only will you be immersed into the Chinese culture, but will also learn about the farming of tea and the tea industry in general. So interesting!
Li-yan is a young woman who was forced to give up her daughter at birth. She left her at an orphanage wrapped in a blanket with a tea cloth tucked inside. She eventually left her village for an education, starts her own business, then marries and settles in America. Li-yan's daughter, Haley, was adopted by a loving American couple and raised in California. Both share a mutual longing for each other. Will they find each other? I guess you'll have to read it to find out!
#4 - The Lost Vintage
You do not need to be a wine connoisseur to appreciate this book. I loved learning about how the grapes were grown and wine was made. The descriptions of the French countryside and the delectable food were incredible.
Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres and The Lost Vintage did not disappoint. This novel was set in Burgundy, France and alternated between past and present day. Kate returns to the family vineyard to assist with the wine harvest and to brush up on her knowledge for an upcoming Master of Wines examination. While there, she discovers a hidden room in the cellar, containing a diary from WW II and some very valuable wine. Kate tries to put all the pieces together and may even catch herself falling into a little romance.
#5 - Moonlight in Vermont
Okay let it be known, I am a HUGE fan of the Hallmark Channel. Who doesn't love a good ole sappy love story? This book Moonlight in Vermont is actually based off of the Hallmark movie!
In this romantic comedy, Fiona's ex-boyfriend shows up at her family's Vermont Inn with his girlfriend. Sparks are flying everywhere, and Fiona decides to pretend that the head chef is her boyfriend. It's a short, lighthearted story that you're sure to love. It even includes a free exclusive recipe for Maple Glazed Sea Scallops -YUM!
#6 - The Secret Ingredient
Kelly and Andrew were childhood sweethearts who cooked and baked together, and shared a dream of one day opening a restaurant of their own. The two were separated when Andrew traveled to Paris to train as a pastry chef. Kelly remained in their hometown and ended up opening her own cake shop. It was so successful that she was invited to New York to take part in a Valentine's Day bake-off. Little does she know Andrew has returned for just that reason and will be competing against her.
The Secret Ingredient is a delicious novel about second chance romance and is also a Hallmark movie! As a foodie, I really enjoyed the descriptions of all the foods and sweet treats included in the book.
#7 - The Blue Bistro
My summer is never complete without reading an Elin Hilderbrand novel! I just love her writing, the romance, and Nantucket ...the setting for most of her books.
In The Blue Bistro, a young woman named Adrienne moves to Nantucket, gets a job at a restaurant, and falls for it's owner, Thatcher. There ends up being a love triangle between the two and the restaurant's head chef, Fiona. What I loved most about this book was the amazing descriptiveness of the restaurant, ambiance, food, staff, and patrons. It left me yearning for a trip to Nantucket and a nice gourmet dinner.
Have you read a book on this list? Do you have another foodie fiction book you'd recommend? I'd love to hear from you. Leave a comment below!