Ah, food. One of my favorite subjects. If you follow me on Pinterest, you’ll get a taste for just how much I love food in all its forms. Cooking, baking, eating, sharing, and even reading about it.
It’s our fuel for life. We fuel our bodies, our spirits, and our relationships over food.
Today, I’d love to explore how food is used in fiction–specifically, in the romances we here at Inspy Romance love so much! Many authors use food to bring characters together much like in real life, whether it’s a crucial plot element, a catalyst, a meet cute, or something else.
I like to feature food in my books nearly as much as I enjoy making it. Often, it’ll be an integral part of the relationships or plot. In Whatever Comes Our Way, Gina holds fond memories of cooking with her grandmother. Her relationship with Jaydon blooms and grows over every meal they share (and there are several!). She reaches out to a pair of at-risk youth over a casual lunch of burgers and fries, and dessert opens the door to learn more about their family dynamic. In Adrift (which happens to be FREE!), there’s a particularly fun s’mores scene I think readers might be inspired by. And in my most recent release, What Makes a Home, free spririted Jobie pushes rigid Caleb out of his comfort zone with international foods, and eventually forges a friendship with her roommate, Jenna, over pizza and ice cream.
And I’m not alone in loving to write good food into romantic fiction–several of our Inspy authors’ books involve kitchen professionals.
In Toni Shiloh’s Maple Run series, maple recipes abound, as does the chemistry! The Maple Pit’s chef Dwight needs help from Nina to revamp the restaurant and bring in customers. There is no Maple Run without The Pit, and the deliciousness all starts in Buying Love. Trust me on this, once you start the series you’re going to want to eat up the rest back to back!
I recently picked up Elizabeth Maddrey’s A Splash of Substance through Kindle Unlimited and am loving it so far. Paige wants to impact the world through her organic, locally grown/sourced catering company. The principle of “living gently” that forms the basis of her business brings handsome Jackson into her life and will leave an impact on readers, too.
In Taking a Chance on Mr. Wrong by Liwen Y. Ho, it’s a culture clash of comedic proportions when Ben meets Melanie’s family for the first time over a home-cooked meal of Chinese food. He tries to impress her very old-fashioned mom by complementing her cooking in Cantonese. His misspoken words lead to a rather rocky start to a fantastic story. And in my favorite of her Spark Brothers books, Colin and Candy could melt the ice cream in his shop with their delicious tension.
Call You Home, the last novel in Jan Thompson’s Savannah Sweethearts series, is the story of two talented chefs with an old feud that they’ll have to resolve in and out of the kitchen if they want to be in the will of God for their lives.
Sometimes it’s not the professionals, but amateurs, foodies, and kind neighbors who take the cake.
Julie Arduini created a small mountain village in Entrusted that remains tight knit because of meals at Jack Frosty’s, attending church pot lucks, or being a recipient of matriarch Sara Bivins’ banana bread. Julie reportedly hosted a local book club in which members brought in all the foods mentioned in the book. That sounds like a recipe for fun to me.
Autumn MacArthur’s new release Imperfectly Proverbs 31 is getting shuffled to the top of my TBR pile. The plot hinges on the undomestic geeky heroine having to learn to bake a pie to convince the investigative journalist hero she really isn’t faking being a good homemaker. It sounds adorable, doesn’t it?
The heroine of Valerie Comer’s Sprouts of Love oversees a community garden that supplies fresh vegetables to the food bank run by the hero. And Shannon Taylor Vannatter created a tasty meet cute at the beginning of Reuniting with the Cowboy. Her heroine takes her new neighbor a 4-layer delight, only to discover the man at the door is her first love.
So if you’re hungry for a tempting tale, here are a handful of treats for you to devour. I hope you’ll give a few of them a try and let us know how you enjoyed them! Be sure to leave a comment below telling us your favorite food-in-fiction title (and why you love it), and then check the Back-2-School Bash to enter our AMAZING GIVEAWAY this month!