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The Flavours of Love

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'I'm looking for that perfect blend of flavours; the taste that used to be you. If I find it, I know you'll come back to me.' It's been 18 months since my husband was murdered and I've decided to finish writing The Flavours of Love, the cookbook he started before he died. Everyone thinks I'm coping so well without him - they have no idea what I've been hiding or what I do a 'I'm looking for that perfect blend of flavours; the taste that used to be you. If I find it, I know you'll come back to me.' It's been 18 months since my husband was murdered and I've decided to finish writing The Flavours of Love, the cookbook he started before he died. Everyone thinks I'm coping so well without him - they have no idea what I've been hiding or what I do away from prying eyes. But now that my 14-year-old daughter has confessed something so devastating it could destroy our family all over again, and my husband's killer has started to write to me claiming to be innocent, I know it's only a matter of time before the truth about me and what I've done is revealed to the world. My name is Saffron Mackleroy and this is my story.


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'I'm looking for that perfect blend of flavours; the taste that used to be you. If I find it, I know you'll come back to me.' It's been 18 months since my husband was murdered and I've decided to finish writing The Flavours of Love, the cookbook he started before he died. Everyone thinks I'm coping so well without him - they have no idea what I've been hiding or what I do a 'I'm looking for that perfect blend of flavours; the taste that used to be you. If I find it, I know you'll come back to me.' It's been 18 months since my husband was murdered and I've decided to finish writing The Flavours of Love, the cookbook he started before he died. Everyone thinks I'm coping so well without him - they have no idea what I've been hiding or what I do away from prying eyes. But now that my 14-year-old daughter has confessed something so devastating it could destroy our family all over again, and my husband's killer has started to write to me claiming to be innocent, I know it's only a matter of time before the truth about me and what I've done is revealed to the world. My name is Saffron Mackleroy and this is my story.

30 review for The Flavours of Love

  1. 4 out of 5

    crίѕтίŋα•●♥Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ♥●•

    "Os monstros não existem. Se tivesse sido um monstro, o Joel não estaria... Os monstros não existem. É o choque a falar, claro. Os monstros existem são bem reais." * 'Monsters aren’t real. If a monster did this, Joel wouldn’t be … Monsters aren’t real. That’s the shock talking, of course. Monsters are real. They are very, very real.' - Saffron * * * "Julguei que por esta altura, já teria ultrapassado a raiva porque é o que prometem todos aqueles artigos que li sobre o luto. Diziam que ia sentir-me re "Os monstros não existem. Se tivesse sido um monstro, o Joel não estaria... Os monstros não existem. É o choque a falar, claro. Os monstros existem são bem reais." * 'Monsters aren’t real. If a monster did this, Joel wouldn’t be … Monsters aren’t real. That’s the shock talking, of course. Monsters are real. They are very, very real.' - Saffron * * * "Julguei que por esta altura, já teria ultrapassado a raiva porque é o que prometem todos aqueles artigos que li sobre o luto. Diziam que ia sentir-me revoltada, mas que depois passava para outra "fase", depressão, aceitação, eu sei lá... Qualquer coisa. Acho que até preferia o desespero. Infelizmente, continuo a sentir esta raiva profunda, incessante." * 'I thought by now it’d be over with because that’s what I was kind of promised by all these things that I read on bereavement. They said I’d feel angry and then I’d move on to something else, another “stage” like depression or acceptance or something else. Anything else. I think even despair would do. Unfortunately, it’s still this deep, relentless anger.' - Saffron * * * Só sei que sinto um nó cá dentro, retorcido, tortuoso, complicado, que não consigo desatar. Sempre que penso ter descoberto uma razão para sorrir, uma razão para relaxar e ser simplesmente eu própria, sem subterfúgios, o nó engrossa, aperta, adquirindo novas proporções." * 'All I know is that I have a knot inside, twisted, convoluted, complicated, that I can’t untie. Every chance I get, every time I think I’ve got a reason to smile, a reason to relax and simply be me, another strand will be added to the knot – woven through and tugged tight, cementing itself over the original knot.' - Saffron

  2. 4 out of 5

    Pooja Jeevagan

    I always have this big smile when I pick a Koomson book...that's how much I trust the author, and that's how eagerly I wait to read a new one from her...and had that not been the case, I would have stuck to a rating of 4... But this book changes it...it doesn't really matches the standard I expect from a Koomson...its a little too far from it...for the initials, the first 30-40 odd pages are tough to go through...you feel like giving up on the book in them...and it needs you to be a Koomson fan t I always have this big smile when I pick a Koomson book...that's how much I trust the author, and that's how eagerly I wait to read a new one from her...and had that not been the case, I would have stuck to a rating of 4... But this book changes it...it doesn't really matches the standard I expect from a Koomson...its a little too far from it...for the initials, the first 30-40 odd pages are tough to go through...you feel like giving up on the book in them...and it needs you to be a Koomson fan to endure that are move forward till you are sucked in the story...COMPLETELY... And then the next 200 odd pages are a perfect read...till you realize that they are all too repetitive...that things just aren't moving and its going round and round in a circle...then of course are a number of problems this family has...no one is perfect, everyone is far from it...and I kind of started feeling like giving each character a piece of my mind, specially Saffron and Phoebe...other than the sweet Betty, everyone is knowingly making a mess of their life and complicating the entire plot without a good reason :P It ended...but maybe its too chilly winter out here that I couldn't get the warm feeling I usually have after reading a Koomson book...I am thankful that this isn't my first Koomson, else I wouldn't have picked another one...and definitely missed out on several awesome ones she has penned... Its not bad, but it isn't Koomson good also...

  3. 4 out of 5

    crίѕтίŋα•●♥Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ♥●•

    ▪️ Previously published as - THE FLAVOURS OF LOVE - 'Monsters aren’t real. If a monster did this, Joel wouldn’t be … Monsters aren’t real. That’s the shock talking, of course. Monsters are real. They are very, very real.' - Saffron * * * 'I thought by now it’d be over with because that’s what I was kind of promised by all these things that I read on bereavement. They said I’d feel angry and then I’d move on to something else, another “stage” like depression or acceptance or something else. Anything ▪️ Previously published as - THE FLAVOURS OF LOVE - 'Monsters aren’t real. If a monster did this, Joel wouldn’t be … Monsters aren’t real. That’s the shock talking, of course. Monsters are real. They are very, very real.' - Saffron * * * 'I thought by now it’d be over with because that’s what I was kind of promised by all these things that I read on bereavement. They said I’d feel angry and then I’d move on to something else, another “stage” like depression or acceptance or something else. Anything else. I think even despair would do. Unfortunately, it’s still this deep, relentless anger.' - Saffron * * * 'All I know is that I have a knot inside, twisted, convoluted, complicated, that I can’t untie. Every chance I get, every time I think I’ve got a reason to smile, a reason to relax and simply be me, another strand will be added to the knot – woven through and tugged tight, cementing itself over the original knot.' - Saffron

  4. 5 out of 5

    Beth (bibliobeth)

    I am a huge fan of Dorothy Koomson, she’s what I would call an “auto-buy” author, where you would automatically buy their next novel without even reading the synopsis. I loved her last novel The Rose Petal Beach, and her newest offering, The Flavours of Love, is another belter. Our heroine of the story is Saffron Mackleroy, whose husband Joel was brutally stabbed by an unknown assailant, and died leaving behind his wife and two children. When we first meet Saffron she is bravely coping with her I am a huge fan of Dorothy Koomson, she’s what I would call an “auto-buy” author, where you would automatically buy their next novel without even reading the synopsis. I loved her last novel The Rose Petal Beach, and her newest offering, The Flavours of Love, is another belter. Our heroine of the story is Saffron Mackleroy, whose husband Joel was brutally stabbed by an unknown assailant, and died leaving behind his wife and two children. When we first meet Saffron she is bravely coping with her change in situation but then a number of events combined turn her world upside down. First, she has to move her husband’s Aunty Betty into her home – Betty is a wonderful and eccentric character who is turfed out of her nursing home after she is caught being (ahem) intimate with another resident on the manager’s desk. Secondly, she is having problems at work as her egocentric boss has little sympathy or understanding for the trauma that she has gone through. Also, what do you do if you have a “best friend,” who as Aunty Betty succinctly puts it, is an emotional vampire? These are tough things to deal with on their own but on top of that her daughter Phoebe comes out with a staggering revelation that has the potential to change their lives forever. And to make things even worse, the murderer of Saffron’s husband has started writing to her, small hand-written letters that she receives every day, the content of which is terrifying, and leaves Saffron in a situation which she doesn’t know how to deal with. I don’t want to give too much away about the plot of this novel, but it is jam-packed with twists and turns, is slightly dark and ghoulish, and left me with more than a few shivers down the spine. Some reviewers have talked about this book slightly negatively in terms of how much is going on alongside the main plot. However, I loved that there were a lot of issues and themes present, from friendship, grief and parenting to murder, dealing with death, and potential love after the death of a partner. As a reader, it gave me a lot of different things to mull upon, and it meant that there was always something happening within the novel, keeping it sharp and snappy and moving it along in just the right way. I loved the journey that our main character Saffron went on within the novel, both literally and as a person, and all the other characters were written to perfection with just the right amount of intrigue to keep me interested and turning the pages. Dorothy Koomson is a talented and brilliant author, whose writing I admire with plots I adore. I must also praise the cover art of this book, which I think is absolutely beautiful. Please see my full review at http://www.bibliobeth.com

  5. 5 out of 5

    Renita D'Silva

    Loved this story - complicated, heartbreaking and yet ultimately hopeful.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kirsten

    I read a couple of Dorothy Koomson's books a few years ago and didn't particularly like them. The proof-reading was poor and the books were full of typos, and I disliked the ponderous descriptions (I got out of bed and got dressed. I wore my pink knickers with blue flowers, a green bra with pink flowers, socks striped in yellow, blue, red, purple, orange and green, a blue denim skirt with red spots round the hem, a purple t-shirt, a blue cardigan, turquoise earrings and so on and so forth foreve I read a couple of Dorothy Koomson's books a few years ago and didn't particularly like them. The proof-reading was poor and the books were full of typos, and I disliked the ponderous descriptions (I got out of bed and got dressed. I wore my pink knickers with blue flowers, a green bra with pink flowers, socks striped in yellow, blue, red, purple, orange and green, a blue denim skirt with red spots round the hem, a purple t-shirt, a blue cardigan, turquoise earrings and so on and so forth forever and ever and ever. Nobody cares! Get on with the story!) but The Flavours of Love has had good reviews so I decided to give it a go. It's a mixed bag. The book, again, is in need of a decent proof-reader. Do Quercus Books not bother with proof-reading any more? There are numerous typos in the book, and it's irritating. Dorothy Koomson's writing is better than it used to be, with less of the over-the-top description (although "Ffrony" as a diminutive of Saffron? Really?) The plot is - well, some of it is really good and some of it ... is not. The bits about what is happening to the main character's daughter are done well, although the resolution feels like an utter cop-out. The descriptions of the main character's grief are good. The revelation, about two-thirds of the way through, about some issues the main character has, feel like an add-on to give the character a bit more depth and fill the book out. It never really feels real or believable. The cooking bit of the book really never gets going, and there is no real depth to the idea that Joel liked to cook or his meals were important to the family. The recipes at the end are incongruous and feel like they've been thrown in because novels about cupcake cafés with recipes at the end have been popular in recent years. The thriller aspect to the plot, though, is actually really good. The menace builds slowly, the threat feels real and chilling - it works very well. If DK had written this as a thriller, with the background plot of the daughter, and left out the unnecessary cooking and the main character's issues, the book would have been much better for it. I think she needs a better editor. She definitely needs a better proof-reader.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

    I always love Dorothy Koomson books and thoroughly enjoyed this one :) The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is because I really didnt understand why phoebe didnt go to the police in the beginning..... There just wasn't a good reason. Though I guess if she had there'd be no story! I always love Dorothy Koomson books and thoroughly enjoyed this one :) The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is because I really didnt understand why phoebe didnt go to the police in the beginning..... There just wasn't a good reason. Though I guess if she had there'd be no story!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    I liked the story and wanted to love this book but it was too long and repetitive - we heard about the berries being dropped just too much and the endless time changes didn't always add to the story. I liked the story and wanted to love this book but it was too long and repetitive - we heard about the berries being dropped just too much and the endless time changes didn't always add to the story.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    I haven’t read a Dorothy book in years and I have no idea why as she has never written a bad book in my opinion. Like all her books I couldn’t put this one down, she draws you in and doesn’t let you go. Don’t ever be fooled by the chick lit covers, this author is deep and is way more than ‘boy meets girl’. 5 stars as always.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Susan Buchanan

    Another great book from Dorothy, although I did find it a bit far-fetched at times, and to be honest I wasn't convinced by her argument for keeping quiet re what she knew about her husband's murder. I particularly liked when she went loopy at the male character who almost wrecked her daughter's life. The difficult relationship, the never being good enough for her son, which she had to endure at the hands of her mother-in-law was also well portrayed. Choosing the best for her kids, even if it mea Another great book from Dorothy, although I did find it a bit far-fetched at times, and to be honest I wasn't convinced by her argument for keeping quiet re what she knew about her husband's murder. I particularly liked when she went loopy at the male character who almost wrecked her daughter's life. The difficult relationship, the never being good enough for her son, which she had to endure at the hands of her mother-in-law was also well portrayed. Choosing the best for her kids, even if it meant sending one away for his safety and sanity was particularly poignant. And knowing who your real friends are, and getting rid of those who just thrive on others' misfortunes was also key. I thought the relationship of teenage daughter and mother was shown well and the fact that her daughter could confide in another adult, but not in her, and the hurt which she felt at this made me fast forward to the future and hope I would never be in the same position. Worth reading, but not her best. Still 4 stars though!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Megan Readinginthesunshine

    I love Dorothy Koomson’s novels, and I’ve always thought of her as such a talented author and one of my favourite authors, so I was so excited to start The Flavours Of Love. Saffron Mackleroy’s husband Joel was murdered 18 months ago, and since then Saffron has been trying to work on and finish The Flavours Of Love – a cookbook that Joel started before he died. But although everyone thinks that Saffron is coping, the reality is very different. Things take a turn for the worse after her 14 year ol I love Dorothy Koomson’s novels, and I’ve always thought of her as such a talented author and one of my favourite authors, so I was so excited to start The Flavours Of Love. Saffron Mackleroy’s husband Joel was murdered 18 months ago, and since then Saffron has been trying to work on and finish The Flavours Of Love – a cookbook that Joel started before he died. But although everyone thinks that Saffron is coping, the reality is very different. Things take a turn for the worse after her 14 year old daughter confesses something to her, and then her husband’s killer starts writing to her claiming to be innocent… You look at the cover and initially think “What a gorgeous cover!” expecting perhaps a romantic story, but what you actually get after you’ve read the description and the book is such a richer and darker story that pulls you in immediately. I read The Flavours Of Love in two sittings, I wanted to do it in one but unfortunately on this occasion sleep won that competition but as soon as I woke up I had my head buried back in the book, and WOW. Just WOW. The novel is brilliantly written from the first sentence, I could feel the terror in my bones and the tension radiating from the pages. I instantly had so many questions – How did Joel die? Who is the murderer and why are they writing letters? And what has Saffron’s daughter confessed? I was HOOKED and I just had to keep reading because I wanted to know. There is a bit of moving backwards in time and then to the present day again, but Dorothy does this with such ease that the story flows naturally. I especially liked that the letters had their own part in the story and I’ll be honest, they were chilling to read, I could almost hear the sinister tones in them and I raced on, my heart beating wildly. The Flavours Of Love is such a clever novel in that it is not just about Joel’s murder and the killer, but there are so many more topics and issues effortlessly woven in, such as family problems, coping with grief, the loss of a parent, careers, and cookery too. The characters are fascinating in their own ways. I warmed to Saffron straight away as I really felt for her with her loss, and her life as he struggles to keep her family together and going after such a terrible event. And at the same time, I was desperate to know what she was holding back. I LOVED the addition of Aunt Betty, she provided a refreshing mood and I loved her moments in the book, I don’t want to say too much but in many ways she made the book for me. The Flavours Of Love is gripping, full of suspense and will bring out many emotions. A thoroughly brilliant book!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Joyce

    Eighteen months ago, Saffron Mackleroy's life was shattered when her husband Joel was murdered. Saffron has tried her hardest to cope with losing the man she loved but juggling her full-time job with a demanding boss with taking care of her children has been difficult and Saffron has seemingly been going through the motions of life without really feeling anything. But Saffron is going to have to fight through the fog of grief when her fourteen-year-old daughter Phoebe makes a shocking confession Eighteen months ago, Saffron Mackleroy's life was shattered when her husband Joel was murdered. Saffron has tried her hardest to cope with losing the man she loved but juggling her full-time job with a demanding boss with taking care of her children has been difficult and Saffron has seemingly been going through the motions of life without really feeling anything. But Saffron is going to have to fight through the fog of grief when her fourteen-year-old daughter Phoebe makes a shocking confession. Saffron finds herself drifting further and further apart from her teenage daughter and she has yet more problems to deal with when Joel's killer - who was never found - starts to write to Saffron. I've become a big fan of Dorothy Koomson's writing and The Flavours of Love is another reminder of why I love her books so much. The writing is beautiful, weaving poignancy and tension throughout to keep me turning the pages to find out both what happened in the past and how Joel was killed and what will happen next as the family's secrets begin to seep out. I really liked the character of Saffron and connected with her immediately. She's an ordinary woman whose life has taken an unexpected and horrific turn and she has to somehow keep everything together for the sake of her children, Phoebe and Zane. It is such a lonely and confusing time for Saffron and I felt for her as she struggled with her loss and the new challenges life throws at her. The letters from Joel's killer also creates suspense and an increasing sense of urgency that drew me even further into the story. Saffron doesn't always have the support she needs, with both her own mother and Joel's parents being distant and negative towards her but she does have Joel's best friend Fynn to lean on. He has been invaluable over the past eighteen months but there are times when Saffron doesn't know who she can trust, not even those closest to her. She also has Joel's Aunty Betty, who I loved. I thought Aunt Betty was a wonderful character who could be wild and out of control and teenage-like in some ways but also loving and wise. The Flavours of Love had me hooked from beginning to end and I was sad to leave such wonderful characters behind when I finished it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Emily Finn

    I think Dorothy Koomson is a fantastic writer, I really liked Marshmallows for Breakfast and My Best Friend's Girl especially. She's a an author that I can rely on to be swept up in the story from start to finish. The Flavours of Love, however, I feel didn't quite reach the mark this time. I found it very easy to read and it kept my attention the whole way through, wanting to know what the outcome of it all will be but I felt it was trying to hard to cram too much in. I was gripped by the premise I think Dorothy Koomson is a fantastic writer, I really liked Marshmallows for Breakfast and My Best Friend's Girl especially. She's a an author that I can rely on to be swept up in the story from start to finish. The Flavours of Love, however, I feel didn't quite reach the mark this time. I found it very easy to read and it kept my attention the whole way through, wanting to know what the outcome of it all will be but I felt it was trying to hard to cram too much in. I was gripped by the premise: Saffron's husband Joel was murdered and when she is trying to put her life back together the killer starts to write her letters, taunting her, at the same time as her daughter dropping a bombshell situation to deal with. But Saffron can't go to the police about the killer's letters because there is a secret between mother and daughter that could ruin everything... Sounds exciting, yes?! But then there is the added love affairs, cookery recipes to be completed, eating disorders/body esteem issues, plus parent-child relationships and bullying etcetc... there was so much crammed on top of what was already a great premise that it ended up ruining it for me. No big issue was fully established or given the focus it needed to feel connected to it and in want of a solution. Rather than writing about a couple of plot points fully, Koomson wrote about all of them in bits. Someone else mentioned in their review that the story kept going round in circles, nothing seemed to progress very far and was stuck on a broken record of emotions rather than solutions to the major issues. I wanted more, I wanted to scream at the characters to pull themselves together and stop thinking about how to solve things but to actually do something. And remarkably, in the end, everything could be resolved and summed up within 1-2 pages. I wouldn't say don't read it to anyone, but if you wanted to read Dorothy Koomson I would try one of her other books first that are so much better!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Bruna

    Finished this yesterday and gave it 4 stars. But I had to go back and change it to five. This was an incredible book, Dorothy Koomson is amazing

  15. 4 out of 5

    Paula P

    I have read quite a few Dorothy Koomson books and was really excited to have this one in my to read pile, she is an amazing writer and her works draws you in so you don't want to put the book down. This one however had a slightly different feel. Although the story was excellent I felt that it was often quite repetitive, and there was a lot of jumping backward and forward from past to present which was a bit confusing at times. The part of the storyline regarding the killer was quite chilling and I have read quite a few Dorothy Koomson books and was really excited to have this one in my to read pile, she is an amazing writer and her works draws you in so you don't want to put the book down. This one however had a slightly different feel. Although the story was excellent I felt that it was often quite repetitive, and there was a lot of jumping backward and forward from past to present which was a bit confusing at times. The part of the storyline regarding the killer was quite chilling and excellent, however I cant understand why they didn't go to the police in the beginning???? There are a few too many subplots to keep up I think, but all handled well on the whole, and I feel like I never quite 'liked' the main character. Although not her best book, I still am a big Dorothy fan and still 'enjoyed' this one.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Linda Louch

    This is a powerful thriller with a unique time scale. Saffron Mackleroy's husband has been murdered and she wants to finish writing the cookbook he started before he died. But there are so many layers and twists and turns and unexpected emotional turmoils which makes this a very moving and and at the same time thrilling book to read. This is a powerful thriller with a unique time scale. Saffron Mackleroy's husband has been murdered and she wants to finish writing the cookbook he started before he died. But there are so many layers and twists and turns and unexpected emotional turmoils which makes this a very moving and and at the same time thrilling book to read.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jenny in Neverland

    Firstly, I’d just like to mention that I think this is one of the most beautiful book covers I’ve ever seen. I feel like at the beginning, I spent more time oogling over the cover that actually reading the book! I bought this book as a present for my mum on her last birthday and I was thrilled when I picked it out of my TBR jar (even though it’s not even my book) because Dorothy is such a fantastic writer, I knew I was in for one hell of a ride and her talent just oozes through the pages. It has Firstly, I’d just like to mention that I think this is one of the most beautiful book covers I’ve ever seen. I feel like at the beginning, I spent more time oogling over the cover that actually reading the book! I bought this book as a present for my mum on her last birthday and I was thrilled when I picked it out of my TBR jar (even though it’s not even my book) because Dorothy is such a fantastic writer, I knew I was in for one hell of a ride and her talent just oozes through the pages. It has left me with one hell of a book hangover! The Flavours of Love follows the story of Saffron Mackleroy who’s husband was murdered 18 months ago leaving her and their two children Phoebe and Zane. Her late husband, Joel, started to write a cookbook called The Flavours of Love which she is hoping to finish – everyone thinks Saffron is coping with her loss but behind closed doors things are very different. Her life starts spiralling out of control when her daughter confesses something about the murder along with a problem of her own and her husband’s killer starts to write letters to her. Saffron will go to great lengths to protect her family but with problems of her own when will it all become too much? When you’re introduced to Saffron at the beginning, you instantly begin to get an image and feeling of what this woman is like. Her, along with all of the characters have such depth to them that they seem like real people, telling a real story. There’s a lot of switching time frames from present to various points in the past before Joel was murdered and where sometimes that can cause a bit of a stir amongst readers, in this case it was done with such ease. The structure of the paragraphs and chapters made it so easy to read and the flash backs proved to be so important to the story. All the plot-twists and secrets are revealed so slowly which is the ideal approach to make the book impossible to put down! I was so desperate to find out anything I possibly could but Dorothy keeps you guessing until the very end. The letters in particular gave the story a exceptionally thrilling touch and even though at first they are anonymous, you get an idea of the sinister nature of the person behind them. The emotions of the characters were described exceptionally well throughout this book, Saffron’s grief in particular stands out because you can tell she’s trying to hold it together when there’s someone out there trying to break her. It is impossible not to get emotionally involved with their stories and I actually felt nervous and panicked at one point! Although centring around Joel’s murder and the letters, the rest of the book does delve into some dark and intense situations and looking at the big picture, it really is full of everyone’s (particularly mothers) worst nightmares but at the same time, offers a lot of valuable lessons and insights. I can always tell I’m reading an incredible book by the fact that I don’t write any review notes during – I just don’t have time to think about them! I’d grown to know the characters like friends and want to protect them like family. This book completely consumed me from page 1, I didn’t want it to end. Find all my reviews here: www.jennyinneverland.wordpress.com

  18. 5 out of 5

    Chrissi

    I have been in love with Dorothy Koomson’s books for AGES. She’s one of my auto-buy authors. I just have to pre-order them automatically. I have had this book since it came out, and I’ve finally got around to reading it. With each book Dorothy publishes I think that it’s the best yet, but I truly believe The Flavours of Love IS her best yet. (Just watch me say that with her next book too ;) ) Saffron Mackleroy’s husband was murdered 18 months ago and since then Saffron has been trying to finish t I have been in love with Dorothy Koomson’s books for AGES. She’s one of my auto-buy authors. I just have to pre-order them automatically. I have had this book since it came out, and I’ve finally got around to reading it. With each book Dorothy publishes I think that it’s the best yet, but I truly believe The Flavours of Love IS her best yet. (Just watch me say that with her next book too ;) ) Saffron Mackleroy’s husband was murdered 18 months ago and since then Saffron has been trying to finish the cookbook Joel was working on. The Flavours of Love. Everybody thinks that Saffron is coping really well, but in reality, she’s struggling. Her 14 year old daughter confesses something which rocks her family and her husband’s killer is contacting Saffron, claiming she’s innocent. Like many others, I was taken in by the cover, thinking that this book would be a sweet, romantic, perhaps tragic in places read. When reading the description and getting into the story, you realise it’s much deeper and darker. Something that I absolutely love from Dorothy’s writing. As usual with Dorothy’s books, the novel is brilliantly written. I was gripped from the first sentence, all the way through. It’s a tense read but also emotional. I really felt for our protagonist Saffron, and I was completely freaked out by Saffron’s husband’s killer. The letters were so creepy. Saffron as a character is easy to fall in love with. I felt for her immediately. She’s been through so much and is struggling to keep her family together and do the job of two parents. I thought her children were brilliant characters as well. I felt so much compassion for them. I don’t always like when books move about in time, but Dorothy controls this brilliantly in The Flavours of Love. It flows really naturally and it’s easy to understand where you are in the story. The letters really add something to the story. I was completely taken in by them. I wanted to know who Joel’s killer was and whether she was going to catch up with Saffron and her family. It was an incredibly tense plot. The book would be brilliant just with the things I’ve mentioned, but no, of course Dorothy Koomson has to prove what an amazing writer she is and add more depth to the story. There are so many other issues explored, yet it never feels unbelievable or like there’s too much going on. There are family problems, grief and eating disorders expertly and effortlessly weaved into the plot. I was completely engrossed and captivated by this story. I read it so quickly, wishing I didn’t, because I wanted to savour every moment of it. I can’t rave about this book enough. I’m so surprised I’ve managed to get through this review without squealing ‘OMG, SO GOOD, READ IT, ARGH!’ because those are my feelings towards it. It’s one of my favourite reads of 2013, for sure, and I’ve read a lot this year!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Cleopatra Pullen

    Saffron was widowed in the most awful circumstances eighteen months before the book starts, her husband Joel was murdered and left to die by the side of the road. Saffron’s daughter Phoebe is now 14 and within pages we realise that she knows more about her father’s murder than she let onto the police, but what the secret is soon overtaken by the present when Saffron is called into the school to be told by the headmaster that Phoebe has another secret and one that needs immediate attention. With Saffron was widowed in the most awful circumstances eighteen months before the book starts, her husband Joel was murdered and left to die by the side of the road. Saffron’s daughter Phoebe is now 14 and within pages we realise that she knows more about her father’s murder than she let onto the police, but what the secret is soon overtaken by the present when Saffron is called into the school to be told by the headmaster that Phoebe has another secret and one that needs immediate attention. With her younger son Zane and a demanding job the grieving Saffron has more than enough on her plate, but this is a study in keeping going one step at a time through whatever life throws at you. This book is crammed full of issues which in the hands of a less accomplished author could have produced something of a mismatch of a book and far less breath-taking mainly because all of her characters are beautifully drawn displaying evidence of the author’s training in psychology. The result is real people with good and bad points far away from stereotypes as is possible, the sort of people you meet daily. The contrast between good intentions and bad decisions are illustrated many times through this delightful array of personalities, none more so than the brilliant Aunt Betty who becomes part of the household. With the characters forming the backbone of this novel along with their issues the author also has managed to pace the book by switching times as far back to the beginning of Saffron and Joel’s relationship. Although the time periods jump about building a picture of their life this is far from confusing with the chapters clearly marking the time before or after the day of Joel’s death. Meanwhile in the present day the tension builds at a steady pace as poor Saffron has more sinister things to deal with and the battle is on to keep her family safe. Added to this there is some fledgling romance to bring a tear to the eye as Saffron comes to terms with the fact that her husband has truly gone. The title of the book refers to the cookbook that Joel was compiling before his death and we are treated to a few of these recipes and those his wife is experimenting with in an aim to finish it in his memory giving the book a truly original feel. There is lots to love in this book and the only slight criticism I have hinges on the original secret kept by Phoebe and unfortunately the one on which the whole book hinges, just really didn’t feel of sufficient magnitude not to come clean but the rest of the book is so wonderfully executed that I simply had to overcome my reservations and join Saffron through some dark days and nights. I’d recommend this author to anyone who loves character driven and although this book doesn’t lend itself well to the searing dry humour of some of her previous books it is still makes an appearance from time to time.

  20. 4 out of 5

    A Drop of Romeo

    Reviewed for A Drop of Romeo Eighteen months ago, Saffron Mackleroy's husband was stabbed by a killer that is still walking free leaving behind her and their two children. However, just as life starts to get back under control, events happen the causes the control to evaporate. Aunt Betty moves in due to being kicked out of her residential home after getting caught being intimate with a fellow resident on the manager's desk, her fourteen year old daughter has a revelation that will have Saffron s Reviewed for A Drop of Romeo Eighteen months ago, Saffron Mackleroy's husband was stabbed by a killer that is still walking free leaving behind her and their two children. However, just as life starts to get back under control, events happen the causes the control to evaporate. Aunt Betty moves in due to being kicked out of her residential home after getting caught being intimate with a fellow resident on the manager's desk, her fourteen year old daughter has a revelation that will have Saffron second guessing everything she ever thought and as if all that wasn't enough, her husband's killer has started writing to her every day with content that terrifies Saffron. This was my first adventure into Dorothy Koomson's writing but several of my friends had suggested some of her works and I am glad that I listened to the recommendation. Without giving away too much of the plot because it's one of those stories you just have to read, I applaud Koomson for how full she managed to make this novel. There are twists and turns at every corner, it's full to the brim with amazing characters and she has enough sub-plots that there is no opportunity for the reader to become bored with “The Flavours of Love”. Only one of the plots irritated me at the time and that was Saffron's bulimia. It seemed to come out of nowhere several chapters into the books so I found myself wondering if it was an afterthought but now I have re-read the blurb I can see that Koomson fully intended for Saffron to have that secret so it was probably just me. The highlight of this novel was the layout of the chapters. It was apparent that the epicentre of the novel was the day that Saffron lost her husband Joel and Saffron had dubbed it as That Day. So each chapter would inform you of how many days, weeks, months, or years before or after That Day did the action happen. For example, the first chapter that uses it is “16 years before That Day”. Koomson cleverly uses the flashback technique to show us Saffron's life with Joel so that he is real to us and we can imagine the pain that Saffron is going through knowing that his killer is still out of there. “The Flavours of Love” may have been my first Dorothy Koomson novel but it definitely will not be my last.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    I’ve always enjoyed Dorothy Koomson’s writing – her earlier books were the kind of intelligent chick lit that I always enjoy. Her more recent books – The Ice Cream Girls and The Rose Petal Beach – have seen something of a change of direction, taut psychological thrillers that engage and entertain, and this book continues that new direction. Saffron’s husband Joel was murdered 18 months ago, and this is an excellent portrayal of love and loss, and trying to recreate the perfect taste (Joel was a k I’ve always enjoyed Dorothy Koomson’s writing – her earlier books were the kind of intelligent chick lit that I always enjoy. Her more recent books – The Ice Cream Girls and The Rose Petal Beach – have seen something of a change of direction, taut psychological thrillers that engage and entertain, and this book continues that new direction. Saffron’s husband Joel was murdered 18 months ago, and this is an excellent portrayal of love and loss, and trying to recreate the perfect taste (Joel was a keen cook) that will capture what they had together and bring him back to her. From the opening pages, we know that Saffron knows who killed her husband – and that her twelve year old daughter has a secret that she can’t tell. When the killer starts writing to her – the letters full of menace and truly chilling – the tension racks up, and continues to build towards the shocking conclusion. Throughout it all, there are all the very real and present family dramas, the problems communicating with a teenager, decisions to be made, personal issues to be dealt with. The whole story is wonderfully written, moving backwards and forwards in time, punctuated by the menacing letters. The characters are strongly drawn – Aunty Betty provides most of the humour, and is a quite wonderful creation. If you enjoyed Dorothy Koomson’s last two books, you’re going to love this one – it’s a perfect balance of family life and psychological thriller that entertains and keeps you turning the pages. More please! The Flavours of Love was published by Quercus on 7th November 2013, and is available in all formats.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kiki

    From just a few pages in, I had the feeling that I really didn't, and wouldn't, like this book particularly. The way that it was written (XX months/years before THAT DAY etc) annoyed me from the offset and I continued to find it annoying all the way through. I also found the letter Saffron writes to her dead husband at the end just such a pat, clichéd and lazy way to "tie up the loose ends" and tell the reader what's happened since the anticlimactic 'climax'. Plus the Flavours of Love cookbook wa From just a few pages in, I had the feeling that I really didn't, and wouldn't, like this book particularly. The way that it was written (XX months/years before THAT DAY etc) annoyed me from the offset and I continued to find it annoying all the way through. I also found the letter Saffron writes to her dead husband at the end just such a pat, clichéd and lazy way to "tie up the loose ends" and tell the reader what's happened since the anticlimactic 'climax'. Plus the Flavours of Love cookbook wasn't something that actually felt like it ran naturally through the book, or was an integral part of it. It was almost as though "well, it's the title and it's mentioned in the blurb so I'd really better keep mentioning it". But frankly every reference to the cookbook could have been taken out and it wouldn't have had any impact on the book at all - even Joel's cooking lessons could still have taken place (or frankly it could've been substituted for a writing class for all the difference it would have made) Above all there was no suspense or intrigue. This wasn't a mystery novel - we knew early on who Joel's killer was; and it certainly wasn't a thriller as there was no real sense of violent threat (a few poison pen letters and having your tyres slashed is hardly cause to fear for your life!). All in all, a quick but fairly unsatisfying read.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Natalie TBGWP

    As parents we would do anything to protect our children wouldn't we? Saffron Mackleroy knows this only too well. After her husband is murdered, her teenage daughter confides in her something about his murderer, putting them both at risk. Protecting her children is the first and last thing Saff will do. What a dramatic, compelling and totally emotional book this is. You are stuck to your seat with shock and terror. You become deeply engrossed with the goings on of the Mackleroy family, and fall As parents we would do anything to protect our children wouldn't we? Saffron Mackleroy knows this only too well. After her husband is murdered, her teenage daughter confides in her something about his murderer, putting them both at risk. Protecting her children is the first and last thing Saff will do. What a dramatic, compelling and totally emotional book this is. You are stuck to your seat with shock and terror. You become deeply engrossed with the goings on of the Mackleroy family, and fall in love with a lady so challenged in her life, that from the very beginning to the very end of The Flavours Of Love you find yourself emotionally attached to. I can assure you will not be putting this book down. I've found with Dorothy Koomson to always be prepared for some kind of shock in her novels, she does that so very well and so extremely cleverly with her writing. I was not in any way, shape or form prepared for this though. I honestly wasn't. From every single angle you look at with this book, be it plot, pace, characters or even how it's written, there is nothing at all you can fault it by. A thrilling, gripping and utterly magnificent book. 5/5

  24. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    Triggers: eating disorder(s), sexual abuse, violence/death, harassment, miscarriage and there might be a few more but those are the ones that came to mind the quickest Thoughts/Feelings: So, I've a huge DK fan. I've been fan since I first picked up her books, and very few books have been hit-and-miss with me. However, this one was kind of miss for me. I don't know if it's because there were a lot of issues the main character was sorting through, and in the process of properly sorting through her Triggers: eating disorder(s), sexual abuse, violence/death, harassment, miscarriage and there might be a few more but those are the ones that came to mind the quickest Thoughts/Feelings: So, I've a huge DK fan. I've been fan since I first picked up her books, and very few books have been hit-and-miss with me. However, this one was kind of miss for me. I don't know if it's because there were a lot of issues the main character was sorting through, and in the process of properly sorting through her issues, that some of the story got lost along the way. I don't know if it just didn't sit well with me because of the what was going on or what. I can't really explain what went "wrong". However, this didn't give me that satisfying feeling I get from finishing a book, especially one by Dorothy Koomson. I do think some things could have been resolved differently, and maybe even that contributes to that feeling. I don't know. All in all, I won't say it's a "bad" read but definitely not my favorite by her.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Shelly Mack

    I have read most of Dorothy Koomson ' s books and this is one of my least favourites.... To start with, it was already bad enough that her husband had been murdered, her 14 year old daughter was pregnant but they had to throw in an eating disorder as well. I feel like I have come to expect a bit of doom and gloom from her books but this book really rose to the the occasion. I don't have children but I can safely say the parenting style here was wrong on so many levels. She treated her child like I have read most of Dorothy Koomson ' s books and this is one of my least favourites.... To start with, it was already bad enough that her husband had been murdered, her 14 year old daughter was pregnant but they had to throw in an eating disorder as well. I feel like I have come to expect a bit of doom and gloom from her books but this book really rose to the the occasion. I don't have children but I can safely say the parenting style here was wrong on so many levels. She treated her child like an adult and walked on egg shells around her. I found this so frustrating as the child needed her mother to be a mother!! I also completely don't understand why she let her child dictate to her regarding her husbands murderer. All this being said I found parts of the book enjoyable and gripping however I really felt like a happier ending would have made me the reader feel less depressed although I suppose the ending could be described as a realistic outcome.

  26. 4 out of 5

    K.B. Walker

    I love Dorothy Koomson's writing. It reminds me of Jodi Piccoult's and like hers, in my opinion, would benefit from some pruning here and there but is otherwise fresh and evocative. I've just read One End Street, which was ground breaking when it was published for portraying a "poor" family. In Dorothy Koomson's work it's wonderful to read about characters who happen to be black while showing how irrelevant that is to their bigger stories, in much the same way as the One End Street books reveale I love Dorothy Koomson's writing. It reminds me of Jodi Piccoult's and like hers, in my opinion, would benefit from some pruning here and there but is otherwise fresh and evocative. I've just read One End Street, which was ground breaking when it was published for portraying a "poor" family. In Dorothy Koomson's work it's wonderful to read about characters who happen to be black while showing how irrelevant that is to their bigger stories, in much the same way as the One End Street books revealed that people are people regardless of the prejudices of others. We are all different, all need to be loved, all have fears and priorities and lives affected by circumstances beyond our control. Some elements of Flavours of Love were a bit far-fetched for me but it still kept me gripped.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kim Benouski

    I wish Koomson stuck to her chick lit. The move to the psychological thriller puts her in too much competition with others I like, and after I read the other book of hers I pre-bought, if it's not better than this, I may be done. As it is, she's not big in the states, so the libraries don't often have her books. I have to buy them. This book's format is odd, and feels forced. The husband's best friend character is cliche, and adding an eating disorder in after the pregnancy and murder . . .it's I wish Koomson stuck to her chick lit. The move to the psychological thriller puts her in too much competition with others I like, and after I read the other book of hers I pre-bought, if it's not better than this, I may be done. As it is, she's not big in the states, so the libraries don't often have her books. I have to buy them. This book's format is odd, and feels forced. The husband's best friend character is cliche, and adding an eating disorder in after the pregnancy and murder . . .it's too much. As a young widow myself, I found that Koomson seemed to stick every stereotype and problem in there and not glue them together well.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ashton

    I LOVE Dorothy Koomson, and found this book gripping and unputdownable from start to finish. However, I do have a couple of criticisms: - I think she deals with too many issues at once, and that can make them seem slightly less believeable in the context of novel. - What really got to me about this particular novel is that I didn't feel we had enough of a physical description of the killer. It's a small thing, but can make a huge difference to a story- and the imagination of the reader! I LOVE Dorothy Koomson, and found this book gripping and unputdownable from start to finish. However, I do have a couple of criticisms: - I think she deals with too many issues at once, and that can make them seem slightly less believeable in the context of novel. - What really got to me about this particular novel is that I didn't feel we had enough of a physical description of the killer. It's a small thing, but can make a huge difference to a story- and the imagination of the reader!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    I had already read this under its previous publication title 'Flavours of Love', but it has been long enough that I couldn't remember most of it! Really enjoyed -very twisty, very dark in places and Koomson doesn't shy away from a lot of the issues she confronts. It was an excellent thriller that kept me guessing until the end and Saffron is one of my favourite of Koomson's narrators. I was gutted at the end but definitely think it was the right decision!! I had already read this under its previous publication title 'Flavours of Love', but it has been long enough that I couldn't remember most of it! Really enjoyed -very twisty, very dark in places and Koomson doesn't shy away from a lot of the issues she confronts. It was an excellent thriller that kept me guessing until the end and Saffron is one of my favourite of Koomson's narrators. I was gutted at the end but definitely think it was the right decision!!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sally

    Actually 4.5 stars. Another great book from Dorothy Koomson... had me hooked most of the book and sped through it. Always love the main character in Dorothy's books and care about what happens to her and her family. Great read. Actually 4.5 stars. Another great book from Dorothy Koomson... had me hooked most of the book and sped through it. Always love the main character in Dorothy's books and care about what happens to her and her family. Great read.

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