Cooking Up a Storm - Review

"When newly single Sarah Peterson rents a cottage on Kit Roseberry’s country estate and swops cooking supper for rent, she isn’t expecting TV producer, Magda Holmes, to fall for Kit and his culinary skills, or offer him a slot on her TV show.

Kit can’t boil water, but he’s got the look and needs the money. Magda is keen to go for a traditional feel, happy families, picnics on the beach and birthday teas, so Sarah - along with her two boys - finds herself as undercover cook, and an instant wife and family for Kit’s TV debut.

But what will that do to Sarah's fresh start, her new man, ex-husband and the rest of her life? Is it a recipe for disaster or does it have all the ingredients of a great romance?"

This is chick-lit at its best.  Cooking Up a Storm follows the unravelling of Sarah's marriage to the self-centred Colin and the beginning of her new life at the beautiful estate in Newnham Magna. Her eccentric landlord Kit, gets in over his head with a TV producer and what follows is a gentle and humorous farce which delivers that delicious falling-in-love excitement, without adhering to a romantic formula.

This is a novel for those who appreciate good food. There are recipes at the end of every chapter and they are mouth-watering. For heaven's sake eat before you start reading, you'll find yourself very peckish before you get too far.

If you are looking for a happily-ever-after experience that's well written, not formulaic and witty look no further. Sue Welfare has written well over 20 novels and knows how to tell a good tale that keeps a reader guessing as to where the happy ending will happen. Her heroines aren't written to type and neither are her relationships. For those of us who aren't 20-something, and know the perils that accompany being swept off our feet by Prince Charming, she ably describes the wonder of falling in love and the difficulties of having meaningful relationships in mid-life, without reverting to cheese or cynicism.

I am slightly biased, it must be said. When I first began my journey into writing, I did a 10-credit Introduction to Popular Fiction at UEA (when they still did Continuing Education). I'd never read chick-lit before, and on the advice of my tutor I took myself off to WH Smith and surveyed the crammed shelves. I picked up Guilty Creatures and loved it and I now have an excellent stash of her books on my shelves and in my kindle.

Cooking Up a Storm is currently only available in e-reader format, but a little birdie says that is due to change with the paperback version due to be released soon.

I can't recommend this novel enough. Enjoy!


  1. Well-written chick-lit is fun and an advantage is that there are usually characters that you can engage with. I've been put off a lot of higher brow modern fiction because the well known prizewinning authors don't bother with making their characters interesting. One doesn't have to like them, but you should be interested in what happens to them.

    I haven't come across Sue Welfare, I'll look out for her.

    1. I rarely read literary fiction these days. I do enjoy it, but I feel like I've been through enough of an emotional wringer IRL and in my entertainment time, I want a happy ending!

      I definitely recommend Sue's books. They are good fun, well written and have subtle twists.

  2. I mostly read histories and biographies. Although the recipes are an interesting angle. Anything you might make?

    1. There's a spinach and mozzarella gnocchi bake, I'd quite like to make. Except none of my men like spinach.

      There's also a summer pudding which I really do fancy making, especially as Lawrence says he loves it!


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