Thanks for your welcome, Monique. It’s lovely to be here.
When my thoughts turn to Valentine’s Day the first thing I think of is roses. But food always figures highly. Magazines are full of what to cook, more pink recipes than you can shake a stick at, and suggestions for the most romantic restaurants to dine at.
There’s no doubt that food and sex, and by extension love, are inextricably linked. The experience of falling in love is tactile, using all the senses. Our scent receptors are as open to pheromones as to the aroma of beautifully cooked food. Both make our mouths water. And it’s unsurprising that we describe desirable physical characteristics in terms of food: peach or strawberry coloured lips, chestnut coloured hair, almond shaped eyes and cheeks like apples.
On Valentine’s Day I enjoy cooking something special at home rather than dining out. I’ll push beyond my usual efforts, choose a special recipe or two and use the best ingredients I can find. I’ll pull out my best china and linen, light candles and make sure the table looks pretty. All of this shows care and love.
Food abounds in my sweet Valentine’s Day novella, Miss Valentine’s Love Emporium. Lexie Valentine has been taken in and protected by the small town of Carter’s Crossing and on this special day each year she expresses her love for the townspeople by throwing a huge party in the vacant emporium she rents as a pop-up. In doing this she demonstrates her belief in love in the face of a traumatic past experience.
Ethan Taylor is a world-weary big city divorce lawyer with a jaded view of love but he has been roped into taking his elderly grandmother to Lexie’s party. He arrives at the party, carrying his grandmother’s contribution:
“At one end of the counter two tall stacks of mismatched floral plates were flanked by small buckets of cutlery, the old fashioned kind with bone handles buffed shiny with age. Piles of old linen napkins in cream and pastel shades, carefully starched and ironed, sat beside them. He placed the pavlova on the counter together with the other offerings. He’d forgotten the largesse of a country gathering. Not for them the large white platters holding wispy herbal fronds and miniscule pieces of food that he was served at smart city functions. The counter groaned with plates loaded with cakes and sandwiches, fruit platters and cheese boards.”
May Valentine’s Day bring you flowers and delicious food but most of all love and happiness!
You can follow Lexie and Ethan on their journey by selecting your favourite retailer here: https://books2read.com/u/49P6gM
Louise Reynolds is an author of contemporary romantic fiction.
On receiving her library card at the age of six she borrowed her first book, an illustrated story about onions. Over the years she progressed from vegetables to romance. It was a logical step to take her love of romance novels to the next stage and tell her own stories.
Set in both the city and Australia’s outback, her books have been described as warm and witty feel-good reads.
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