Page Links

Home      About      Reviews      Contact     

2 October 2013

Review: 'Love on the Back Burner' by Barbara Oliverio (2013)

Youngest in an Italian-American family that includes one brother who is a rock 
singer-turned-priest and another who successfully manages the family business, 
Alexandria D’Agostino wanted to stand out, so she moved from her small hometown and is enjoying a successful marketing career in Denver. 

On the advice of her best friend Keira, as well as office pals Natalie and Elliott, she uses the cooking skills learned from her immigrant grandmother and studies the cuisine of each prospective boyfriend’s background to improve her chances at love. 

Alexandria encounters comical mishaps along the way including one unexpected dinner for three and a meat-focused dinner for a vegetarian. After a corporate restructure somehow driven by new office heartthrob Cameron Grayson, she flies back home for counsel. 

Will she come back to Denver? Or should she re-evaluate the boy next door from high school? Should she finally admit that being a chef is her true dream? And how does Cameron fit on the menu?

Barbara Oliverio contacted me some time ago with the question whether I wanted to review her novel, ‘Love on the Back Burner.’ I immediately liked the sound of this debut novel, and a short period later I found a pretty paperback copy in my mailbox! 

Alexandria D’Agostino, who works at the marketing department of a large company called Media Resolutions, comes from a tight-knit Italian-American family and it is clear in almost everything she does that she embraces her roots. Especially her cooking skills are brilliant, but so far this hasn’t particularly helped her in her search of finding a man. Yet, Alexandria believes, partly based on the advice of her colleagues, that the way to a man’s heart has to be through his stomach... Right? So, she embarks on a culinary dating journey encountering various men with various backgrounds, while at the same time trying to ignore the new temporary IT guy, Cameron, who seems to pop up everywhere she goes. Grabbing a chance to escape from it all, Alexandria goes back home to her family for a couple of days, but this trip only forces her to start thinking about her life and what she really wants... 

The cover of ‘Love on the Back Burner’ describes perfectly what you can expect from his novel: a tasty romantic comedy! Food plays an important role in the book (there is even a collection of delicious recipes at the back, definitely worth a try!)) and next to that, it has all the ingredients for a romantic comedy. Barbara Oliverio has created an entertaining mix of characters (I specifically liked Keira, Alexandria’s best friend, and Alexandria’s lovely parents), with at its centre a fun heroine in the form of Alexandria. I really enjoyed following her on her journey to find the perfect man and to discover what she really wants to do in life.

Barbara Oliverio definitely has her own voice; her easy-going and humorous sense of writing, with both Italian and American influences, results in a quick-paced read that kept me entertained for several hours during my train journeys from and to work. It made my mouth water every now and again, though, so be prepared for a longing for yummy Italian dishes! ‘Love on the Back Burner’ is a light, entertaining debut novel, perfect for lovers of romantic comedies, and I am curious to read what will be next from this author!


No comments:

Post a Comment