About the Book
But danger lurks where one never expects it.
Can her passion for cooking help Gina survive and thrive in this world of privilege, pleasure and menace?
Sugar and Spice and All Those Lies is the first book I’ve read by Evy Journey, and I’m not sure if I will read another one.
Ms. Journey has written a book that begins with a bang in a prologue where the main character is on a hospital gurney in danger, but the rest of the book doesn’t live up to the excitement of that first scene.
Gina is the main character, and the story is entirely told through first person point of view. This book is written in the present tense, which is difficult for a novel, and Ms. Journey doesn’t always manage the POV well. Gina is an interesting character. She grew up poor, and worked hard for where she is now, as a chef at a fancy restaurant.
She meets Leon at the restaurant. Leon is a rich businessman, though what type of business is never mentioned. His family is wealthy and he’s expected to take over the entire business once his father decides to retire. He’s also creepy. He sends flowers to Gina at her home (she hadn’t given him the address) and almost immediately declares himself in love with her.
The third part of the love triangle is Brent, a police detective. In comparison to Leon, he is completely normal. He’s nice and works hard. However, he, like Leon, also falls quickly in love with Gina. It felt a little unrealistic!
Ms. Journey has filled this book with a ton of dialogue and introspection, and very little scene setting. This book could really take place anywhere! This book also includes non-explicit sex scenes, so if you do not enjoy that in a story, I would avoid this one!
Themes that are hinted at are classism, snobbery, family expectations/loyalty, but this story could’ve delved deeper into all those themes.
These characters read more like teenagers/college students than grown adults. I probably would’ve liked this book more if it was Young Adult/New Adult fiction. There is also a mystery plot involving Gina that happens quite late and appears out of nowhere, and I was blindsided by it.
I give Sugar and Spice and All Those Lies 3/5 stars. The themes that Ms. Journey touches on, especially classism, family duty, and love, have the potential to form into an interesting story but it is not executed well.
**I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author through Loving the Book. All opinions are my own.**
I’m alive. I’m dead. I’m in-between. In that limbo where my vital signs hover just above death. I rise above my body and look down on it, lying on a gurney. Hospital staff are rushing me along the brightly-lit hallway to the operating room. One of them holds an oxygen mask on my face. Another, a bag of intravenous fluid connected to my veins by a tube.
I’m not ready to die yet. These good people anxious to rescue me don’t know that my resolve is the only thing that is keeping me alive. No, I’m not ready to die—I’ve only just begun to live. I have yet to prove to myself, to the world, that I have what it takes to prevail.
My family—now on their way to the hospital—doesn’t know yet exactly what happened to me. And except for one detective, neither do the police. I see him now by the foot of the gurney, keeping pace with the nurses. He’s scowling, his lips pressed into a grim line.
A tall, taut, and solitary man, he has deep-set gray eyes clouded by too many images of violent death and a lower lip that hangs perpetually open in disgust or despair. So much darkness he has already seen in his thirty odd years in this world. He needs to piece together the facts that constitute the attempt on my life, events that may have led to it, and various fragments of my past to understand what brought me to this point.
The first time I met him, I fell in love with him. There was something primal about him, some paternal, animalistic instinct to save hurt or fallen victims. Like me, maybe. It gave him power and it made him irresistible to me.
But fate is fickle. It teases. It entices. One day, something quite ordinary happens to you. Yet, you sense that that ordinary something can change your life. Not necessarily for something better, but for something new. Fate is dangling before you the promise of a world that, before then, was totally out of your reach. How can you not seize it?
Now, of course, I see the end of that promise. And it’s not where I want to be.
It’s tragic, don’t you think, that the end of that promise should be right here on a gurney, with me fighting for my life? It certainly is not what I hoped for.
How could it end this way? I embraced life, took chances, but half-dead on this gurney, I wonder: Am I paying with my life? But, like I said. I’m not ready to die yet
Writer/Editor. Voracious Book Reader. World Traveler. Veteran.