Cooking The Books – Madeline Ash

Chef with cookbookWhat a treat today! My guest is fellow Destiny Romance author Madeline Ash. A treat because Madeline and I were in a critique group together for about eighteen months and I had the opportunity to read her beautiful stories as they unfolded month after month. Hearing that Madeline had been contracted to Destiny Romance was like coming full circle.

Thank you for having me here today, Louise. I love the idea of exploring the food in books we read and write, and drawing parallels between the passion and nourishment of food and that of love. My mind jumps to rich aromas and subtle undertones, the tactile experience of preparing ingredients, and the seduction of one’s senses when sitting down to a delicious meal. I think of indulgence, decadence, and more than a little satisfaction. And okay, okay, I’m starting to think of Barry White.

But what happens to ol’ Baz when a girl has to follow a strict diet?MadelineAsh_Profile

Vera Cole is the heroine in Uncovered by Love. She has a secret (which I’ll do my best not to spoil), and consequently she must monitor everything she eats. And I don’t mean, ‘Whoops, I accidentally ate that whole tub of ice-cream – better have a carrot.’  She has to watch her cholesterol and saturated fat intake, as well as her fluid and sodium intake. Let’s add limitations to the amount of sugar and concentrated sweets she consumes, and a restriction on caffeine and alcohol. So that means a very thin slice of chocolate cake on her birthday, no flirting over coffee or a latte, and definitely no glass of wine to warm the blood.

Kills the romance a bit, doesn’t it?

Well, almost. But Vera deals with her diet in such a subtle way that the hero doesn’t really think on it. His focus well and truly is elsewhere (as it should be). This was an intentional move on my part – since food is such a powerful metaphor for sex, I had to be careful that the sexual tension wasn’t reduced to the potency level of a celery stick. So food took the backseat in this book!

That having been said, there’ s a scene in Chapter Two when Vera’s diet interrupts Leeson’s chase. I’ll share it with you:

UncoveredByLove_cropped small‘See that bar?’ Vera followed the direction of his finger and nodded. ‘If you like cocktails, that’s the place to go.’

‘I don’t drink,’ she said, thwarting Leeson’s never-fail seduction plan. She looked up at him again. ‘Where can I get the best chai?’

‘Uh.’ He didn’t have a clue. ‘Let me think.’

‘You know,’ Vera said, her smile almost a smirk, ‘I’ve heard that men find it hard to admit when they don’t know something.’

‘I didn’t know that.’

She threw him a look. ‘Nice try.’

He grinned. ‘All right, so you’ll have to find the chai yourself.’ Then he took her elbow and guided her into a patisserie that smelled like an aphrodisiac. She mightn’t drink cocktails, but surely he could rely on her sweet tooth. ‘I’ll introduce you to the best chocolate croissant in the city.’

Vera stood beside him in the queue, arms crossed as if he’d let her down. The first woman he’d met to regard a dessert wonderland with disappointment. ‘You ate chocolate cake,’ he said in his defence.

‘I know,’ she said. ‘But I’m watching my diet.’

He looked her over, dismayed. ‘What on earth for?’

‘Not to lose weight,’ she said, cheeks flushing. ‘I just … have to stay healthy.’

He frowned, not understanding. ‘Halves?’

She gave him a peculiar smile. ‘Halves could work.’

It had the potential to stop Barry White, but between you and me, the lack of luscious foods and exotic tastes did nothing to dampen the hot spice of romance between Vera and Leeson. And that’s it from me! If you’d like to find out why Vera had to be so careful, you can find Uncovered by Love at the following online stores:

Amazon and Amazon UK

Apple (iTunes store)

Destiny Romance

Google Play


You can find Madeline on the net:

14 comments on “Cooking The Books – Madeline Ash

  1. Ooh, that sound like a great book for me to read right now when I’m trying to do a sugar detox! No temptations and a strong heroine standing up for her food choices to inspire me! I’m definitely going to have a read. 🙂

    • Hi Emmie. I’ve been fortunate to read a number of Madeline’s stories and she always writes complex, appealing heroines and to-die-for heroes. You’ll love Vera and Leeson.

  2. Thanks Emmie, I hope Vera helps to keep you on task. She’s certainly put me to shame a few times! And thank you Alissa – yes, I may have added a dash or two of the hot stuff!

  3. Hi Madeline,
    Your book sounds wonderful. I think I could pick up a few pointers from Vera. Avoiding trigger foods can be a drag. Finding a way to have Barry White show up without chocolate is a book I need.

    • Thank you Dora, and you’re right and trigger foods. BBQs are the hardest for me – I just can’t stay away from potato chips!

  4. Hi Madeline and Louise, great post. Thanks! Hmm, I’m intrigued about Vera’s diet. I have Uncovered By Love ready and waiting on my bedside table . Love the cover.

    • Thanks Jen, I’ll admit to loving the cover too 🙂 All Destiny covers are divine. And as timing would have it, I’m reading your latest at the moment! Dramatic start and selfless heroine – I was hooked instantly.

    • Yes, hard to imagine a life without flaky, light as air, buttery croissants. And wine!!! Aaaaagh. But Madeline’s heroine Vera does it beautifully well.

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