I just finished Susan X Meagher’s Chef Special for a second time. Full disclosure, I was lucky enough to beta read it last summer, and so this time I just got to savor it – both for the food and the romance. As an author who hasn’t been writing long, I continually want to improve. So I listen to my editor, who is full of all sorts of wisdom, and try to read authors who are at the top of their game. Today, all my Christmas shopping done, I settled into a chair by the tree and dove in. As I swiped through the ebook on this cold, rainy day, I noticed all the things that Susan does so well.
First, she really immerses you in the characters lives, hopes and dreams. She makes sure by the end of the story that you get what makes Blake and Emily tick. After a while, I felt as if I was reading about people I actually knew and not, as sometimes is the case, just one-note characters who exist only to push the story along. I didn’t agree with everything that Blake and Emily did, but I understood why and that, to me, is a much bigger compliment.
Second, I read somewhere that the truth of a story lies in the details. Whoever said this must have read Susan’s books. Her details jump off the page and draw you in. It doesn’t matter whether it’s cooking in a professional kitchen, eating at a Korean restaurant or struggling to date your boss. I know it sounds hokey ( and I’m sure Susan could write this sentence better), but I really felt like I was there. Five stars!
Another full disclosure ( so I guess the first one was only half disclosure?) I’ve known Susan for many years. She is funny, generous, a wonderful friend and cook. Now I will add excellent teacher to that list. I’ll certainly be a better writer for all the fun I had today.