Government drone by day and book lover and geek girl by night!
Going to go with four stars since I did enjoy a lot about this book. I just wish the author had surprised us with an ending that had the main character (Charlie) realize that if she is going to date someone, that they had to not only trust her, but understand her job. I had some dissatisfaction with that plot-line as well as the whole t.v. thing. It was weirdly done at the end and I don't know how to feel about it.
"Sugar" focuses on Charlie Garrett, a chef at one of the hottest restaurants in New York, L'Ombre. Charlie puts up with the daily put-downs of the head chef (baker) at the restaurant who makes her and other co-workers days/nights a nightmare. Charlie puts up with it though since she is promised eventually she is going to get promoted. But when Charlie is given an offer to move to Seattle and work alongside her ex-boyfriend Avery, she leaps at the chance after one put-down/shitty move too many. There's a catch though for Charlie, working with Avery means she agrees to being filmed for a reality tv series and she can't talk about it with others. With her long days/nights put in at Avery's restaurant she doesn't have a lot of time with a budding relationship with a man she meets named Kai.
I have to say, Charlie was awesome in so many ways. She's smart, driven, a neat-nik, and loves to bake. She has dreams and knows that working with Avery in Seattle may be enough to get her to where she should be at in her life. But she feels forced to choose due to actions/conversations with her best friend and with Kai. I hate that there is this whole idea that women can have it all. Having it all means/looks like a lot of different things to people, and most of us cannot have it all. Most of us are going to work long hours and give up on tucking our kids into bed, that does not makes us a failure. There was some interesting commentary here and there that I think had Stuart wading in a bit to feminist waters. But that's all thrown out the door based on what Charlie ultimately does when faced with a decision.
Have to say it, I didn't like Kai much and thought Avery was a dork (not bad or anything, just dorky). Kai gets frustrated/upset because Charlie has a lot going on and then gets shirty when her boss (Avery) is at her place when he comes by. There was too many red flags for me in that whole thing. I also kind of hated Kai's family. Way too into his business and Charlie's and I didn't find it charming.
Charlie's best friend bugged a bit too since she was also judging Charlie's life and seeming to think that without a man her becoming a head chef (baker) at a restaurant wasn't a big deal. I don't know, I loved Charlie a lot, but the previous two characters I met bugged me.
The setting changes from New York to Seattle and I really enjoyed how Stuart describes both places. You can even feel the difference between both spaces since New York sounds cramped, dark, and smelly and Seattle sounds like heaven on Earth with green spaces, farmer's market, and apartments with a lot of light and views of the water.
The ending as I said above didn't do a lot for me. Though we do get a silver lining of sorts with Charlie getting her own version (I guess) of a HEA with an out of nowhere offer.