Christmas Culinary Magic by Morgan RouthChristmas Culinary Magic by Morgan Routh is a contemporary romance about understanding yourself and being brave enough to accept it.

A postcard stuck to the bottom of her shoe one day leads Noelle to the Christmas Culinary Magic class. She figures if she’s going to be away from family for the first time, she would learn some new cooking skills to lighten the season. When a late student crashes into the classroom on the first day, she is struck by how much the woman smells like the postcard’s perfume, and by how pretty she is.

Jasmine is immediately taken with her sweet natured cooking class partner. She’s used to people fawning over her good looks and wealth, but Noelle doesn’t seem to notice either of those things. Her parents expect her to adhere to their complementary expectations, but that’s becoming more difficult by the day. Spending time with Noelle is carefree and fun, but can she be as brave about her life as Noelle is about hers?

Pros And My Favourite Parts

Noelle is demisexual and doesn’t normally react to how pretty people are except in the abstract. Coming to terms with the unusual feelings she has around Jasmine is both confusing and exciting for her. The pacing of their fall into romance seems just right for someone who isn’t attracted to a person physically until they’re emotionally close. Noelle likes Jasmine a lot, and though they’re nowhere near the same social rank, they are just right for each other in all the ways that matter. It’s fun to watch two people fall for each other with only the tiniest smidge of physical relations.

For a ditzy child of old money, Jasmine is a very sympathetic character. She has the hardest choices to make, though getting close to Noelle is the easiest. It’s tough to go against what your parents expect of you in life, especially if you don’t hate your parents. Though it’s Noelle’s character that narrates the story, I felt very sympathetic to Jasmine and was rooting for her to dredge up the courage to go her own way.

The author closely follows Noelle’s mundane moments and uses a series of parties to break the story into chapters of her life and the growing romance with Jasmine and their new found family. The parties are at the other classmates’ residences, making them bigger characters than just ghostly others in the classroom. The author has created a milieu with depth and gives us more than the two leads to root for, including Snowball the fluffy white cat.

The writing style struck me immediately as intimate. Primarily in a typical past tense, it occasionally slips into present that is a little odd but compelling.

Cons And Heads Up

Some typos spring up now and then. The end of the book is shockingly abrupt.

The Conclusion

This is a good found family story with a somewhat dramatic romance between two sweet young women, a conflicted rich girl and a demisexual girl experiencing feelings she never expected. There’s a lot of food talk and a fluffy cat who is not a demon spawn, unless you hate white hair on your mail. All the characters face choices, and one of the toughest is will you live your own life or one that someone chooses for you.

Excerpt from Christmas Culinary Magic by Morgan Routh

“Oh,” Jasmine said. “So, you don’t need a ride home?”

Noelle gave a dismayed smile. “It would be a two-second car ride.”

“Where do you live at?”

“2nd Street and Gardner Avenue.”

“Next to that cupcake shop!”

“Yeah. I can see it from my apartment.”

“Oh, I love that place, I go there all the time.” Jasmine opened up her phone and searched something up. But then she deflated.

“It’s closed.”

Noelle nodded. “It only stays open this late on weekends.”

“Well.” Jasmine’s voice deflated, “I guess I’ll see you Friday, then.”

“Friday.” Noelle tried to give a parting smile. Neither of them turned away, though. They were both suddenly statues, and their legs didn’t work like they should.


“Okay,” Jasmine echoed. “Bye.”

“Bye,” Noelle echoed back.

Jasmine was still gazing at her. Noelle realized that she was the one that needed to go first. Because there was some sort of pull between them. It was the same pull that made Noelle’s heart beat before, and it made her skin tingle. She wondered if the same was happening to Jasmine, right at this moment.

“Okay, bye,” Noelle repeated quickly and sped away. Her face went red, and she charged across the sidewalk. The snow began to fall again and the natural light from the sky was gone. She didn’t look back.

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Bits and Bobs

ISBN number: 9798359849128

Publisher: Indie Author

Morgan Routh Online 

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Note: I received a free review copy of Christmas Culinary Magic by Morgan Routh. No money was exchanged for this review. When you use our links to buy we get a small commission which supports the running of this site