I’ve been able to catch up on some reading lately (yay!) so I’ll have some more reviews coming (Caraval is one of them!). For a book review tonight, let’s do a little throw-back with a book I first read in high school. Back then (the late 90’s mostly, ::sob::), a couple of my friends and I discovered this tiny, little-known room (The Room of Requirement, possibly?) with loads of romance paperbacks, and a couple cool staff members who let us borrow them. If memory serves, I first found this book there, and it is one of my old favs to this day.
Legend by best selling author Jude Deveraux, is a perfect mix of humor, plot twists and romance, although it is light on the steam factor. Kady Long is a 30-year old chef living in Virginia. In fact, she’s one of the most famous chefs around. People come from all over the country to eat at Onions, the restaurant where she works. She’s also happily engaged to Gregory, the son of her boss. Kady can’t believe how lucky she is and yet she cannot stop thinking about the mystery man who’s haunted her dreams since childhood. With only the top half of his face visible in her dreams, the rest covered by a black veil, Kady doesn’t know who he is but she convinces herself that her Arabian prince must be Gregory; they look similar enough.
As Kady runs a few wedding errands, she wanders into an antique shop and on a whim, purchases a rusty flour tin. Later, when she opens it, Kady is surprised to see a beautiful old-fashioned wedding dress, a pocket watch and a family photograph with the name Jordan on the back. To her amazement, the dress fits her perfectly. Having found no wedding dress as of yet, Kady knows this is the one she will wear to marry Gregory. But then Kady is overcome with a dizzy spell and when she comes to, she is no longer in her apartment but in the old Western town of Legend, Colorado. The year is 1873 and Cole Jordan is about to be hanged. What happens next is an amazing tale of time travel and love. As Kady tries to find a way back home, she is pulled deeper into this time period and into the arms of Cole. But then she learns a secret that changes everything in ways she never could have imagined.
Legend is warm, optimistic, and lovely. I fell in love with the characters, especially Cole. He is sweet and fun and he really opened up a side of Kady that I feel she was hiding. Kady is a joy to read and it’s refreshing in a romance not to read about a “perfect” woman. She’s also a very talented chef and for food lovers, this is a must read as she describes recipes and also puts on a feast that lasts for several days. Throughout the book she cooks everything from rattlesnake to croissants. I also couldn’t stop wondering about the mysterious Arabian man from her dreams. Who is he? Is he connected to Gregory? To Cole? And when you learn the answer, you will be surprised too. Legend is a wonderful romance novel that you won’t want to put down. And when you do, you’ll be wondering how long before you can pick it back up again! It’s a book I’ve read dozens of times, and I always enjoy it when I revisit it. Love.
Originally posted with Writers News Weekly in 2009. Revised and posted in 2017.