The Devil Served Tortellini
By Jennifer Wardrip
Mar 1, 2005 - 10:20:00 AM

For those readers who missed my review of Ms. Jump's previous Zebra Books release, THE BRIDE WORE CHOCOLATE, I can say only one thing-you might have missed out on the five pounds that I gained reading the book, but you also missed out on one heck of a story. This time around, with THE DEVIL SERVED TORTELLINI, Ms. Jump has lowered the calorie count, upped the carbs considerably, and delivered another steaming-hot dish of devilicious-inspired romance to your doorstep.

For Maria Pagliano, there is one word that's conspicuously missing from her vocabulary, and that word is "no." She can't say no to Twinkies, she can't say no to cheese in all of its marvelous, heavenly, fat-thigh-inducing forms-and she definitely can not say no to a good-looking, sweet-talking man. This time, however, Maria is determined to do the impossible. In eight weeks, eight very short weeks, she will say no to fat, no to carbs, no to pasta and potatoes and 'God help her' cheese, even if it kills her. For her ten-year high school reunion, Maria is determined that she will lose those unwanted pounds, even if she has to join the Chubby Chums support group to do it.


It shouldn't have been that difficult. After all, this time she was determined. This time, she would not submit herself to the pain and torture of the starve yourself to thinness diet. This time, she had a reason for getting thin beyond buying that gorgeous dress on sale in Macy's window. This time, it was for a good cause-letting the heartthrob of high school see her as the cute, rambunctious, thin cheerleader that she once was. All she had to do was avoid anything smothered in tomato sauce and cheese. How hard could that possibly be?


If Dante Del Rosso, owner of La Vita Deliziosa, has anything to say about it, Maria's not going to be able to resist anything on his menu. Manicotti, frittata, or how about a helping of "Dante's Taste-of-Heaven Tortellini Temptation"? Of course, Dante wouldn't mind if Maria went ahead and skipped the main course, and jumped right into dessert-which, being the sensible, romantic, totally hot Italian that he is, would be him in a chef's hat and not much else.


THE DEVIL SERVED TORTELLINI is a delicious romp through love, passion, learning to like the person you are, and scrumptious food. You cannot, I repeat not, read this book and skip over the recipes. Remember those five pounds from my last review? This time around, I gorged on carbs until I think I gained a pants size or two.


But please, don't let that cruel scale keep you from reading this warm-hearted romance. There's no way you want to miss the steam that develops between Maria and Dante, the crispy edges of the old high school flame, Antonio, and the added dashes of sugar and spice that are the supporting characters of this book. I'm certainly glad that I didn't skip it-even though I might have to look into that starve yourself into thinness diet now that I'm finished.

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