I think this may be the book that puts me off romances for quite some time, because it'll be a damn sight for another book to be so eminently well-suited to my tastes as this one. There's lavish descriptions of food! It's all framed by a wink-and-a-nod to fairy tales! The heroine is actually quite sensible, and the hero is not entirely a lunkhead!
I also enjoy the work Thomas has done with the man who by all rights should be the villain in this book - the hero's half brother and the heroine's former lover. She takes him from what should be a caricature of a romance novel mustache-twirling villain who rejected both Our Heroine and Our Hero in their own personally devastating ways, and she gives credence to why these people who we're supposed to like and respect loved this quasi-villain in the first place.
Yes, yes, there's a huge swathe of Captain Exposition at the very end, but it's handled in such a way that it's still emotionally resonant and not just a plot dump.
Still - fairy tales and food as metaphor. Nope, this is pretty much my favorite romance novel written in the last twenty years.