The Romance Novel You Never Knew Sandra Lee Authored

Lifestyle guru, cookbook author, and television foodie personality Sandra Lee is surely known for a lot of things, both inside and out of the kitchen. But who knew this author of cookbooks actually penned a romance novel? In a piece by Delish, they not only give a basic idea of her 2013 novel, "The Recipe Box", but go on a limb as to who the two protagonists may actually be based on.

Just like the author herself, "The Recipe Box's" protagonist, Grace D'Angelo, is a television personality with an immense love for cooking. And she has a pet — a very particular type of pet. Not a dog. Not a cat. A cockatoo. 

If that rings any bells for readers, it may have something to do with Lee's real-life boyfriend at the time, Governor Andrew Cuomo. Delish reports that Cumo gave her this very specific type of parrot as a holiday gift back in 2011, years before they announced their separation in 2019. But the similarities between real-life people and fictional characters in Lee's novel don't stop with parrots and a penchant for cooking.

Sandra Lee's novel echoes real life

The Wall Street Journal delves even further into the comparisons between Grace D'Angelo's love interest, Mike Lund, and Governor Cuomo. Although a confidante of Lee told The Wall Street Journal that the book was a complete work of fiction and that Lee had said it was simply geared at female readers, there still seems to be much in common with Grace's boyfriend and Sandra Lee's long-term partner.

Though he's at least not a governor or politician, Mike Lund is a muscular teacher who's known for his love of motorcycles, fishing, and the outdoors. He has curly hair and radiates confidence, though, arguably a callback to Cuomo's look and persona. 

While the overlap between the real Cuomo and his possible fiction counterpart may be coincidental, it's hard to ignore the overwhelming similarities, especially from a book published just two years into Lee and Cuomo's relationship. Whatever the case may be, readers may hope that Sandra Lee, now living in Malibu, will have a juicy sequel ready for everyone to read down the road.