is my time for lighter reading. There's something about relaxing on the
deck that calls for escape. On the other hand, I need a little
something extra in my books to keep me on my toes.
If you're like me, then Mary Simses's The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop & Cafe is just the ticket for your August entertainment.
Ellen Branford is a high-powered partner in a Manhattan law firm engaged to a handsome guy from an old-money, political family. Their wedding is the talk of the town, and Ellen should be floating in happiness. Unfortunately, her grandmother's recent death has put a damper on her plans.
Her grandmother's dying wish was for Ellen to deliver a letter to an old friend from Beacon, Maine. Instead of mailing it, Ellen decides to make the drive, wishing to see her grandmother's home town and hoping to learn something about her family's roots. What she discovers changes her life.
Although The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop & Cafe is a little predictable, it's a delightful story. Ellen gets herself into trouble right from the start and can't quite figure out what to do about the handsome man who comes to her rescue. There are some expected big-city-girl-in-small-town moments and many mouth-watering descriptions of food. There's also a bit of competition between two cute guys.
As I said, I need a little something more than romance in my books, and Simses delivers on a few fronts. I loved her characterizations and the fact that Ellen's transformation had some subsistence and didn't come easily. I found her descriptions of coastal Maine to be realistic and very tantalizing; in fact, I'm already planning our next trip. Finally, there was an underlying tension between city and town, which gave me something to think about . . . and to laugh about.
To help celebrate last month's release of The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop & Cafe, Mary Simses has kindly shared Ellen's grandmother's famous blueberry muffin recipe. I can't wait to get baking! Click on the image to enlarge it or save it to print out.
I listened to the unabridged audiobook edition (Hachette Audio; 10 hr, 15 min) read by Erin Bennett, whose characterizations and regional accents helped bring the book alive. Her expressive reading draws us into the story, making it easy for us to connect with Ellen and the people of Beacon, Maine.
The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop & Cafe
Hachette Book Group / Little, Brown, 2013
Source: Review (both print and audio) (see review policy)
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