12 August 2013

Review (& Recipe): The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop & Cafe by Mary Simses

Iressistible Blueberry Bakeshop & Cafe by Mary SimsesSummertime 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.

Author Mary Simses's Blueberry Muffins

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
ISBN-13: 99780316225854
Source: Review (both print and audio) (see review policy)
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy).


rhapsodyinbooks 8/12/13, 7:42 AM  

Yes - Maine and blueberries - what's not to like?

bermudaonion 8/12/13, 8:03 AM  

Yes, this book is predictable but that didn't keep me from enjoying this book. I thought it was terrific. I want to try those muffins too!

Beth Hoffman 8/12/13, 10:54 AM  

The cover makes me want to head out to the farmers market right now!

Andi 8/12/13, 12:19 PM  

This one is on my "when I need a light book" list! It looks scrumptious.

Daryl 8/12/13, 3:10 PM  

sounds like a fun read .. just put down a Deaver book mid-read, i am so over his writing ... and i picked up and read the wonderful Night Circus ...

Heather 8/12/13, 4:10 PM  

Hmm...this sounds absolutely lovely. I think I'll see if the library has a copy right now!

Uniflame 8/12/13, 4:29 PM  

This book sounds like fun! :)

Leslie (Under My Apple Tree) 8/13/13, 1:07 PM  

This certainly does sound irresistible.

Laurie C 8/13/13, 6:04 PM  

I won an ARC of this awhile ago, but haven't gotten to it yet!

Alex 8/17/13, 8:45 AM  

I love the smell of blueberry muffins baking on a summer morning and then I love to eat them still warm. I don't have a favorite recipe yet, but this looks like a good one to try.

Christine 8/17/13, 2:22 PM  

Sounds like a sweet read and not just because of the blueberry recipes! ;)

Carole 8/17/13, 4:24 PM  

Good one - love the blueberry theme in the title!

caite 8/17/13, 10:41 PM  

Coast of Maine....enough said!

(Diane) bookchickdi 8/18/13, 11:21 AM  

This sounds like the perfect light summer read.

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