"The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." — Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Love Goddess' Cooking School by Melissa Senate

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Summary: A young woman inherits her grandmother's house, kitchen and business.

I absolutely loved Melissa Senate's previous book The Secret of Joy, and while this book was good, it wasn't great. It seemed a bit cliched and predictable and I much prefer Erica Bauermeister's The School of Essential Ingredients.

Holly moves back to Blue Crab Cove, Maine, after breaking up with yet another man who doesn't seem that interested in marrying or being with Holly. Holly has always been the chaser, not the pursued when it comes to love. Two weeks later, her grandmother dies, leaving Holly the house and the business. (Wills never go through probate in novel life apparently.) She's also focused on keeping her grandmother's cooking school running even though Holly is a timid chef. Most of her grandmother's recipe include some emotional ingredient - like a true wish or a sad thought.

Holly's first class consists of her old high school friend grieving the death of her daughter, a single woman looking for love, a divorced dad with a tween daughter, and  teenage girl hoping to become a better cook so her father won't have to remarry. Can you guess where this is going? Yes, you can.

The divorced dad and the single woman hook up, and pretty much get forgotten. The grieving mother won't or can't accept comfort from anybody, including her husband or Holly. And yes, Holly does have a massive crush on and eventually date the father of her teenaged student. Holly is also asked to prepare a tasting menu for a wedding that her grandmother was supposed to cater back when she was alive. The love story here felt so predictable that I was disappointed in the book, precisely because I knew exactly what was going to happen. Then the beautiful ex-wife shows up and wants to be a part of her ex-husband's and daughter's lives again.

Ultimately a forgettable book from an author I previously raved about. And when I found a glaring spelling error in the book, my heart sank a little.

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