Archive for the ‘Romance’ Category

Review of The Simplicity of Cider, by Amy E. Reichert

Monday, August 21st, 2017

The Simplicity of Cider

by Amy E. Reichert

Gallery Books, 2017. 309 pages.
Starred Review

Here’s a nice romance for adults, with interesting story, setting, and characters to go along with the romance.

Sanna Lund has inherited a gift for making cider – she sees the juices of their family’s different apple varieties in different colors. She can mix them by color and know how the finished product will taste. They’ve owned the orchard for generations, but now it’s down to her and her father. They’re going to try to sell Sanna’s cider in larger batches.

But they hit financial snags – and then Sanna’s father gets injured. They have to hire help even in the off-season, but that still may not be enough to pay bills.

The help they hire is Isaac and his 10-year-old son Sebastian (Bass). Isaac is trying to give Bass one last summer to be a kid before he tells him the bad news about Bass’s mother. Sanna gets off to a prickly start with Bass, but Isaac may be exactly what their orchard needs. Meanwhile, Sanna’s brother is urging them to sell to a developer and someone’s harming the heirloom trees that Sanna loves.

Now, the evil developer plot line sometimes veered toward melodrama, but mostly things stayed interesting and realistic. I liked that Sanna is 6 feet 3 inches and as distinctive as that implies. I had to mentally adjust to her point of view in several scenes! All the characters are richly drawn.

The author blurb says she “likes to write stories that end well with characters you’d invite to dinner.” That sums up her books rather well – except that I would be sure her characters were the ones cooking the dinner! This is a thoroughly enjoyable story, and I feel like I have indeed had dinner in the friendly company of these characters.

SimonandSchuster.com
amyereichert.com

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Disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate, and will earn a small percentage if you order a book on Amazon after clicking through from my site.

Source: This review is based on a library book from Fairfax County Public Library.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but I maintain my website and blogs on my own time. The views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

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Review of When Dimple Met Rishi, by Sandhya Menon

Thursday, August 10th, 2017

When Dimple Met Rishi

by Sandhya Menon

Simon Pulse, 2017. 380 pages.

When Dimple Met Rishi is an adorable teen romance. Dimple Shah has a passion for coding and web development. She has gotten accepted to Stanford and is super excited about attending – even though she’s sure about her parents that “the only reason they had agreed was because they were secretly hoping she’d meet the I.I.H. [Ideal Indian Husband] of her – no their — dreams at the prestigious school.”

For the summer, Dimple wants nothing more than to go to Insomnia Con, where participants “come up with a concept for the most groundbreaking app they could conceive during their month and a half at the SFSU campus.” It costs a thousand dollars, so she’s a little suspicious when her parents readily agree.

Meanwhile, Rishi Patel is looking at a picture of Dimple, a girl his parents have picked out for him to get to know. She is the daughter of their long-time friends who are from the same part of Mumbai as they are. And to get to know her, he can attend a summer program in San Francisco….

Rishi is very traditional and appreciates his parent’s loving concern for him. Naturally, he assumes Dimple’s parents have filled her in, too, and that she’s amenable to these plans.

So when Rishi sees Dimple at Starbucks as soon as he gets on campus, he tries to joke about their meeting:

“Hello, future wife,” he said, his voice bubbling with glee. “I can’t wait to get started on the rest of our lives!”

Dimple stared at him for the longest minute. The only word her brain was capable of producing, in various tonal permutations, was: What? What?

Dimple didn’t know what to think. Serial killer? Loony bin escapee? Strangely congenial mugger? Nothing made sense. So she did the only thing she could think to do in the moment – she flung her iced coffee at him and ran the other way.

Well, despite that inauspicious beginning, what follows is a sweet romance. I would have liked Dimple to resist a little longer, but the way things unfold is quite plausible and a lot of fun.

Now, I do have some skepticism regarding Insomnia Con. But I haven’t done any research – perhaps there does exist a web development program like that where a lot rides on a talent show (really?) in the middle of the program. Perhaps working in pairs never runs into trouble of two people both passionate about their app idea. Some of the subplots worked out a little too neatly as well.

Now, in case my readers need a warning, yes, they have sex – that’s pretty standard in teen romance any more, even when both participants are from families where they know their parents don’t want that for them. The book doesn’t dwell on it – or on any consequences of how it affects their relationship. (They give lip service to thinking about it before they do. And they think about it maybe a day.)

But make no mistake about it – I thoroughly enjoyed this book – enough that it kept me reading all through the night.

This is a sweet story about a girl with a passion and what happens when she finds herself falling in love, against all her plans. Combined with a story about a boy whose well-laid plans get shaken up when confronted with an actual person. Very fun.

sandhyamenon.com
simonandschuster.com/teen

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Source: This review is based on a library book from Fairfax County Public Library.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but I maintain my website and blogs on my own time. The views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

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Review of Duels & Deception, by Cindy Anstey

Saturday, April 8th, 2017

Duels and Deception

by Cindy Astey

Swoon Reads (Feiwel and Friends), April 2017. 345 pages.
Starred Review

Oh, these Cindy Astey Regency romances are so much fun! In this one, we meet Lydia Whitfield, a friend of our heroine from Love, Lies and Spies, but you don’t have to read the first book to enjoy this one.

Lydia thinks of herself as not romantic at all. Before he died, her papa picked out the man she should marry, Lord Aldershot, so their estates could be joined. Lydia wants to draw up a contract about the arrangements between them – and gets kidnapped! Her carriage is diverted, while the handsome young law clerk is in it. He is shortly thrown out, but after Lydia is imprisoned in an abandoned barn, Mr. Newton comes to rescue her.

Together they seek to investigate who was behind the nefarious plot. But whoever it was wants to destroy Lydia’s reputation with knowledge that she was out all night in the company of a young man. Unless she will give in to blackmail.

Meanwhile, Lydia’s drunken uncle is guardian of her estate together with a lawyer who’s showing signs of senility. And Mr. Newton’s friend got himself embroiled in a duel.

Lydia’s a delightful heroine and it’s lovely to watch her figure out she might think romance is a good thing, after all.

Here’s how the book begins. You get a nice taste of Lydia’s character. It also leads up to the carriage accident, caused by her uncle, which is where she first meets Mr. Newton.

Had Miss Lydia Whitfield of Roseberry Hall been of a skittish nature, the sound of a rapidly approaching carriage would have caused considerable anxiety. As it was, the driver behind her did nothing to stay her steps. Besides, she recognized the bells on Esme’s harness and Turnip’s nicker of protest – poor creature hated to canter. The vehicle could be none other than the family landau.

However, as the nickering changed from protest to panic, Lydia was certain the carriage was now descending the steep hill too quickly. The road from Spelding was rocky and rutted, especially in the spring, and it made for a rough ride. Most drivers took it at a walk.

But not this driver.

This book was simply tremendous fun. If you like Jane Austen at all, this is more fast-paced, but still gives you a lovely taste of that world, with remarkable characters you’ll enjoy spending time with.

swoonreads.com

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Disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate, and will earn a small percentage if you order a book on Amazon after clicking through from my site.

Source: This review is based on an Advance Reader Copy I got at ALA Midwinter Meeting.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but I maintain my website and blogs on my own time. The views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

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Review of Love, Lies and Spies, by Cindy Anstey

Friday, September 16th, 2016

love_lies_and_spies_largeLove, Lies and Spies

by Cindy Anstey

Swoon Reads (Feiwel and Friends), New York, 2016. 344 pages.
Starred Review

This book had me from the first paragraph, which is:

“Oh my, this is embarrassing,” Miss Juliana Telford said aloud. There was no reason to keep her thoughts to herself, as she was alone, completely alone. In fact, that was half of the problem. The other half was, of course, that she was hanging off the side of a cliff with the inability to climb either up or down and in dire need of rescue.

A page later, Juliana does hear someone approaching.

Please, she prayed, let it be a farmer or a tradesman, someone not of the gentry. No one who would feel obligated to report back to Grays Hill Park. No gentlemen, please.

“Hello?” she called out. Juliana craned her neck upward, trying to see beyond the roots and accumulated thatch at the cliff’s edge.

A head appeared. A rather handsome head. He had dark, almost black, hair and clear blue eyes and, if one were to notice such things at a time like this, a friendly, lopsided smile.

“Need some assistance?” the head asked with a hint of sarcasm and the tone of a . . .

“Are you a gentleman?” Juliana inquired politely.

The head looked startled, frowned slightly, and then raised an eyebrow before answering. “Yes, indeed I am –”

“Please, I do not wish to be rescued by a gentleman. Could you find a farmer or a shopkeep – anyone not of the gentry – and then do me the great favor of forgetting you saw me?”

“I beg your pardon?”

“I do not want to be rude, but this is a most embarrassing predicament –”

“I would probably use the word dangerous instead.”

“Yes, well, you would, being a man. But I, on the other hand, being a young woman doing her best not to call attention to herself and bring shame upon her family, would call it otherwise.”

Well, it soon becomes apparent (as the roots give way) that Juliana must settle for the help of this gentleman and his friend. However, it so happens that the gentlemen also don’t want their presence on the cliff generally known, so all parties agree to pretend to be unacquainted, should they encounter one another again.

You will not be surprised that they do encounter one another again.

Juliana is an 18-year-old young lady getting ready for her first Season in London with her cousin. But Juliana is determined that she is not looking for a husband. No, her time in London is a cover for an opportunity to find a publisher for the research she and her father have done on lady beetles. Juliana has no intention of getting married and forsaking her father to do his research without her.

Meanwhile, someone is passing messages to Napoleon, and the handsome gentleman of the cliffside is on their trail. That trail increasingly brings him in proximity with Juliana, since the noble family she’s staying with has some not very noble members.

This book is tremendous fun from start to finish. Juliana is capable, independent, and intelligent – yet somehow manages to get into multiple situations where she needs to be rescued. Those situations ended up being so delightful, I couldn’t hold them against her.

This is a Regency romance with a little spying thrown in. The clause on the cover puts it well: “In which plans for a season without romance are unapologetically foiled.”

swoonreads.com

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Disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate, and will earn a small percentage if you order a book on Amazon after clicking through from my site.

Source: This review is based on a library book from Fairfax County Public Library.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but I maintain my website and blogs on my own time. The views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

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Review of Winter, by Marissa Meyer

Saturday, April 16th, 2016

winter_largeWinter

The Lunar Chronicles, Book Four

by Marissa Meyer

Feiwel and Friends, 2015. 827 pages.

Ah! The Lunar Chronicles come to a satisfying end in this book. If you have read this far, I don’t have to say anything to get you to read the final volume, so let me make some comments about the series in general.

What I loved most was the fairy tale parallels. Cinder paralleled “Cinderella,” Scarlet paralleled “Little Red Riding Hood,” Cress paralleled “Rapunzel,” and this final book, Winter, parallels “Snow White.” However, all the characters from each of the previous books are still in the story – and by the final book, elements from Snow White’s story seemed forced. (Whereas in Cinder they arrived in natural and clever ways.) In particular, the part about the poisoned apple seemed totally unnecessary in the overall scheme, and I didn’t really believe that a disease would progress the way this one was portrayed.

But I do like the character of Winter, and even her status as Queen Levana’s stepdaughter worked well. I do like that each of the main characters is very different from the others.

I still didn’t really believe in the wolf-human hybrids, which has been a problem for me since Scarlet. I didn’t particularly like the additional information we got about that in this book – didn’t make it easier to believe.

At first when I opened this book, I thought, okay, we’ve got four couples. Two have matched up with the one they love but have some obstacles between them. Two are in love but haven’t admitted it to each other yet. And I knew all four would get together by the end of the book, and I thought that was a bit much. But I have to hand it to Marissa Meyers – she kept each romance distinct and interesting. All four plotlines are definitely not simple!

In fact, if anything the plot was a bit too convoluted with all those characters to juggle. But that did keep things from being at all boring or predictable and kept you turning pages. She is one of those authors who gives you a lot of interior monologue – which means it takes a little longer for actions to happen. This book is more than 800 pages long, since that’s what it took to tie everything together. In some spots, we were following three different sets of characters in different places, so that slowed things down, too.

However, all that said – in this book pulling all the threads together, Marissa Meyer accomplishes a well-earned Happily Ever After. Though I was able to put down the book and go to sleep, I was never even slightly tempted to set it aside altogether, and I began reading the same day my hold arrived. We’ve got life and death situations and the fate of earth at stake. We’ve got an intrepid band of rebels who go deep into the tyrant’s territory. Can they win the day?

marissameyer.com
thelunarchronicles.com
macteenbooks.com

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Disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate, and will earn a small percentage if you order a book on Amazon after clicking through from my site.

Source: This review is based on a library book from Fairfax County Public Library.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but I maintain my website and blogs on my own time. The views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

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Review of Another Day, by David Levithan

Saturday, January 30th, 2016

another_day_largeAnother Day

by David Levithan

Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2015. 330 pages.

Another Day is the same story told in Every Day, but this time from the perspective of the girl Rhiannon.

Every Day is an amazing book about someone who calls himself “A” who wakes up in a different body every day of his life. He gets each body for one day and only one day. The person whose body and life he inhabits is the same age as he is, and this has happened to him since he was a baby.

Things change when he inhabits the body of Rhiannon’s boyfriend Justin, has a wonderful day with her, and falls in love.

Rhiannon knows that Justin is different that day, more considerate, kinder, and enjoying her more.

Things go back to normal the next day. But then Rhiannon meets a girl visiting her school with whom she hits it off quickly. Then there’s a new boy at a party. He emails her and wants to meet. Someone totally different shows up and tells her a strange story.

What disappointed me about this book is that it’s exactly the same story and ends at the same place. I was hoping we’d find out more about A and the choices he makes, or maybe about the life Rhiannon lives after A.

It’s been awhile since I read Every Day, and it’s a truly great book, but I came away feeling like you really only need to read one of the two books — and Every Day is the more insightful one, showing you what it’s like to live inside the skins of many different teens.

Sure, it’s fun to think what it would be like to try to have a relationship with someone like A who is never in the same body two days in a row. But this book made me feel worse about how she treated Justin, because I did see a little more why she was dating him in the first place.

He still brilliantly shows you what Rhiannon was missing with Justin by describing what happens when A is in Justin’s body:

He sees me crying and doesn’t make fun of it. He doesn’t get defensive, asking what he did this time. He doesn’t tell me he warned me. He doesn’t tell me to stop. No, he wraps his arms around me and holds me and takes these things that are only words and makes them into something more than words. Comfort. He gives me something I can actually feel — his presence, his hold.

The whole idea behind these books is brilliant. The execution is outstanding. My only complaint with Another Day is that I already heard this story, with a little more punch.

davidlevithan.com
randomhouse.com/teens

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Source: This review is based on my own copy, signed by the author, which I got at a YALSA Symposium.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but I maintain my website and blogs on my own time. The views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

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Review of Emma, by Alexander McCall Smith

Tuesday, January 26th, 2016

emma_largeEmma

A Modern Retelling

by Alexander McCall Smith

Pantheon Books, New York, 2015. 361 pages.

Oh Emma, Emma – I was reminded by reading this book that she’s really an annoying character.

But I’m a huge Jane Austen fan, and I’ve been eagerly following the new modernized Jane Austen retellings as they’ve come out, and on top of that I love Alexander McCall Smith’s writings, so of course I wanted to read this one.

But I almost stopped reading in the middle. Emma’s snobbishness and superiority was a little more tolerable in the original, somehow embedded in the English class system. For a modern young woman to assume she has the right to manipulate people because she can? Not so endearing.

It was somewhat endearing to occasionally notice Emma sounding like the ladies from the No. 1 Detective Agency or philosophizing like Isabella Dalhousie, but the characters put into the modern day weren’t as likable to me.

Also interesting was that the modern author took more time with the backstory than Jane Austen did, and spent about half the book before the classic novel even got started. Then some of the crucial scenes in the classic were skimmed over rather lightly.

I have to say, though, that I did enjoy a small twist at the end, as the tables get turned a bit on Emma. It’s also a much nicer ending for her father than the original.

I don’t think of my problems with the novel as Alexander McCall Smith’s fault. Emma really is an annoying character, an interfering, manipulative busybody who thinks herself better than everybody else. Somehow I bought her view when it was dressed up in a historic period in England’s history. Weren’t the gentry actually better than everyone else? But modern day Emma I wanted to slap.

Still, I did like the way this Emma thought over her shortcomings at the end. I felt like she gave them more weight and took things more to heart than classic Emma did.

But most of the retellings have made me want to revisit Jane Austen’s classics. This one made me realize that next time I see a reworking of Emma, I’ll be much happier giving it a miss.

alexandermccallsmith.com
theaustenproject.com
pantheonbooks.com

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Source: This review is based on a library book from Fairfax County Public Library.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but I maintain my website and blogs on my own time. The views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

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Review of Newt’s Emerald, by Garth Nix

Saturday, December 26th, 2015

newts_emerald_largeNewt’s Emerald

Magic, Maids, and Masquerades

by Garth Nix

Katherine Tegen Books (HarperCollins), 2015. 291 pages.
Starred Review

Garth Nix, author of Sabriel and other fantastic books, has written a Regency romance! With magic! (The romance is in a world with magic. I don’t think he actually wrote it with magic.)

Lady Truthful Newington is eighteen years old and soon to be launched into fashionable society in London. But on her birthday, her father gets out the famous Newington Emeralds, which she will inherit when she turns twenty-five, and a storm comes up and they are stolen.

Her father lapses into illness after the loss, blaming her cousins, the Newington-Lacys. Truthful knows they wouldn’t have done such a thing, but she can hardly investigate herself as a young female. However, when you have an aunt skilled with glamours, it’s possible to disguise yourself as a young male relative, who would of course be authorized to search for the emeralds.

Along the way in the search, she encounters a young man also on the trail of the thief. Of course there’s a problem that she’s not who she appears to be.

This book doesn’t have a complicated plot or romance. The magic is mostly light-hearted and about the appearances of things. But it’s definitely a fun story. If you like Regency romances (and who doesn’t enjoy one now and then?), the magic in this one adds some extra spice.

Here’s Truthful worrying about how she’ll do in London:

In London, Truthful felt sure she would be considered plain, particularly as her sorcerous talents did not include any particular skill with the glamours that would enhance her charms. Truthful had the small weather magic that ran in her family; she could raise a gentle breeze, or soothe a drizzle. In addition to this, horses and other animals liked her and would do her bidding. But she had none of the greater arts, and little formal training.

Truthful’s time in London ends up being much more interesting than merely balls, including peril on land and sea. But you can’t have a Regency Romance without balls, and this book is no exception.

garthnix.com
epicreads.com

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Source: This review is based on a library book from Fairfax County Public Library.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but I maintain my website and blogs on my own time. The views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

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Review of The Wrath and the Dawn, by Renee Ahdieh

Friday, November 27th, 2015

wrath_and_the_dawn_largeThe Wrath and the Dawn

by Renee Ahdieh

G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 2015. 404 pages.

The Wrath and the Dawn is a reimagining of the story of The Arabian Nights, and I’ll warn the reader right up front that it’s only the first volume of that story.

Shahrzad has volunteered to marry the caliph who keeps killing off his wives. She plans to avenge the death of her best friend, Shiva. She begins by telling him a story, a story that she will continue the next night. She is planning to find his weakness and kill him, but things don’t turn out as they expect. And the caliph is not the monster she had thought him. And her childhood sweetheart, planning to rescue her, as well as her father, accessing magic, all do not understand the changes that happen in her.

Let me say first that there are some holes in this story. Given the reason we find out for the caliph’s murders, I have a hard time believing that Shahrzad would really have lasted past even the first night. And then the way magic works is very vague and feelings-oriented (which I never particularly like in a fantasy book). On top of that, we’re told that Shazi is determined and does what she sets out to do – It seems to me she would have had a plan for killing the caliph and would have put it in place the first night, rather than hoping to arouse his curiosity.

But that said, this is an absorbing and fascinating love story. I’m not sure that I *quite* believe, once I think about it, that they would fall in love with each other. But while I was reading it, I didn’t think about it and was wrapped up in the story and longing for them to really see each other.

So, yes, there are some hanging plot threads. But the book is worth it and the story is lovely and I will definitely want to read the next installment. Perhaps not with the urgency that would keep my bride alive if I were an evil murdering caliph, but I’ll definitely be reading the next book soon after it’s published.

reneeahdieh.com
penguin.com/teen/

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Source: This review is based on a library book from Fairfax County Public Library.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but I maintain my website and blogs on my own time. The views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

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Review of The Coincidence of Coconut Cake, by Amy E. Reichert

Saturday, October 31st, 2015

coincidence_of_coconut_cake_largeThe Coincidence of Coconut Cake

by Amy E. Reichert

Gallery Books (Simon & Schuster), New York, 2015. 318 pages.
Starred Review

The Coincidence of Coconut Cake was one of those books I enjoyed so much, once I started I didn’t stop reading until I’d finished – even though most of the night had passed. (Oops!)

Lou Johnson is a chef in Milwaukee with her own restaurant, which is just beginning to turn a profit. Her fiancé, a lawyer, doesn’t really understand her passion for her restaurant. He talks about a time when she “won’t have” to work any more.

And then, when Lou brings over a coconut cake from her grandmother’s recipe to surprise her fiancé on his birthday morning – she discovers a young intern at his house, with him in his boxers. She drops the cake on the intern’s underthings.

Lou insists that she can work anyway. But her mind is not on her work, and everyone else in the restaurant is worried about her. Most unfortunately, by coincidence, that’s the very night that the new food critic in town, A. W. Wodyski, has chosen to review her restaurant. His reviews are very popular, but he hasn’t written a positive review yet. His review of Lou’s restaurant is his most scathing so far.

The critic’s real name is Al, and he’s newly arrived from London, ready to move out of Milwaukee after he’s built up a following. He ran into Lou the day he saw her walking with a divine-smelling coconut cake, and then he sees her again at a pub the day his review is published. Lou is in a terrible mood and quite drunk, knowing this review will destroy her fledgling restaurant.

At the pub, Al shows he’s new in town and not too impressed with Milwaukee. Lou, born and raised there, offers to show him the sights. They begin spending Mondays together, Lou giving a friendly tour of the city. Their friendship grows as they discover more and more in common. Naturally, as you’d expect in a romance, Al discovers the secret between them first – that she’s the one whose restaurant his review destroyed. But he’s already in love. How can he keep Lou from finding out?

What I loved about this book? The two valued each other so much. This wasn’t a romance you had to be told was happening or a romance based on good looks. You could watch it happening, and you could see two foodies bonding over common interests. Al is such a contrast with her ex-boyfriend, who didn’t understand what motivated Lou. But Al and Lou see each other for who they are and value that – well, except for the big secret they don’t realize is between them at first.

Here’s a section I liked from when they’re first getting to know one another. They’ve gone to a Chinese exhibition with a variety of sayings painted on the wall. Lou is looking at a quotation about Delight, and turns around and bumps into Al.

Al had hoped Lou would bump into him. He stood behind her while she stared at the wall for just that reason. Intrigued by her interest, he started to ponder the quotes on the wall, too. Delight – he couldn’t remember the last time he felt delight. Maybe before Eton, when he and his parents took road trips through the English countryside, stopping in little village pubs for lunches, traipsing over hilltops to see what was on the other side, and sharing a hearty meal at the end of the day. Wait – that wasn’t quite true. During his last outing with Lou, eating a buttery, cheesy burger and tasting fried cheese curds for the first time, with the sun shining and the world humming, he had felt delight. There had been no cynicism, no pretension, just pure enjoyment. Perhaps it was more about surroundings than the emperor had envisioned.

This book is the story of a relationship built on delight. And it is lovely. On top of that, it made me want to visit Milwaukee, something I’ve never wanted to do before. There’s a strong sense of place in this novel, as well as wonderful characters and a genuinely delightful romance, which faces obstacles but comes through.

This was the kind of book which I finish and think, That’s what I want. I want a relationship where I’m valued as much as Al and Lou value each other. I’d rather stay single than settle for anything less. It was a joy to read about such a couple.

amyereichert.com
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