Tuesday, November 09, 2010

The Love Goddess' Cooking School by Melissa Senate

I fell in love with the cover of Melissa Senate's novel, The Love Goddess' Cooking School. Then, I fell in love with the book.  Senate's latest book combines so many of my favorite elements, cooking, romance, and diary entries.  It's going on my list of favorite books of 2010.

Holly Maguire fled to her grandmother's house on Blue Crab Island, Maine, with a broken heart.  Holly seemed to spend most of her life searching for her next job, or following her latest relationship, since she didn't really know what she wanted to do or where she belonged.  But, when her beloved grandmother, Camilla Constantina, died two weeks after Holly returned, she inherited the house and business, Camilla's Cucinotta, a tiny takeout pasta shop and a popular Italian cooking class.  She didn't inherit her grandmother's fortune-telling ability, but, if she worked on it hard enough, maybe she could develop her own skills in cooking Italian food.  And, maybe she can find the man Camilla predicted would be Holly's "great love."

Holly is determined to save her grandmother's legacy.  Pouring over her grandmother's hand-written recipes, she practices until she can face her first class of four students.  Twelve-year-old Mia is desperate to learn to cook Italian food, to stop her father, Liam,  from marrying "That totally fake pink bubblehead."  Holly's childhood friend, Juliet, sought refuge on the island after a terrible loss.  There's Simon, a suddenly single father desperate to save his relationship with his young daughter, and Tamara, whose younger sister is getting married, leaving Tamara still searching for love.  This small group joins Holly in mixing ingredients with wishes and memories, the final ingredients in each recipe for food, and life.

Holly Maguire finds more than friends and her own future on Blue Crab Island.  Her grandmother's diaries provide stories of her past, stories that link the three generations of women in Holly's family, allowing her to discover so much about her mother, and why she hated the island that Holly and Camilla loved.

But, it's food, the recipes and stories of Camilla Constantina that link all of the people in the book, friends, enemies, and lovers.  Melissa Senate includes just enough recipes to lead us into temptation.  And, once readers fall into temptation, it's easy to fall in love with Holly Maguire and The Love Goddess' Cooking School.

Melissa Senate's website is http://www.melissasenate.com/.

The Love Goddess' Cooking School by Melissa Senate.  Gallery Books, ©2010. ISBN 9781439107232 (paperback), 352p.

*****
FTC Full Disclosure - The publicist sent me a copy of this book for possible review.

18 comments:

Kay said...

I'm looking forward to reading this one soon. Seems like a cozy time of year to read about cooking classes. :-)

Lesa said...

You're right, Kay! I hadn't thought about that, but it is a good time of year for that.

Janet Rudolph said...

Thanks for the heads up on this book. Can't wait to read it. I go in search of it today. Sounds like it has everything I'd like.

Lesa said...

You're welcome, Janet. I think you will like it. I'm of the school that sometimes you can accurately judge a book by its cover, and this cover captured me.

bermudaonion said...

It's nice to see that the book lives up to that gorgeous cover!

Rebecca Rasmussen said...

I am so glad to hear that you loved this book. Melissa is such a sweetheart! And my copy just arrived today, and the cover truly is beautiful!

--Rebecca

Beth Hoffman said...

I'm so glad you loved it, Lesa! I did too. Excellent review.

Melissa Senate said...

Lesa, I'm so touched, thank you!! I've been watching for your review, and what an amazing surprise this was to see how much you enjoyed it. Wow.

And thanks for all these kind comments...makes an author's day!

Tina said...

Thanks for the great review. I'm so excited because I just won this from Free Book Friday...can't wait for it to arrive. I just finished "The School of Essential Ingredients" and I'm primed for cooking stories...especially since it's set here in Maine.

Lesa said...

Kathy,

Definitely a book that lives up to the terrific cover. I really enjoyed it.

Lesa said...

Rebecca,

You have some terrific reading ahead of you. I don't know Melissa at all, but I loved her book.

Lesa said...

Another book we both enjoyed, Beth, along with Saving CeeCee Honeycutt. (smile)

Lesa said...

Melissa,

I'm glad it helped to make a good day. I've had that book sitting in a pile beside me, and the only reason I didn't get to it sooner was I had a few I had to finish for the brown bag luncheon tomorrow. But, I'd been eyeing it, thinking I was going to enjoy it. I was right. Thank you for a terrific book.

Lesa said...

Tina,

The School of Essential Ingredients! Another special cooking book. You'll like this one just as well. Promise!

Kruzon said...

I've just received my copy and will be in the know soon. Thank you.

Lesa said...

You're welcome, Kruzon. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Kris said...

oh..I love the cover art! That alone had my interest but you wrote such a great review that now I really want to read it!

Lesa said...

Kris,

That cover art was what caught my eye in the first place. Isn't it great? I hope you have a chance to read the book soon.