Thursday, October 28, 2010

Review - The Love Goddess' Cooking School by Melissa Senate

TITLE:    The Love Goddess' Cooking School
AUTHOR/EDITOR:    Melissa Senate
INFO:    Paperback, Fiction, 325 pages
PUBLISHED:    Gallery Books, 2010
ISBN#:   978-1-4391-0723-2
HOW'D I GET IT:   Received from Publisher for Review

Camilla's Cucinotta:   
Italian Cooking Classes
Fresh take-home pastas and sauces daily
Benvenuti (Welcome!)

Holly Maguire's grandmother was the Love Goddess of Blue Crab Island, Maine–a Milanese fortune teller who could predict the right man for you, and whose Italian cooking was rumored to save marriages. Holly has been waiting years for her unlikely fortune: her true love will like sa cordula, an unappetizing old-world delicacy. But Holly can't make a decent marinara sauce, let alone sa cordula. Maybe that's why the man she hopes to marry breaks her heart. So when Holly inherits Camilla's Cucinotta, she's determined to forget about fortunes and love and become an Italian cooking teacher worthy of her grandmother's legacy.

But Holly's four students are seeking much more than how to make Camilla's chicken alla Milanese. Simon, a single father, hopes to cook his way back into his daughter's heart. Juliet, Holly's childhood friend, hides a painful secret. Tamara, a serial dater, can't find the love she longs for. And twelve-year-old Mia thinks learning to cook will stop her dad from marrying his phony lasagna-queen girlfriend.

As the class gathers each week, adding Camilla's essential ingredients of wishes and memories into every pot and pan, unexpected friendships and romances are formed–and tested. Especially when Holly falls hard for Liam . . . and learns a thing or two about finding her own recipe for happiness.

MY TAKE:   This was a very enjoyable book from the very beginning.  I found myself caring about the characters and becoming invested in their stories. 

Holly garnered a lot of sympathy and empathy from me in both her heartbreak and the loss of her beloved grandmother.  I could feel her pain and also her hope for the future. 

It took me a bit longer to warm up to Liam due to the fact that he was dating a "bobblehead" as his daughter (and eventually Holly) called her.  But once he got with the program, you couldn't help root for him and his daughter Mia.  She was a nice surprise in this lovely story.

I was very pleased that the author included many of the recipes that she referred to during the story.  My mouth was watering and my stomach was grumbling at many points due to her delectable descriptions and precise instructions.  I was jealous of the students in the cooking classes!

Great plot, endearing characters, and some great new recipes I'm trying soon ~ although I guarantee sa cordula won't be one of them.  I highly recommend this book to anyone.  I also think it would make an excellent book club selection as it already has a group guide included.
MY RATING:    4/5

WHERE TO BUY IT:    Amazon, The Book Depository, IndieBound

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~~~~~ Disclaimer:  All opinions expressed on this blog are 100% my own.  I do not receive monetary compensation for my reviews but do utilize affiliate links.  I may receive books in  order to facilitate a review, but this does not guarantee a good review - only a completely honest one.  Each review post denotes how I obtained the book.


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