Monday, May 18, 2015

Reservations for Two by Hillary Manton Lodge (Book Review)

*Disclosure of material connection- I received a copy of the book from the publisher via Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest thoughts. I was was not required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are 100% my own. 

About the book-

Food writer-turned-restaurateur Juliette D’Alisa has more than enough on her plate. While her trip to Provence might have unlocked new answers to her grandmother’s past, it’s also provided new complications in the form of Neil McLaren, the man she can’t give up. 
Juliette and Neil find romance simple as they travel through Provence and Tuscany together, but life back home presents a different set of challenges. Juliette has a restaurant to open, a mother combating serious illness, and a family legacy of secrets to untangle – how does Neil, living so far away in Memphis, fit into to her life? 
As she confronts an uncertain future, Juliette can’t help but wish that life could be as straightforward as her chocolate chip cookie recipe. Can her French grandmother’s letters from the 1940’s provide wisdom to guide her present? Or will every new insight create a fresh batch of mysteries?

My thoughts-

I did not realize that Reservations for Two was the second book in a series (Two Blue Doors). but overall it didn't make too big of a difference. I definitely want to go back and read the first book in the series, but not having previously read it, did not take away from my enjoyment of this book. I am drawn mostly to historical fiction, so on the rare occasion I am drawn to a contemporary book, I am always pleasantly surprised when it is also set in another era. There is just something cool about having a book that is kind of a two for one deal where you have something that is happening in the present and a story that ties in to it is presented from the past. In this case, it was letters from Juliette's grandmother during WWII Paris. I also think letter writing is a lost art form and wish people would get back to it, so I loved reading all of the elegantly written letters between Juliette's grandmother Marielle, her sister, and her love interest. The story of Juliette and Neil was less interesting to me, but I did enjoy the present day story of Juliette opening her restaurant. I love to read foodie themed books because they usually contain some recipes and Reservations for Two is no exception. There are some wonderful recipes sprinkled throughout the book. It ended on kind of a cliff hanger, so I am excited for and will be anxiously anticipated book 3!

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