Review: Alaskan Holiday by Debbie Macomber

Loved this nice, sweet Christmas story about Josie the chef from Seattle. Josie finds fun, adventure, and romantic interest Palmer while she’s spending some time in Alaska. Though she’s scheduled to go home to Seattle, the fates intervene – and Josie is held in Alaska for longer than she planned.

Palmer and Josie were lovely characters and it was fun to see their relationship develop. I also really liked seeing what Josie was going to cook up next – I guess you could say that I have that in common with cranky but lovable Jack!

Solid, uplifting Christmastime read.

-calliope

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Review: The Recipe Box by Viola Shipman

This is a charming story about Samantha moving back home to small town Michigan from her temporary pastry chef stint in NYC. Though her big city boss was a total jerk, Samantha did leave behind good friends and big dreams.

She didn’t realize that her dreams could be fulfilled in Michigan if she’d only give it a chance. Back at her family’s orchard, Samantha spent time with her mom and grandmother, finding out little by little just how special the family recipe box was. I loved how her two worlds collided via the recipe box, giving Samantha the opportunity of a lifetime – if she decided to take it.

I loved the orchard setting, the convivial relationships among the women, persistent Angelo, and that awesome recipe box. I couldn’t quite identify with Samantha’s personal struggles, and the story was fairly predictable, but in the end I was satisfied — much like I am when hearing the expected crunch of an apple. All good stuff.

-calliope

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Review: Crazy Days of Christmas by Jill Barry

Food and romance go together like toast and jam as far as I’m concerned; that is, perfectly! In Crazy Days of Christmas, Lucy finds herself suddenly short one chef at the restaurant she owns. Chef James happens to be looking for a short term assignment, and is glad to fill in at The Town Mouse. They both get more than they bargained for: a micromanaging restauranteur and a menu revolutionary who step on each other’s toes and push back more than expected! 
I mostly enjoyed all the restaurant talk and menu changes in this light romance. I have fun reading about food. Jill Barry also did a nice job maintaining the tension between Lucy and James without it feeling forced. I was charmed by the development of their relationship, even when Lucy and James weren’t even sure where it was going! The only negative for me was that this food-focused romance had such a Christmassy title… a little bit misleading. 

Not to fear, there was a happily ever after for Lucy AND her restaurant, and that makes this reader pretty happy. 

-calliope 

Buy CRAZY DAYS OF CHRISTMAS (it was FREE when I last checked!)