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.
Whitney owns a restaurant up north and has an inheritance to deal with down south. She has enough on her hands without the addition of old letters from her grandmother’s family, a sleazy real estate developer trying to cash in on her building, a possible romance with a conflict of interest, and an Outer Banks legend being brought to light.
I liked the mystery, the history, and the family dynamics. Adding a love interest and townie in trouble added authenticity to Whitney’s life. The constant reference to her restaurant struggles took me out of the main story and kind of ruined it for me. I was happy just being in North Carolina, with the shop downstairs and the old coot upstairs, the developer coming around each week, and the visits to the museum.
Too many points of conflict blurred the focus of The Sea Keeper’s Daughter. But when I concentrated on the events in OBX, I was rewarded with a beautiful tale that illustrated lots of love coming full circle.
I’ve got to stop reading new books in a series when I haven’t read the previous books in that series. I’m just so confused by the number of characters and I can’t keep the relationships straight! At the River’s Edge is the seventh book in the Chesapeake Diaries series. It’s a fun read, but I would’ve enjoyed the subplots more had I been familiar with all the secondary characters.
The main plot is terrific! Sophie leaves her old life in Ohio, moves south, joins the family law firm, and buys an old restaurant. In the process she meets handsome Jason, a new local landscaper who has become close friends with Sophie’s grandfather.
I had fun reading about the challenges of Sophie’s and Jason’s respective businesses, the small-town friendships they forged, and the community spirit they made themselves part of. Their romance seemed secondary to their positions in the community, but that was okay. I love a good, sweet, hometown story, and the Sophie-Jason romance was icing on the cake.
Because I like an easy read, I enjoyed the positive, predictable plot direction. Sophie and Jason practicing forgiveness and humility (after their selfishness got in the way) brought a tear to my eye. The happy ending… Well… *sigh* … I love a happy ending.