Monday, October 17, 2011

Review: The Love Goddess' Cooking School

The Love Goddess' Cooking School by Melissa Senate
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Pages: 326 (Paperback)
Source: Purchased based on Kelly's @ Bookend Diaries Review
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From GoodReads:
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

My Rating:

My Review:
1 cup of Julie & Julia (the movie)
1 tbsp. of The Violets of March
a pinch of The Peach Keeper

This relaxing feel-good read brings you a delicious story of friendship, healing, and love, while making you want to buy cooking lessons straight away.  Holly finds disappointment and loss after she is faced with a failed relationship and a devastating loss.  Wanting to preserve her grandmother's legacy, Holly is determined to keep her grandmother's business running.  The first step?  Giving cooking lessons to the remaining students enrolled her grandmother's school.  Ahhh...but Holly must learn how to cook first.

I really enjoyed this yummy read.  Holly was so endearing and I loved seeing her gain confidence and really find her place.  Not only did I love Holly, but I loved all her students and their stories and felt myself invested in them.  I've seen this characterized as a contemporary romance, but I really felt the romance took a backseat to the personal struggles of all of the characters, which I found refreshing.  The story-line involving the diary of Holly's grandmother was completely unnecessary to me.  While it didn't add anything to the story, it didn't take anything away either.  This well-developed story left me satisfied and inspired to try my hand at some Italian cooking.

If wishes were horses... I wish Ms. Senate would have added a teeny-tiny glossary to go along with the recipes that she added in the back of the book.  Some of the meals and sauces that were mentioned—okay all of them—were lost on me because I had no frame of reference.  I definitely had to Google Chicken Milanese.
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