Saturday, November 27, 2010

Review: The Love Goddess' Cooking School by Melissa Senate

First line: According to Holly Maguire's late grandmother, revered on Blue Crab Island, Maine for her fortune-telling as much as her cooking, the great love of Holly's life would be one of the few people on earth to like sa cordula, an Italian delicacy.

From the back cover: Holly Maguire's grandmother Camilla 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, Liam, from marrying his phony lasagna-queen girlfriend. As the class gathers each week, adding Camilla's essential ingredients of wishes and memories in 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 thoughts: This was a quick, fun, charming novel filled with old-world superstition. It's a delightful story of a gal with a broken heart trying to find her place in the world. Coming home to Maine and her grandmother, she hopes she can get a fresh perspective on life. Unfortunately her grandmother passes soon after Holly's return and she is left with Camilla's cooking school, recipe book and a feeling of total helplessness - cooking has never been her thing. Camilla's essential ingredients are wishes and memories and it's when Holly begins choosing which wishes and memories to add to her recipes, that she discovers what she wants out of life. I loved how Camilla's diaries helped complete the story - those were quite possibly my favorite part of the story. This was the first book I have read by Melissa Senate, although I did see the made-for-tv movie of See Jane Date (no idea it was based on a book!). I will now be looking into her previous novels as well as keeping an eye out for future releases.

(I received this book from Gallery Books to review.)


  1. I loved this one- I'm glad that you enjoyed it too!

  2. I've been curious about this one. I love books that have food! Sounds interesting. Thanks for the review!


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