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Benny & Shrimp
Benny & Shrimp

The Book Resort, October 12, 2009

How much are you willing to sacrifice for love? What would you give up for happiness? Would you compromise -- meet half way for that one individual that stirs your soul? Caresses your spirit?

Allow me to introduce you to Benny & Shrimp. Benny's a Swedish farmer, a 30 year old country boy, w/ cows, calves & sheep. Shrimp ~ Desiree ~ is a widowed Swedish librarian, who happens to be a vegetarian.

Benny's searching for a farmer's wife & Shrimp wants someone cultured.

Enter a cemetery of all places.

Benny's grieving the devastating loss of his mother & Shrimp's mourning the painful loss of her husband.

So, how on earth did these two to get together??? One day she smiled @ him & he smiled back...

Told in alternating viewpoints w/ heartache & hilarity, Benny & Shrimp deliver their story from their own standpoint.

Mazetti brilliantly crafted the short chapters showcasing Benny & Shrimp's outlook.

Kudos to Mazetti for describing the same moment they remembered things but just like in "real" life it was somewhat different.

Mazetti's writing is extraordinary. Sarah translated Mazetti's Swedish prose to English phenomenally w/o losing any of the mettle or vibrancy of the genuine love, frustration, pride, fear & tenderness these two wounded spirits feel.

As Shrimp voices, "Love makes others into doves, gazelles, cats, peacocks, but I -- quivering, wet and transparent - am your jellyfish."

I couldn't put down this quirky novel & found myself wondering what was going to happen next to the charming Benny & delightful Shrimp.

The cliffhanger ending leaves me eager for more...

This is a heartwarming story that proves love is for everyone!
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Simmer Down (Gourmet Girl Mysteries) by Susan Conant
Simmer Down (Gourmet Girl Mysteries)

The Book Resort, October 12, 2009

How do you spell fun? S-i-m-m-e-r D-o-w-n! The 2nd installment in the delightful Gourmet Girl series is even zanier than the first. Conant~Park & Conant are more in sync & @ ease w/ their hilarious heroine Chloe. Let me tell you, friends, she is definitely full of energy. Spending time w/ Chloe is like hanging out w/ your bestie. I do my best not to sip anything while flipping the pages for fear of ruining the book... just a lil' warning ; ).

Simmer Down is as yummy as a brownie straight from the oven. It is a fast-paced read filled w/ hijinks. I just lose myself in the pages & consider the Gourmet Girl series one of my all time favorite comfort reads.

I am a moody reader & when I just can't find something to whet my appetite, I reach for a Gourmet Girl Mystery. I just adore Chloe.

Simmer Down is an animated adventure bubbling w/ humor, charm & straight out screwball comedy. You will bolt from your seat as soon as the last page is read to devour the next whimsical stew Chloe has gotten herself into.

Chloe is a well developed protagonist. Where this mother & daughter team shine is in creating engaging characters. Every character is entertaining, witty & just riotous. From the most charismatic cast member to the most unruly, these ladies keep you turning the pages.

What this duo does best is endear Chloe to the readers, foibles & all. Chloe is not your "cookie cutter" heroine, you know, all pulled together & just waiting for a body to "appear". No, she's authentic, appealing, intelligent, unassuming, self-conscious, whimsical, vacillating & exposed. She is me, she is you ~ she is every woman riding this wave we call life.

The writing is smooth, the witticism skillfully crafted & Josh... well decadent!

I think they are the perfect recipe like REESE'S PEANUT BUTTER CUPS!

When I first read Steamed, I thought Lindsay Lohan would make an excellent Chloe but unfortunately, she would be more of a hindrance & I want to see this series thrive on the screen.

Isla Fisher would make one fantastic Chloe on the big screen but if Lifetime or Hallmark did a TV verison, Amy Davidson has it hands down!
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Turn Up the Heat (Gourmet Girl Mysteries)
Turn Up the Heat (Gourmet Girl Mysteries)

The Book Resort, October 12, 2009

Turn Up the Heat is the 3rd adventure in the savory Gourmet Girl culinary mystery series by noted mother-daughter scribes, Jessica Conant-Park & Susan Conant.

Turn Up the Heat shines a light on the restaurant industry & what goes on behind the scenes in our neighborhood kitchens by showcasing the lush, elegant, Simmer.

Jessica & Susan do a steller job sketching restaurant life & this is the best installment yet.

Turn Up the Heat is on fire w/ juicy tidbits on what makes or breaks a restaurant. Yummy goodness.

The whimsical cast enriches the series & are in no way padding for Chloe.

Appaulse to the talented duo for illustrating just how essential the characters are to making the Gourmet Girl series meld.

Chloe is an engaging, fiery, irresistible & fun character. She is definitely one of my favorites.

Now as much as I adore Chloe, I also love reading about the other quirky players.

Adrianna is a sheer delight. I'd love to spend the day just hanging out w/ her. I love the warm bond Chloe & Adrianna share ~ Lucy & Ethel comes to mind, as does Grace & Karen. I look forward to an even bigger role as the series progresses because she is just too much fun.

Owen. Owen. Yes, he is definitely one capricious spirit. I must say, he keeps me on my toes.

Psst! Love the name "Daily Catch", guys.

I enjoy the vibrant atmosphere the Gourmet Girl series has going on. I always feel like I'm on vacation visiting friends in trendy Beantown.

Turn Up the Heat is expertly plotted & brimming w/ red herrings. Love it! I just love a good 'ole fashioned whodunit where everyone is a suspect & you haven't got a clue. Kudos, ladies for this absorbing tale.

Turn Up the Heat is wickedly ambrosial, you will not be disappointed.
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Lovestruck Summer by Melissa Walker
Lovestruck Summer

The Book Resort, October 12, 2009

Lovestruck Summer is one of my all time favorite books. Walker is a genius! This is the way romantic comedy is supposed to be written. Breezy, charming, fun, kicky & memorable.
I feel butterflies flitting in my stomach just thinking about this darling treasure.
Priscilla Quinn Parker ~ Quinn ~ is a fiery, saucy, indie music lovin' chick.

" I live my life in headphones. That way, I can control what I let in."

I just loved this book so much, I didn't want it to end. I was inhaling it until I was closing in on the end. I slowed my reading pace just to savor Walker's delicious nugget.
Walker captured the essence of Quinn & created an impressive spitfire. She is just fun!
I laughed, cried, fell in love & had a blast!

With an industry over saturated w/ paranormal this & paranormal that, Walker's Lovestruck Summer is a refreshing sparkling romantic getaway.

Walker is one gifted writer, she's able to create appealing, invigorating, whimsical three- dimensional characters who rocket off the page.

Quinn is simply remarkable, utterly misguided & thoroughly magnetizing. Quinn’s progression from a snotty show-off into a more unbiased young woman was skillfully devised.

"But really, it's the big picture that overwhelms me: Penny has gone Texas."

Penny aka "Party Penny" is more than Quinn's cousin or your typical sorority babe. She has her own depth, appeal & spunk! I am eager to read more about Penny & hope Walker considers revisiting this character again. *Hint* ; ).

Penny's dog, Miss Tiara is a riot!

" Oh, Miss. Tiara's a boy" whispers Penny, lowering the dog's ears. "He just likes to be in drag, and he prefers to be referred to as 'she'. There's a really cool cross-dresser named Leslie who walks around town, and Miss. Tiara has just taken to him as a role model."

Penny’s irritating frat-boy/wannabe-cowboy friend & next door neighbor, Russ (sigh) is the guy that no matter how hard Quinn tries she just can't seem to shake. Russ is the one who stimulates her senses, makes her question her beliefs & makes her feel. Russ is always calling Quinn "Priscilla" which steams her to no end. When he starts calling her "Cilla", I am in love ; 9! Let me just say, I so wanted to be Quinn ; )!

Here are a few quotes that made me feel those butterflies in my stomach go bananas:

" You know, when you smile I just want to kiss you," he says.
"I'm sorry I said that," he says, "about the kiss."

"Okay," I say, not sure how to respond.

"I meant it," he says softly. his face hovering just inches above mine. He pauses for a moment there and I stare at his big blue eyes.

Two beats later, he pulls back, sits up, and says, "But I'm sorry I said it."

Chrissy, Penny's friend & neighbor ~ Russ's roommate ~ is more than a buxom, dippy blonde. She definitely is the definition of "never judge a book by its cover".

Walker delivered a striking punch in this feel good read. Walker filled this 272 page light read w/ more substance than a 500 page tome. Brava, Walker!

There has been a bit of buzz on the cover. Some love the bubble gum cover others roll their eyes @ the cutesy presentation; the cover depicts summer romance in the HarperTeen "Beach Reads" category. I love it! I love the "beachy" look & the colors are darling! Afterall, it captures the essence of Austin's Barton Springs perfectly.

You really should grab a copy of Lovestruck Summer. Whenever you need a pick me up, escape or to just feel good inside, Walker's Lovestruck Summer is the perfect prescription.

Psst! If you usually rebuff romance, please give this book a chance to illustrate it is Walker's characters that make Lovestruck Summer radiate.
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City of Ashes (Mortal Instruments #02) by Cassandra Clare
City of Ashes (Mortal Instruments #02)

The Book Resort, September 29, 2009

City of Ashes is the 2nd installment in Cassandra Clare's enticing young adult Mortal Instruments trilogy.

City of Ashes picks up where City of Bones ends.

Warning: If you haven't already read City of Bones, I highly suggest reading it first, rather than starting with City of Ashes since it's not really a story that is considered a stand-alone.

I will do my best not to pepper this review w/ spoilers because I don't think it is fair to ruin your reading pleasure.

City of Ashes kicks off like the fireworks during a Macy's 4th of July celebration! Clare grabs hold of you & pulls you into the whirlwind supernatural adventure that is this astounding read.

Clare delivers City of Ashes in 3rd person but is mostly from the delightful & empowering Clary's perspective. Clare does a phenomenal job showcasing Clary's perplexity @ all that is going on around her Shadowhunter sphere.

Let me warn you, City of Ashes is an enthralling read & you will be hard pressed to put it down. Simply, Clare's Mortal Instruments Series reads like an epic flick ~ electrifying!

What I love about Clare's writing is the delectable vibrancy sprinkled through out this fetching novel. City of Bones is stuffed w/ explosive action, dripping w/ topnotch tension & juicy goodness. The world of the Shadowhunters is charged w/ titillating nuggets that is not just breathtaking but makes your head spin.

Clary's bff, Simon, definitely is one riveting member in this launching. He really did shatter the mold. Clare took the term "bring it" for the intriguing Simon & certainly did.

The brother & sister Shadowhunter team , Alec & Isabelle are utterly enthralling. I truly enjoy reading about them.

Magnus Bane is a mesmerizing player & one of my faves.

Now, I will address the pink elephant in the room by saying everything isn't always what it seems (thank you, Cassandra).

I have to be honest, the incestuous tones between Clary & Jace made my stomach roil & my skin crawl but things aren't always what they seem.

Hurry up & grab a copy of City of Ashes!
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