Summer by the Sea
MIRA Books, 2004
I needed a light romance book to read. I found it in Summer by the Sea and some yummy Itaian food as well. I should say it’s a description of yummy Italian food. The plot is fairly simple: boy and girl become good friends as children, fall in love as teenagers. Boy is from the wealthy summer families at the seashore. Girl’s father is the gardener. They are separated after high school. Boy goes to college and on to a career. Girl stays in town and turns the local pizza place into a thriving gourmet restaurant. Now the boy/man is back in town and shows up one busy night at her restaurant.
The plot may be simple but the story ‘fleshes out’ quite well. The first half of the book goes back and forth from present to past. Once it catches the reader up to when they are adults it continues on from there. Of course there are some conflicts and some secrets. The characters are likable, believable, not silly. I know they are all going to be happy in the end because that’s what a good romance story is all about.
A nice plus in this book is a fantastic collection of Italian recipes to go along with the main character’s love of good food. My favorite recipe is the one for Savory Frittata. It starts out like this:
Always use naturally nested eggs laid by uncaged chickens. The eggs taste better, and the chickens will thank you.
You know you’re going to get a good old world recipe after that. If you’re looking for a fun relaxing, low-stress read, this is a good one.