Reviews for Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop & Cafe
Booklist Reviews 2013 June #1
Ellen Branford, type-A Manhattan attorney, is completely out of her element in Beacon, Maine. Her hotel has terrible cell reception; restaurant menus feature meatloaf, fried food, and clam chowder instead of the seared tuna and chicken breasts she's used to; and big-city anonymity is a completely unfamiliar concept. Although she's only supposed to be in Beacon long enough to hand-deliver a very private letter from her recently deceased grandmother, Ellen soon discovers a more complicated story behind her grandmother's seemingly simple small-town life. Completely transfixed by the new mystery, Ellen realizes that the tiny town of Beacon might have more to offer than she originally thought. This charming, tender first novel emphasizes the power of simple pleasures, comfort food, and undeniable chemistry. Fans of the leads in the movies The Proposal and Sweet Home Alabama will recognize a kindred spirit in high-strung, perfectionist Ellen, and the novel's small-town setting will appeal to loyal readers of Mary Kay Andrews, Elin Hilderbrand, and Jan Karon. Simses' story of emotional discoveries, shifting priorities, and new beginnings is a delightful beach read. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2013 May #2
A New York lawyer travels to Maine and encounters enough surprises to reconsider her whole life in this conventional romance. Ruth had a dying last wish: for her granddaughter Ellen to send a very special letter, an apology to Chet Cummings, the small-town boy whose heart she broke 60 years ago. Ellen decides to travel to Gran's hometown of Beacon, Maine, to hand-deliver the note, and so begins a week of transformation for a woman who already has it all. Ellen is so charmed by the scenery in Beacon that she walks out on a private dock to indulge her photography hobby. The dock breaks beneath her, and she is swept out in a riptide. Thankfully, someone saves her from drowning. On the beach, she is shocked and relieved. In the arms of handsome savior Roy, she gives him a big kiss. Embarrassed by the incident, she slinks back to the B&B. When her fiance calls, she doesn't tell him a thing. Why not? Hayden Croft is handsome, elegant and heir apparent to an American political dynasty. And she has the rock from Van Cleef & Arpels to prove it. But she can't stop thinking about Roy and that kiss. The next day, they have a few rowdy, infuriating and wonderful hours at the local bar. The day after, with a hangover and vague memories of Roy, Ellen sets upon her quest to find Chet. Along the way, she discovers paintings by her grandmother and learns she was so talented she was given an art scholarship. Revelations follow. When Hayden comes to Maine to rescue Ellen, she has to consider the kind of life she really wants to live. Simses' portrait of small-town Maine is enchanting, a place for a reader to linger; it's unfortunate the plot is so predictable. Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
Library Journal Express Reviews
Ellen and her grandmother were extremely close, so when Ruth makes a deathbed request that Ellen deliver one last letter, Ellen doesn't hesitate. Maybe she should have. The letter is meant for Ruth's first love, Chet Cummings, in the small Maine town of Beacon and shares her regrets over what might have been if she hadn't met and married another man. In the attempt to deliver the letter, Ellen discovers a side of her Gran, and of herself as well, she never suspected. Readers looking for something easy and light to pass a weekend on the beach will enjoy this debut novel. The characters are quickly recognizable for the qualities they are meant to represent, and they inhabit a quaint small town that is predictably chock-full of hidden depths and interesting quirks. Verdict Conflicts both complicated and simple are easily resolved, and the ending presents a pleasant message of consciously choosing to live life without regrets. [See Prepub Alert, 1/25/13.]--Stacey Hayman, Rocky River P.L., OH (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2013 June #2
In this bittersweet debut, Simses tells the story of Ellen Branford, who sets out to investigate her grandmother's mysterious past and ends up finding herself. As she lays dying, Ellen's grandmother extracts a promise from Ellen: that she will deliver a long-overdue apology letter to the man her grandmother jilted back home in Beacon, Maine, nearly six decades earlier. After leaving her fiancÚ in Manhattan, Ellen heads to Beacon and promptly falls through a rotted pier. A strong rip current catches her and she is saved from drowning by local boy Roy Cummings, who pulls her to safety and lands them both on the front page of the local paper, gaining Ellen much notoriety as "the Swimmer." Fighting her budding feelings for Roy, Ellen digs deeper into her grandmother's past, unearthing not only her grandmother's jilted hometown crush but also a whole host of new questions. The answers that come to light will drive Ellen to make a choice that will change the course of her life. Agent: Deneen Howell, Williams & Connolly. (July) [Page ]. Copyright 2013 PWxyz LLC