June 7, 2016
Kensington (Lyrical Shine)
Blurb: It’s a long way from Seattle to Otter Bite, Alaska. But if one woman can survive the trip-and the locals-she just might find what her heart has been searching for.
Her mango chutney is exquisite; her blueberry sauce is to die for. But right now, Chef de Cuisine Daisy Moon is a woman without a kitchen-and without a fiancé.
Unceremoniously dumped from her place of business and her relationship, Daisy sells her belongings, plus a few of her ex’s, and packs her bags. Maybe smashing all the china in her former restaurant was a bad move. Stripped of her Golden Spoon for “un-chef-like” conduct, she is now blacklisted all over Seattle. Her sole job offer is from Wild Man Lodge…in Otter Bite, Alaska. Too bad Daisy can’t even get out of Dodge without incident.
By the time she boards a ship for Alaska, she’s got a trail of new troubles behind her, and suddenly Otter Bite is sounding pretty good. But the vessel turns into her own personal Titanic when a series of close encounters confirms her terrible taste in men-including one very good looking bad luck charm named Max Kendall. She vows to dedicate the rest of her days to chowders and brulée. Yet even Alaska isn’t far enough away to shake the memories of the sexy shipmate who rocked her cabin-and her world. Thank goodness she’s done with surprises-but they may not be done with her…
SASCHA DARLINGTON’S REVIEW
Just recently I was commiserating with another reader over the fact that romantic comedy author Jennifer Crusie hadn’t penned a book in years and how unfortunately there were very few writers who were capable of writing intelligent, quirky romantic comedies.
Neither Daisy nor Max are characters who easily back down or admit they’re wrong so that makes verbal jousting inevitable; the resulting dialogue is witty, and kind of reminded me of old Katharine Hepburn comedies in which the dialogue takes on a rapid fire presentation.
It seemed in every way, except for a required HEA, Spooning Daisy defied convention. (Thank you!) Maybe it’s because the characters are slightly older than the 20-somethings I’ve been reading about lately, but Daisy and Max seemed more like real people who knew life existed outside of “finding a mate.” There were no angst moments although there was considerable self-examining. Both have depth, as do all of the other characters in the novel. And, speaking of the other characters, Rita, who works at Wild Man Lodge, and Charity, who is Daisy’s best friend, are great supporting characters. They frequently play devil’s advocate and provide the punchlines.
There are many, many funny moments. One which had me laughing out loud was a scene in which Daisy is walking back to her cabin at night and mishears “Yogi go” as yogigo and thinks it might be a Japanese person calling for help. The internal dialogue and musings and then the resulting action are just too funny.
Now, I know that this book won’t appeal to all romance readers because I know that there are readers who love the angsty, pity parties that I loathe, but if you’re a reader who doesn’t read romances because most of them are kind of superficial and not directed toward smart women, you might want to give this one a go, especially if you like to laugh, don’t mind a touch of slapstick, and like a world where people might just discuss Roman Emperors. I could definitely go on and on, but won’t. I’m thinking that I will make sure I keep tabs on this author and may even do the inconceivable and read this book again.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
PS: Right now you can buy the Kindle version on sale for $.99 at Amazon.
rating: (5 out of 5 butterflies)
“I had apple strudel. I never have apple strudel. It’s not my usual.”
“You came here to tell me you had apple strudel?”
“The thing is…I liked it. For a change, I mean. Once. Not every day, of course.”
“The truth is…” He stepped toward her. “The truth is…I feel bad about giving you such a hard time at breakfast.”
“Ohhhh. This is an apology.”
“No, absolutely not.” Max retracted the step he’d just taken. “This is absolutely NOT an apology.”
Daisy huffed. Normally, she’d take great satisfaction in Max’s guilt and take equal pleasure in the banter that would surely follow. However, she was a woman on a mission, and she didn’t have the time, not with Otter Bite hanging by a manila envelope. “Fine. Thank you for coming here NOT to apologize and for that apple strudel thing. And–” She momentarily softened. “–the money. But I just don’t have the time for whatever this is.”
Once again he stepped toward her. “You’re making this extremely difficult.”
“This? This what? What am I making–”
“This.” The word melted into her mouth.
The two hundreds floated from her hand to the floor. Then, her arms wrapped Max’s neck, his body pressed hers, and Daisy was lost in a kiss she never expected to own.
Kate Spade blue ‘forget-me-not’ watch
A mini daisy pendant/necklace
Marc Jacobs “Daisy” fragrance spray
Author Bio:Golden Heart nominee Maggie McConnell spent her childhood overseas as the daughter of US diplomats. Attending college in Illinois, she earned a BA in Art and an MBA while working at the local humane shelter. At 26, she packed her dog and cat into a Ford truck and drove the Alcan Highway to Alaska, where she spent 23 years exploring The Last Frontier in a single-engine Cessna. A vegan and animal rights advocate, Maggie provides a sanctuary on her Arizona ranch for all creatures great and small, but her immediate family includes dog Molly, cat Sara, horses Quinn and Teena, and an ever-growing dynasty of chipmunks. Every year, like the Gray Whale, Maggie returns to Alaska.