The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop & Cafe

The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop & Cafe

4.1 49
by Mary Simses
     
 

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A high-powered Manhattan attorney finds love, purpose, and the promise of a simpler life in her grandmother's hometown.

Ellen Branford is going to fulfill her grandmother's dying wish—to find the hometown boy she once loved, and give him her last letter. Ellen leaves Manhattan and her Kennedy-esque fiance for Beacon, Maine. What should be a one-day trip is

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Overview

A high-powered Manhattan attorney finds love, purpose, and the promise of a simpler life in her grandmother's hometown.

Ellen Branford is going to fulfill her grandmother's dying wish—to find the hometown boy she once loved, and give him her last letter. Ellen leaves Manhattan and her Kennedy-esque fiance for Beacon, Maine. What should be a one-day trip is quickly complicated when she almost drowns in the chilly bay and is saved by a local carpenter. The rescue turns Ellen into something of a local celebrity, which may or may not help her unravel the past her grandmother labored to keep hidden. As she learns about her grandmother and herself, it becomes clear that a 24-hour visit to Beacon may never be enough. THE IRRESISTIBLE BLUEBERRY BAKESHOP & CAFE is a warm and delicious debut about the power of a simpler life.

Editorial Reviews

Booklist
"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."
James Patterson
"If you liked The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, or the Nicholas Sparks novels, you will devour THE IRRESISTIBLE BLUEBERRY BAKESHOP & CAFE. Mary Simses can write evocative detail that puts you right in the scene, with dialogue that always rings true."
Good Housekeeping
"Basic ingredients, well mixed-and good to the last crumb."
John Valeri
"Like the tastiest piece of pie, THE IRRESISTIBLE BLUEBERRY BAKESHOP & CAFE is mostly sweet with a touch of tartness and has a richly constructed crust to contain all its ingredients.... Simses'...depictions of the charming qualities of small town life, the healing abilities of comfort food, and the redemptive power of love will win the hearts of readers, as will the subtle sprinkling of humor and intrigue. Fans of Nicholas Sparks, or even the romantic offerings of James Patterson, will approve."
Beverly Meyer
"With details that dovetail nicely into the plot and an assortment of quirky characters, THE IRRESISTIBLE BLUEBERRY BAKESHOP & CAFE mixes up an authentic Maine setting with an entertaining story."
Shelf Awareness for Readers
"Delightful.... Simses has crafted a wholesome love story, infused with the pull-and-tug of romance and elements of mystery and enhanced by humble, low-key themes and conflicts."
From the Publisher
"If you liked The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, or the Nicholas Sparks novels, you will devour THE IRRESISTIBLE BLUEBERRY BAKESHOP & CAFE. Mary Simses can write evocative detail that puts you right in the scene, with dialogue that always rings true.—James Patterson"

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."—Booklist"

Basic ingredients, well mixed-and good to the last crumb."—Good Housekeeping"

Delightful.... Simses has crafted a wholesome love story, infused with the pull-and-tug of romance and elements of mystery and enhanced by humble, low-key themes and conflicts."—Shelf Awareness for Readers"

Like the tastiest piece of pie, THE IRRESISTIBLE BLUEBERRY BAKESHOP & CAFE is mostly sweet with a touch of tartness and has a richly constructed crust to contain all its ingredients.... Simses'...depictions of the charming qualities of small town life, the healing abilities of comfort food, and the redemptive power of love will win the hearts of readers, as will the subtle sprinkling of humor and intrigue. Fans of Nicholas Sparks, or even the romantic offerings of James Patterson, will approve."—John Valeri, Examiner.com"

With details that dovetail nicely into the plot and an assortment of quirky characters, THE IRRESISTIBLE BLUEBERRY BAKESHOP & CAFE mixes up an authentic Maine setting with an entertaining story."—Beverly Meyer, The Free Lance-Star

Publishers Weekly
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 fiancé 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)
Library Journal
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.

Kirkus Reviews
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.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316225878
Publisher:
Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:
07/01/2014
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
94,563
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)

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What People are saying about this

James Patterson
If you liked The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, or the Nicholas Sparks novels, you will devour THE IRRESISTIBLE BLUEBERRY BAKESHOP & CAFE. Mary Simses can write evocative detail that puts you right in the scene; dialogue that always rings true.

Meet the Author

Mary Simses grew up in Connecticut and spent much of her life in the Northeast, where she attended college and law school. As a child she loved to write stories, design covers for them, and staple them into books. Later, careers in journalism and law took priority and creative writing slipped away, until she enrolled in an evening fiction writing class at a local university and was hooked again. Her short stories have appeared in a number of literary journals. Mary now lives in South Florida with her husband/law partner and their daughter.

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