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The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop & Cafe

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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 ...

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The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop & Cafe

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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.

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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: 7/1/2014
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 87,301
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 50 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(26)

4 Star

(10)

3 Star

(8)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(1)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 50 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2013

    A beautiful story of love lost and love found! Very believable c

    A beautiful story of love lost and love found! Very believable characters and Ellen's search into her grandmother's past kept me reading. I hope this novel is made into a movie!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2013

    Must read!

    Incredible!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 19, 2013

    A great first book.

    A great first book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2014

    I loved this book!  It made me laugh out loud and to me that's w

    I loved this book!  It made me laugh out loud and to me that's what makes a book great!  Loved the little town and you can almost feel yourself there!  Makes me want to our a blueberry farm and bake shop!  Can't wait to read her next novel.  One of those books that you'll remember as a good read!  

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 29, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I loved this book! It started out a little sad since Ellen¿s gra

    I loved this book! It started out a little sad since Ellen’s grandmother had recently died, but the story from then on was anything but sad. The trip her grandmother sent her on was full of ups and downs, laughs and surprises.




    The descriptions of the town and the people she met were wonderful. I could almost see the town and the ocean, and by the end of the book I felt as if I knew these people. I loved following Ellen and discovering bits about her grandmother and her past. I loved seeing her become a person she thought she’d never be and liking a town and enjoying it’s people that she never thought she’d like.




    I liked that in the end, she decided to be the person she wanted to be and not what her mother wanted her to be.




    If you’re looking for a light read, give this book a chance. It’s a fun read that will make you smile, and maybe even laugh here and there.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 16, 2013

    I really expected and wanted to like this book!  It was okay, bu

    I really expected and wanted to like this book!  It was okay, but not nearly as "action packed" or compelling as the descriptions, reviews and teases made it sound like it would be.  The idea of the story was good, but the linking of clues was terribly slow and the plot predictable and unbelievable.  I do think Ms. Simses has a nice writing style and gift for describing scenery and detail.  I will keep an open mind and hope her writing improves.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2013

    This novel was a great story about a family members past and a n

    This novel was a great story about a family members past and a new found love. The book was predictable, but it still grabbed your attention. It's a great first novel and I can't wait to read more by Mary Simses. If you like reading this book you would also like Nicholas Spark's Night In Rodanthe.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2013

    Anonymous

    Definitely not of the same calibur as the Guernsey Literary Society. OK read. Not a favorite.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 26, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    A great book. The story unfolds at the perfect pace. The charact

    A great book. The story unfolds at the perfect pace. The characters are well developed and likable. High praise for this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2014

    I LOVED this book!!! It was funny, sad, romantic and had such in

    I LOVED this book!!! It was funny, sad, romantic and had such interesting characters.  She is a great writer.  Great plot, with lots of surprises and emotions.  The author paints such detailed pictures that you feel like you're there, in Maine.

    Personally, I can't wait for Mary Simses to write another book :)

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2014

    Alex's Application

    I posted my bio but i wanted to apply as a waitress.as a kid,id make my parents food and all.im usually kinda chatty but almost always in a good mood.-alex

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2014

    Applicaton's

    Fill them out here!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2014

    Alina's Application

    [I honestly don't know what to put in this. Here goes.] <p>
    Hello. My name's Alina Starkov. I'm 17 years old, and am looking for a job. As a younger kid, I'd always play Restaurant with my siblings. And surprise surprise, I was always the happy waitress. I like being a waitress, don't get me wrong. In fact, that's why I'm here. xD <p>
    I think I'd be a good fit here because I'm quite the cheerful person. Very compatible, which makes a good waitress. If I had a set hobby, it'd be helping people and making them happy. I'm also very flexible and optimistic, I'll always try my best to help out. <p>
    I can work with any wages. Honestly, if I weren't . . . . Financially disabled, I'd work here for free. I love whimsical cafes, I love seeing people smile when they take a good sip of coffee, or take the first bite of a dessert I prepare. Speaking of which, I love making desserts, and I personally think I'm pretty good. <p>
    I hope you'll consider me for one of your employees. Thank you!! ~ Alina &#9788

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2014

    Katie

    Holds the little girl "she have a name?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2014

    Kym

    I can adopt the two boys. What are their names?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2014

    Melody

    I know he said i had to be aproved by u to be able to adopt kyle and if u do i will be entirely greatfull

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2014

    Madi

    Thx

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2014

    Rhelle

    "Sc.rew off"

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2014

    Ooh! Me likey likey!

    - Awesom Face 8D

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2014

    Land of the Spirits Chaphter 1 part 1. Part 2 in next res!

    I yawn and stretch, waves of my chocolate brown hair cascading down to my awesome PJ pants. I slide my rectangular-ish red glasses onto my freckled face. My sky blue eyes search the room and I realize Evelyn isn't in the bed across from me. She's been gone for a week and yet I still can't live without her. I get dressed in a red Tee with a silver tiger head on it, slip on some jeans and step into black Converse. Then, I grab a jean vest and slide it on, and adding the final touch, a key necklace with a changes-color-with-your-mood letter E next to it on the necklace. Then I run downstairs. There Dad sits, sipping coffee. "How's my birthday girl?" He asks me cheerily. "Great." I say, scooping myself a plate of scrambled eggs with bacon bits, kissing the top of his head and rushing outside to catch the bus. The bus ride goes pretty fast, just listening to music on my Ipod and singing along. The day passes quick too. I follow my usual 7th grade routine; I stat the day off with classes, chat with my friends at lunch, then go to more classes and wait for the bell to ring. *Brrringgg!* There it goes! Yes! The last day of scool is over! That means no school for three whole months! I start to walk off, but Mrs. Frato pulls me over. "See you next year!" She calls cheerily before letting me go.I hop on the school bus and start to walk down the aisle when suddenly a pink high-heeled foot sticks out and trips me. My glasses fly off, hitting the floor with a *thud!* right before I do. "Emma" I think, disgusted. The first thing I see as I stand up is Emma's sickly sweet smile as she asks if I'm OK. I shrug and slide my glasses on as a familiar voice hollers :"Over here, Eve!" I smile as I walk over to my best friend. She's a red-haired-olive-eyed-freckle-faced kind of girl in cowgirl boots, overalls and a red plaid shirt. You may call her a farmer girl, but to me she's just Ava. I plop down next to her. We talk until Stacy and Brianna, or B as we call her, anounce that they have a surprise. Stacy pulls a book out of her backpack. "Thank! You! So! Much!" I yell as I realize it's the third 'Land Of Stories' book. I hug them both, smelling B's grape scented purple hair and Stacy's blueberry hair dye she uses to turn the ends of her black hair blue. Their twin brown gazes are filled with happiness and they both smile so broad I feel like I'm staring at the sun. "Oh, that reminds me." Ava says, pulling a package out of her backpack. I open it and find an art kit. "Thank you!" I shout, throwing my arms around her. One by one, my friends trickle off the bus until it's just me and me and my 'Land Of Stories' book. The bus stops and the bus driver waves. "Bye Blue!" He calls. "Bye Rick!" I call back as the bus pulls away. I slowly walk home. When I get there, my dad is at the door. He welcomes me in. We're eating my favorite dinner of meatball soup when Aura, our husky pup races in, in pursuit of Josie, the scruffy black cat that my parents got on their anniversary. When I look at Josie's green glare it reminds me that our mom died before I even had my 1st birthday and then I break into tears. I force myself not to think about it. After dinner we open presents. I get a dragon model, a mood bracelet and a bunch of money. I'll send thank you cards in the morning. After about an hour of playing with my new model and watching tv I'm hungry for cake. My dad surprises me with a double layer cake. One layer is chocolate and the other is vanilla. I can't write more!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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