Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Love Goddess' Cooking School Review and GIVEAWAY

 Camilla’s Cucinotta: Italian Cooking Classes. Fresh take-home pastas & sauces dailyBenvenuti! (Welcome!)

Holly Maguire’s grandmother Camilla was the Love Goddess of Blue Crab Island, Maine—a Milanese fortune-teller who could predict the right man for you, and whose Italian cooking was rumored to save marriages. Holly has been waiting years for her unlikely fortune: her true love will like sa cordula, an unappetizing old-world delicacy. But Holly can’t make a decent marinara sauce, let alone sa cordula. Maybe that’s why the man she hopes to marry breaks her heart. So when Holly inherits Camilla’s Cucinotta, she’s determined to forget about fortunes and love and become an Italian cooking teacher worthy of her grandmother’s legacy.

But Holly’s four students are seeking much more than how to make Camilla’s chicken alla Milanese. Simon, a single father, hopes to cook his way back into his daughter’s heart. Juliet, Holly’s childhood friend, hides a painful secret. Tamara, a serial dater, can’t find the love she longs for. And twelve-year-old Mia thinks learning to cook will stop her dad, Liam, from marrying his phony lasagna-queen girlfriend. As the class gathers each week, adding Camilla’s essential ingredients of wishes and memories in every pot and pan, unexpected friendships and romances are formed—and tested. Especially when Holly falls hard for Liam . . . and learns a thing or two about finding her own recipe for happiness.

My Take: This is a pleasant read; like chicken soup.  Holly, the protagonist, is a likeable woman who steps into her grandmother's big shoes to try to save her grandmother's legacy.  She enters a small community complete with cliques, secrets, and histories.  So Holly attempts to take over her grandmother's kitchen, selling Italian sauces and cooking classes.  Of course, Holly can't cook.

And so Holly spends all of her time teaching herself to cook through her grandmother's old recipes that always include a special ingredient; a secret wish, a happy or sad memory, a truth.  As her small class begins their culinary lessons, new friendships are forged and Holly discovers there is much of her grandmother in, after all.  And not just the cooking part.

I liked the story.  I enjoyed the characters, the plot, and writing style.  It's a solid read and I came away feeling uplifted and relaxed.  Like chicken soup or after a nice walk in the woods.

3 and half

Thanks to Mary at Simon and Schuster, I have 2 copies up for grabs. Entry is easy as always.

Fill out the form HERE.
U.S. Only
No P.O. Boxes
Leave me a comment letting me know your comfort food.  I need ideas.


Pamela Keener said...

Anything with mashed potatoes and gravy is my comfort food.
Love & Hugs,

Jen said...

Sounds like a good read! Lemon chicken (chicken piccata) is one of my comfort favorite.

And mashed potatoes are always good, especially if they've got lots of butter.

Heather said...

Chocolate... I am so lame that way!

Leslie (Under My Apple Tree) said...

This may seem strange but a big bowl of cashews always makes me happy.

debbie said...

I think my comfort food is a good roasted chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, and apple pie with vanilla ice cream.

CountessLaurie said...

hearts?? i have been away so long you change your whole rating system? I LOVE IT!!

My comfort IS food so I have no favorite. But right this very second I am craving a plate of nachos.

Cathy W said...

Loaded baked potato.

Ruthie said...

Anything chocolate!

Maureen said...

roast chicken with stuffing and biscuits

Tore923 said...

My comfort food is chocolate. Tore923@aol.com

Benita said...

Carbohydrate, of course, A piping hot bowl of risotto or pasta with fresh tomato sauce and freshly grated parmiggiano reggiano.



My comfort foods are fried chicken,
mashed potatoes, corn and gravy. My Mother made the best but she is gone now. Cornbread, I forgot the cornbread.


Megan said...

When I was pregnant with my eldest son, I CRAVED Taco Bell like a fiend. Now whenever I need comfort I eat tacos. Silly, but true.

Dawn M. said...

Cream of Chicken or Cream of Mushroom soup with lots and lots of crackers. And homemade Chicken & Dumplings. Yum! :0)

April Yedinak said...

home made mac and cheese with diced tomatos, yummy!!!

Sophie said...

I always go for the sea salt brownies!

Oh, I added this giveaway to my book giveaway linky for my own readers to find!


Unknown said...

Mac & cheese!

Mavis Davis said...

Favorite comfort food: Butternut Squash ravioli with brown butter and fried sage.

Laura H. said...

I love a blogger who interjects humor in their blogs! :-)

My favorite comfort food is Thanksgiving dinner!

LeAnn said...

When I am stressed with a lot of paperwork to do, my comfort food is a great big bowl of popcorn with some butter added.



Jennifer said...

I am a huge soup person. Anything hot, especially on those cold winter days, is my comfort!

Great giveaway! Thanks for the chance to win!


minishoes1 said...

meatloaf with mash potatoes and gravy-for dessert choc chip cheesecake. yum!

Anonymous said...

I comfort myself with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
susanbillietaylor [at] gmail [dot] com

mrsshukra said...

Shepherd's pie is always comforting!

Nancye said...

Anything chocolate!

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

sadie crandle said...

ossobucco if it has to be italian.
shepherd's pie if not.
roast lamb if we're being irish.
scrambled eggs if we're french.

and i was only teasing in the contest ... you don't really scare me, but hey, you gave me the option and i couldn't resist!!

Anonymous said...

I have lots of comfort foods -- one of them is chocolate covered cashews :) *Thanks* for the giveaway!