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by Susan Mallery
release date 3/29/11


After nearly a decade as a sous-chef in a trendy eatery, Jenna is desperate for a change. She’s supported her ex-husband’s dreams for so long that she can’t even remember her own. Until she sees a for-lease sign near her parents’ home and envisions her very own cooking store.

Her crash course in business is aided by a streetwise store manager and Jenna’s adoptive mother. But just as she’s gaining a foothold in her new life, in walks her birth parents—aging hippies on a quest to reconnect with their firstborn.

Now Jenna must figure out how to reconcile the free-spirited Serenity and Tom with her traditional parents, deal with her feelings for a new love interest and decide what to do about her ex’s latest outrageous request. In the end, Jenna will find that there is no perfect family, only the people we love….

This is a heart-warming story of finding oneself and along the way also discovering an extended family.

Jenna has a lot of self-doubt, mostly caused by an abusive ex-husband, but with the support of her family she starts taking chances and fulfilling her dreams.  She can’t do it alone so in walks Violet; the two quickly become strength for each other, not just in business but as close friends.  In fact there was a line in the book that I think is one of my favorites ever: “Violet had always meant to be perfect one day. But somewhere during her life journey, she’d made an imperfect turn and never recovered.”

I loved not only the friendship but also the relationship between both girls and Beth “mom” who is just about perfect.  You also have the whole other family that steps in when the birth parents show up.  I appreciated how Susan turned these two families into one big family unit.   Now don’t forget with all that is going on, new business, new family, new life, this is a romance book so we also have a new love interest and what a good one he is.

This book touches on so many things, a lot of which have touched me personally.  Through the characters Susan addresses subjects that aren’t always easy and she does an extremely good job at it.  The fear and damages of abuse, the strength of recovery, adoption, and illness, to just name a few.  In fact one scene brought back so many memories of my grandmother that I was a crying wreck.  Each topic though made this book into an extremely poignant, touching story.   Because of the topics discussed in the book some may struggle with it, all I can say is push through it all comes together perfectly in the end.


Grade A



  1. Lisa Hutson

    This book was already on my wish list. Is it just me, or do books seem to come in waves. I mean, there are always books I want. But it seems like last week, A LOT of books came out that I want! haha

  2. melanie - admin

    It has been crazy all the books that came out all of a sudden. I guess it is better than not having any come out at all, then what would we do with all our time and money.


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