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The Love Goddess Cooking School    by Melissa Senate order for
Love Goddess Cooking School
by Melissa Senate
Order:  USA  Can
Simon & Schuster, 2010 (2010)
Softcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Joan Burton

At thirty years of age Holly Maguire is still looking for love. Her boyfriend John, a single father of one, has just informed Holly he is in love with someone else. Holly had felt him slipping away, and when she prepared sa cordula (an unappetizing delicacy made from lamb intestines) for him to eat, she knew he was not the one for her. He declared it disgusting. According to Holly's grandmother, if the man in your life ate it he was your true love. Now Holly leaves John and California behind and heads to Blue Crab Island, Maine to her beloved grandmother Camilla, where she has always felt safe and at home.

Camilla is known as the Love Goddess of Blue Crab Island. She is a Milanese fortune teller who has predicted the right man for many women, and her Italian cooking has been known to save a few marriages. Holly has returned to find her grandmother ill, and after a short two weeks together, Camilla passes away. Holly inherits Camilla's Cucinotta and is determined to forget about love and become an Italian cooking teacher worthy of her grandmother's memory. The only problem is that Holly cannot cook - but with Camilla's recipes, she feels her grandmother will be there to guide her.

Holly has four students in her first cooking class and each is hurting in their own way. Simon is a single father hoping to cook his way back into his daughter's heart. Tamara is a serial dater, always looking for the right one. Juliet, a childhood friend of Holly's, is hiding a painful secret. And twelve year old Mia thinks learning to cook will prevent her father, Liam, from marrying the blonde phony he is dating. As the cooking class meets every week, the students add essential ingredients of wishes and memories to Camilla's dishes and magical things begin to happen. Unexpected friendships are formed, love blooms, and Holly finds herself falling hard for Liam. When Holly learns women in the small town want her business to fail, she stands her ground and proves that she has earned her place on Blue Crab Island.

The Love Goddess Cooking School is an endearing story of family, friends, and learning to listen to your heart. Senate has the recipe for a good read.

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