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Dixieland Sushi    by Cara Lockwood order for
Dixieland Sushi
by Cara Lockwood
Order:  USA  Can
Downtown Press, 2005 (2005)

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* * *   Reviewed by Kim Atchue-Cusella

When Jen Nakamura Taylor learns that her beautiful cousin Lucy is going to marry Kevin Peterson, she is shocked (Jen had a fixation on him for years). Jen has grown up in a mixed heritage family that she doesn't embrace very well, so get togethers are always most interesting. Besides that, Jen is single and needs a date pronto for the wedding, so she won't have to listen to relatives squawking about her still being unattached.

Jen consults Nigel Riley, her best friend and co-worker at a popular television show in Chicago, about her plight. It is decided that they will go together. Though he does have a gorgeous live in girlfriend, she's okay with the idea of him being Jen's date to the wedding. Since Jen doesn't want to fly, they take the car for a ride that is both entertaining and disastrous. Jen has to deal with her assistant calling on her to field problems with the talent from her show, and also with her boss who has dangled the carrot of a better job in front of her, but threatened to take it away if her trip interferes too much. Not only does she have work problems, but there are also car problems that need to be fixed immediately. They stop at Graceland, and head to a karaoke bar. A few too many drinks are capped by a passionate encounter between Jen and Riley that just makes for more awkwardness. The duo finally get to the wedding after many mishaps, only to find that Kevin is not as Jen imagined for all these years.

Dixieland Sushi is an amusing story that will keep you turning pages, because it is so hard to put down. Jen and Riley are suited to each other and bring the story together with their charm. Flashbacks to the 1980s add a nostalgic twist to the tale that will make readers of that generation nod in agreement at some of Jen's memories. Cara Lockwood's writing style draws readers in right away, and keeps them locked into a story rich in humor and romance.

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