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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 walk 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.
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|Listening Length||10 hours and 29 minutes|
|Narrator||Teri Clark Linden|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||March 31, 2011|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #55,496 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#2,244 in Women's Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
#4,373 in Contemporary Romance (Audible Books & Originals)
#8,282 in Contemporary Women Fiction
Top reviews from the United States
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Jenna's story begins first, so I assumed the book was about her and her journey home and, more importantly, her journey to regain her self-esteem after a failed marriage. She is a chef who opens a cooking store in Georgetown, Texas, where her parents live and where she grew up.
Next comes Violet Green's story, her life as full of conflict as her name. This character is strong and so are her struggles. She fights hard to overcome a past that is almost unspeakable. I found myself cheering her on, hoping she would make it, but fearing the worst.
But the author didn't stop with two stories. The return of Jenna's birth mother, Serenity Johnson, and the way Beth Stevens, the mother who raised Jenna, handles it is an interesting story in itself.
As a Christian novelist, I would have liked to see the women look to God for help, but that's just me. Other than a few "Thank Gods" and such, the only other reference to God was in the lower case sense as in "he was supposed to be a god in bed."
I've talked to some Georgetown, Texas friends about the setting and we've had a few laughs about it. The funniest scene was when Ellington, Jenna's boyfriend, suggests walking from the store, supposedly in downtown Georgetown (Old Town), to Fish City Grill, supposedly around the corner. In reality, Fish City Grill is in the Wolf Ranch Shopping Center, across the Interstate about a mile and a half away.
However, most readers will not even know about such things. It is an excellent book with characters that quickly come alive and you will find yourself wanting them to find happiness. You'll also think about food as you read. Luckily, there are a few recipes at the end of the book, with a promise for more when you go to the author's website.
It's hard to summarize the plot of this book because there were many things going on at the same time (in a good way) but in a nutshell, Jenna is a woman who is recently divorced from a pretty emotionally abusive man. An ex-chef, she has returned to her hometown where her adoptive parents live and has opened a cooking store. After some initial bumps and with the help of her assistant, Violet, the store begins to thrive. Jenna starts to become more comfortable with her living situation until her life is, again, turned upside down when her birth parents make an appearance and aggressively pursue getting to know her. While this is happening, we also get to know Violet, a beautiful and intelligent young woman who is ashamed of her shady past and has serious trust issues with men.
This book had it all - romance, friendship, family issues, humor, depth, etc. and I seriously loved it. I really felt like I got to know all of the characters and not just Jenna and Violet. I very much enjoyed the storyline between Jenna and her adoptive mom, Beth. The love between the two of them was apparent but the mixed emotions felt by Beth when Jenna began to bond with her birth mother felt very real. And I also loved the instant brother/sister bond between Jenna and Dragon. All of the characters were flawed in their own way but incredibly self-aware.
Top reviews from other countries
So zieht sie zurück zu ihren Eltern und versucht, ihr Leben wieder in Griff zu bekommen, in dem sie ein Kochgeschäft eröffnet. Dabei lernt sie Violet kennen, die ihr eine wunderbare Stütze wird und eine zarte Freundschaft entwickelt sich, woraus beide Frauen profitieren.
Plötzlich tauchen ihre "echten" Eltern auf, denn Jenna ist als Kind adopiert worden.. und nun muss sie sich auch damit klar kommen und entdecken, wo sie ihre Wurzeln hat.. und was für sie Familie ist.. und klar: verlieben tut sie sich auch.
Diesmal steht jedoch nicht die Liebe im Vordergrund.. also nicht die Liebe zwischen zwei Menschen.. sondern die Liebe zu der eigenen Familie.. zu dem Platz, wo man zu Hause ist und die Erkenntnis, dass Familie ein sehr weitläufiger Begriff ist und man selbst entscheidet, was dazu gehört und was nicht.
Jenna erlebt eine Berg- und Talfahrt ihrer Gefühle.. ihr Leben könnte chaotischer nicht sein.. und doch ist es genau das, was ihr wieder Lebensmut und Kraft.
Ein Buch von S. Mallery ohne viele wilde Sexszenen ;-) aber mit vielen leisen Tönen... es bringt zum Schmunzeln und zum Nachdenken... und ein wenig zum Weinen...
Ich würde es sofort nochmal lesen und kann es nur wärmstens empfehlen!!!!!