Reservations For Two
Reservations For Two: A Novel of Fresh Flavors and New Horizons by Hillary Manton Lodge is the much-awaited second book in her Two Blue Doors series. I read book one, A Table By The Window: A Novel of Family Secrets and Heirloom Recipes, back when it first came out, and have been eagerly anticipated the release of book two. I was so impressed by her first book, which ended on a complete cliffhanger, that I just couldn't wait to get my hands on this book. The book's description reads:
"A culinary concoction of taking chances and finding love in the most delectable places
Food writer-turned-restaurateur Juliette D’Alisa has more than enough on her plate. While her trip to Provence might have unlocked new answers to her grandmother’s past, it’s also provided new complications in the form of Neil McLaren, the man she can’t give up.
Juliette and Neil find romance simple as they travel through Provence and Tuscany together, but life back home presents a different set of challenges. Juliette has a restaurant to open, a mother combating serious illness, and a family legacy of secrets to untangle – how does Neil, living so far away in Memphis, fit into to her life?
As she confronts an uncertain future, Juliette can’t help but wish that life could be as straightforward as her chocolate chip cookie recipe. Can her French grandmother’s letters from the 1940’s provide wisdom to guide her present? Or will every new insight create a fresh batch of mysteries?"
This book picks up right where A Table By The Window left off, continuing the story seamlessly. It's like Hillary wrote one huge book and then cut it into three parts (this series is slated to be a trilogy). It follows the same pattern as the first book, each chapter beginning with a food-related quote, with delicious recipes sprinkled throughout. I was so thrilled to pick back up with Juliette and Neil's romance, not to mention all the other characters to see where their lives were heading. I couldn't wait to discover Juliette's grandmother's secrets and loved watching Juliette and Neil uncover them, layer by layer. The cast of characters in this series is so rich and layered. The recipes sound amazing and I can't wait to try them out. I loved living in the world of the Two Blue Doors, immersing myself in the characters, food, sights and sounds of historical cities such as Provence and Tuscany, and traveling from the 1940s and back to the present seamlessly through Juliette's grandmother's letters. This book is a foodie's dream. The cover is absolutely stunning and gorgeous as well - I like it much better than the cover of the first book. I am in love with Hillary Manton Lodge's new series, and can't wait for the conclusion in the last book of the trilogy (next spring, we have to wait a whole year - argh!), as book two also leaves off on a cliffhanger like book one did. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves food, romance, French and Italian cuisine and culture, and mystery.
I received a copy of this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.