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Yummy Reading

Readers' Cafe

The Cafe by the Sea
The Islanders
The Lager Queen of Minnesota
Natalie Tan's Book of Luck and Fortune
The Optimist's Guide to Letting Go
The Recipe Box
Recipe for Persuasion
Simmer Down
The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany
A Sweet Mess
A Taste of Sage
The Wedding Thief
The Cafe by the Sea / Jenny Colgan

A London girl-about-town returns to her family's farm on a small Scottish island following her mother's death. Her father and her four brothers remain, and it's up to them to run the farm. But as she soon discovers, they aren't quite up to the task, and need all the help they can get.

The Islanders / Meg Mitchell Moore

A fateful summer on Block Island unites three strangers in unexpepected ways; come for the emotional intrigue, stay for the food-blogging and whoppie pies. (Library Journal)

The Lager Queen of Minnesota / J. Ryan Stradal

The Lager Queen of Minnesota serves up a cast of lovable, quintessentially Midwestern characters eager to make their mark in a world that's often stacked against them. In this deeply affecting, humorous, emotional family saga, resolution can take generations, but when it finally comes, we're surprised, moved, and delighted.

Natalie Tan's Book of Luck and Fortune / Roselle Lim

At the news of her mother's death, Natalie Tan returns home. The two women hadn't spoken since Natalie left in anger seven years ago, when her mother refused to support her chosen career as a chef. Natalie is shocked to discover the vibrant neighborhood of San Francisco's Chinatown that she remembers from her childhood is fading, with businesses failing and families moving out. She's even more surprised to learn she has inherited her grandmother's restaurant.

The neighborhood seer reads the restaurant's fortune in the leaves: Natalie must cook three recipes from her grandmother's cookbook to aid her struggling neighbors before the restaurant will succeed. Unfortunately, Natalie has no desire to help them try to turn things around - she resents the local shopkeepers for leaving her alone to take care of her agoraphobic mother when she was growing up. But with the support of a surprising new friend and a budding romance, Natalie starts to realize that maybe her neighbors really have been there for her all along.
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The Optimist's Guide to Letting Go / Amy E Reichert

Gina Zoberski wants to make it through one day without her fastidious mother, Lorraine, cataloguing all her faults, and her sullen teenage daughter, May, snubbing her. Too bad there's no chance of that. Her relentlessly sunny disposition annoys them both, no matter how hard she tries. Instead, Gina finds order and comfort in obsessive list-making and her work at Grilled G's, the gourmet grilled cheese food truck built by her late husband. But when Lorraine suffers a sudden stroke, Gina stumbles upon a family secret Lorraine's kept hidden for forty years. In the face of her mother's failing health and her daughter's rebellion, this optimist might find that piecing together the truth is the push she needs to let go...?

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The Recipe Box / Viola Shipman

Growing up in northern Michigan, Samantha "Sam" Mullins felt trapped on her family's orchard and pie shop, so she left with dreams of making her own mark in the world. But life as an overworked, undervalued sous chef at a reality star's New York bakery is not what Sam dreamed.

When the chef embarrasses Sam, she quits and returns home. Unemployed, single, and defeated, she spends a summer working on her family's orchard cooking and baking alongside the women in her life -- including her mother, Deana, and grandmother, Willo. One beloved, flour-flecked, ink-smeared recipe at a time, Sam begins to learn about and understand the women in her life, her family's history, and her passion for food through their treasured recipe box.

Recipe for Persuasion / Sonali Dev

Chef Ashna Raje desperately needs a new strategy. How else can she save her beloved restaurant and prove to her estranged, overachieving mother that she isn't a complete screw up? When she's asked to join the cast of Cooking with the Stars, the latest hit reality show teaming chefs with celebrities, it seems like just the leap of faith she needs to put her restaurant back on the map. She's a chef, what's the worst that could happen? Rico Silva, that's what. Being paired with a celebrity who was her first love, the man who ghosted her at the worst possible time in her life, only proves what Ashna has always believed: leaps of faith are a recipe for disaster.

Simmer Down / Sarah Smith

Nikki DiMarco knew life wouldn't be all sunshine and coconuts when she quit her dream job to help her mom serve up mouthwatering Filipino dishes to hungry beach goers, but she didn't expect the Maui food truck scene to be so eat-or-be-eaten - or the competition to be so smoking hot. But Tiva's Filipina Kusina has faced bigger road bumps than the arrival of Callum James. Nikki doesn't care how delectable the British food truck owner is - he rudely set up shop next to her coveted beach parking spot. He's stealing her customers and fanning the flames of a public feud that makes her see sparks. The solution? Let the upcoming Maui Food Festival decide their fate. Winner keeps the spot. Loser pounds sand. But the longer their rivalry simmers, the more Nikki starts to see a different side of Callum .

The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany / Lori Nelson Spielman

A trio of second-born daughters set out to break the family curse that says they'll never find love on a whirlwind journey through the lush Italian countryside. Since the day Filomena Fontana cast a curse upon her sister more than two hundred years ago, not one second-born Fontana daughter has found lasting love. Some, like second-born Emilia, the happily-single baker at her grandfather's Brooklyn deli, claim it's an odd coincidence. Others, like her sexy, desperate-for-love cousin Lucy, insist it's a true hex. But both are bewildered when their great-aunt calls with an astounding proposition: If they accompany her to her homeland of Italy, Aunt Poppy vows she'll meet the love of her life on the steps of the Ravello Cathedral on her eightieth birthday, and break the Fontana Second-Daughter Curse once and for all.

A Sweet Mess / Jayci Lee

Aubrey Choi loves living in her small town nestled in the foothills of California, running her highly successful bakery away from the watch of her strict Korean parents. When a cake mix-up and a harsh review threaten all of her hard work and her livelihood, she never thought the jaded food critic would turn out to be her one-night stand. And she sure as hell never thought she'd see the gorgeous Korean hunk again. But when Landon Kim waltzes into her bakery trying to clean up the mess he had a huge hand in making, Aubrey is torn between throwing and hearing him out. When she hears his plan to help save her business, Aubrey knows that spending three weeks in California wine country working with Landon is a sure recipe for disaster.

A Taste of Sage / Yaffa S. Santos

Lumi Santana is a chef with the gift of synesthesia -- she can perceive a person's emotions just by tasting their cooking. Despite being raised by a single mother who taught her that dreams and true love were silly fairy tales, she decides to take a chance and puts her heart and savings into opening a fusion restaurant in Inwood, Manhattan. The restaurant offers a mix of the Dominican cuisine she grew up with and other world cuisines that have been a source of culinary inspiration to her. When Lumi's eclectic venture fails, she is forced to take a position as a sous chef at a staid, traditional French restaurant in midtown owned by Julien Dax, a celebrated chef known for his acid tongue as well as his brilliant smile.

The Wedding Thief / Mary Simses

After Sara caught her sister, Mariel, sneaking around with Sara's boyfriend, Carter, she thought they'd never speak again. Now she can't believe that Mariel and Carter are happily engaged -- and Mariel wants Sara to be a bridesmaid. Sara accepts, if only to sabotage the wedding more easily. A seasoned event planner, Sara sees her first opportunity to use her talents for the wrong reasons. As she starts visiting florists, caterers, and photographers, and her plan to ruin the wedding deepens, she realizes just how far she's willing to go to hurt her once-beloved sister.

Add another sprinkle of family drama, a baked-goods theft ring, and a small art-heist caper, and you've got a rom-com farce.

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