#2: Reservations for Two: A Novel of Fresh Flavors and New HorizonsHillary Manton LodgeWaterBrook / 2015 / Trade Paperback$13.49 Retail:4 Stars Out Of 5 12 Reviews
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Romance Fan1 Stars Out Of 5Reservations for TwoJanuary 1, 2018Romance FanQuality: 0Value: 1Meets Expectations: 1First off, let me say that I am a huge fan of Christian romance novels. I have read hundreds of Christian romance books over the last 40 years. Some I have enjoyed, many I have loved. Although there have been romance books that I am not interested in reading a second time, I cannot think of any book I have ever read that I disliked as much as this one. I am so angry at the ending that I cannot even go to sleep. Christian romance books have always been a source of relaxation for me as I get into the lives of the characters and their journeys. Up until the last two chapters of this book, I enjoyed the storyline and the relationship of the main love interests. I thought the last two chapters were a cop out and a total let down. I bought the book on a clearance special for $.99. I want my $.99 back. What a total waste of my time and energy.
I am aware this is a series but have no interest in reading the third book because I do not want to waste more hours reading only to feel like this again at the end.
Congratulations on writing the first book I would never recommend in 40 years of reading.
sunnyejk5 Stars Out Of 5charming (and riveting)August 20, 2017sunnyejkQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5both this book and its prequel (A Table by the Window) are completely engaging. you meet an ecclectic family deep in their careers and relationships. without giving too much away, life upheavals suddenly change everything. must read.
bbhouston, tx 77008Age: 55-65Gender: Female5 Stars Out Of 5Great continuation of Table for TwoDecember 27, 2016bbhouston, tx 77008Age: 55-65Gender: FemaleQuality: 0Value: 0Meets Expectations: 0While I found Table for Two taking a bit to get 'into it" I could not wait to get Reservations for Two. The characters are very interesting with story line twists I've not read before.
jsrn184 Stars Out Of 5Imitation of lifeMay 22, 2016jsrn18Quality: 0Value: 0Meets Expectations: 0Wonderful book about love and how things don't always end up how you imagine they would. The story is written as a story within a story and almost how lives parallel each other. Can't wait to read the third book in the series to see how things work out. Definitely a series that you have to read in order to fully understand.
KavRCanadaGender: female4 Stars Out Of 5Second Book in The Two Blue Doors seriesSeptember 8, 2015KavRCanadaGender: femaleQuality: 0Value: 0Meets Expectations: 0This is definitely a case of needing to read the first book in The Two Blue Doors series before reading this one because Reservations for Two picks up where A Table at the Window left off and that includes some overlapping plot threads and a whole lot of characters. It just makes more sense to read them in order.
I enjoyed getting reacquainted with Juliette's crazy family. I love the way she describes the boisterous crew:
Back in Portland, I'd brought Neil to a dinner with my entire family. Personal questions had been asked. Had there been a podium, it could have looked like a press conference, just with better food and fewer camera flashes. (p. 16)
The 'better food' part is at the heart of this story. Foodies will rejoice over the many descriptive food references and the gourmet recipes included in nearly every chapter. It's a cookbook as much as a novel and that gives it a rich, decadent feel -- even to this non-foodie who harbors simple tastes. I didn't understand half of the chef talk but it sounded impressive!
Lodge's quick wit lightens an otherwise serious plotline. There's a lot going on in Juliette's life -- her mother's illness, the stress of opening a new restaurant, falling in love with a man who lives on the other side of the country. That's a lot of spinning plates in the air and it's inevitable that some of them come crashing down.
At times it was hard to bear Juliette's high strung emotions and rash decisions even though I completely understood where she was coming from. But Juliette's Italian/French DNA can't be denied and it shows up as such a contrast to calm, steady Neil. His family is the exact opposite -- a cardboard copy many times removed. Those opposite family roots create even more turmoil in their romance. These two are so far apart a successful relationship seems impossible but I still felt like they were absolutely meant for each other. They have the whole opposites attract thing in spades.
Alas, I found myself dangling on the edge of a cliffhanger when I reached the last page. In fact I was quite distraught by the romantic upheaval at the end of this book. Be forewarned -- this series is riddled with dangling threads which apparently won't be tied up until the final book is released. And that includes the mystery surrounding Juliette's grandmother's past. Loved that storyline (which includes letters written between sisters during World War II) but I hated the fact that the crux of that story remains unresolved. Gah!
And, while I don't normally as a rule, enjoy this kind of continuous series style, I have to admit to being well and truly hooked and eager to find all the answers (hopefully) I'm looking for when that final installment is released.
And a side note: As with the first book, this one lacks an inspirational thread though there are a bit more references to prayer and church attendance than the first book. I really missed the character growth that comes from a faith themed story -- something I've come to expect from a Christian publisher like Waterbrook Press.