Reservations for Two
Hillary Manton Lodge
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?
I really, really wanted to like this book. in fact, I was pretty sure that I was going to like it, simply because I enjoyed the first book in this series a lot. However, I mentioned in my review of the previous book (A Table by the Window) that though the characters were Christians, I didn't always agree on what they seemed to think a Christian walk looks like. However, it didn't overpower the book, and A Table by the Window received a high rating from me.
But this book...*winces* I have a very strong conviction that you should save your kisses for the person that you're going to marry, so the fact that this book had so many kisses between people who really weren't sure that they were going to end up together really bothered me. It always drives me nuts when two people kiss and then get offended by other people who bring up marriage because it's "too soon." Sorry, guys. But if it's too soon to be talking marriage, than it's doubly too soon to be kissing. *SPOILER* and then when Juliette let Adrian kiss her RIGHT AFTER she broke up with Neil? "Emotionally vulnerable" or not, I thought that was terrible and my respect for both of those characters dropped to zero *END OF SPOILER* Granted, the kisses weren't "steamy" or overly descriptive, but the idea of them doing it annoyed me greatly.
There were several other things in this book that irked me as well. For instance, Juliette and her family seemed to view Neil as selfish because he wasn't jumping up and moving to Portland to be with her...basically implying that if he didn't move across country for her, he didn't love her enough. But doesn't that go both ways? How could he be "selfish" by not moving when she wasn't willing to move for him, either? *SPOILER* Also, Juliette seemed kind of high strung to me and unlikable at times. For instance, when she broke up with Neil it was because he told her to prepare for the worst in regards to her mom's cancer and she got upset. Ummm....it was a really serious case of cancer. Why shouldn't she prepare herself in case the worst happened? He didn't do it in an unfeeling, callous way. He was just telling the truth! And while I understand that there were other reasons that also played into the decision, that catalyst for the break-up bothered me. *END OF SPOILER* And while I don't like listing a huge gigantic list of reasons why I didn't like a book, I also have to say that the characters didn't really seemed concerned with their faith; in many ways, this book would have bothered me less if it had been a secular book. I expect non-Christians to have different morals and beliefs. But it bothers me when people who call themselves Christians act in this way.
I did like reading the the letters by Juliette's grandmother, and I'm still curious about the story behind them. The recipes included sounded delicious, and there were several funny lines that made me smile. But.....the rest of the story was definitely a miss for me.
I received this book for free from bloggingforbooks.com in exchange for my honest review.