Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Grand Reopening of the Dandelion Cafe by Jenny Oliver

  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Carina (March 27, 2015)

What They Say....When Annie White steps back onto Cherry Pie Island, it’s safe to say her newly inherited Dandelion Café has seen better days! 

And while her childhood home on the Thames-side island idyll is exactly the same retreat from the urban bustle of London she remembers, Annie’s not convinced that Owner of The Dandelion Cafe is a title she’ll be keeping for long. 

Not that she can bear the idea of letting her dedicated, if endearingly disorganized staff lose their jobs. Plus café life does also have the added bonus of working a stone’s throw away from millionaire Matt and his disarmingly charming smile! 

One (shoestring budget) café makeover, a few delightful additions to the somewhat retro menu and a lot of cherry pie tastings later, The Dandelion Café is ready for its grand reopening! But once she’s brought the dilapidated old café back to life, Annie finds herself wishing her stay on the island was just a bit longer. She always intended to go back to the big city…but could island living finally have lured her back home for good? 

What I Say....Hmmm.  This was a quick read, it sure didn't feel like 384 pages - is that for real?

It was pretty formulaic chick lit, which is usually okay with me.  But this story felt a little disjointed to me.  It didn't flow well.  There was very little physical description of the main character, I'm not sure what she looked like except she had a funky haircut.

But I didn't feel like I ever really knew what was making her tick, or why she was feeling whatever the author stated she was feeling.  Does that make sense?  The book felt like a very clinical description, but not enough to make me feel the emotional investment in the characters or stories that I like in my books.

I never found a reason for Annie to fall in love with Matt, despite the looks, mansion and unlimited funds. It didn't seem like River and Matt ever worked their issues out.  The other characters seemed very flat, and they didn't seem to add much to the story.

After I finished, and realized that this was Book 1 of 4, it seemed to make a little more sense.  Maybe this was just laying the groundwork?  

I'm not sure that I would rate this higher than 2 stars as a standalone, but I'm willing to try Book 2 to see if it feels better as a series.

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