Reservations For Two: A Novel Of Fresh Flavors And New Horizons

Paperback | April 21, 2015

byHillary Manton Lodge

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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?

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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 sh...

Hillary Manton Lodge is the author of A Table by the Window, Plain Jayne, a Carol Award Finalist, and Simply Sara, an ECPA Bestselling book. A graduate of the University of Oregon's School of Journalism, Hillary discovered the world of cuisine during an internship at Northwest Palate Magazine. A storyteller at heart, in her free time s...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 8.19 × 5.45 × 0.84 inPublished:April 21, 2015Publisher:The Crown Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0307731774

ISBN - 13:9780307731777


Rated 4 out of 5 by from Second book in The Two Blue Doors series This 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.
Date published: 2015-09-08

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Editorial Reviews

Praise for Reservations for Two: “Lodge has created yet another sumptuous story—full of intrigue, humanity, tantalizing tastes, and true love, in its myriad forms. She gracefully leads us into kitchens, restaurants, and hearts, not to mention sensorial visits to France, Italy, and the tensions of WWII Paris. Poised on a knife’s edge, Lodge left me yearning for her next story and for time in the kitchen to test some of her tempting recipes.” —Katherine Reay, author of the critically acclaimed Dear Mr. Knightley and Lizzy & Jane “Reservations for Two is a foodie’s delight, peppered with great dishes and references to European culinary landmarks. Lodge’s sparkling dialogue adds levity to the book’s more serious moments and kept me flipping pages well into the night. But fair warning…readers will be hard pressed to choose between turning to the next chapter and running to the kitchen to try one of the many delectable recipes.” —Carla Laureano, RITA Award–winning author of Five Days in Skye and London Tides “Endearing, witty, delectable. Hillary Manton Lodge’s second installment in the Two Blue Doors series is as delicious as her first, even for a non-foodie like me! I especially appreciated the seamless transition from Juliette’s current life and travels to her grand-mère’s WWII past, a captivating angle that added the perfect hint of mystery.” —Melissa Tagg, author of From the Start “Through a clutch of discovered letters, which I read as compulsively as did our heroine, Juliette D’Alisa, and her large Franco-Italian family, we discover that circumstances can be as bitter as baking powder or as delightful as powdered sugar. Both, however, are required to produce the very best madeleines, as well as a deeply satisfying life. Reservations for Two is a touching, page-turning novel, which brings home that each day, no matter its troubles, can be filled with good things, especially chocolat et bisous, chocolate and kisses, if we freely offer them to those we love. I read, wanting happiness, ultimately, for the delightful Juliette, as much as she wanted it for everyone else. ” —Sandra Byrd, author of Let Them Eat Cake “Hillary Manton Lodge has done it again! From the exquisite prose to the twists and turns of a delicious—pun intended—plot, Reservations for Two is a complete delight. Though this story picks up where Lodge’s freshman novel A Table by the Window left off, this book easily stands alone as a do-not-miss treat! From the lavender fields of Provence to Paris, Memphis, and the Pacific Northwest; from recipes for Rosemary Fig Focaccia to Nasturtium and Spring Greens Salad; from the 1930s to the present…this novel is a delight for the senses, a trip through time and kitchens, far and near. Kudos to Lodge.” —Kathleen Y’Barbo, best-selling author of The Secret Lives of Will Tucker series and Firefly Summer “With a palate of rich characters, vibrant flavors, and vintage-inspired romance, Hillary Manton Lodge’s Reservations for Two is a feast for the senses. From the fragrant lavender fields of Provence to Tuscany’s golden hills, Lodge takes the reader on a journey that is about both discovery and coming home. It’s très chic and enchanting—a recipe of amour for the reader’s heart!” —Kristy Cambron, author of The Butterfly and the Violin and A Sparrow in Terezin “Hillary Lodge has done it again! Picking up where A Table by the Window left off, Reservations for Two is another delectable story filled with romance, intrigue, witty dialogue, exquisite prose, and delicious recipes. This one is sure to charm readers every bit as much as the first!” —Katie Ganshert, award-winning author of A Broken Kind of Beautiful