cover image SUMMER BY THE SEA


Susan Wiggs, Author . Mira $6.99 (408p) ISBN 978-0-7783-2056-2

Two childhood friends negotiate the rough waters of love in Wiggs's newest contemporary romance (following The Ocean Between Us ), which starts out as a typical love-between-the-classes tale, but evolves into something richer. Successful Rhode Island restaurateur Rosa Capoletti seems to have her life in order. Her restaurant, Celesta's-by-the-Sea, has been lauded by the New York Times , she's surrounded by friends, and she has finally achieved financial stability. But when her old flame Alexander Montgomery, whose family name is synonymous with wealth, walks into Celesta's, Rosa realizes that she hasn't moved forward emotionally since he abruptly ended their relationship 12 years earlier. As the two cautiously renew their love, they must come to terms with the tensions between their families and the long-held secret that led to their initial breakup. Although their romance is compelling, sweeter still are the flashbacks of their burgeoning friendship. These interludes are nicely set off by Capoletti family recipes for items like Pasta Fazool and Ricotta Cheese Sugar Cookies. Wiggs excels at portraying the delicate dynamics among lovers, friends and family members, and her keen awareness of sensory detail ensures that the scents and sounds of Rosa's kitchen are just as palpable as the heady attraction between the protagonists. Agent, Meg Ruley. (July)