Summer’s almost over. So here’s a summer book. (Don’t say I’m not contrary.)

Summer Blowout by Claire Cook
I was ready for a nice, light, summer book.
But frankly, this book scared me at first.
I just had to hang in there through the first couple of pages, because here was my brain: “Yowser. She just threw a rock at her ex-husband’s car.” (Not, of course, that he didn’t deserve it, leaving her for her half-sister like he did—I just ain’t fond of the scary angry woman on page 2, particularly when there’s a beach scene featuring a mini-dog in a fetching tote on the book’s cover. Weird disconnect there.)
The good news is that after that intro scene, we launch into a nice little grown-up chick lit book. Whew.
So, like I mentioned, Bella’s husband left her, and she is downright honked off at him and at all men. Fortunately, her work as a stylist at her family’s line of salons keeps her busy—and throws her into contact with a handsome, friendly fellow named Sean, whose charms she rejects because of the aforementioned swearing-off of men. As one might guess, he wins her over, and it looks like a happily-ever-after thing is gonna happen.
The story wrapped itself up pretty darn fast, and pretty darn patly. But I’d say the middle of the book—the 90% in the middle—worked just fine.
There were shades of Cristina Bartolomeo and Rita Ciresi here, which is a big compliment.
One of the best elements of this book is Bella’s very large Irish-American family, who masquerade as a very large Italian-American family because her dad is a huge Italophile.
Also, Bella’s addicted to lipstick, and I can’t help but like a main character who has such a pleasant weakness.
Fine, light summer fare.

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