Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Book Review: Market Street

By Melissa Amster

When Anita Hughes writes a novel, her words flow like butter. Seeing that it's Foodie month at CLC and that Market Street is about food, that's the best way I could think of to describe what I had read. In this case, the butter is the kind they use at the fanciest and most expensive with flavor, enhancing anything it comes in contact with.

Cassie Blake is the heiress to Fenton's, an exclusive department store in San Francisco. Instead of spending most of her time there, she's content to volunteer at an organic school garden and take care of her husband when he comes home from a long day at work. However, when she receives unsettling news about her husband, and her mother offers her an opportunity to oversee Fenton's new food emporium, she has to decide what she truly wants to do with her life. Complicating matters further is a guy who is also vying for her attention....especially once she starts working with him.

Just like in Monarch Beach, the descriptions of food and locations, as well as fashion, are decadent. Anita really knows how to show her readers how the other half live. (If you are part of this "other half," you'll have to let me know how accurate she is.) She was also, once again, able to make me blush. Maybe not as deeply as I did for Monarch Beach, but there were still some "hot" moments. I like that Cassie was more down-to-earth than others around her, as it made her more of a sympathetic character. I liked that she wasn't so passive about what she wanted and stood up for herself. I could even feel her anxiety when she found out the unsettling news about her husband.

Throughout the novel, I felt a reverse form of schadenfraude, if that is possible. It was this annoyance with people being able to have things so easy with just the snap of their fingers. They seemed to have unlimited money at their disposal to make things happen faster than most entrepreneurs would. There was also a "wealth" of connections that made things even easier! I'd love to see Anita write about a woman working her way up from nothing and not having the support of rich family members either. I'd cheer for her that much more if she became successful. Alternately, I'd love to see Cassie's friend Alexis in her own story that would be similar to Mrs. Perfect by Jane Porter. (Then again, she'd probably have some connections to turn things around for herself in no time.)

Overall, Market Street is an entertaining and beautifully written novel. I look forward to reading Lake Como when it comes out later this year.

Thanks to St. Martin's Press for the book in exchange for an honest review. They're giving away copies at Anita's visit to CLC.

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