Dani’s on a mission to get her life back on track by the end of the Summer. Running, rowing, aerobics and more, but perhaps all she needs are sweet treats and a second chance?
Twenty years ago, Dani fled Appledore with a broken-heart and a suitcase full of shattered dreams. Only now is she brave enough to put her past behind her and return for a summer selling homemade ice-cream and getting fit by doing sit-ups by the sea.
But the new-look cafe is filled with old memories of Jude, her teenage sweetheart-turned-sour. She thinks of him every time she swirls warm sauce onto a “chocolate-bockaglory” and even with the help of Chris, her gorgeous personal trainer, the urge to break her diet is everywhere she turns.
When Jude makes an appearance at the cafe on the eve of Dani’s birthday party, history threatens to repeat itself. Is Dani strong enough to say no? And is the love she’s been longing for much closer than she thinks?
*Thank you Bookouture and NetGalley for the copy in exchange for an honest review.
A new Sue Watson book! Yay! This time it’s the second book of the Ice Cream Cafe series which I was really looking forward to reading since I totally love the first one, the Ella’s Ice-Cream Summer. The title alone is mouth-watering that it makes me want to grab a tub of ice cream and curl up on the couch and devour this sweet-looking book. Ella’s Ice-Cream Summer. The title alone is mouth-watering that it makes me want to grab a tub of ice cream and curl up on the couch and devour this sweet-looking book.
Like the first one, it is set in Appledore. While the first book focused on Ella in her ice-cream van and her dream to restore the cafe, this one picks up where Ella’s story left off and this time the ice-cream cafe is back to its former glory. The business is doing well that Ella hired Dani as an assistant manager of the cafe. Dani left Appledore heartbroken after her boyfriend dumped her. She went to London to forget the bad memories and move on. Now, she’s back in Appledore and is excited for the new chapter in her life, working her dream job at the cafe. Almost forty and on the “curvy” side, she is determined more than ever to lose a few pounds after some embarrassing encounters regarding her weight. But it is easier said than done. Dani doesn’t like doing exercise and it doesn’t help that she lives above the cafe and can sneak in anytime for a bowl of ice-cream. She then tried going to the gym even though she doesn’t really feel comfortable with its environment, only she always ends up injured. She’s feeling dejected and was close to aborting her plan, when the handsome gym owner, Chris, reach out to her. He offers to train her for a few weeks to help her lose some weight and in the process, it will help boost his business as well. Though doubtful, she agreed. Her goal is to shed extra pounds before her fortieth and she only has few weeks to do it. She worked out hard with Chris’ help and soon they develop a good friendship even outside the gym. Life’s doing okay for Dani when her ex-boyfriend showed up bringing back memories and then some.
What can I say? I love this series. Not because it talks about ice-cream a lot. Okay, fine, maybe half of it (more or less!) is because of all the ice-cream talk. But seriously, Sue Watson is my new feel-good go-to author. She will definitely give you a good laugh. She gives readers endearing characters that people can relate to. Though I adore Ella more, I admire Dani’s determination in reaching her goal. I can totally relate to her struggle with losing weight and even more struggle in trying to stay away from food. Her journey to a healthier body is hilarious and yet it mirrored what some people are going through in real life. She tried all diet plan imaginable to no avail. As much as I can relate to her weight problem, I can’t stand her constant whining about it. It’s just too much. Still, I like Dani’s character growth from whiny to a determined and confident woman who’ve learned a lot along her weight loss journey. And since it is set in Appledore, the funny women of the cafe, Ella, Roberta, Gina, and Sue, are present, too. Add Karla, Dani’s super supportive best friend, and we’re in for one hilarious read. Though, there’s not much of the adorable pooch Delilah! Why, oh, why? Also, where are Ellla’s kids?
But Dani won’t just make you laugh, she will also inspire you to be a better person and feel good about yourself. Despite what she’s been through growing up, her positive attitude is contagious. And though I didn’t head out to the gym after reading this, I sure cut down my sweet intake and try to do some exercise at home everyday. I admire her determination and hard work to achieve her goal. On the other note, her romantic past is somewhat predictable but the secret she’s been keeping is quite surprising but it helped me understand why Dani resorted to binge eating.
I also like how there’s more romance incorporated into the story and how it materialized between the characters. It is not overly romantic, more like easy and natural. Another thing is how each chapter is titled with the diet Dani has tried over the years along with her diet journal entry and they sure are all chuckle-worthy.
Curves, Kisses and Chocolate Ice-Cream may be a funny book but underneath the witty lines lies a sensitive issue that a lot of people faced in today’s society. It may be taken lightly in the book but it doesn’t make things less honest. If anything, it made things more realistic. The struggle of not being comfortable with your own body is real and so is the pressure and insecurity that goes along with it. Writing it in a cheerful manner highlight the positivity that it’s trying to convey. Props to Miss Watson.
To sum it up, this is one excellent mouth-watering treat and is a perfect summer read, what with all the ice-cream talk. A laugh-out-loud and heartwarming story that a lot of people can relate to. If you enjoyed Ella’s Ice-Cream Summer, I’m sure you will like this one, too. Don’t forget to grab an ice-cream, though, as it will leave you craving for one.
(*Photos and synopsis courtesy of Goodreads)
Purchase it on Amazon.com: Curves, Kisses and Chocolate Ice Cream
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