Review

Sweet Love

by Sarah Strohmeyer

Sarah Strohmeyer was inspired to write SWEET LOVE as a way of
honoring the memory of her beloved mother, but also to gain closure
after she passed away. The book opens with a prologue, written from
the viewpoint of Betty Mueller, who feels a need to correct a wrong
she thinks she did to her middle-aged daughter many years ago.
Betty did not approve of Julie’s budding crush on Michael
Slayton, a family friend who was a bit older than Julie's teenage
years. In the same breath, Betty also confesses that she loves
desserts (and cooking in general) and believes it's what helps make
the world go ’round. She admits that her own daughter hates
to cook because she was a slave to her kitchen. Julie will have
none of that.

Looking at Julie today, Betty sees an unhappy, divorced,
middle-aged woman with a teenaged daughter. This, she believes, is
all her fault. Through some finagling, she manages to get Julie
into a very exclusive cooking class focusing on desserts. What
Julie doesn't know is that Michael also has been given this same
gift. When the two attend their first session, Julie is shocked to
find the love of her life there. It's the beginning of a renewed
acquaintance, in which both Michael and Julie are reminded of their
joint pasts, the friendship they shared, walking down memory lane
and thinking of what had ruined their relationship --- a
misunderstanding that occurred between them in their professional
lives.

Julie is embarrassed to even see Michael, because her feelings for
him --- the crush she had when she was growing up --- was never
reciprocated, as he only saw her as his best friend's little
sister. And obviously those feelings still remained, because why
would she be reacting this way to him after all these years? To
make matters worse, Michael doesn't come to class alone. He brings
a very attractive woman with him, and Julie is convinced they are
involved.

Betty continues her manipulating, hoping to get the two of them
together. But as she’s doing this, she's also dealing with
her own issues that will bring Julie and Michael even closer
together.

SWEET LOVE is written in a very humorous tone, but there are also a
lot of touching emotional scenes. I believe this is the best book
Sarah Strohmeyer has written thus far. While her earlier novels,
which comprised the Bubbles series, were light comedies
with one-dimensional characters but still a lot of fun, her
stand-alone titles have an added depth to them. SWEET LOVE
continues to showcase her humor, but there is a serious side to
this book --- with the characters being much more rounded and
three-dimensional, changing and growing from their mistakes, and a
few heavy themes that definitely bring more to the story.

As always, I was not disappointed by Strohmeyer. Her book
especially rings true for me because I too have recently lost my
mother.

Reviewed by Marie Hashima Lofton (Ratmammy@lofton.org) on January 23, 2011

Sweet Love
by Sarah Strohmeyer

  • Publication Date: June 19, 2008
  • Genres: Fiction, Romance
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Adult
  • ISBN-10: 0525950648
  • ISBN-13: 9780525950646