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The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop & Cafe

3.47  ·  Rating details ·  9,063 ratings  ·  1,461 reviews
A high-powered Manhattan attorney finds love, purpose, and the promise of a simpler life in her grandmother's hometown.

Ellen Branford is going to fulfill her grandmother's dying wish--to find the hometown boy she once loved, and give him her last letter. Ellen leaves Manhattan and her Kennedy-esque fiance for Beacon, Maine. What should be a one-day trip is quickly complica
Hardcover, 345 pages
Published July 9th 2013 by Little, Brown and Company (first published 2013)
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Patricia I think that's what the whole story is about. How the main character starts out to be shallow and finds that love does have a way of changing your lif…moreI think that's what the whole story is about. How the main character starts out to be shallow and finds that love does have a way of changing your life. I hope you finished this one. (less)
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Average rating 3.47  · 
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 ·  9,063 ratings  ·  1,461 reviews

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Aug 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
First, this book is nothing like The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, and the publisher does the book and the author a disservice by raising expectations when it compares the two in the book's blurb.

This book is a well-above-average, refreshingly clean romance novel (and predictable, as the genre is), with a little historical mystery twist. I wouldn't be surprised if this becomes a Hallmark movie, and a pretty good one. The setting of the Maine village is nicely, if somewhat stereo
Oct 30, 2013 rated it did not like it
I had a rule that I would only give one star reviews to books that I couldn't finish, but I'm giving one here to a book I did finish because I hated it more and more as I read it (actually, I probably just skimmed the last two chapters, so "finishing" is open to interpretation). First, the title and cover photo are totally misleading (I know, I know, don't judge a book), this is not a charming "School of Essential Ingredients" book about cooking; rather, the main character seems to have an eatin ...more
Mar 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is one of those books that you sit down with on a rainy afternoon with a blanket, cup of tea and, of course, a blueberry muffin. This is the book for every person who starts out on the path she thinks she should be on, gets caught up, yet daydreams about a simpler life. It is easy to see why this first time novelist is endorsed by the incomparable James Patterson. Ms. Simses prose is never stilted. The story has just the right amount of ups, downs, suspenseful moments, surprises and laugh o ...more
Jul 04, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2013
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Sep 08, 2013 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Judy D Collins
Wow, what a fabulous debut novel! I found The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop & Café by talented Mary Simses, to be totally divine!

So much more than a romantic chick lit—depth of a charming historical fiction novel, blending the old and new seamlessly, with generations past.

If you are a fan of authors Nicholas Sparks, Mary Kay Andrews, Joanne Demaio, Elin Hilderbrand, Beth Hoffman, Nancy Thayer, and Mary Ellen Taylor - this book is for you!

I was delighted to discover this author (especially s
Cinthia Ritchie
Apr 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
I brought Mary Simes' "The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop & Café" on vacation, expecting it to be a fast and interesting chicklit read for the plane ride and while lounging by the pool.
The plot is predictable: Big city girl Ellen Branford returns to small town Maine to deliver a letter left to her by her dying grandmother. She almost drowns and is saved by a hunky local, and they kiss. But wait! Ellen is also engaged to a high-powered attorney with his eye on political office.
Yet while the plot
Aug 27, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2013
I was very excited to read this book based on the synopsis. I quickly realized that the main character is a shallow, snooty woman who is coming to this small town to fulfill her Grandmothers dying wish. She spends a majority of the book telling us the name brands of her clothes, complaining about cholesterol in the local food and just looking at everything from a view that is down her nose. It does get somewhat better through out the book, but by then, she is just so disliked by me as a reader t ...more
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: light-reads
I originally gave this 3 stars because I finished it, but it’s really a 2 star book. It is chick lit light, emphasis on the light. You figure out the ending from the beginning, and there are hardly any surprises. I found that I did not like any of the characters at all. For all that Ellen was supposed to be a high powered attorney from Manhattan, she turned out to be a fairly stupid woman who did not know her own mind. Roy was equally irritating, with his rants about attorneys and developers. I ...more
Penny McGill
Jul 09, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: romance
A sweet romance set in Maine. The main character is visiting a small town to deliver a letter her grandmother wrote before she died. While trying to find the supposed recipient of this letter she starts to have feelings for a resident of the small town. Their relationship develops as she finds the letter taking her deeper into the early life of her beloved grandmother. I've been reading a lot of grandmother stories lately and they are always populated with someone wonderful - someone you wish wa ...more
Aug 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Put a picture of food on a book cover and I will read it. Plus, it’s summer, and summer reading should be light and fun: think slow, hot days, quaint seaside towns and family secrets. Toss in a handsome local and a few laughs, and you have the Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop & Café by Mary Sims.
The story takes place in Beacon, Maine, where the neighbors don’t miss much and where Ellen Branford’s grandmother grew up. High-powered Manhattan attorney Ellen finds herself in a bit of culture shock wh
Mar 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Loved it. Goodreads Giveaway
It started out fast paced, which grabs me every time. You have your big city girl, Ellen, who was very close to her grandma who passes away and her dying request was to have Ellen deliver a letter for her, in a small town in another city/state, where everyone knows each other to a man she onced loved many years ago.
In trying to deliver this letter, Ellen finds things out about her grandmother that none of them knew about. Her first day, she falls into the ocean and i
Jul 12, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: library
I picked this up (from the library, thank God)because it basically said if you liked "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" you would like this book. How wrong THAT statement was. This book is is nothing like the other book. I kept thinking as I started this book, the Potato Peel Society was much, much better than this, wasn't it? I was questioning my own good taste! Ha! I kept reading it for the turn towards wonderfully charming and then it became quite clear that the turn wasn't ...more
Mar 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I have to say this book was oh-so-much more than I originally thought it would be! Such an adorable, subtle read for any type "read day". Good for a rainy day, a sunny day, a blizzard day, etc! Mary Simses really makes her characters loveable & the reader can very easily immerse themselves inside the story! If a reader is looking for hard-packed action, paranormal or erotic romance, a mystery-thriller roller-coaster ride, then this is not the book to check out. This read is a wonderfully quiet, ...more
Apr 18, 2015 rated it liked it
There is nothing new in this typical romantic story and you know from the very beginning what is going to happen but it is still entertaining. A light read to take to the beach on a sunny day.
May 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A charming read about figuring out what you really want in life. Emotional and inspiring. Highly recommended.
Feb 15, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: womens-fiction, 2013
This was a great example of why sometimes I need to put a book down and then get back to it in a few days.
It started off slow, and I found in the beginning that I did not like Ellen very much.
I am really happy I kept reading after the first 20% the book it started to turn into a great debut novel and Ellen was not as self-centered as I felt she was in the beginning of the book. I would consider this women's lit or romance and not a foodie book at all. It has no recipes and very little mention
Jul 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop and Café is just that -- irresistible.

The story pulls you in and you don’t want to leave. Narrator Erin Bennett does an excellent job bringing the characters to life. Her cadence and mannerisms add to this delightful tale. Her vocalization enhances the author’s words and her expressions of the emotions adds to the characters’ depth.

The story begins on a sad note with the death of Ellen Branford’s beloved grandmother. Just before she died, she asked Ellen to de
Megan Readinginthesunshine
Jun 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I was very interested in this book from the first moment that I laid eyes on it. I absolutely LOVED the title, and the cover was beautiful too – even if it did make me feel rather hungry!

When Ellen Branford’s grandmother passes away, Ellen is devastated. Determined to fulfill her grandmother’s dying wish, Ellen sets off to Beacon, Maine in order to deliver a letter to the hometown boy who her grandmother loved. Although Ellen is only planning to be in and out of Beacon as quick as she can, this
Anne Southwark
Jun 01, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one
Recommended to Anne by: An enticing library display
I wanted to like this book so bad. I was promised blueberry desserts, a genealogical mystery, and a woman lawyer out of her element in a small town...perfect set up. But the author ripped all the carpets out from under me one by one and left me with a totally unbelievable "heroine," an unsatisfying ending, and a single muffin recipe. The only reason I say this book is ok? The author managed to tease me along with hope before dumping me flat.

If you enjoy reading about someone who hates eating del
Sep 18, 2013 rated it liked it
I was really looking forward to reading this when I brought it home from the library. I was disappointed though, and that makes me sad because I really wanted to love this story. The idea is great, some of the characters are great, I just don't feel the characters were fleshed out enough, or the story itself was as good as it could have been. The epilogue was a great chapter! The whole story we learn about the main characters love of photography, never her love of baking. Yes there were sweet me ...more
Jun 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book more than I thought I was going to. I knew it was going to be a light, easy read but it was quite...charming and it was kind of funny. The plot is fairly predictable and I feel like I've read the characters before, but for whatever reason the book worked for me. I almost missed my stop on the train because I was so into it at one point!
Oh, one other thing that I really liked is the author's writing style. I can't put my finger on it, but it was just nice to read.

My one critic
Cheryl Kravetz
Apr 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Mary Simses show an extraordinary talent in her first novel, The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop & Cafe. I rank her right up there with two of my favorite authors of this genre, Sarah Jio and Patti Callahan Henry. Mary tells a believable story, set in beautiful surroundings, and brings to life very interesting people. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and can't wait to see what Mary Simses does next! ...more
Nov 23, 2016 rated it liked it
A cute book, very much superficial chick lit. Slightly different from the Hallmark film, but not by much. It was made into a Hallmark film for a reason, very light & easy, but more of a one time read than anything honestly. :) ...more
Apr 22, 2020 rated it it was ok
The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop and Café reminded me of a Hallmark movie. The romance genre is pretty predictable so I prefer the protagonist to be a little bit more likeable if I’m going to be spending time with her while moving toward an inevitable happy ending. This main character was kind of a pain with her constant insistence that she wasn’t drowning (which was the “meet-cute” moment that happened in the first few pages… though there is nothing cute about riptides or drowning) and her r ...more
Chelsey Wolford
Feb 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Ellen Branford thinks she is on the way to Beacon, Maine to grant her grandmother’s dying wish. She has no idea that from the moment she steps foot in Beacon her life will change forever. Ellen was very close to her grandmother and wants only to honor her by delivering a letter she had written before her death. The letter is written to a Chet Cummings, and it is Ellen’s job to locate Chet and get this letter in his hands. She thinks it will be good closure for her, and wants to see the place tha ...more
Jul 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of Nicholas Sparks
Shelves: first-reads
Very good first book from Mary Simses. The novel starts out with the main character Ellen Branford falling through a rotted dock in Beacon, Maine, after being sent on a mission by her grandmother to fulfill her dying wish of apologizing to her high school love. Ellen was saved from drowning by a local carpenter, Roy. This event affects much of the events throughout the book.

While I found the book highly enjoyable, the plot was very predictable and the main character could be rather annoying at
Joanne Moyer
When high powered Manhattan attorney Ellen Branford's beloved grandmother dies, she promises to deliver a letter to Gran's old love in Beacon, Maine, which once she arrives, of course thinks is a horribly primitive place. She expects to be there only one night but after an accident makes her a local celebrity she finds herself staying longer to find Gran's old love and discovering that Gran had a life in Beacon that the family never knew there is that possible attraction to local ca ...more
Cory Nevill
Jul 04, 2013 rated it it was ok
Pretty predictable romance, I was most interested in the grandmother's past abd the town if Beacon, but the book did not go into that very deeply. Not a very satisfying read, kind if like fast food instead of a real meal.
Feb 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
I won this book on a Good Reads giveaway and was very excited when I received it in the mail.

This is a nice easy enjoyable read. Perfect book for a lazy weekend.
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I grew up in Darien, Connecticut and started writing stories when I was eight. Although I always loved to write, I never imagined I could make a living as a fiction writer, so in college I majored in journalism. After working in magazine publishing for a few years, I went back to school to become a lawyer. While working as an attorney, I enrolled in an evening fiction writing class at a nearby uni ...more

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8 likes · 2 comments
“I guess that's the lesson in all of this-not to be eighty years old, looking back on your life, wondering if you made the right choice or how your life might have been different if you'd done one thing and not another.” 7 likes
“I'll have a cup of coffee and one of your blueberry muffins." She sighed and looked at me. "Your grandmother was such a good cook. Her blueberry muffins were extraordinary."
"Yes, they were," I said, and I was back on Steiner Street again, Gran and I taking muffins from her tins and placing them on a wire rack to cool, the smell of baked sugar hanging in the oven-warmed air, the muffin tops covered with rivers of blue where the berries had melted from the heat.”
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