Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Review: "Pesto Packin' Mama" by Nan D. Arnold

Maggie Duncan is 50-something but still doesn't have everything quite figured out. Her business, Pots & Pearls, is barely bringing in enough money to cover her expenses, her apartment is being sold out from under her, and her boyfriend, Bruce Herring, is hiding some major secrets, specifically the one that involves him raising his infant brother, Jorge. Then again Maggie has secrets of her own, and she's not quite willing to share those quite yet.

Enter Brenda, Maggie's best friend, who has an idea that they could market and sell Maggie's marinara sauce, but who ultimately tangles with the wrong people while trying to get their product available for distribution. Add Mrs. Herring, Bruce's pushy mother, and Thomas, Maggie's new widower neighbor and you have a recipe for disaster. Maggie must conquer her demons if she wants a happily-ever-after and a potential walk down the aisle with the man of her dreams.

I couldn't put Pesto Packin' Mama, the sequel to Hitting the High Notes down! I loved that even though Maggie was technically "over the hill" she didn't have everything all figured out. So often we women think that we should have things all figured out by a specific age deadline, but realistically how often do things just magically fall into place when we want them to? Maggie muddles her way through the obstacles that she finds in her way, and ultimately she's determined to make the best of things, no matter what.

The characters were well-developed, and even though I found Maggie's best friend, Brenda, to be rather grating and pushy at times, especially when she was determined to get her way, her personality seemed to compliment Maggie's often indecisive character. Even Mrs. Herring, Bruce's pushy mother won me over. Despite her intrusive and sometimes harsh behaviour, you could tell that she had her son's best interests at heart and that at her core she remained a good, although at times misguided, person.

Pesto Packin' Mama is a reminder that you can be pushing 50 and still have great sex, intriguing romance, good friends, memorable times, new business ventures, and ultimately, fun. After all, 50 is the new 40! Nan D. Arnold has written fun contemporary fiction for what she calls "boomer babes" and she certainly delivers on this front. Expect to pick this one up and be unable to put it down until long after bedtime has come and gone, because you just need to know what happens next.

Thank-you to the author for sending this review copy! Read an excerpt from this book here, or find out more about Nan D. Arnold here.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Recommended to: Contemporary fiction lovers, "boomer babes"
Challenges: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge, New Authors Challenge 2010, 2010 Chick Lit Challenge

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