Review: On Any Given Sundae by Marilyn Brant

On Any Given Sundae by Marilyn Brant
Release Date: May 31, 2011
Publisher: Marilyn Brant
Page Count: 166
Source: ebook provided by the author

Nothing tops the sweetness of an unexpected love…

When Elizabeth’s uncle Siegfried and Rob’s uncle Pauly rush off to Europe for a month, they temporarily relinquish the reins of their ice cream shop to their respective niece and nephew — two people who may have grown up practically next door to each other but who have next to nothing in common.

Elizabeth “Please Don’t Call Me Lizzy” Daniels is a small-town Wisconsin girl at heart. Shy and inexperienced at love, the frizzy-haired dessert cookbook writer still resides in her quaint hometown of Wilmington Bay, stutters painfully when nervous and is only comfortable with her laptop and her tiny circle of cooking pals. She must come out of hiding over the summer to help her uncle, but she’s convinced her childhood crush, Rob, barely knows she exists.

Roberto “You’d Better Call Me Rob, or Else” Gabinarri is the town’s golden boy and former football star who left home after high school, made a splash in the big city and never looked back. He has to return to Wilmington Bay to uphold a promise to his uncle, but he’s counting the minutes until he can escape to the relative anonymity of his fast-paced, commitment-free city life and the sports-themed restaurant he owns in Chicago. Despite his chattiness and charm, Rob was always intimidated by quiet, brainy girls like “Frizzy Lizzy,” and he isn’t pleased to be back in the place where people like her still see him as that popular but dumb jock — an image he worked for almost a decade to shed.

The unlikely pair tries to make the best of being stuck together, but Elizabeth has a pressing publication deadline, and Rob has an Italian mother bent on lining up potential hometown brides for him. Rob comes up with an idea — something that might help them both — but it involves just a bit of family deception. With time running out to finish her cookbook and her friends already stretched to the max trying to assist them, Elizabeth reluctantly agrees.

Neither Rob nor Elizabeth are used to playing games of pretense, but can love, hot summer nights and, maybe, some chocolate sauce, caramel and whipped cream…turn their farce into reality?

Review:  I absolutely positively ADORED this book. From beginning to end, it kept me grinning like an idiot, giggling, and biting my lip in anticipation at the characters. You gotta give credit to Marilyn Brant for coming up with a cast of characters that you might be able to find in your own hometown. If I didn’t know that the book takes place in Wisconsin, I could almost swear it takes place here, in my own little bitty piece of small town America. Be warned, reading this book on an empty stomach is not a good idea. Also, if you have any type of sweet tooth, make sure your freezer is locked tight and the food network channel blocked from accessing it b/c with all the treats and goodies, you will surely find yourself stumbling to the kitchen for a midnight snack.

I saw myself in the heroine, Elizabeth (don’t call me Lizzy), and felt my heart pang in sympathy at her self-consciousness and anxiety at seeing our hero, Rob (don’t call me Roberto) again, some years after graduating high school. I’m sure we all would have similar feelings if we were faced with our high school crush. I also saw myself feeling sympathy towards Rob as well, as he turns out to not be the typical high school jock everyone thinks he is.

It was obvious that Lizzy’s friends all had her best interests at heart and would go to bat for her any day of the week. It seemed like almost everyone wanted Lizzy and Rob to end up together, and while not a single person pushed them together, they all seemed to delight in showing Rob what he could have if he gave his heart half a chance.

I’m hard pressed to find a favorite character or the funniest. They were all great. But I think I have to give it to Rob’s mom. She’s a character who I found myself laughing at the most. She is definitely not like any other Italian mother I have ever come across in any book. While she does have some of the typical loving mother, just wants to see all her kids happy, attributes, she has a few quirks that make me wish my mom was a little more like her.

I loved this book so much I immediately went to Amazon and bought 2 of the author’s other books. I have no doubts that they will be just as funny.

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