Review: The Second Date: Love Italian-American Style by Mary Lydon Simonsen

Posted July 15, 2018 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 21 Comments

Review: The Second Date: Love Italian-American Style by Mary Lydon Simonsen
The Second Date: Love Italian-American Style

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Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Quail Creek
Released on June 7, 2009
Pages: 176
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased

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The Delight

With a heritage as rich as her mother’s Italian food, Sonia Amundsen is waiting for the perfect man.  At least, that is what she tells herself when she pushes away perfectly good men and goes on blind dates with men she knows are unavailable.  But will she push away Mr. Perfect when the time comes, too?  Big boisterous Italian family, brutally honest best friend, and a blind date mix-up come together for love Italian American- style.

Review

With a heritage as rich as her mother’s Italian food, Sonia Amundsen is waiting for the perfect man. At least, that is what she tells herself when she pushes away perfectly good men and goes on blind dates with men she knows are unavailable. But will she push away Mr. Perfect when the time comes, too? Big boisterous Italian family, brutally honest best friend, and a blind date mix-up come together for love Italian American- style.

I’ve loved this author’s wry humor and down to earth writing since I picked up her modern historical Searching for Pemberley. I’ve had The Second Date on my shelf forever and knew I would love it, but it was only now that I delved into a lush, colorful, and heartwarming story about not just a heroine, but her whole family.

In fact, this is part romance and part women’s fiction. I say that because the romance wasn’t central in story for quite a bit of it, but Sonia’s life and family was. It transitioned at the half-way point and the romance to a stronger role. I point this out so the reader goes in with the right expectations.

The book actually opened with a prologue starting with Sonia’s grandparents and then her parents. It then told Sonia’s story in past and present vignettes of how she came to be an almost thirty-year old woman looking like a Norwegian bombshell, but all Italian on the inside. How as a successful career woman in the publishing industry with with looks, personality, and talent became a serial dater. And, how Sonia fit into a large, supportive, crazy family with all their quirks and life. When the hero is introduced, it was a funny chance meet that tickled my fancy. His history was told, albeit more abruptly, just like Sonia’s and then the story progressed.

The romance was as quirky as their earlier separate stories. I loved how he worked past Sonia’s issues and she does have them. The whole point was to get Sonia to have a second date with the same guy. He definitely worked for it and then there was a surprise twist that opened Sonia’s eyes. I enjoyed this pair together especially once their force of nature families were part of it.

At the point where I was exposed to her dumping perfectly great guys and going out with tons of guys on blind dates at her favorite restaurants, it might seem like she’s a user. Sonia wasn’t using these guys she dated and she generally helped put them in a better spot to have their own chance at happiness afterward. And, yes, she went out with and ended up walking away from a few worthy guys, but she stopped when it stopped working for her. She knew what she wanted and I applaud her for not just settling. She’s a sweetheart, too, so that helped.

For those who love big humorous family stories, that is very much present. I definitely loved this as much as Sonia’s eventual romance. There were some definite laugh out loud moments, food, fights, family and community traditions, and so many times I was nodding and sighing because it was all to familiar. I just wanted to settle back and enjoy being in this familiar-feeling world and keep reading about the family antics, tradition, and love. Those who enjoy this style of romance set in the middle of a family story should definitely give this a go.

 

Challenges

Romance Roundabout #209 CR
Mt. TBR #77
COYER Summer #4
Let’s Read Indie #68
Books N Tunes #28 Dean Martin’s That’s Amore Tune:  Dean Martin’s That’s Amore

Recommendations

 
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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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  • RO

    You went way back with Dean Martin Super Sophia, and I love it! This sounds like a really good read, and one worth checking out. It almost sounds good enough to be turned into a movie too! Hugs…and Happy Sunday! RO

    • Sophia Rose

      I just had to, Ro. It needed Dino. 🙂 Enjoy your Sunday, too, Radiant Ro! 🙂

  • Carole Rae

    Sounds legit tbh. Love isn’t the main focal point until one gets it. The dating and honeymoon stage. This does sound good and Italian families are always fun!1

    • Sophia Rose

      I thought so, too, Carole. The flow of life and love felt in good balance. Ha! Yes, the Italian family aspect had me chuckling.

  • Mary Kirkland

    Big families in stories usually make for fun stories.

    • Sophia Rose

      For sure, Mary! This family was nuts at times. LOL

  • Angie Elle

    This does sound like a fun story! I love books about boisterous families. I’m glad you enjoyed this one.

    On another note, I got the movie Moonstruck from the library and watched it for the first time two days ago. How timely your posts are! Now I want to watch Only You with Marisa Tomei and Robert Downey, Jr. LOL

    Great review!

    • Sophia Rose

      Haha! Poor Angie! I’ve drowned you with Italian Americans. Oh, but yes, I do love those movies. 🙂

  • vvb

    I like the sound of the Italian style family involvement in this – makes it sound kind of cozy. Your music matchup is a cute one too.

    • Sophia Rose

      Yes, it felt very cozy the way the family are all deeply involved in each other’s lives.

      Had to go with Dino on this one. 🙂

  • herding cats

    Oh yes. The big families can be as awesome to spend time with as the romance 🙂 Glad you enjoyed it!

    • Sophia Rose

      Definitely agree, Anna! There was such a great feeling to this story.

  • Evie

    This sounds like My Bib Fat Greek Wedding. I lcan’t be stories like that. They feel more real. Glad you enjoyed it!

  • Evie

    Okay. Obviously auto correct is doing its thing in all the wrong ways. I meant it sounds like My Big Fat Greek Wedding. I LOVE stories like that (no idea where autocorrect got can’t from lol).

    • Sophia Rose

      LOL, autocorrect is the devil sometimes.

      Yes, much like Big Fat Greek Wedding!

  • Carole @ Carole’s Random Life in Books

    I do like stories that involve big families. It just adds such a nice element. Glad you enjoyed this one!

    • Sophia Rose

      Yes, it was just what I was in the mood for and enjoyed getting to know the whole large boisterous family with a side of romance. 🙂

  • This one sounds fun! I prefer stories where there’s more to it than just a romance

    • I will read a straight up romance and love several, but I do prefer when there are other elements like a big family element that’s in this one.

  • I like that she helped the guys find their happy.

    • I thought that was cute and helped show that she wasn’t trying to use them.