NAL, Sep 2004, 12.95, 288 pp.
Six months ago, web designer Billy Cabot was downsized because her company Net Circle was trying to avoid bankruptcy. Four months later, she accepts work decorating cakes at Boston's Bella Donna Bakery. Currently she is working on the cakes for the Churchill, Massachusetts annual jubilee. Billy has bitter memories as the hometown of Seth Lanigan, who was her boyfriend for a few months four years ago before he accepted a job at Mackind Associates Consultants in Seattle.
While his mother is in Dublin, Seth is in town for a few weeks fixing up his mom's homes so she can sell it. As a favor he goes to Bella Donna Bakery to see how the cakes are coming. He and Billy see each other and he wants to renew what they had. When a newcomer rude fisherman Ted Schneider dies from an allergic reaction, Billy thinks a homicide occurred while everyone else says no way; she investigates with Seth's help. However, Billy fears a renewed romance because her heart has not recovered from the first time he left her behind.
RASPBERRY CRUSH is a sweet contemporary romance with a bit of an amateur sleuth mystery starring two nice protagonists and a fine support cast, mostly those working at the bakery. The story line works because of the chemistry between Billy and Seth who have a second opportunity at fulfilling what was left incomplete if she takes a chance.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner