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Friday, January 8, 2010

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

The Second Date: Love Italian-American Style by Mary Lydon Simonsen
Publisher: Quail Creek Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full (166 pages)
Heat: Sweet
Rating: 4.5 Books
Reviewed by Cholla

Sonia Amundsen looks like a Nordic goddess on the outside, but her heart, soul, and stomach are all Italian. She is also a successful professional who is about to celebrate her 30th birthday. Although friends have been setting her up on blind dates for two years, she never goes out on a second date with any of them because she is still looking for that perfect guy. The problem is that she has very specific criteria as to who Mr. Right is. Sonia is beginning to think that such a man is not out there until.... Set in the late 1980s, Sonia is surrounded by an extended Italian family, a caring, but over-bearing mother, warring aunts who use family funerals to stage full-blown tragedies, and a close friend, whose main goals in life are to get pregnant and to help Sonia find true love. The Second Date explores friendship and love in the heart of the Italian-American community where food is second importance only to love.

When your parents have the love of a lifetime, one that seems like it will last to the end of time, how could your dates ever compare? This is the question Sonia Amundsen keeps asking herself. As unlikely a pairing as her parents may be – one fully Italian while the other is fully Norwegian – they have a love that has sustained through the toughest of times and come out only stronger in the end. Is it a wonder that Sonia has such high expectations?

Sonia is an intelligent and independent woman. She wants to find her own way while still making her parents proud of her. I love her sense of humor and the fact that, despite taking after her Norwegian father physically, she is 110% Italian on the inside. Despite her irrational urge to push any and all eligible men away from her, she really does want to settle down someday.

As a favor to a friend, Nick Santangelo decides to go meet the blind date he has to cancel on. Once he lays eyes on Sonia, however, he can’t just say, "So long!" and walk away. It’s love at first sight, much to Sonia’s reluctance. He’s persistent and refuses to let her run. Nick is Italian through and through and has seen worse than Sonia thinks she can throw at him, so he’s prepared.

Once Nick and Sonia are together, they’re a dynamite couple. Strong-willed and fun-loving, they are a joy to watch as they grow together and into their relationship. The Second Date is a fun and touching history of how a couple has come together – starting way back before the beginning. Ms. Simonsen’s unique writing style is a joy and a pleasure to read and brings a real quaint quality to the story. You’ll be swept up in the romance of Sonia’s grandparents and carried right along until the present day.