Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Sweet Baklava is Truly Sweet

I just finished reading the book, Sweet Baklava, by Debby Mayne. The contemporary romance takes place in Tarpon Springs, a city west of Tampa on the Gulf of Mexico. Tarpon is considered the sponge capitol of the world and is a large Greek community.

Mayne takes us into the lives of Paula Andrews and Nick Papadopoulos, two Tarpons Springs residents. Nick, now serving in the military, is from a large, loud, very involved Greek family. Paula, an only child, is determined to take care of herself. She owns a candle shop, a house and doesn't have anything standing in her way. Until now.

Nick, her one true love and high school sweetheart, comes back in to her life. Mayne weaves a love story so true, I caught myself praying for them once or twice. I had to remind myself it was only a story. Paul and Nick love each other so much they can't imagine being away from one another, yet real life stands in the way. Careers, a past, the military and future goals create bumps in the road, making it hard on Paula and Nick.

Throw into the mix a needy and irresponsible mother, a young teen in trouble and a Greek family determined to see Paula and Nick together and you have a story that comes off the pages. Mayne gives us real characters with real problems, and she doesn't throw a solution out there, just to make it happen. The characters work through the problems, creating a story that stays with you long after you put the book down.

Mayne has a knack for taking us right on to the page and in to Tarpon Springs, which comes alive in the book. It feels as though you are actually there in town . . . craving baklava, smothered in honey, pecans, walnuts and lots of sugar.

Sweet Baklava releases in March 2011. Published by Abingdon Press.

Proverbs 16:3

Commit your work to the Lord and your plans will be established.