Then Again by Karen Stivali

Then Again cover

Sometimes you have to lose it all to find what you really need.

Photographer Kay Turner is dealt a double whammy when she flies home for her grandmother’s funeral to find her boyfriend with another woman. Now with two losses to mourn, she retreats to her newly inherited beach house to clear her head.

Everything at the beach is familiar: the sounds of the ocean, the scent of her grandmother’s perfume—and the irresistible smile of James Margolis. The man Kay spent her adolescence pining for is every bit as charming as she remembers.

James always thought of Kay as “a nice kid”, but he feels something very different for the woman she’s become. Especially when he asks if she’d be willing to part with some of her grandmother’s recipes for his new restaurant—and they wind up sharing much more than culinary secrets.

But as their relationship deepens, Kay finds herself caught between the demands of her dream career as a travel photographer, and a chance for happiness with the one man she’s wanted for a lifetime.

Warning: This foodie romance contains sensual scone baking, a heroine who discovers one bad apple hasn’t spoiled her appetite, and a delicious hero you can’t help but crave. Blend well, serve hot.

~~~Rosie’s 4 Star Thoughts~~~

Kay Turner is a very successful photographer with an amazing job that takes her to the most beautiful locations in the world.  Her career is very important to her and she travels alot.   She is devastated when her Grandmother passes away.  She gets on the first plane from Greece to get to her Manhattan apartment that she shares with her boyfriend.  Kay is so exhausted mentally and physically.  SHe walks in to find her boyfriend in the company of another woman.  He admits that he is lonely because she travels so much and had been cheating on her when she travels.  Kay quickly packs up as much as she can and heads to her Grandmothers house at the Jersey Shore.
Kay was raised by her loving Grandmother Maria, she was really the only family that Kay had.   Her Grandmothers two best friends Rosalie and Trixie were like family to her.  Growing up Kay had a crush on an an older boy named James.  He was 6 years older than her and thought of her as a nice young girl.
Returning to the childhood home that she shared with her Grandmother was bittersweet.  She felt the comfort of being surrounded by the familiar smells and comforts that she grew up with.  She also felt the loneliness and void of her Grandmothers death.  Her Grandmothers best friends try to help Kay as much as they can to get her through the memorial and be there for her.  While getting things prepared for the service Kay runs into James.  He looks absolutely gorgeous and she is immediately taken with him.  All the memories and feelings that she had for him flood over her.  James is so happy to see Kay after all these years.  He can’t believe what a beautiful woman she is now.  Oh and can he cook!!!!
Kay and James spend a lot of time together and very much enjoy each others company.  James is an amazing guy.  He is so sweet, thoughtful, passionate, and very romantic.  Kay can’t believe that James is in her life after all this time and they are sharing so much.  She feels herself falling. Hard!
My thoughts
I really enjoyed reading this story.  You heart breaks for Kay and what she is going through with the betrayal of her asshole boyfriend and her Grandmothers death.    I absolutely LOVED her Grandmothers best friends Rosalie and Trixie.  These cougars made me laugh out loud so many times. Their conversations are hilarious and they add so much to the story. (be sure when you are reading their words you insert the jersey accent!)  James, what can I say.  Hot Hot Hot man alert!  Did I mention that he is an amazing cook ; ) , AND he knows how to clean!!!!!  Seriously does it get any better than that?  Wait til you get to the part of the book that he is helping Kay paint her Grandmothers house.  Lets just say he could paint my house any day!
I can’t even believe the way the love scenes in this book were written.  Karen Stivali you are amazing!  I felt myself melting as I was reading. (Did someone turn the heat on in here?) It is like pure poetry the way she writes. I was definitely swooning with this one!  Had I not had 4 children this would have been a one sitting book.  It can be a little confusing a times because of the point of view switches , but at the same time I really appreciate knowing what they both are thinking at the same time. 
It was a really good story with all the right ingredients that add up to a book that I would recommend. 
He was drawn to her with a force that made his head hurt if he tried to think about it. She pulled him in like the ocean, soothing, exciting and terrifying all at once.
If there was a recipe for love I think this would be James’s version.
Recipe for Love
James Margolis
Something sweet
Something hot
A pinch of angst
A whole lot of hope
Mix all ingredients and bake forever!