Pesto Packin' Mama

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Pesto Packin' Mama

Sequel to Hitting The High Notes

Maggie Duncan is a youngish widow living in South Florida. That is to say she is fast approaching 50. Currently, she’s trying to keep a smallish catering type business alive. She only has 4 customers for whom she makes meals. June brings the realization to Maggie that she needs to expand her business to make money and that the apartment that she has been living in has been converted into condos. She has to decide if she wants to buy it or if she even can. Maggie does have a boyfriend, Bruce Herring.

Bruce is a retired cop and now a part owner in a small restaurant. For the past two weeks he’s been gone and Maggie is sure that it’s because he’s found someone else. She couldn’t be more wrong but is she going to take the time to listen to Bruce?
A good-looking guy has bought the condo next door to Maggie’s condo. Maybe she should get to know him a bit better. It’s not like he’s not interested in Maggie as he keeps asking her out.
Maggie’s best friend, Brenda is the real estate agent selling the condos. She’s after Maggie to buy hers, and not just because of the commission. But that’s not the only reason Brenda is after Maggie. Brenda wants to market and sell Maggie’s marinara sauce and possibly her pesto sauce too. She’s checking out all the angles…..
This is the second book about Maggie. The first, Hitting the High Notes, seems to have introduced all the characters. Throughout this story, there are references to things that happened in the first. This includes Maggie’s relationship with an opera singer.
I have not read the first book but I was able to follow and enjoy this story. In fact, Maggie tries to sell a book titled Hitting the High Notes in this one. She doesn’t get any offers.
There are a lot of things going on in this story. Besides Maggie trying to figure out what guy she should set her cap for, Brenda pushing Maggie to buy her condo, and Maggie trying to make a living, Brenda’s husband has a heart attack and Maggie ends up having the mob after her. However, there were some things that could have been left out like Brenda’s affair. It didn’t really add anything to the story.
I can’t say that I really liked any of the characters. Maggie was too good for some jobs yet she had no income. She also gave the impression of being desperate to marry. Brenda, while supposedly being a savvy businesswoman, doesn’t understand that insurance doesn’t pay for all your hospital bills and has an affair with a sleaze ball to get back at her cheating husband. Bruce keeps trying to do the right thing and seems to really like Maggie. I have to say he’s one of the better characters.
The situations were set up for humor. While I appreciated most of them, some just fell flat. I’m not even sure why.
I started this book with great expectations.  I loved the idea of an older lead character. I could see how humor could be laced throughout this story. I couldn’t wait to start it. 
I’m truly hoping that I didn’t get all the humor due to not having read the first book. I think the characters might have been more likeable had I read it. 
Now, before you think that this is a horrible book, it isn’t. There are sparks of genuine genus sprinkled amongst the rest. Bruce’s mother is so horrible, she becomes loveable. She likes Maggie and no one but her son is going to get her even if Mrs. Herring has to invite herself to dinner! 
Personally, I would read the first book prior to this one but you can still enjoy this off beat story without having read the first.

Book Blurb for Pesto Packin' Mama

My spin on the SECRET BABY plot!

B-a-b-y is just a four-letter word to Maggie Duncan. The widow is childless by choice.  Besides, Maggie has a baby of sorts, a new venture-The Sauced Lady. This commercial undertaking combines her cooking skills and gal-pal’s marketing savvy but gets Maggie into big time trouble later. With loan sharks.

Alas, love, too, is lately only a four letter word in Maggie’s world because heartthrob Bruce Herring disappears for weeks at a time. Why, she wonders. Has Bruce found another, younger woman, perhaps?

Bruce isn’t stepping out on Maggie as she suspects. He’s been blindsided by a call from his father from whom he hasn’t heard in decades after the guy abandoned wife and son. Turns out Dad’s dying and makes a last request Bruce can’t refuse, a baby brother to raise. An infant? That’s something the retired cop never planned on, certainly not at this stage of his life. Can he convince kid-adverse Maggie, the only woman in years who has tempted him to once again march down the aisle, of the worthwhile benefits in accepting a two-for-one deal?

Night Owl Reviews Apr, 2010 3.50