Back of the Book:
When Laini Sullivan lands a job designing Nick Pantalone's coffee shop, there are two problems: one, Nick's nephew Joe hates all of her ideas and two, Laini has to admit he's right--she's a disaster at design. Still, she can't risk losing the job. To compromise, Joe brings in help on the project, while Laini continues to bake the goodies that keep his customers lining up. Their relationship is moving along, so when new guy Officer Mark Hall implies that Joe's family is tied to the mob, Laini doesn't want to believe it. But things spin out of control when she meets the family, including "the uncles," who seem to confirm Mark's suspicions. To make things worse, Nana Pantalone makes it clear Laini isn't the kind of girl she has in mind for her grandson. Laini's not sure if she should give Joe the benefit of the doubt or just set her sites on Mark and fuhgetaboutit.
Laini is confused, at a place in her life where she isn't quite sure where her passions lie. She can tell you it certainly isn't interior design but she's determined to get through and graduate. Who hasn't been in that position? As a reader you want to both shake her and hug her at the same time. She's confused and frustrated trying to find her place in the world, take care of her widowed mom and survive day-to-day living.
Through her baking she truly excels but for some reason doesn't see it as her career despite people all but climbing over themselves for a sample of her tasty treats. In other words Laini is just like many of us. She's real. Doesn't always make the right decisions but always tries. Laini has to successfully create and oversee the remodel to pass her last final. Here we met Nick Pantalone and nephew Joe. Joe seems to like Laini but never really makes his move. Despite Laini's attraction to Joe, she agrees when neighborhood Officer Mark asks her out. I have to admire that quality in a woman, the ability to not wait around for Mr. Right to make up his mind.
If I have any compliant - the book is slow. Baby turtle crawling through molasses slow. Dear god, Ms. Bateman...pacing, pacing, pacing. I could walk away with little effort and after awhile it was harder and harder to go back. The attraction between the nephew Joe is fun at first but when it just doesn't go anywhere...readers lose interest. Well I lose interest. Short attention span- what can I tell you? I like a little romance mixed in with my chick-lit. Even if the chick-lit is also Christian based. Christians like love and romance too- or so I'm told. Officer Mark is kind of a jerk but truly the perfect foil for the bland Joe. Readers will root for him simply because he isn't Mark.
That's (Not Exactly) Amore is a perfect by-the-pool book. Doesn't require much from the reader and will entertain to the very end.