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By Invitation Only (2009)

This wonderfully written novel presents life in the Hamptons as it is seen from the inside. Jodi Della Femina knows this area well - and it shows - her father, Jerry, owns a famous East Hampton restaurant. Toni Fratelli is a highly strung caterer who can never sit still and has a mile-long to-do list. After attempting to open her own restaurant in New York City, she inevitably returns home to the Hamptons when things don't work out. She begins working at her father's Italian restaurant again and tries to create some buzz for the new catering business she is starting. An extremely talented chef, Toni is nothing but a thorn in the side of the local catering company La Dolce Vita Foods. In the meantime, Toni's best friend, Layla, is getting married to the son of a wealthy, old-money family. Didi, the mother of the groom, is hardly happy that her son is marrying a local girl. Despite Layla's effortless beauty, Didi would rather her son be with someone who runs in the same social circles as her family. Toni has such a busy summer ahead of her - between catering Layla's wedding, making an appearance on local channel PlumTV to showcase her cooking skills, working at the restaurant and trying to get her catering gig off the ground - she never expects to meet someone special. But that happens when she crosses paths with Chris, a man like no one she's ever met before. He's not like the New York City types she's dated in the past and she likes that about him. But Chris is harbouring some secrets that he's not sure Toni will like. Before the summer is out, Toni has to learn to move on and forget her past and ultimately forgiving becomes her biggest challenge of all. It is a lovely summertime beach read that you won't want to put down. (AS)

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