Jeanie believes she is content—a small town girl happy running the Café Cinématique with her grandmother—but with Xander’s arrival her life takes an unexpected turn and she finds herself unwillingly thrown into the limelight.
For a girl with few ambitions Jeanie’s new life is at once both terrifying and strangely liberating, and in Xander’s company she blossoms into a woman she hardly recognizes. But the sophisticated life of Sydney is full of smoke and mirrors and when her past comes back to haunt her all she wants is to head home, back to passionfruit pie and her grandmother’s warm hug.
Xander discovers he can’t have his cake and eat it too. He has to make some serious decisions, but is he prepared to give away everything he has worked for to win the woman he first glimpsed through the lens of his camera?
Before seeing this book on NetGalley, I had never heard of the author, Téa Cooper. Oh, I am glad I discovered her. Passionfruit and Poetry is a sweet and charming romance, where I found myself cheering the hero and heroine on towards their well-deserved happy ending.
Jeanie lives in a sleepy little town, running a café with her grandmother. The café doesn’t make too much, however it’s theirs and it allows Jeanie to live as she feels comfortable – out of the spotlight and away from a world that judges her for being a curvy girl. Then Xander arrives in town to do a photo shoot at the café. He notices something precious and beautiful in Jeanie, and takes a set of photos that catapults not only the café, but Jeanie into the limelight. While in Sydney, Jeanie discovers the beauty within her that Xander spotted at the café. They also discover an attraction to each other – but just as their romance blossoms, an unpleasant reminder of Jeanie’s past resurfaces and threatens to undo everything.
I have to say I adored Jeanie and Xander. Jeanie is a beautiful girl who has been made to feel as if she isn’t just because she’s a size 14. It was lovely watching her blossom throughout the course of the story. Xander was a wonderful hero. He was able to see the real Jeanie, the person that exists under the exterior, and he saw what she couldn’t. Gosh, that’s gorgeous.
There is a little bit of villainy in this story – Billy Westward, the reminder from Jeanie’s past, rears his head in a way I hadn’t expected. I love it when I can’t pick out how a secret or a villain will reveal itself.
A few other things struck me about this book upon reading. The cover for this is gorgeous. Ms Cooper, you are super lucky to have been allowed a cover that fits in so beautifully with the story contained within its pages – the platinum-haired heroine, the retro background – just perfect. Another thing that I was taken by was the cafe the heroine and her grandmother run. The Café Cinématique brings to mind a café I visited as a child while visiting family in Canowindra* – to this day the café still has the old stained glass windows and retro fittings, so it was lovely reading about somewhere like that.
I have another of Téa Cooper’s books on my review list, and on the strength of this, I can’t wait to read it.
My rating: 4 out of 5
Release Date: 17 June 2013
Note: I was provided with an advanced reader copy by the publisher, Crimson Romance via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
* Canowindra is in the central west of NSW. It’s a pretty little town near where my mother’s family is from. If you want to see the café, click here.