Susan Wiggs is an American author, she's written many stand alone novels and also a couple of series. Summer By The Sea is a romance novel, no getting away from it - if you don't like a bit of love and heartbreak then don't bother. If you like a story that makes you feel good, with a cast of interesting characters and a dollop of Italian food thrown in, then this one will suit you down to the ground.
Our heroine; Rosa, is the owner of a succesful Italian restaurant in a small coastal US town. Her restaurant has been voted the best place to propose for a few years now and it is the perfect setting for romantic couples. Rosa's food is legendary, Italian and learnt at her mother's knee. The only thing missing in Rosa's life is a romance of her own. She's been single since her childhood sweet heart Alex up and left her ten years ago. But now he's back in town. Rosa is determined not to let him back into her life, he's from an upper-class family, she's a small town girl who didn't even go to college. Alex thinks differently, he's changed over the years and wants to make amends.
This is great writing, easy to read, light but not fluffy - there is a bit of a mystery in the story too and the added bonus of gorgeous sounding recipes from Rosa's kitchen at the beginning of each chapter.
An excellent stand alone romance. Rosa and Alex are children from the opposite social strata who become firm summer friends and then fall in love.
Unfortunately, Alex's mother and Rosa's widowed father are against their relationship and circumstances gangs up against their young love. Twelve years later, Rosa is the proud owner of a renowned restaurant in her home town when Alex returns to the town after his mother's death. Neither has been able to forget the other, however, there is twelve years of hurt and misunderstandings to overcome. Really good book.