As author Julie Carobini puts it in Truffles by the Sea, “Sometimes all a girl has left is chocolate.” This is where readers meet Gaby Flores. She’s a southern California beauty who finds herself practically homeless, jobless, and boyfriend-less. But Miss Flores is a fighter. It isn’t long before she’s secured herself a nice but relatively cheap beachfront loft. Next, she goes to work to restore and repair a specialty flower shop which she has come to own. Hey, with a last name like Flores, which is Spanish for “flowers,” how can she miss, right? Into this exotic little flower shop come potential dates, psycho brides, and even shy seals wandering in from the beach. Mix them all together and you have a recipe for love, fun, and bizarre events.
Carobini has no trouble creating interesting characters who catch your attention and make you chuckle out loud. Gaby’s internal commentary provides much of the humor, as do quirky coincidences and funny descriptions. However, as the second book Carobini has written, I expected Truffles to be a sustained romp of female escapades rather than just episodic bursts, but this was not the case. There were many lags in the book made up of overly drawn out musings or random speculations. Unfortunately, to me it was like a chocolate with the filling left out, i.e. sweet but lacking content.
Gaby is a Christian woman who struggles with things that many women will relate to. However, the book gives little evidence to a personal relationship with God beyond the occasional cry for help. Not only that, but six pages after Mr. handsome gyrates at a party with his ex, our gal is accepting his marriage proposal. The book was still a fun diversion, but it lacked the depth that would have caused me really to learn anything from it. Themes of purity, good friendship and family are still there and will make this sometimes weak book a worthwhile reading experience for most. -- Lauren Steigerwald, Christian Book Previews.com
Determined to turn her life around, Gaby Flores moves to a beachfront loft, takes on a new motto--"Be gullible no more--and begins to rebuild her flower store while searching for Mr. So Right. But when a lawsuit, an eviction notice, a near-empty bank account, and quirky neighbors invade her beachy world, not even chocolate can solve her worries as her fledgling faith is put to the test.