Love Walked In, by Marisa de los Santos

Cover ImageFinished 5-11-10, rating 4.5/5, fiction, pub. 2005

If you haven’t seen The Philadelphia Story stop what you are doing, rent it, and watch it.  It’s probably overstating the point to say that until you watch it, you will have been living a partial and colorless life.  However, it is definitely on the list of perfect things.  You know what I mean, the list that includes the starry sky over the desert, grilled cheese sandwiches, The Great Gatsby, the Chrysler building, Ella Fitzgerald singing “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If You Ain’t Got That Swing),” white peonies and those little sketches of hands by Leonardo da Vinci.

Chapter 1

Cornelia Brown recognizes a defining moment when she sees it.  Managing a coffee shop, while not on the fast track to a choice career, does give the classic movie loving 30-year-old the opportunity to meet a Cary Grant look-alike.  Martin Hobbs looks good, sounds good, and Cornelia is ready and willing to fall in love.  Only before she gets the chance Martin brings his mystery daughter to the coffee shop and Cornelia falls in love with her instead.  Clare Hobbs has been abandoned by her mother and ignored by her father and has had to deal with more than any 11-year-old should.  Martin lets Clare stay with Cornelia and he loses some of his charm.

The chapters alternate between Cornelia and Clare and the two form a strong bond.  Cornelia now has a purpose and Clare now has security.  I loved Cornelia’s obsession with old classics.  Her love of The Philadelphia Story (my favorite) endeared me to her as did her belief that Jimmy Stewart was the perfect man until Cary Grant walked into the room.  I wish that the movie love had continued through more of the book.  Clare was a brave little girl who seemed wise beyond her years, and maybe she was, but I couldn’t help but love her.  Cornelia learned more about herself and love from Clare than she had learned from her life until that point.

The writing was fresh and fun and the story had many unexpected turns.  I wasn’t crazy about the end, but it was okay, and I would recommend this book to anyone.

This is from my personal library and was chosen by Candice, Amanda, Colleen, and Soft Drink.

“Heartwarming AND beautifully written.”  Soft Drink

“One of my favorite books (the sequel is another hit!)”  Colleen

25 thoughts on “Love Walked In, by Marisa de los Santos

  1. Mary (Bookfan) says:

    I read it last year and really liked it. It is followed by Belong To Me but people told me to wait a bit before reading it. I think I’ll read it this summer because I’m curious how it picks up the story.

  2. Amanda says:

    Oh yay! You picked it! I haven’t read this one but oddly enough read the second book. I liked it. I was surprised that I liked it as much as I did since I don’t normally like romancy type books. Ok. So I have to admit I’ve never seen the Philadelphia story…mainly because I don’t normally like Katherine Hepburn. But I LOVE Cary Grant. And Jimmy Stewart is warming up to me. P.S. Just saw that you are Rosalind Russell on your side bar. I just love that movie with her and Cary Grant, His Girl Friday. Sigh.

  3. rhapsodyinbooks says:

    This sounds really good. Any one who thinks grilled cheese constitutes perfection is OK with me! :–) I also have the previous de los Santos book (that also has just boots on the cover!) but haven’t gotten to it yet, but it too had pretty much universally good reviews.

  4. Jenners says:

    I read “Belong to Me” (the second book) first so I’m super excited to read this one. I just loved her writing! Do you have “Belong to Me” yet? If not, do you want my copy?

  5. christina says:

    I was really surprised that I enjoyed this book. It’s not a genre that I would normally go to. I think because the character relationships and plot were so out of the ordinary, it worked.

  6. Margot says:

    I love the quote you started off your review with. I know I’m going to like this book now. My daughter (Candice) has been trying to convince me to read this author. I’m glad she convinced you. I’ll catch up.

    By the way, how are you feeling these days?

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