In my new series, An Evening at Franc’s, the reader is introduced to the VIP booth at one of Manhattan’s top Italian restaurants named Franc’s.
Book Club, An Evening at Franc’s, the first book in the series focuses around one of the restaurant owner’s favorite guests, “book club.” For the last ten years Frances Giuliani, third generation owner of Franc’s, has watched the same women fill the tufted leather booth of her dining room for their monthly gathering. They come together to share their lives over a delicious meal and a free flowing river of great wine. While it is still referred to as book club, she hasn’t seen them open a book in three years. However, each of them still carries the same tattered books with them each month as a badge of honor. Frances quickly learns that book club is about anything, but books. It’s about the unbreakable bonds of female friendships and the healing power of wisdom, love, and humor. At book club no topic is off limits from dating fiascoes to marriages and divorces, celebrations of jobs won and lost, challenges of parenthood and the highs and lows of growing older such as the effects and realities that graying and gravity can have on a woman’s body.
Armed with the knowledge that only comes with age, a sharp sense of humor and an abundance of alcohol the women of book club know they can handle whatever life brings their way because they’ll face it together. Diane, a widow, is poised to enter the dating scene as she heeds warnings from Sarah the reluctant poster child for online dating gone wrong. Melissa attempts to find common ground with her teenage daughter while trying to find her own identity and Ali struggles to stay relevant in a world obsessed with youth and beauty. Rita longs to reconnect with her husband/business partner, while author and feminist extraordinaire Bette finds room in her life for a man. Kathy the group’s rock is beginning to show signs of breaking.
Restaurant owner, Frances Giuliani, faces her own challenges in the kitchen as she tries to juggle romance and work under the watchful eyes of her overly attentive mother whose sole mission in life is to find her daughter a husband. In spite of her mother’s quest Frances has always held a strict policy to never mix business with pleasure. However, New Year’s Eve, too much champagne and an unforgettable kiss from her handsome manager Derek is all it takes to make her question breaking this rule. As Frances tends to her restaurant’s guests in the dining room, the romantic tension in the background sends her into a tailspin. Could Derek be the one?