A light book with some romance and lots of discussions of delicious food, Brunch at Bittersweet Cafe by Carla Laureano was a fun way to spend an afternoon. I thank TLC Book Tours for sending me a copy at no charge for my honest review.
About Brunch at Bittersweet Cafe:
Baker and pastry chef Melody Johansson has always believed in finding the positive in every situation, but seven years after she moved to Denver, she can’t deny that she’s stuck in a rut. One relationship after another has ended in disaster, and her classical French training is being wasted on her night job in a mediocre chain bakery. Then the charming and handsome private pilot Justin Keller lands on the doorstep of her workplace in a snowstorm, and Melody feels like it’s a sign that her luck is finally turning around.
Justin is intrigued by the lively bohemian baker, but the last thing he’s looking for is a relationship. His own romantic failures have proven that the demands of his job are incompatible with meaningful connections, and he’s already pledged his life savings to a new business venture across the country―an island air charter in Florida with his sister and brother-in-law.
Against their better judgment, Melody and Justin find themselves drawn together by their unconventional career choices and shared love of adventure. But when an unexpected windfall provides Melody with the chance to open her dream bakery-café in Denver with her best friend, chef Rachel Bishop, she’s faced with an impossible choice: stay and put down roots with the people and place she’s come to call home . . . or give it all up for the man she loves.
About the Author:
Carla Laureano is the RITA® Award-winning author of contemporary inspirational romance and Celtic fantasy (as C.E. Laureano). A graduate of Pepperdine University, she worked as a sales and marketing executive for nearly a decade before leaving corporate life behind to write fiction full-time. She currently lives in Denver with her husband and two sons, where she writes during the day and cooks things at night.
Connect with Carla online at her website or on any of these social media platforms:
Melody is a pastry chef who has moved from job to job, never really putting roots down. Her last job was with one of her best friends but when that didn’t work out she went to work in a chain bakery where she earns a paycheck but really wastes her talent. She longs for her days in Paris and hopes to own her place one day but she doesn’t she that happening as she has no money and fears her dream may be slipping away. Add in a miserable love life and it really couldn’t get much worse.
One late night on her bakery shift a man knocks on the door. He’s gotten his car stuck in the snow and wonders if he can use the phone – his is dead. She takes the chance and lets him in. From there they start talking and Melody decides that Justin is just the type of guy she needs to stay away from as all of her past relationships have ended so badly. She can’t help but be attracted to him and knows he is feeling a little spark too. She helps him get home and he says he owes her one. Little does he know she will soon be calling to collect.
This was an easy to read and quite enjoyable romance novel. There is nothing overly complicated about it and it follows the standard romance plot. What makes this tale unique is the inclusion of food – so much delicious and delectable food. Melody is a pastry chef so there are long, delightful paragraphs about conceiving, baking, creating and eating all of her delicious treats. Her friend is a chef so her food also plays into the story. The chapters are full of references to cooking/baking and the implements and methods used so it was fun for someone like me who so enjoys spending time in the kitchen.
The romance was as to be expected with a slow build, a fair amount of angst and will she/he won’t she/he that I won’t spoil – but really, it is a romance book so I am sure you can figure out whether there is a happy ending or not. The characters are likable and the story was quite engaging. It’s the perfect book to sit with on an afternoon with a flaky pastry and cup of hot tea.