Saturday, July 4, 2015

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: The Coincidence of Coconut Cake, by Amy E. Reichert {ends 7/13}

She wondered if Al would call. That caused her stomach to do a flip; a drunken, sloppy flip, but a flip nonetheless. She vowed not to discuss work or jobs with him. He'd be her escape from reality. Never mind that her lungs had stopped when he'd caught her and her hands itched to feel what hid under his neat, preppy appearance. She'd always kept her impulses grounded, but tossing her cautions in the air with Al might keep her occupied while life as she knew it blew away.

The relationship in this book has been compared to the one in You've Got Mail, one of my favorite movies, so I knew I definitely wanted to read this novel. In this case, instead of a department store mogul and a small bookshop owner, we have a newspaper restaurant critic and a restaurant owner and chef, and I definitely was not disappointed by this incarnation of the similar story.

Official synopsis:
YOU'VE GOT MAIL meets HOW TO EAT A CUPCAKE in this delightful novel about a talented chef and the food critic who brings down her restaurant — whose chance meeting turns into a delectable romance of mistaken identities.

In downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Lou works tirelessly to build her beloved yet struggling French restaurant, Luella’s, into a success. She cheerfully balances her demanding business and even more demanding fiancĂ©…until the morning she discovers him in the buff—with an intern.

Witty yet gruff British transplant Al is keeping himself employed and entertained by writing scathing reviews of local restaurants in the Milwaukee newspaper under a pseudonym. When an anonymous tip sends him to Luella’s, little does he know he’s arrived on the worst day of the chef’s life. The review practically writes itself: underdone fish, scorched sauce, distracted service—he unleashes his worst.

The day that Al’s mean-spirited review of Luella’s runs, the two cross paths in a pub: Lou drowning her sorrows, and Al celebrating his latest publication. As they chat, Al playfully challenges Lou to show him the best of Milwaukee and she’s game—but only if they never discuss work, which Al readily agrees to. As they explore the city’s local delicacies and their mutual attraction, Lou’s restaurant faces closure, while Al’s column gains popularity. It’s only a matter of time before the two fall in love…but when the truth comes out, can Lou overlook the past to chase her future?

Set in the lovely, quirky heart of Wisconsin, THE COINCIDENCE OF COCONUT CAKE is a charming love story of misunderstandings, mistaken identity, and the power of food to bring two people together.


This was also a bit of a love letter to Milwaukee - a town I haven't been to, but feel like I now need to - as Al and Lou explored its culinary and entertainment scene.

Al meets Lou soon after she calls things off with her fiancee, Devlin, after she catches him with another woman. Al and Lou start off as friends; Al is from England and moved to Milwaukee to write the food review column for the local paper, although they make a vow not to talk about work, so for a while, neither of them know what the other does for an occupation. Lou decides to show Al the best restaurants and venues the city has to offer, and they soon find themselves falling for each other ... however, Al soon figures out that "Lou" is actually Elizabeth, owner of Luella's, and must decide if he should tell him he wrote a skewering review of her restaurant, or not.

This book was very cute, and I liked that we knew what was happening both in Lou and Al's minds; for example, they both like each other right away, but are both too shy to make the first move, relationship-wise. Once Al found out that Lou was the owner of Luella's, I knew that Lou would find out who he was too, eventually - but it's the way that both characters handle the aftermath of these secrets that makes Coconut Cake a compelling read.

{and unrelated ... the cover is so cute! And makes me want to eat some coconut cake.}

This novel will be in stores on July 21st, 2015. 4 stars out of 5.
{Click here to pre-order}

*Disclosure: I received an e-copy of this book for reviewing purposes. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

GIVEAWAY:

One of my lucky readers will win a paperback copy of the novel!

Enter via the widget below. Giveaway will end on Monday, July 13th, at 11:59pm EST, and winner will be emailed the day after and have 24 hours to respond, or an alternate winner will be chosen.

U.S. residents only, please.

Good luck!

Coincidence of Coconut Cake

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