Author: Amy E. Reichert
Published: July 21st 2015 by Gallery Books
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"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 fiancé…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."
Thoughts: Food and books go hand in hand, right? Why not pair the two together and create a story based around a struggling chef and a food critic? Well, let me tell you, what's inside this novel is as delicious as how that coconut cake cover looks. THE COINCIDENCE OF COCONUT CAKE completely took me by surprised and sent me on this quirky, fun journey that had me craving food for days. Have you heard of cheese curds before? I haven't, and the name sounds gross, but now I can't help but want some. Thanks a lot, Amy E. Reichert!
One cup of drama.
The story starts off with Lou who owns a French restaurant named after her loving grandmother. This restaurant is her dream, and for the most part things are going well, until start taking a downward turn. It's bad enough Delvin, her fiance, doesn't want her spending so much time at Luella's (aka her restaurant), but then she ends up catching him with an intern at his office. Yikes. To top if off, Lou ends up creating the worst dish of her life which ends up being served to the nastiest food critic in town.
Al works in Wisconsin and hates it. He's a food critic and even though he has a huge following, he can't help but want to be somewhere else, life somewhere else, do something else. It's not until he meets this lovely lady with the heavenly smelling coconut cake till he starts to realize maybe he's where he should be.
There's just the problem of him being the one who wrote the vicious, possibly career ruining review of Luella's to deal with.
A Tablespoon of hope.
One of the things I adored about this book is how the two characters meet and what develops between them. It really is a YOU'VE GOT MAIL-esque novel, because as the reader, you know what's going on. You see it all through each of their point of views, and while you just want to scream HEY, OPEN UP YOUR EYES AND SEE, you can't. You just have to sit back and see what unfolds.
A teaspoon of romance.
The novel definitely focuses more on the characters and their lives rather than romance. There's friendship first, as well as the possibility for more, but there's also the inner struggle of what they want to do with their lives. Even if they know, where will it take them? Now, I will say that the little bit of romance that's there is fantastic, and the novel wouldn't have been the same without it. I loved that the story focused more about Lou and Al getting to know each other, visiting all the best places in Wisconsin, and not a "let's grab a can of whipped cream, bring it back to my place, and see where it goes" type of story.
THE COINCIDENCE OF COCONUT CAKE is a light-hearted, entertaining, feel good read that shouldn't be missed. Be sure to have plenty of snacks around the house and possibly some beer or cider. You're going to need it. Oh, and did I mention there's a recipe at the end of the novel? Exactly.