Wednesday, 24 October 2018
#CBR10 Book 91: "The Coincidence of Coconut Cake" by Amy E. Reichert
Rating: 3 stars
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.
A lot of people have chosen to review cookbooks for the "Delicious" square of the bingo. I figured that this book, which had I got in an e-book sale more than two years ago, would probably fit the bill nicely. There's certainly more than enough descriptions of food and cooking in it.
I must admit, I liked Lou's close friendship with her two co-workers better than her developing relationship with Al. The conflict here is of course what will happen once Lou discovers that Al wrote the scathing review that is causing her restaurant to tank? My main problem with the book, why it's 3 stars and no more, despite the very charming descriptions of Milwaukee as a setting and all the lovely food that Lou cooks and/or Al experiences, is that I didn't much care whether they got together at the end. I was more invested in Lou's two co-workers. I also very much liked John, Al's colleague and would love to read a romance with him as the hero.
This book is perfectly ok, but didn't leave much of a lasting memory for me. I don't regret buying or reading it, but am glad I got it on sale. I would not recommend paying full price for it. There is a recipe for Lou's famous coconut cake included, for those who actually like coconut (I sadly am not a huge fan).
Judging a book by its cover: As mentioned above, I am not a huge fan of coconut, so a coconut cake would not really be my sort of thing. The delectable looking cake on this cover really makes me wish I did like it, though, and crave cake in general. I'm not sure keeping a cake on top of a pile of newspapers (I'm assuming these to be Al's reviews) is the best idea, but what do I know? I don't run a restaurant.
Crossposted on Cannonball Read.