The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy E. Reichert Book Review

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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.

Melanie’s 2.5 Star Review:

The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy E. Reichert is the perfect Sunday read. Light hearted and charming, this book will not only have you craving for some romance in your life but also some delectable plates of food to accompany it. Dubbed as “You’ve Got Mail meets How to Eat a Cupcake,” I’d say that they hit the nail right on the head with it.

Lou a talented, up and coming chef who is admirably passionate for her love of good cooking and good food opens a restaurant named after her grandmother and I thought this shows you just how much this venture means to her. In the very start of this book, the author puts Lou in a relationship where the importance of her dreams are not shared by the man who she is supposed to spend the rest of her life with. I thought that Lou took everything in her life by stride and many times that bothered me. Unlike her coconut cake, Lou’s lack of emotion was too bland for my taste. I felt like she just let things go over her head even during situations where most people would have been freaking out. Thank goodness for Al whose personality was the completely opposite of hers. He was opinionated (guess that came with his occupation) but he was also very expressive in his wants and dislikes. I rather enjoyed reading his point of view during this entire book. A fun and fresh change from the heroine.

And my biggest peeve? The non-existent chemistry between Lou and Al. I didn’t for one second feel any real spark between them; most of their interactions I felt to be too dry and again this was really due to Lou’s unavailability in the emotional department. Their compatibility definitely blared through the pages; their love for good food, beautiful art, and other interests but that was all it was. Plain and simple, it was missing heart. I didn’t feel the love, simply read the word through admission on a couple of pages. I wish the author would have given her readers a little more hearts and flowers, a little less details regarding tangible objects like the museum’s flooring.

What I did really enjoy about this book was how food was mixed into Al and Lou’s story. I liked that the conflict was laid right out in front of me even though the characters had yet to figure out what the heck was going to happen next. It made me feel like I was in the know and it also kept that level of anticipation more exciting—how is this all going to be revealed? How are they going to react? How will they fix it? Those questions swirl around your mind and it makes for a definite entertaining read. So while I was wildly looking forward to reading this book, there are quite a few points that left an unpleasant aftertaste in my mouth. I wish this met my expectations but then again it may just have been set too high.

If you’re in the market for a light-hearted read without too many bells and whistles, then this may just be one for you.

** ARC provided by Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books for an honest review **


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