Monday, March 21, 2016

Welcome To The Dairy State

"You will meet someone who appreciates you for you, scars and all."
--Amy E. Reichert, The Coincidence of Cocount Cake
Genre: Adult Contemporary
Publisher: Gallery Books
Pages: 318
Publication Date: July 21st, 2015
Source: Review copy provided by publisher 
Find On: Goodreads | Amazon

Goodreads Description 

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.
When this book showed up on my doorstep it was a total surprise. I had never heard of it but when I read the back I was sold. Why? Because it takes place in...MILWAUKEE!

The Setting
Call me biased but this book wouldn't have had the magic it did had it not taken place here. Taking place in the city of Milwaukee, aka my hometown for intents and purposes (I grew up in a suburb outside but I digress), this book follows a chef who is trying to make her restaurant successful. I also love reading about cooking. Yum. What I loved about how Amy Reichert wrote this book is that she combined the charming aspects of the city while highlighting it's unique food staples. From cheese curds to butter burgers, Amy brings the food culture and the city of Milwaukee to life. Most of you know I work as a travel nurse and haven't been based at home in over a year, this book made me want to move back home immediately. I missed the familiarity and comfort that only home can bring. I absolutely could not get enough of reading about comfort foods I haven't thought about in years and places I didn't even know I missed. This was comfort food and comfort reading all rolled into one.

The Writing
The writing of this story engaged me immediately. Reichert's writing is easy flowing and quick going. It was a fast read and I liked how much the story flowed and introduced the characters. Sue and Harley and John round out the main cast of characters and I really loved getting to know them. They were fleshed out enough to make me interested in maybe their future stories but never overpowered the main plot between Lou and Al.

The Romance
I quite enjoyed the courtship between the stodgy Englishman and the vivacious Wisconsin girl *wink*. I loved watching her take out Al and help him experience everything great nuance Milwaukee has to offer. I love reading about dating and dates and the banter and the getting to know each other stages. It's so fun and exciting and I felt the excitement of a new crush. The conflict was agonizing to think about because it sucked for the characters but it worked for them and their situation.

The End
I was really enjoying the book up until the lat 15% or so. Why? Because there was a very rapid development involving two characters that just seemed a bit too contrived and unrealistic. It was too easy with its ramifications of what happened afterwards and it just didn't feel organic to the story and it kinda killed everything good leading up to. If you can ignore this large plot foible then you'll probably still really enjoy the book.

General Admission
If you like light stories, quick reads, and a fun romance...this book is for you.

2 comments:

  1. I liked this one, too but totally agree re: the last 15%! I totally think the setting is great even for those not from Milwaukee but what a plus for you!

    Also, I'm so excited the author is writing another book in this sort of vein -- Luck, Love and Lemon Pie (to be released this summer).

    my review

    ReplyDelete
  2. How very intriguing! I like the sound of reading a book about a chef, and I'd love to read a story set in your hometown. I'm glad you enjoyed this (in spite of the last 15%), and might check it out too!

    ReplyDelete

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