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. – Goodreads
Why have I not heard more about this book?!
I’ll admit, the first chapter or so had me considering DNF’ing it – it’s your typical ‘girl breaks up with boy that is terrible, meets new boy but new boy is actually horrible person but is he really’ story. BUT! I stuck through, mostly because the food descriptions were out of this world and I had to see what else Lou was going to make. And holy cow, did it get good!
First of all, it helped a lot that I’ve been to Wisconsin. You’re talking to a die-hard, life-long Packers fan right here, and I’ve tasted the amazingness that is frozen custard and cheese curds. I didn’t realize they were in Wisconsin until she started talking about the Brewers and squeaky cheese curds, at which point I was fully committed to this story.
Yes, it’s a plot line I’ve seen done over and over. Yes, there is a ‘love triangle’ of sorts (part of that triangle is only one sided though, so does it really count?). But there’s FOOD and PACKERS so I obviously loved it. Reichert has a way with words that makes you truly feel like you’re there, walking through Milwaukee with Lou & Al, or dancing in the rain at the Irish Festival, or eating that scrumptious coconut cake. It’s amazing!
While all of the above is true, I really love how Reichert handled the story. I love that she put a new spin on it, in a different place that isn’t overdone like NYC or California (I feel like everyone’s always in NYC or California… is that just me??) and her writing is truly captivating. I gave it 5/5 stars on Goodreads & I highly, highly recommend reading this – just make sure you’re not hungry when you do! 🙂