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Ratings and Reviews (4 31 star ratings
4 reviews

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4.3 out of 5
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  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    Charming and romantic book!

    The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy E. Reichert is a cute contemporary romance novel. Elizabeth Luella Johnson prefers to go by the name of Lou. She is the owner and chef of Luella’s restaurant. Lou is engaged to marry Devlin Pontellier, a lawyer. Devlin believes that Lou should give up the restaurant after they marry and be a stay at home mother (as well as cook meals for his clients and co-workers). Every time Devlin brings up marriage, Lou gets the willies (shouldn’t this give her a clue to how she really feels about him). Now Devlin is suggesting that they move in together. On Devlin’s birthday Lou is up early to make him her grandmother’s coconut cake. She gets the cake ready, gets him coffee, and favorite paper (and actually picks up his dry cleaning). On the way she runs into Al. Lou moves on, but Al continues to think about her. Then Al sees her a few minutes later looking upset and cake/frosting on her shoes. Lou walks into Devlin apartment to find him in his boxer’s and his assistant, Megan in Lou’s new negligee. Lou drops everything and walks out. That night Lou is a mess at her restaurant. She ruins everything she touches, but she refuses to stop cooking. That night the popular new food critic for the newspaper, A.W. Woodyski (Polish for water) is dining at Luella’s (he was given a card with a tip to try out the restaurant). The staff is inattentive, the service is slow, and the food inedible. A.W. Woodyski gives Luella’s a bad review. Turns out that A.W. Woodyski is Alastair “Al” Waters. Al is British and new to Milwaukee. It is the middle of winter, he is cold, does not know anyone, and is miserable. He let this affect his reviews and did not give the restaurant another chance before submitting his review. After the review comes out, Lou is sent with money to the local bar (no one wants her cooking). Al happens upon Lou (not knowing she is the chef of Luella’s). Lou agrees to show Al the good side of Milwaukee. They agree to not talk about their work (of course, she does not know he is a reviewer and he does not know that she is a chef). They spend the next few months exploring the city and getting to know each other. But you know what is going to happen when Lou discovers that Al wrote that review! To find out what happens, you will have to read The Coincidence of Coconut Cake. The Coincidence of Coconut Cake is a charming and romantic book (it grew on me). I give The Coincidence of Coconut Cake 4 out of 5 stars. It is a little predictable, but I like the characters and storyline. There are many lengthy descriptions of food (will make you hungry). If you are looking for a sappy, romantic book, give The Coincidence of Coconut Cake a try. I received a complimentary copy of The Coincidence of Coconut Cake from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The review and opinions expressed are my own.
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    Romantic adventure and second chances - LOVE!

    THE COINCIDENCE OF COCONUT CAKE by Amy E. Reichert is book that I loved reading! It’s the story of Elizabeth Luella Johnson known to everyone as Lou. Lou is a Milwaukee chef who has had to make it on her own after her parents were killed in a car accident. She worked hard and saved until she was able to fulfill her dreams of opening her own restaurant – Luella’s, which she names after her sweet grandmother who taught her the love of cooking. As luck would have it, things don’t always turn out as planned. After trying to surprise Devlin, her fiancé, on his birthday with one of her delicious coconut cakes, she was the one surprised when she finds him with another woman in the negligee he had gifted to her. Lou had been hoping for some positive reviews for the restaurant to boost business and get it into the black enabling larger profit margins in order to succeed. Unfortunately, the rather pompous newspaper food critic, A. W. Wodyski, picked that very same night to anonymously visit her restaurant to review. Being an emotional wreck, the food went out in uncharacteristic manner and taste leaving a bad taste in the reviewer’s mouth and mind. His review that was published was unkind to say the least leading to pulled reservations and empty tables which eventually lead to the demise of the restaurant Luella along with Lou’s dreams. A.W. Wodyski’s real name is Al Waters. Since he wants his reviews to be unanimous, he chose an alias for publication purposes. He recently moved to Milwaukee from England and sees nothing good about town or its frigid weather. Al runs into Lou, literally, as she’s on the way to deliver her cake and then again later that evening when she is trying to drown her sorrows at the bar. It’s then that she joking tells him that she can prove to him how great Milwaukee is. Through the follow through on that challenge and Lou showing him through sight, smell and taste all the good points of interest her beloved town, Al realizes not only does he really likes living in this town but that he loves Lou. It’s not until weeks later on one of their outings that he realizes that Lou is the owner of Luella’s and that it’s review that is leading to its closure. To be in a relationship is to be honest, but he knows if he tells her the truth that he might lose her. He’s not willing to take the chance. What will he do? Lou realizes that she didn’t “love” Devlin that they really had nothing in common. Whereas, with Al she can be herself and they love a lot of the same things, love spending time in the kitchen together. She’s falling in love with Al. Their relationship develops, grows and heats up. Devlin, not wanting to lose, is the one pops their happiness bliss by bringing out the truth about A. W. Wodyski and All being one in the same thinking it will bring Lou back to him. However, Lou lets him know that there is no such thing as them as a couple. They happy couple split and Lou goes about final events in closing the restaurant. Through it all, Otto and Gertrude, an elderly couple that frequented Luella’s, loved Lou as if one of their own. It’s their bequest of their home that gives Lou renewed hope in her dream to have her own thriving restaurant. It’s also at their joint funerals that she sees Al again. She remembers their words to her about love and second chances. Maybe there is a way to have it all! This is a remarkable love story of two unlikely matched people who really have everything in common overcoming hard times, misunderstandings, disappointments to come around to see the good in life, love for each other and power of forgiveness and a coconut cake. I recommend this book to anyone that loves a book that keeps you turning the pages hoping and wishing that it all works out and leaves you with a smile on your face and wanting see what other books Amy E. Reichert has written.
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    It's serendipitous and delightful

    Reichert’s serendipitous new novel is a delight staring the ultimate star crossed lovers. Stars that will leave a great taste in your mouth as they traverse their delicious, and accidental duplicitous relationship and don’t discount the co-stars because they’re also delectable. Her mixing fiction with the real sights and sounds of Milwaukee gave me a great arm-chair tour of the author’s fair city. Her wonderful, witty, playful narrative gave me a plateful of savory reading experiences that involved all of my senses. This debut by Amy Reichert is a fantastic read and will appeal to a number of readers and I for one am looking forward to the next novel by this appetizing new author. The day restaurateur and chef (Elizabeth) Lou Johnson found her fiancé with another woman was the same day her restaurant, Luella’s got a scathing review from the new food critic for the local paper, A. W. Wodyski. He unfortunately happened to make his visit to the restaurant on the one day she went off the deep end. But there’s nothing to worry about right because Wodyski never gives anyone a good review. Al Waters, expat Englishman and using a pseudonym, food critic for the local Milwaukee paper, has an iron stomach and has never had a negative reaction to food, until now. Which will definitely be reflected in his next review of the abomination that is the French restaurant named Luella’s. The only good thing in his otherwise horrible day was bumping into a beautiful woman who smelled delightfully of coconut cake. Was it Kismet or just bad Karma when the two meet in an English pub on the very day the review is published.
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    Loved it!

    Such an entertaining read, I got through it in about three days

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