Published by Gallery Books
Publication Date: July 21st, 2015
Genres: Chick Lit
I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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.
“Ingredients in baking were mixed in a specific way to create a specific result–a lot like relationships, Lou thought. If people didn’t blend well together, you’d never get the outcome you wanted.”
I have a confession to make. I didn’t read this book cause of the mentions of You’ve Got Mail or How to Eat a Cupcake in the synopsis. I have neither watched that movie nor read that book. It was the cover and my urge to want to lick that cake clean. Seriously, talk about a cover that speaks to my heart and my second heart AKA my stomach. I have to say that the outsides matched the insides and by that I mean sweet and satisfying.
“He couldn’t help remembering the last time he consumed this dish in this restaurant. But this was different. She was different. He was different.”
Our heroine Elizabeth AKA Lou is a woman that wears her heart on her chef’s hat. She loves her hometown of Milwaukee, her restaurant Luella’s, and a certain vanilla extract she uses as perfume. Then you have Al, he is a grumpy English-born transplant, that loves food, dislikes Milwaukee, and loves writing his food critic column. Lou and Al’s lives come together in the most spectacular of fashions. As they coincidentally form a friendship that centers around food (OMG all the mentions of food had me starving) the attraction that both of them feel for one another leads them in a more romantic direction. This would be fine it professionally Al wasn’t the worst thing to ever happen to Lou. But neither of them are aware and that therein lies the rub.
“Gertrude had been right. Second chances are good, and they taste like coconut cake.”
I really enjoyed The Coincidence of Coconut Cake but more than likely for different reasons than normal. I loved Lou and Al’s story. I loved their moments of food and friendship and eventual romance. But it was a tad predictable. It’s not as if I needed some crazy plot twist but everything I assumed would happen did. But it still had its’ moments of sweetness, swoon, and it managed to make me fugly cry at one point. My real enjoyment of this story came from it’s biggest character, Milwaukee. The Coincidence of Coconut Cake was just as much a love story about Milwaukee and I fell hard. As Lou was making it her mission to win Al over to this Midwest city, she in fact won me over. I live on the other side of Lake Michigan and have never wanted to make a trek to visit until now. So while it wasn’t perfect, The Coincidence of Coconut Cake still has something special for the foodie and the romantic in all of us.