Brunch At Bittersweet Cafe – Carla Laureano – Supper Club #2 – Tyndale House Publishers – Published 5 February 2019
Baker and pastry chef Melody Johansson has always believed in finding the positive in every situation, but seven years after she moved to Denver, she can’t deny that she’s stuck in a rut. One relationship after another has ended in disaster, and her classical French training is being wasted on her night job in a mediocre chain bakery. Then the charming and handsome private pilot Justin Keller lands on the doorstep of her workplace in a snowstorm, and Melody feels like it’s a sign that her luck is finally turning around.
Justin is intrigued by the lively bohemian baker, but the last thing he’s looking for is a relationship. His own romantic failures have proven that the demands of his job are incompatible with meaningful connections, and he’s already pledged his life savings to a new business venture across the country—an island air charter in Florida with his sister and brother-in-law.
Against their better judgment, Melody and Justin find themselves drawn together by their unconventional career choices and shared love of adventure. But when an unexpected windfall provides Melody with the chance to open her dream bakery-café in Denver with her best friend, chef Rachel Bishop, she’s faced with an impossible choice: stay and put down roots with the people and place she’s come to call home . . . or give it all up for the man she loves.
Brunch at Bittersweet Cafe is simply delicious. With a buttery, crumbly story base about following your dreams, topped with smooth and very sweet romance, sprinkled over with friendship and faith renewal, Brunch at Bittersweet Cafe has the perfect recipe to create what is a thoroughly enjoyable contemporary Christian romance novel.
Melody has always wanted to own her own bakery or follow her dreams of being a top pastry chef. Instead, after numerous job switches, she finds herself in a chain bakery pumping out carbon copy loaves from a generic recipe. Late one night near the end of a long shift, Melody is stunned to hear a knock on the bakery door. When Melody lets in pilot Justin Keller she has no idea how quickly they will connect and, despite everything her head warns her, her past history and their diverging futures, how much Justin and she will risk to see each other again. But when the opportunity for Melody’s bakery dreams become reality, Melody will have to choose between two things her heart has always wanted.
Brunch at Bittersweet Cafe is the second book in the Supper Club series. I adored The Saturday Night Supper Club, so it came as no surprise that I equally enjoyed this second book. Each book can be read as a standalone as, while they focus on the same tight friendship group, each have a complete storyline.
Once again, the amount of glorious food and scrumptious baking in this book left me ravenous. Carla Laureano’s wonderful writing style brings everything to life so well I’m sure I could smell the bread baking. But it’s not just the food that is so well written. The characters leap off the page and I was so content to immerse myself in their story.
Melody is an easy character to love. Good friend, excellent baker, she yearns for love but has all but given up on it. Through the course of the story readers learn about her childhood and how that has contributed to her restlessness and her feelings about family, love, faith. Melody and Justin make such a wonderful couple. I loved the lighthearted teasing and competitiveness that features as they get to know each other. They might be vastly different, but they just click, which comes as a shock to both of them. They then have to make some tough decisions about what they really want for their futures. I loved the ending, thought it gave proper credence to the story of faith renewal, following your dreams and waiting on God’s timing. It also fit perfectly with Melody’s strength and Justin’s propensity for grand gestures.
Brunch at Bittersweet Cafe is as charming as its characters and as enjoyable as a good loaf of bread. I highly recommend it and sincerely hope there will be a third book in this series.
The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.
Genre: Christian contemporary.
Themes: Romance, food, baking, dreams, God, faith, friendship, pilots, family, mother-daughter relationships.
Published: 5 February by Tyndale House Publishers.
Format: Hardcover, paperback, ebook, audiobook. 432 pages.