Thursday, July 23, 2015

Review: The Coincidence of Coconut Cake

The Coincidence of Coconut Cake
By Amy E. Reichert
Published: July 21, 2015

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.

My review:

You've Got Mail is one of my favorite romantic comedies. I also loved The Shop Around the Corner, the classic Jimmy Stewart film that inspired it and I liked the novel How to Eat a Cupcake so when I saw the description for this book, I knew I had to read it. I also kind of had high expectations for it and thankfully The Coincidence of Coconut Cake delivered.

Lou is finally realizing her dream of owning her own restaurant. It's even in the black even though they aren't making that much money but she is optimistic and she has the love and support of a great staff and a sweet elderly couple who eat there every week. She's engaged to Devlin Pontillier, a handsome and powerful attorney and life couldn't seem to be better. On the morning of Devlin's birthday Lou bakes him an amazing coconut cake and takes it to his apartment to surprise him. Unfortunately it is she who is surprised when she finds he is not alone. Later that same day Al visits her restaurant to review it for his column and he is less than impressed by the service and the underdone food so he gives Louella's a very critical review even though he usually visits a restaurant more than once before writing about it.

When Al sees Lou at the pub, he is happy to see the pretty stranger he glimpsed once before when she was carrying a coconut cake, never realizing she is the owner of the restaurant he critiqued. They strike up a conversation about food (agreeing not to talk about work) and as Lou shows him around Milwaukee, he starts to feel differently about the city and about Lou. He is attracted to her but she is determined to maintain a friendship as she is dealing with her pain over Devlin's betrayal and her struggling restaurant. Gradually she starts to fall for him too.

The Coincidence of Coconut Cake is a delightful contemporary romance. I loved the food descriptions and the way the author brings the setting to life so well. Lou and Al are both very likable protagonists and I enjoyed the development of their relationship and the resolution after the truth is revealed. Even though Al starts out as a negative food critic, popular for his brutally honest reviews of bad restaurants, he starts to change after spending time with Lou and starting to appreciate the city more. Lou has some self esteem issues that she has to work through. She is confident in her abilities as a cook but dating someone like Devlin really damaged her self image and her faith in her dreams. With the help of Al and her friends she begins to see the truth about herself and Devlin and to see how Al truly loves her.  

Overall I found myself charmed by this book and the characters and the sweet love story. The Coincidence of Coconut Cake would be perfect for foodies and fans of romantic comedies. 

Note: I received an ARC for review courtesy of the publisher and Edelweiss


  1. This sounds like an adorable book! I LOVE You've Got Mail and The Shop Around the Corner, so it sounds like I should add this to my TBR list. It sounds like a feel-good read and I could use that kind of book right about now! Great review, Christina!

  2. Yummy!! omg i'm so distracted by the cake on the cover :) I do love you've got mail, though!

  3. I too loved the growth in Al..and thought the romance was sweet and some scenes like the rain scene just made me swoon

  4. Ooh so glad it delivered. I can't resist a book with cake on the cover, can't wait to read it!


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