As soon as I read that this was similar to You've Got Mail, I was hooked and knew I was in for a treat, a coconut filled treat. It didn't even matter what it was about. I love that movie unwaveringly and anything that is compared to it already is amazing in my eyes, point one for the Coincidence of Coconut Cake. Then I read that this takes place in the Midwest and the author has now scored two points with me, all before beginning.
As readers, we have the pleasure of knowing what is happening before the main characters do, and it was only a matter of time until light dawned on their situation. It was delightfully sugary sweet with the happenings of chef Lou and her unknowingly restaurant killer Al, mirroring that of Lou's longstanding and favorite regulars, elderly couple Gertrude and Otto. The Coincidence of Coconut Cake is one of those stories that envelopes your day, bringing both sadness and hope in one fell swoop that there is always a second chance.
At the end is the recipe for the coconut cake, which I cannot wait to try out!
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.