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Book Review: Brunch at Bittersweet Café (A Supper Club Novel) by Carla Laureano

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Happy Last Day of January, Y'all!

Today I'm reviewing a new romance: Brunch at Bittersweet Café by Carla Laureano.  It's the second installment in The Saturday Night Supper Club Series, published by Christian publishing house Tyndale.   

According to Goodreads:

From the RITA Award-winning author of Five Days in Skye comes a sweet, romantic treat that will leave you hungry for more.

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.

My Review:

I really enjoyed this book.  Justin and Melody are well-drawn, complicated characters.  Both are scared of relationships, and both are having crises of faith.  I like how Justin and Melody are so well-suited for each other: Both share a sense of adventure.  However, Justin is a little bit more cautious even though he's a pilot.  Once he sets a goal for himself, nothing will derail him.  Melody is determined that nothing will interfere with her dream of opening the Bittersweet Café and Bakery with her best friend Rachel...especially not a man.  Melody has a history of allowing men to mess-up her career goals.  But once she meets Justin and falls for him, she has a dilemma: Stay in Denver and open her dream café with her best friend, or move to Florida where Justin is starting a company with his family.

Another thing I love about this book: the girlfriends! Melody and her friends Rachel and Ana have each other's backs.  They are all so supportive of each other, and they defend one another, too.  Ana even called Melody's mother Jenna when she didn't make it to Bittersweet's grand opening.  The first book in the series, The Saturday Night Supper Club, is Rachel's story, and I want to read it next.  These books read as stand isn't necessary to read it before reading Brunch at Bittersweet Café; I just want to read Rachel's story because I love her character!

Rachel's story 

Melody enjoys searching for rare, vintage books.  Her "white whale" is a yellowback edition of Far from the Maddening Crowd, which is interesting because Melody is a similar character to the novel's Bathsheba Everdene: Oh, the similarities are real!  One of my favorite scenes in the book is when she's on a date with Justin, and Melody takes him to her favorite bookstore.  He purchases her a first-edition paperback of Goldman's The Princess Bride, and by this point in the book, I'm truly in nerd heaven.  When Justin is paying for the book, Thomas, the store's owner, says: "Forget diamonds.  Books are this girl's best friend."  Gotta love that Thomas!

If you're in the mood for a faith-based romance that is not preachy in the least little bit (because after all, Justin and Melody are flawed), then I highly recommend Brunch at Bittersweet Café.  This is the first book I've ever read written by Carla Laureano, and I'm positive it won't be my last.  Her characters are so interesting, and the plot was very good, too.  It's always a good day when I discover a new writer I like, and I'd like to thank TLC Book Tours for the opportunity to read and review this book.

I have a copy of Brunch at Bittersweet Café to give away.  Just leave a comment below telling me you're interested, and I'll draw a comment at random via number generator.  

Disclosure:  I received a copy of Brunch at Bittersweet Café from the publisher via TLC Book Tours in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Until next time...

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill


  1. I'm adding this one to my queue - the stack is growing.

  2. This sounds like a book I would enjoy!

  3. This sounds like such a great winter read! Thanks for being a part of the tour!
    Sara @ TLC Book Tours

  4. I think I would enjoy this, sounds like a good read. I enjoy your reviews RJ and your gorgeous photography.

  5. This one sounds fun, RJ. I like the way the characters are drawn from your descriptions!

  6. This sounds like a Hallmark movie! I know I will love it!

  7. I'm interested, as this sounds like a book that I'd just love.

  8. I enjoyed the first book in the series and I'm looking forward to this one! I just found your website, so I'm looking forward to finding more of your book suggestions. :)

    1. I want to read Rachel's story soon. Thanks so much for reading my blog and leaving a comment!


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I'm Ricki Jill. Welcome! I'm honored that you're reading my blog. I enjoy sharing my creative lifestyle @ The Bookish Dilettante. For more information about my blog, please read the Start Here page. Thank-you for stopping by, and I hope you'll consider following me via email.

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