Standalone. Tantor Audio. (July 2015) Library
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?
The Coincidence of Coconut Cake is the perfect title for this tour around Milwaukee's food scene. Lou has a restaurant that she's passionate about. Al is passionate about getting out of Milwaukee and advancing his career. Fortune's favor has found them meeting each other. Lou becomes Al's tour guide around the best food Milwaukee has to offer. The pair start getting close as their food tour continues but not all is right in Lou's life. She doesn't want to discuss her work life and neither does Al. Her business is failing and it's all Al's fault which neither of them know, yet.
It was pretty much all anticipation for me as I listened to Lou and Al's story. I knew that Lou was going to find out that Al critiqued Lou's restaurant horribly. I knew that it was going to go down badly. I just never knew when. After what seemed like forever when all was revealed I audibly gasped. And you would to if you knew how it was revealed...
Lou was having a miserable day when Al came to her restaurant. It was actually the day they met when she had her own baked coconut cake to give to her boyfriend. After meeting Al, she went to his apartment and couldn't believe what she saw. Things turned from bad to worse after Al's critique. So much so that when Lou became friends with Al she said she wanted to avoid talking about her work so they only talked food.
C.S.E. Cooney was the narrator of this story. As I listened on I got to hear about all the delicious food that was being served and eaten. Books about food always make me hungry and this book was no different. I kind of want to go to Milwaukee now because of this story which is a place I never thought I would want to go to. I did have trouble liking Al because the way his voice was voiced was by a woman. It was soft and English. I don't know if I had something against Al himself and/or the way he was voiced. I didn't feel the spark between him and Lou. I don't know either if it was because they were friends for so long or he was just boring...
I enjoyed listening in Lou's life. I thought the story had a creative plot and the best reveal. I do think the story was lacking the spark of romance. It's more of a foodie book with some hints of anticipation. Listening to the story, I wasn't particular convinced about Al and there were a couple of words misread that bothered me. However, I still think this was a nice read especially if you are in it just for the food.