6 Sweet Reads: Books with Desserts In the Title
Fictional baked goods have zero calories, so feel free to indulge in every single one of these sweet reads.
The Cake Therpist
Claire “Neely” O’Neil is a pastry chef of extraordinary talent. Every great chef can taste shimmering, elusive flavors that most of us miss, but Neely can “taste” feelings—cinnamon makes you remember; plum is pleased with itself; orange is a wake-up call. When flavor and feeling give Neely a glimpse of someone’s inner self, she can customize her creations to help that person celebrate love, overcome fear, even mourn a devastating loss.
Maybe that’s why she feels the need to go home to Millcreek Valley at a time when her life seems about to fall apart. The bakery she opens in her hometown is perfect, intimate, just what she’s always dreamed of—and yet, as she meets her new customers, Neely has a sense of secrets, some dark, some perhaps with tempting possibilities. A recurring flavor of alarming intensity signals to her perfect palate a long-ago story that must be told.
Neely has always been able to help everyone else. Getting to the end of this story may be just what she needs to help herself.
The Magic of Lemon Drop Pie
Lolly Blanchard’s life only seems to give her lemons. Ten years ago, after her mother’s tragic death, she broke up with her first love and abandoned her dream of opening a restaurant in order to keep her family’s struggling Seattle diner afloat and care for her younger sister and grieving father. Now, a decade later, she dutifully whips up the diner’s famous lemon meringue pies each morning while still pining for all she’s lost.
As Lolly’s thirty-third birthday approaches, her quirky great-aunt gives her a mysterious gift—three lemon drops, each of which allows her to live a single day in a life that might have been hers. What if her mom hadn’t passed away? What if she had opened her own restaurant in England? What if she hadn’t broken up with the only man she’s ever loved? Surprising and empowering, each experience helps Lolly let go of her regrets and realize the key to transforming her life lies not in redoing her past but in having the courage to embrace her present.
Amy E. Reichert
The Coincidence of Coconut Cake
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.
Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake
Following the recipe is the key to a successful bake. Rosaline Palmer has always lived by those rules—well, except for when she dropped out of college to raise her daughter, Amelie. Now, with a paycheck as useful as greaseproof paper and a house crumbling faster than biscuits in tea, she’s teetering on the edge of financial disaster. But where there’s a whisk there’s a way . . . and Rosaline has just landed a spot on the nation’s most beloved baking show.
Winning the prize money would give her daughter the life she deserves—and Rosaline is determined to stick to the instructions. However, more than collapsing trifles stand between Rosaline and sweet, sweet victory. Suave, well-educated, and parent-approved Alain Pope knows all the right moves to sweep her off her feet, but it’s shy electrician Harry Dobson who makes Rosaline question her long-held beliefs—about herself, her family, and her desires.
Rosaline fears falling for Harry is a guaranteed recipe for disaster. Yet as the competition—and the ovens—heat up, Rosaline starts to realize the most delicious bakes come from the heart.
Tanner Mann is ready to make moves. Returning from deployment with his brother only to find their business burned to the ground, the Air Force vet wastes no time pivoting his sibling’s skills into an innovative bakery for men. Astounded when his clever concept takes off, he’s dismayed to discover he’s unwittingly stealing clientele from the ex-girlfriend he never stopped loving.
Paige Baxter’s head is barely above water. Already a single mother running a cupcake shop with her sister, the last thing she needs is a competitive fly in the batter. So when her old flame starts poaching her customers, she pulls exactly zero punches in her extravagant counterstrike for revenge.
Caught up in a barrage of opposing publicity stunts, Tanner couldn’t be more pleased when sparks start flying amidst the mayhem. But Paige holds a smoldering secret that could collapse all hopes of any icing on their reunion cake.
Can they stop overcooking their grudges and bake up a happily ever after?
ONe Tough Cookie
All cookies are made with love—even if twenty-seven-year-old Karina Cortés doesn’t believe in the concept. For her, a simple life with no attachments is a good life. And her life is indeed good—even with her biggest accomplishment being passing the GED exam. Karina is able to secure an incredible and well-paying job at Singular Cookies, Inc., a small family-owned cookie manufacturing plant in Fort Pierce, Florida. And although the founders of the company treat her like family, Karina insists she doesn’t need or want one. Not after her mother chose a man over her own daughter, pushing the young Karina to move out and make it on her own.
And she couldn’t be happier with her single life, unlike her friends, whose lives revolve around men.
Work and play collide when she meets the company’s hot new mechanic, Ian Feliciano, who stirs up feelings she tends to avoid. Karina knows she shouldn’t date him, but she’s strong; she’ll never turn pathetic like her friends or, especially, her mom. And with a looming plant inspection and trying to break up the CEO’s new romance, Karina has enough to distract herself.
As the inspection draws near and Karina battles her heart, she’ll have to decide whether to continue holding on to deeply ingrained beliefs that keep everyone at bay, or learn that love is not as dangerous as she fears and in the end, it is our history—our singular recipe—that shapes how we live.