Review: The Recipe Box by Viola Shipman

This is a charming story about Samantha moving back home to small town Michigan from her temporary pastry chef stint in NYC. Though her big city boss was a total jerk, Samantha did leave behind good friends and big dreams.

She didn’t realize that her dreams could be fulfilled in Michigan if she’d only give it a chance. Back at her family’s orchard, Samantha spent time with her mom and grandmother, finding out little by little just how special the family recipe box was. I loved how her two worlds collided via the recipe box, giving Samantha the opportunity of a lifetime – if she decided to take it.

I loved the orchard setting, the convivial relationships among the women, persistent Angelo, and that awesome recipe box. I couldn’t quite identify with Samantha’s personal struggles, and the story was fairly predictable, but in the end I was satisfied — much like I am when hearing the expected crunch of an apple. All good stuff.

-calliope

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Review: Christmas in the Park by Laura Lockington

This is a quirky little story about Sarah who leaves her high-stress tv show career, and decides to start her own baking business. The focus is actually on the next newest thing in Sarah’s life… a dog! If you’re an animal lover, you’ll be charmed by Sarah’s comings and goings with sweet yet demanding Malteaser at her side. He follows her to the cafe where she gains a few clients… and new friends. He also gives her a run for her money at the park! 

What I enjoyed most were the baked goods and coffees, the meeting up with friends, and the new beau… all fulfilling Sarah in a way her old life never could. 

-calliope

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