Contemporary Fiction, Review

Brunch at Bittersweet Café by Carla Laureano

about the book

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.

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my thoughts

Plans and perspectives play an important role in this delightful culinary romance and it is a good thing literary indulgences are calorie-free or my fitness plans would be completely off track (my exercise routine of turning pages definitely wouldn’t cut it)! The delectable desserts in Melody’s repertoire are enough to send my sweet tooth into witness protection.

Melody reminds me of a hummingbird, artistic and free-spirited with a firecracker personality and she never stays in one place too long. I admire the passion she has for her baking and her love of classic books. Melody’s insecurities and rocky relationships sparked my protective instincts and I wanted to take her under my wing like she was my own sister or friend.

Justin is an aviation rockstar or at least he deserves to be with his uber-overachievements. The author presented the piloting portions of the story with such vivid detail that I felt my own body reacting to the experience and I’ve never even flown before. Justin’s loyalty and sacrificial love make him a top-notch hero while his flaws keep him relatable and genuine.

This story, these friends, and all that delicious food took my senses and emotions on an unexpectedly turbulent ride and I loved every minute. I highly recommend not only this story but the previous book in this series as well. I am eagerly anticipating future stories from this author!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and was under no obligation to post a review. The opinions expressed are my own.


about the author

Carla Laureano is the RITA Award-winning author of contemporary inspirational romance and Celtic fantasy (as C.E. Laureano).

A graduate of Pepperdine University, she worked as a sales and marketing executive for nearly a decade before leaving corporate life behind to write fiction full-time.

She currently lives in Denver with her husband and two sons, where she writes during the day and cooks things at night. Visit her website!


also available

The Saturday Night Supper Club by Carla Laureano Starstruck by Carla Laureano 
pick up a free ebook copy of Jilted on Carla Laureano’s website!



Tyndale is sponsoring a giveaway to celebrate the release date, click for details and to enter!

ends 2/18


Do you, or someone in your home, work long and unconventional hours.
Do you have a favorite fancy dessert?

My husband has always worked evenings or nights with a lot of overtime.
I’m happy with comfort food like chocolate chip cookies and brownies!

8 thoughts on “Brunch at Bittersweet Café by Carla Laureano”

  1. Thank you for your review on “Brunch at Bittersweet Café” by Carla Laureano. sounds like a fabulous book and one that I would greatly enjoy having the opportunity to read.

    Thankfully, we are retired now so the long hours of work that my husband use to put in on not one but several jobs are a thing of the past. Now it’s so enjoyable to plan our time ourselves without having to see if it fits into someone else’s schedule. We have the ability to be flexible and change those plans if we so choose.

    Don’t know if it would be considered fancy but hubby and I love to get in the kitchen and bake some delicious goodies. We love homemade breads as well. The cinnamon rolls we make take hours to make, but they seem to disappear at an alarming rate once folks know we are fixing them. 🙂
    2clowns at arkansas dot net


  2. Interesting!I actually work from home, so it’s easier to organize and prepare food. I try to prepare desserts with as less as sugar as possible, there are healthy ways to do that and stay away from the sugar killer.


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