I have been traveling quite a bit for work these past few weeks and I am currently writing this review on a train home from Montreal: a city closely linked to Lexi Stuart of Sandra Byrd's series about a dedicated pastry chef torn between fulfilling her dream; coming into her own and choosing the right path---and man--- for her all while growing closer to God and re-discovering powerful friendships in a church context.
The Montreal strand: Lexi studied French in Montreal and all things French--specifically Parisienne ---infuse Byrd's tasty confections of novels.
In fact, I am surprised I didn't gain weight just reading about all of the gourmet delights Lexi concocts at a new Seattle bakery where she is at the helm: creating pitch perfect recipes for weddings and corporate events.
Following her stint in Paris in Bon Appetit, Lexi is State-side once more and with the new addition of handsome Philippe and his daughter, Lexi is caught between her developing feelings for the Frenchman and her long-standing relationship with Dan ( the lawyer who wears suspenders, as my friend Jessica and I refer to him).
I love the suspenders. I love the lawyer. But, Byrd keeps us guessing ( as she has throughout the entire trilogy) who Lexi will end up with in the end. I was very excited to see the outcome as I was strung along in the story and the pages kept flying in my anticipation!
This is a frothy book perfect for an autumn afternoon wiling away in your favourite coffeeshop, a favourite piece of carrot cake by your elbow. In fact, even though situated as the third (and final ) in the series, I don't think you need to have read the previous two books to capture Lexi's life and dilemmas of career and faith. Byrd does well in relaying any and all vital information from the book's predecessors and this can definitely factor as a standalone novel.
I heartily recommend this delicacy: a perfect piece of escapism as tasty as Lexi's renowned caramel latte cake.
I have two small nitpicks with the novel that I would be remiss not to mention ( for you know my penchant for honesty in reviews). As in the previous two novels, I was bogged down by the ephemera which informs major events in Lexi's life: emails, text messages, invitations, etc., I found these extraneous and detracted from the action at hand.
Next ( and this is a very small nitpick and you can shake your finger at me for my pickiness ), Lexi studied French in Montreal yet the author never once differentiates the fact that Quebecois French and Parisienne French are almost foreign to each other. I am probably only writing this because, as aforementioned, I am just returning from a stint in Montreal and it is fresh in my brain. The insertion of french words here and there did not help to create a valid ambience so much as tamper the flow of Byrd's competent rom-com prose.
But enough nitpicking, I was absolutely delighted to return from a work trip last week and be greeted by a signed copy by the author with a delicious recipe card tucked inside. I felt like Lexi had crept into my apartment!
For this, I would like to thank Sandra Byrd for the copy and invite you to visit her website where you can interact with this best-selling WaterBrook author.
I also enjoy engaging with Sandra on facebook!
I added Sandra Byrd to my roster of must-read Christian chicklits back when I read Let them Eat Cake and I eagerly await where she'll take us next.