#BookReview : Love is What You Bake of it (The Meraki Series Book 1) by Effie Kammenou #Romance @EffieKammenou @lovebooksgroup

Love is What You Bake of it (The Meraki Series Book 1)
Publication date : March 24th 2020
Genre : Romance
Pages : 278
Stars : ★★★★★

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The only love Kally Andarakis is baking is in the form of the sweet treats she whips up in her café, The Coffee Klatch.

Kally never believed herself to be a person worthy of love, but when an intoxicating man she considered out of her league pursues her, she risks everything to be with him. Later, when tragedy strikes, truths are revealed that leave Kally brokenhearted and untrusting.

Eight years later, Kally is a successful pastry chef running the café she’d always dreamed of owning. With a home of her own, a profession she’s passionate about, and the support and love of friends and family, Kally is content with the life she has carved out for herself.

Until the day Max Vardaxis walks into her café…

With arguing parents, meddling relatives, an overly energetic grandmother, a man-crazy best friend, and the long ago, mysterious disappearance of a grandfather, this new man in town is just one more complication in Kally’s life, if not the main one.

Kally must now decide whether to keep her heart safe or to once again take a ‘whisk on love.’

*** Note : I received e-copy of this book as a part of blog tour. many thanks to Kelly @Love Books Group for tour invite and author for review copy. ***

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Love is What You Bake of it was lovely romance that revolved around Kally, her café and her love and faith issues. It was about not everything is as it looks and make assumptions based on it, having faith in person you love, healing, forgiveness, and giving love second chance.

Essential ingredients for Love is What You Bake of it:  
Flour of interesting characters
sugar of love
butter of romance
yeast of faith
salt of twist and heartbreak
eggs of secrets and revelations.

How to mix it and put it in oven? That’s in the book, written in smooth and captivating first person narrative from Kally and, occasionally, Max’s perspective. Setting of Port Jefferson and Kally’ café, The Coffee Klatch, made the story beautiful.

It started with Kally visiting grave of person she loved, who broke her heart and left her with unanswered questions. This made me want to know more about this person, what happened, and what questions needed answers. 8 years later, now Kally had love of her life, not a man, her café. Past burnt her soul so deep she didn’t believe in love and men until a police officer entered her café- Max who had his own past and wasn’t looking for love. But firework of attraction wasn’t something they could ignore and love was inevitable. I was curious to know what was Max’s past, what happened with Kally all those years ago, if they will stay together after knowing each other’s past, can Kally trust Max and his love or will he break her heart.

Kally was amazing throughout the book. I loved her passion and talent. She was practical, sensible, sweet, and down to earth person. If she was real we could be friends. But she had her flaws, she jumped to assumptions quickly without looking for reason or explanations, she judged all men based on her one worst experience, and never had faith in love and herself. I still don’t understand why she thought she was not desirable and somebody men would not fall in love with! It was easy to root for her. I loved the way she developed, learned to love and have faith in it.

Max was police officer and returned to village with his daughter, Athena, after horrible past. His love for Athena was great. He too had trust issues but unlike Kally he wasn’t someone who would leave without listening full story. I loved his determination and faith but, like Kally, I feel he should have cleared the misunderstanding before all the drama started.

Romance and chemistry was fiery, their relationship developed gradually and I loved the way they made up after break up. I was expecting lot of sexy scenes from cover but there was only few so that was good thing for me. I like more story in a book than just steamy romance.

All characters were interesting and there were so many. I loved family dynamics. Enjoyed story of Andarakis females– Kally’s mother and grandmother’s story and problems in their married life. Kally’s missing grandfather gave the story another layer. I didn’t know anything about Junta and what happened in Greek during their rule around 1970. It was horrible time and I could see why Junta was compared to Nazis.

What I loved most was Kelly’s aprons and quotes on it dictating her mood-
“Sometimes you just need to eat a cupcake with icing and get over it.”
“Baking is my superpower and my apron is my cape”
“I don’t give a frap.”-
Aren’t they amazing?
Another thing I loved was Greek culture, beliefs, food, confections, and history. Recipes and quotes about baking in the beginning of every chapter were awesome. My baking skill is zero and I don’t have oven but my mom has so I’ll send her these recipes. There was humor, heartbreak, wisdom, mystery, secrets, faith, hope, love, family, and baking… everything one want in a book.

Turning point was predictable. I knew this will happen as soon as Max failed to correct Kally. What happened after it was all surprising. Kally’s trip to Athens, surprise she received on her return and shocking revelation in climax that changed all Kally’s belief about love and faith was brilliant. Make up after that and proposal at the end left me smiling. Grandfather still remained mystery so I hope to find more answers related to him in next books of the series.

Overall, Love is What You Bake of it was entertaining and heart warning love story with beautiful setting, interesting characters and lots of mouthwatering confection. I highly recommend this to romance lovers.

About Author:

Effie Kammenou is a believer that it is never too late to chase your dreams, follow your heart, or change your career. She is proof of that. At one time, long ago, she’d hoped that by her age, she would have had an Oscar in her hand after a successful career as an actor. Instead, she worked in the optical field for 40 years while raising her two daughters.

In 2015, three years after the death of her mother from pancreatic cancer, she published her debut novel, Evanthia’s Gift, book one in a women’s fiction, multigenerational love story and family saga, inspired by her mother and her Greek heritage. Kammenou continues to pick her father’s brain for stories of his family’s life in Lesvos, Greece, and their journey to America. Her interview with him was published in the nationally circulated magazine Reminisce.

Evanthia’s Gift: Book One in The Gift Saga was a 2016 finalist in the Readers Favorite Book Awards.  Waiting for Aegina: Book Two in The Gift Saga was awarded finalist status in the 2019 International Book Awards and Chasing Petalouthes, the last book in the trilogy, had also placed in the Readers Favorite Book Awards for the 2018 contest.

Her latest novel, the first book in a new contemporary romance series, is now complete. Love is What You Bake of It, follows Kally’s path to independence despite her sometimes stifling family and her tumultuous road to finding love. But it wouldn’t be a Kammenou novel without a delve into the past, or the references to mouth-watering foods.

 Effie Kammenou is a first-generation Greek-American who lives on Long Island with her husband and two daughters. When she’s not writing or posting recipes on her food blog, aptly named cheffieskitchen, you can find her entertaining family and friends or traveling for ‘research.’

 As an avid cook and baker, a skill she learned from watching her Athenian mother, she incorporated traditional Greek family recipes throughout the books for a little extra ‘flavor.’

She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theater Arts from Hofstra University.

For updates on promotions, events and new releases, follow Effie on Social media.

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What do you think about the bookHave you read it already or any book by the same author? Are you going to add it to TBR? Which is your favorite favorite confections?

Happy Reading!

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Hi, I'm Yesha, an Indian book blogger. Avid and eclectic reader who loves to read with a cup of tea. Not born reader but I don't think I’m going to stop reading books in this life. “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”


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