The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living by Louise Miller

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Book Blurb from Goodreads.com

When Olivia Rawlings—pastry chef extraordinaire for an exclusive Boston dinner club—sets not just her flambéed dessert but the entire building alight, she escapes to the most comforting place she can think of—the idyllic town of Guthrie, Vermont, home of Bag Balm, the country’s longest-running contra dance, and her best friend Hannah. But the getaway turns into something more lasting when Margaret Hurley, the cantankerous, sweater-set-wearing owner of the Sugar Maple Inn, offers Livvy a job. Broke and knowing that her days at the club are numbered, Livvy accepts.

Livvy moves with her larger-than-life, uberenthusiastic dog, Salty, into a sugarhouse on the inn’s property and begins creating her mouthwatering desserts for the residents of Guthrie. She soon uncovers the real reason she has been hired—to help Margaret reclaim the inn’s blue ribbon status at the annual county fair apple pie contest.

With the joys of a fragrant kitchen, the sound of banjos and fiddles being tuned in a barn, and the crisp scent of the orchard just outside the front door, Livvy soon finds herself immersed in small town life. And when she meets Martin McCracken, the Guthrie native who has returned from Seattle to tend his ailing father, Livvy  comes to understand that she may not be as alone in this world as she once thought.

But then another new arrival takes the community by surprise, and Livvy must decide whether to do what she does best and flee—or stay and finally discover what it means to belong. Olivia Rawlings may finally find out that the life you want may not be the one you expected—it could be even better.

My Review:

Livvy Rawlings is a pastry chef at an exclusive restaurant in Boston called the Emerson Club.  One evening while serving a flambe dessert, she accidently sets the building on fire.  Out of job and needing money, she moves in with with her best friend in Vermont.  Eventually, she finds herself a job as a baker at a small inn. The owner’s intention is to utilize Livvy’s culinary skills to win a pie contest.

Livvy begins to settle into her life and guests are pleased with her baking. She develops a close friendship with her neighbors, Dotty and Henry McCracken. She feels a connection to their son Martin who is in from Seattle. Livvy plays the banjo in a local band where Martin is the fiddler. Unsure of how long Martin will stay in town, she would like a romantic relationship to develop.

Livvy starts to embrace small town living and moves on from her past life. One big difference is local gossip which makes everything public. Is this the place where Livvy will settle?

I enjoyed the many well developed characters that were introduced in this book. The descriptions of the baking flowing through the story made it a real treat to read.

I am thrilled that the author is working on her second novel.

 

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