Food and romance in Milwaukee

Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy Wright is a sweet romance set in Milwaukee. Main character Elizabeth Johnson (who likes to be called Lou) is a chef with a new restaurant called Luella’s. Lou is engaged to Devlin, an ambitious lawyer. For Devlin’s birthday she bakes him a special coconut cake (recipe is included) and takes it to his apartment as a surprise, stopping along the way at a newsstand where she bumps into a stranger. Lou does not know that the stranger she find so attractive is Englishman Al Waters who writes restaurant reviews under the pen name A. W. Wodyski. When Lou walks into Devlin’s apartment with the cake, she finds him with another woman. Lou is extremely upset and returns to the restaurant where everything is thrown into chaos because of her emotional state. Unfortunately, Al picks that day to dine at Luella’s and writes a scathing review of the restaurant and chef Elizabeth Johnson. Later Lou is at a pub drowning her sorrows when Al walks in. Al was attracted to Lou when they bumped into each other at the newsstand, and he strikes up a conversation with her. Al has disparaging things to say about Milwaukee so Lou offers to show him the sites and food of Milwaukee in order to change his mind. They agree that they will not talk about work or jobs. Lou takes Al to a frozen custard stand and has him eat cheese curds. They go to the art museum, to a Brewers game where they tailgate, to Summerfest, and to other ethnic festivals. The attraction between the two grows as Luella’s business declines. Al finally figures out that chef Elizabeth Johnson of Luella’s is really Lou. Can Al reveal that he is A. W. Wodyski? What would Lou do if she finds out? There are more twists and turns, but let me just say that there is a happy ending!

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