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.’
Kally Andarakis is a strong headed Greek woman who has her life all planned out. She has her cafe, her family, her best friend and her beloved dog, she doesn’t need anything else. However, things haven’t always been this way. Eight years ago, Kally’s life had been very different, she took a chance on a man who was undoubtedly the polar opposite to what her family had wanted for her. Then tragedy struck and he died, leaving Kally utterly heartbroken – and then she discovers something in the wake of his death that shatters her trust in men entirely.
Back in the present day, it is Kally’s sisters name day, and all of the family have gathered for a celebratory meal at her childhood home in Port Jefferson. The family is incredibly tight knit and supportive of one another, despite some of the old Greek ideals that are still forced upon her at times. Kally’s family mean the world to her, and it is so lovely to follow their relationships throughout this book.
Kally’s day’s usually run like clockwork, so when she turns up at work and finds a licence plate on the floor outside of her cafe she is somewhat bewildered as to how it got there. Taking the licence plate inside, she calls the police to report it and is told an officer will come to collect it later that day. When the officer turns up, he is far from what Kally expected in many ways. Max is certainly a man who turns many heads, but Kally has sworn herself off men hasn’t she?.
When Kally and Max find themselves thrown together once again it is far from a romantic encounter. Max insults Kally’s scones, and Kally is reminded of why she has taken a step back from dating in the process. However, Max has his own troubled past to overcome, and as the book progresses we learn so much more about his life and the experiences that have made him the man he is today. With Kally and Max both struggling to move forward with their lives, we are ultimately left wondering if anything will ever come of their simmering chemistry.
This is such a wonderful, feel good read that I lost myself within completely. I loved the strong connection that Kally shared with her family, and the pride she had in her career. Kally is one of those characters you love from the start. She has certainly been dealt her fair share of hardships over the years, but that has never held her back from achieving her dreams. Max is a character that takes a little more time to warm to, as he initially comes across as rather cold and distant – however as you continue reading this delightful story you uncover the reasons to his initial behaviour, and soon enough I found myself swooning over him alongside Kally.
The story is told in such a witty, engaging way that it is practically impossible to not feel as though you are living it alongside the cast of characters the author has brought to life in this book. I found this story utterly charming and cannot wait to start on the second book in this series!.
About the 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 Favourite 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 Favourite 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 ‘flavour.’
She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre Arts from Hofstra University.
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