Return to the cozy and delightful town of Winsome, where two people discover the grace of letting go and the joy found in unexpected change.
After fleeing her hometown three years earlier, Alyssa Harrison never planned to return. Then the Silicon Valley start-up she worked for collapsed and turned her world upside down. She is broke, under FBI investigation, and without a place to go. Having exhausted every option, she comes home to Winsome, Illinois, to regroup and move on as quickly as possible. Yet, as friends and family welcome her back, Alyssa begins to see a place for herself in this small Midwestern community.
Jeremy Mitchell moved from Seattle to Winsome to be near his daughter and to open the coffee shop he’s been dreaming of for years. Problem is, the business is bleeding money—and he’s not quite sure why. When he meets Alyssa, he senses an immediate connection, but what he needs most is someone to help him save his floundering business. After asking for her help, he wonders if something might grow between them—but forces beyond their control soon complicate their already complex lives, and the future they both hoped for is not at all what they anticipated.
With the help of Winsome’s small-town charm and quirky residents, Alyssa and Jeremy discover the beauty and romance of second chances.
I’ve read—and loved—several of Reay’s books in the past (The Brontë Plot, The Austen Escape, Dear Mr. Knightley) but I didn’t enjoy this one quite as much as those. I think it’s because this was about more than one couple and their issues. And because I wasn’t a huge fan of Alyssa. She was…really hateful to her mother and, despite wanting not be thought of as a child, she persisted in acting childish.
I learned more about the nuances of coffee than I ever imagined existed, and I did love the small-town setting here, but this didn’t feel like the Reay books I’ve read before, so I was a bit disappointed. Maybe it’s because the classic novel this is linked to is Of Mice and Men, which I’ve basically forgotten?
Katherine Reay is a bestselling author. Of Literature and Lattes is her newest novel.
(Galley courtesy of Thomas Nelson in exchange for an honest review.)