Today Kim Livingston reviews Love is What You Bake of it (The Meraki Series Book 1) by Effie Kammenou as part of the #lovebookstour.
Love is What You Bake of it by Effie Kammenou
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.’
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.
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Book Review by Kim Livingston
A beautiful Greek heritage, a handsome small town cop, an adorable girl, a dog, and a whole lot of misunderstanding are the recipe for a delicious read. Effie Kammenou, author of Love is What You Bake of it, throws all of them in the mix and adds some actual recipes to sweeten the deal.
Ms Kammenou—herself a first generation Greek-American—includes the rich culture, language, personalities, and foods in her novel. If you don’t crave to go to Kalamata after reading this, or at least Port Jefferson, Long Island, where the novel is set, then well… I don’t know what.
The cover reveals Kally, the beautiful pastry chef, in the arms of her hot, Greek man, surrounded by sugary creations. But not everything in this story is sweet, and there are a few steamy scenes dappled in. The timeline jumps back and forth, and the author also pops in stories from other family members to explain events that have shaped Kally’s past.
Solidly written with a good cast of secondary characters, Love is What You Bake of it, has the stuff that romance novels are made of.
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