Sunday, 23 November 2014

BLOG TOUR - The Stall of Second Chances by Dana Bate


Thank you to Corsair for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review

It is no secret I love books, I really do, in fact I love them so much my darling husband keeps muttering about having a bonfire but as well as fiction I also have a huge collection of cookbooks.  I am by no means a great cook but in my dreams I am!  

Now having a quick first flick through this paperback I came across a treasure trove of recipes at the back of the book and it was then that I knew that me and The Stall of Second Chances were gonna get along.

Sydney Strauss is our leading lady and at the start of the book we meet her as her life is about to go downhill, working for a television reporter with an ego the size of the planet, he cocks up she takes the fall but it pays her bills until the day restructuring arrives at her work and her job is no longer there.

She could hit rock bottom but just before she reaches it her friend persuades her to work her shift at a local market on a stalled called the Wild Yeast Bakery, run by the obnoxious Rick, the pay is terrible and the hours are very unsociable but it's better than nothing.

Sydney is also a lapsed blogger, her love of food has been ongoing for years and she blogged constantly about it, food journalism could have been her career too if she hadn't put love first, but Zach her ex is no longer on the scene and she is free to do what she likes now.  

She is approached by the market manager to organise their newsletter and slowly she begins to rekindle her love affair with food and at the same time she also meets a man, Jeremy a regular at the market.

He is a much a foodie as she is but she finds him familiar, too familiar, who is he?

To her horror he is a disgraced ex food journo who took cash for writing articles five years before but he is also charming, a great cook and not bad on the eyes, after a few dates she decides to avoid him but she finds she can't resist him and they start a relationship. 

Sydney is approached by a big Washington paper to write for their food column but they want juice not cupcakes and she has to find a great story to write for them, unfortunately for her the story she finds has the potential to not only damage her new relationship but it could spell the end of some of the businesses at the market, the ones that she has been working hard at raising their profiles with the newsletter.

Now I don't want to spoil the book for you but Sydney tries to do the right thing by bringing this juicy story to the public but as she was doing it I just wanted to scream "No!!!", and I was right to be worried!  Her life that has just started to get better is unravelling once more but does she just have herself to blame?

The recurring theme of this book is the giving of another chance and the characters in it certainly make enough cock ups to warrant another chance!  It is a really enjoyable read, as well as the main story the description of the food is just pure delight, cakes and breads jump from the pages begging to be gobbled up.  Of course the aforementioned recipes at the back also bring life to some of the wares from the Wild Yeast Bakery.

My only complaint would be some of the choices Sydney makes when it comes to writing her story for the Chronicle, you can see it is going to end in tears and you really want her to choose love over the story but she is headstrong, will she make the right decision?

Does it have a happy ending?  Well that's for you to read and discover but if you are looking for a charming tale with love and food mixed together, then this is your perfect bake, sorry book!

Awarded 4 out of 5


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