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My name is Chelsey and I am the creator of Charming Chelsey's! I read and review anything and everything that I find to be "charming." I accept ARCs or already released books for review, and I'm also available to participate in any blog tours or book reveals too. If anything, please don't hesitate to email me any time for any reason at: charmingchelseys(at)gmail(dot)com

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Monday, March 31, 2014

Book Review: The All You Can Dream Buffet

The All You Can Dream Buffet: A NovelAuthor: Barbara O’Neal
Publication Date: March 4, 2014
Publisher: Bantam


Perfect for fans of Kristin Hannah and Susan Wiggs—Barbara O’Neal’s new novel of food, friendship, and the freedom to grow your dreams brings together four very different women longing to savor the true taste of happiness.
 
Popular blogger and foodie queen Lavender Wills reigns over Lavender Honey Farms, a serene slice of organic heaven nestled in Oregon wine country. Lavender is determined to keep her legacy from falling into the profit-driven hands of uncaring relatives, and she wants an heir to sustain her life’s work after she’s gone. So she invites her three closest online friends—fellow food bloggers, women of varied ages and backgrounds—out to her farm. She hopes to choose one of them to inherit it—but who?
 
There’s Ginny, the freckle-faced Kansas cake baker whose online writing is about to lead her out of a broken marriage and into a world of sensual delights. And Ruby, young, pregnant, devoted to the organic movement, who’s looking for roots—and the perfect recipe to heal a shattered heart. Finally, Val, smart and sophisticated, a wine enthusiast who needs a fresh start for her teenage daughter after tragedy has rocked their lives. Coming together will change the Foodie Four in ways they could never have imagined, uniting them in love and a common purpose. As they realize that life doesn’t always offer a perfect recipe for happiness, they also discover that the moments worth savoring are flavored with some tears, a few surprises, and generous helping of joy.


This afternoon, she was shooting a piece of pistachio cake. Two generous layers of white cake frosted with the palest shade of green. The beauty was in the depth of field, the fine, pure white crumb of the cake against the cracked satin of the antique plate, the alluring color of frosting.

But when he arrived, he was taciturn, broody, and much too good-looking. The kind of good-looking, Lavender had complained to the Foodie Four, that caused trouble.


What would Lavender say? Get your butt outta that car, girl, and find some adventure.
Four foodie blogger friends meet up for a relaxing vacation at Lavender Honey Farms, the farm that Lavender Willis owns and has ran for many, many years. They each have pasts that are tying them to the ground, but these four women make up their minds to enjoy some time well spent with friends and their favorite thing to talk about – food! Lavender realizes that she is not as young as she once was, and has invited these three women to her farm to figure out which one she believes deserves the chance to take her place and inherit her life’s work.

Barbara’s writing is truly to die for. The words just flow right off the page and this story is such a fun, light read. It was so nice to just kick back with this book one sunny afternoon and not stop until I had finished the book completely. All of these characters have tiny bits and pieces of their lives that someone somewhere would be able to relate to. Ruby was the youngest of the group and was one of my two favorites. She was pregnant with a baby by her ex-boyfriend, who doesn’t even know that she is pregnant. Ruby was a very special character. She grows and matures so much throughout the course of the story, and I would say that because I am close to her age I related with her a great deal.

Ginny was my other favorite. Ginny’s life is not really a bowl of cherries. Her marriage is far from perfect and she has become sort of an outcast in her small, sleepy town because of all the publicity she receives from her food blog. Her husband and friends are very negative and hateful when it comes to her success and it makes Ginny question her own ambitions and dreams. Ginny had to really talk herself in to taking this trip, and I loved the fact that she brought her dog, Willow, with her. Some of my favorite scenes were between these two, so cozy and sweet!


***A free copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at Bantam in exchange for my honest review***




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