Caldwell, Megan. Vanity Fare: A Novel of Lattes, Literature, and Love
Booklist Reviews 2012 December #2
Literature and luscious baked goods make for a perfect pair in this indulgent debut romance. Molly, mom to six-year-old Aidan, is soon to be divorced and in need of steady income to support their Brooklyn lifestyle. An old friend offers her a freelance project writing the marketing materials for a new bakery headed by British playboy pastry chef Simon. Building on the bakery's proximity to the New York Public Library's main branch, Molly comes up with a name, Vanity Fare, and product descriptions that tie into great works of literature. These clever descriptions, like Tart of Darkness, are peppered throughout, and the epilogue includes select recipes. But the real substance of this novel is Molly's attempt at finding love again, first through an ill-fated dalliance with Simon, then with a slow-building romance with Simon's broody but kind and handsome business partner, Nick. Caldwell's novel is as sweet and enjoyable as its subject matter. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.
LJ Reviews 2013 March #2
Molly Hagan's divorce is about to be finalized. Her confidence and self-esteem are slowly returning as her therapist and her friends encourage her to try new things. She tries scrapbooking, karaoke, and dating, but when her ex loses his job, she is forced to return to work in marketing to support herself and her six-year-old son. At the same time her mother moves in with her to deal with her own financial crisis. Molly lands a job promoting a new bakery, whose award-winning British chef is interested in more than her literary puns. The man who represents its American investors, Nick Harrison, seems bent on disapproving of Molly—but perhaps not. VERDICT This story follows a true-romance formula told in chick-lit style. It is trite and predictable entertainment, with the requisite happy ending. Recipes are included! Caldwell manages a romance-novel website and blogs there daily. Recommended for chick-lit fans.—Joanna Burkhardt, Univ. of Rhode Island Libs., Providence[Page 98]. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
PW Reviews 2012 November #1
Set in present-day New York, Caldwell's new novel concerns insecure Brooklynite Molly Hagan, a soon-to-be-single mother heading up an important marketing campaign for sexy celebrity dessert chef Simon Baxter; in the process, she becomes smitten with his colleague. After her erstwhile husband announces that he won't be able to pay child support, Molly accepts an assignment writing copy for a celebrity pastry chef from John, a mutual friend of her and her husband's. But there's more to the job than writing; John wants Molly to "keep an eye on" his cold, shady partner, Natalie Duran, who lands the kind of high-profile clients that John has "only dreamed of." Simon's business partner, Nick, is suspicious of Molly's credentials, but his good looks and soft-spot for Molly's Pokémon-obsessed son make Molly swoon. Will all the flirting—between Molly and John, Simon and Molly, and Molly and Nick—get in the way of Molly's work, both covert and otherwise? Caldwell, who writes romance novels as Megan Frampton, has a good feel for New York City, name-checking institutions and peopling her world with multiethnic characters. Though the usual chick lit tropes, like convenient coincidences (how many times can Molly run into her husband and his new girlfriend?), make it necessary to suspend one's disbelief, Caldwell's story flows, and although Molly's constant self-doubt and whining can be grating, readers will identify with her attempts to rise from the ashes. Agent: Louise Fury, L. Perkins Agency. (Jan.)[Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC