Book Reviews: Heartbreak Cake and Office Girl

As always, my reviews are through Chick Lit Central.

I’ve read my fair share of books that revolve around food. I chalk it up to being a self-professed foodie. I find myself gravitating towards anything with delicacies and if there’s a cherry on top of some tasty little dessert morsel, even better. What I didn’t count on, however, were the intricacies that surround Heartbreak Cake. There’s plenty of mouth-watering desserts and goodies, but there’s also plenty of drama, intrigue, and chaotic moments that make this a total page-turner.

Indira owns the Cake Pan, an up-and-coming sensation best known for it’s creative cakes and delicious desserts. While she holds it together in the kitchen, the rest of her world is falling apart. She’s fallen in love with a married man, who in turn has professed his undying love for her, yet he’s never truly available. While they forged a kinship based on baking, it doesn’t help that he’s the one who becomes her biggest competition, managing a restaurant which far exceeds the Cake Pan monetarily. Indira has to make a lot of tough decisions where her heart and her head are concerned, especially when an opportunity arises in the form of a very rich client who needs a wedding caterer. This could catapult the Cake Pan into the stratosphere, should she get the account, and should her former lover not stand in the way of her success.

Rumors fly. Soon everyone knows about Indira’s indiscretion, which only hurts her and her business. Somehow she’s the one left with the scarlet letter on her chest and has to figure out a way out of the mess. How can she move past this, while attempting to heal a broken heart?

I loved the realism behind this book. I felt like I was reading someone’s story, not just a story line. Human nature dictates that we’re bound to make mistakes in order to learn and grow in our lives. I could see real growth and progression for Indira. It certainly helps when she comes face to face with a potential love interest along the way, and has to make a choice between the past and the future. While there’s plenty of cake in Heartbreak Cake, there’s also plenty of fun, a little pain, and a lot of love.

***

Something I’ve been struggling with lately, is my lack of a college education. I never intended to stray from the four-year plan. I wanted to be a teacher. I attended a solid community college to save money, ready to transfer to a teaching college in Nebraska when the time came. Unfortunately, a lot of chaotic life experiences got in the way, and my goal of becoming a teacher fell by the wayside.

Reading Carey RavenStar Robin’s memoir, Office Girl: A romantic comedy and true story about the terrible jobs one reader and writer suffered after majoring in English, I wonder if those chaotic life experiences may have been a blessing in disguise for me! For Carey, after majoring in English, obtaining a teaching certificate, an extra year of undergraduate credit, a paralegal certificate and 24 Master’s credits in English, she can’t seem to get a job! Not a very good one, anyway. You’d think with credentials like that she’d score something big. Instead, she’s a secretary, where she’s very much underutilized. Or a desk clerk for a motel. When she breaks into teaching, she’s barely scraping by with low-wages and non existent health care, not to mention the odd-ball coworkers who love to undermine Carey at seemingly every chance they get! With job prospects like this, who needs a career?

Things aren’t going well in Carey’s love life, either. Divorced, she’s come up with a scoring system of men she’s run into, based on their potential for loss of time and energy, self-esteem, etc. I was laughing at the similarities of some of the “winners” I’ve dated in the past, easily fitting my own experiences into each category Carey has conjured up. I love the humor and easy-does-it approach she uses when it comes to her love life. Really, what other choice does she have?

Carey is a very candid and funny storyteller. Just when I thought things were going to look up for her, something else would happen that would knock her back a step or two, but she keeps coming back, swinging and fighting even harder to achieve success in her life. There is a lot Carey identifies with from her past, parallels she drudges up and it’s obvious she doesn’t want to make the same mistakes she’s seen others in her life make. I know that scenario all too well, making it easy for me to relate with Carey.

Will I ever get back into the college game myself? I decided after having my own children that teaching wouldn’t be the best fit for me. I just don’t think I’d have the patience for it, not anymore. I’m still open to college, however. There are other passions in my life I can pursue, too, and where there is passion, there is hard work and a rollercoaster ride of achievements and failures. Office Girl is a true, honest, enjoyable testament to that!

 

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