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Posted November 23, 2013
Sweet Expectations was a charming read – from the inviting front cover (makes you want to curl up with a cup of coffee or tea, grab a bistro table, something sweet, and a good book-for a few relaxing hours), to the ending! –love the new plans for becoming more than just a bakery!
I read the first book in the series (Union Street Bakery) – highly recommend—the book continues with challenges from Daisy’s character-adopted at age 3 by the McCrae’s (owners of the bakery) when she was left by her biological mother --to some new ventures in small town of Alexandria.
In the previous book, Daisy returns home to help with the finances and management of the bakery as her parents have retired –to help her two sisters –Margaret and Rachel. After Daisy’s big finance job in Washington ends and no money – she finds herself 4 months pregnant and single (from a drunken night before she moved back to her roots with a guy who is not father material).
As she is getting accustomed to her new simple life full of hard work and upcoming renovations at the bakery, she finds her ex- fiancé’ (Gordon) opens a bike shop down the street, and she has a ghost named Jenna urging her to find her former ex- fiancé and her child who died at birth. The hunt heats up during the renovation when they find a recipe box with scrumptious recipes and dog tags.
Not only was she shell shocked to be living in an attic, doing manual labor, now she finds herself single and pregnant and feels she has lost all hope of getting back together with Gordon.
Rachel, the sister (mother of twins) who lost her husband a year or so ago, experiences growth and confidence with her sister’s guidance-- she has two guys Jean Paul (the new French baker and a finance executive), and of course Margaret the other sister, an archeologist is busy at her digs.
The book was full of humor, romance, history, and mystery. Daisy is slowly finding she likes the bakery, the work, family, and is letting down her guard to show emotions --and excited about researching Jenna’s past (who formerly worked at the bakery years ago). The story intertwines with her own past and present situation. She meets colorful older characters rich in history -in rest homes to connect as she puts the pieces of the puzzle together.
I wanted the book to continue, as it is the kind of book you dread ending as you fall in love with the characters in this charming town. I hope Mary Ellen is planning on a third book in the series to keep the characters alive.
Dying to see how the new wine cellar will fare, possibly some cheese and other delectable, and other ways to grow the business; Gordon/Daisy new life, and possibly a romance between Rachel and John Paul (I think he will be a better choice than Simon); however, would be fun to see how it plays out. Maybe there is more about Terry’s past to explore and Daisy’s biological father? Also other plans for the bakery with mail order and other corporate ideas to keep them from working too hard and getting to enjoy some fun R&R! (Maybe there is a story of the two teens who now work at the bakery and their mom)…ummmm – worth a few more books….
Love the way the author seamlessly combines the new with the old (past and present) with some interesting generational stories you will want to relive-also some great recipes for the holiday season! Look forward to more from this author as love her writing style.
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Posted December 19, 2013
Reviewed by Karen Pirnot for Readers' Favorite
Sweet Expectations by Mary Ellen Taylor is the latest in the Union Street Bakery series and it is a sensational read! Daisy McCrae was adopted at the age of three when her mother abandoned her. The bakery owners - the McCrae family - took her in and never let her go. Daisy has two sisters who are both adventuresome yet responsible adults. One sister is an archaeologist and the other a widow with five-year-old twins. In the past, when tragedy strikes, the McCrae family pulls together and makes lemonade from the lemons they have been handed. This book is no exception. At the time the bakery is under renovation, Daisy gets an unexpected surprise which will dramatically change her life as well as the lives of her extended family. She takes a no-nonsense approach to her problem, and even though she is the impulsive one in the family, she buckles down and makes life-changing decisions.
The plot of Sweet Expectations is well developed and author Taylor moves it at just the right pace. The characterizations are brilliant! Not having read the previous books in the series, the characters were presented fresh and new for me. I loved Daisy. She was the perfect combination of a bohemian, carefree woman who runs smack dab into life and all its issues. Daisy's sister Margaret comes off as a faithful family member with unfulfilled needs. The widowed sister Rachel is the perfect blend of the woman desperate to engage in life yet who is afraid to move ahead to potentially more pain. This is a story to stay with you as you watch others in the world struggle toward unmet needs and sweet expectations.