The Cassandra Cookbookby Shawn James
Cassandra Lee's lifelong dream is to take over the downtown Brooklyn bakery with her name on it when her parents retired. Her dream turns into a nightmare near the eve of her wedding when she learns corporate giant ITC Foods has plans for the store and her low down down low fiancé Gerald is caught in the arms of another man. Cassandra perseveres, acting as
Cassandra Lee's lifelong dream is to take over the downtown Brooklyn bakery with her name on it when her parents retired. Her dream turns into a nightmare near the eve of her wedding when she learns corporate giant ITC Foods has plans for the store and her low down down low fiancé Gerald is caught in the arms of another man. Cassandra perseveres, acting as her parents' agent working with ITC rep Simon James to complete the deal. As their professional relationship gets personal, Simon reveals a secret that devastates Cassandra. Sending Cassandra over the edge, Simon must come up with a plan to heal her broken heart and make her dreams come true.
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Cassandra Lee has spent nearly her whole life working in and building up her parents¿ bakery, named for her, thinking it would one day become hers. What she did not count on was that she would do such a good job that corporate food giant ITC would want to buy it.
Although she is heartbroken that her parents would want to sell the store, Cassandra talks them into letting her represent them in the transaction so she can make sure they receive the best deal possible. To further add to her stress, she finds her fiancé in a compromising position that brings their engagement to a halt (in her mind, at least). Her whole life is turned upside down, but she knows she needs to keep it together to be there for her parents.
Simon James is the market researcher at ITC who has been assigned to head up the project in preparation for his promotion to Product Manager. This project is his big break, and he struggles with his new role while balancing advice from his mother and his good friend, Smitty. Then, he and Cassandra meet and hit it off, and he has to figure out how to keep the deal professional while pursuing his feelings for her.
The Cassandra Cookbook is a story of African Americans in the business world, showing how the choices they make can determine whether they will succeed or fail ¿ an important theme, no matter your skin color. It is a classic tale of good person does well, bad person does not, with a strong message that you should consider how every choice you make affects other people.
While the book is enjoyable, it needs editing for grammar and punctuation, and the descriptions are so heavy-handed as to be distracting, rather than helpful to the story. In addition, the first-person viewpoint, jumping from person to person, makes for some confusion and distraction for the reader. However, the story is compelling and the characters life-like, giving an interesting behind-the-scenes view of both the corporate business world and a successful bakery. It also gives some insight on the issues that African Americans must deal with every day in their quest to succeed.