Published April 1st 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
Robbie MacIntyre manages a small post office in the old Station House on the outskirts of sleepy Barton Hartshourn northwest of London. He’s stunned when the owner, Maggie, a close friend, bequeaths him not only the post office, but also Station House.
The rest of her estate is left to an American writer, Jason Young, and when he moves to the village, Robbie is thrown by the attraction he has for the man who has more of a claim on the Station House than he does.
Then there is a box that holds several rare first editions and a cookbook. Only when the secrets of the ingredients in a particular recipe are finally revealed does everything begin to make sense, and a love cut short seventy years earlier is finally discovered.
Review by: multitaskingmomma
My Rating: 4 of 4 Stars
This is technically a romantic story about two men matched from beyond the grave. For me, this is really the story of an apple cake recipe and the mystery of its refusal to bake the way it should.
I love to cook, I practically live in my kitchen, so I know how apple cakes can go wrong even when the measurements are followed to the last grain of flour. This is what Robbie had to endure, failing in making the cake. He was driven by the need to hold on to the memory of his boss and mentor, Maggie. When she died, Robbie felt lost and the cake was his way of staying connected. He never expected to look up and find an American on his doorstep in the process.
Jason Young's life was in limbo. An aspiring writer, he has had some success but was now in the process of writing another book that may divert from his usual. His story revolves around the sister of his great grandaunt, Maggie. Receiving a letter informing him he had inherited her cottage in England, he takes it as an opportunity to connect with a memory. In the process, he connects with Robbie.
An exploding water tank takes the story to higher levels as it ruins Jason's plans to stay in his aunt's cottage. To his rescue, Robbie, who calls in the trades. Of course, Jason gets to live in Robbie's house, one he had inherited on Maggie's death. That begins the story of their romance, but it opens the doors to Maggie's history and the mystery of the apple cake.
This is a short read and it is romantic, but I have to confess, I was driven by the mystery. I, as a cook, wanted to know what was going wrong with the recipe. And frankly, Robbie's and Jason's love affair went as naturally and smoothly without conflict throughout. What drives this story, is the mystery of the cake and the answer is as astounding as it was simple.
Beautifully written shortie with the unforgettable character that is the Maggie's cake, this is a sweet first installment to the Tales of the Curious Cookbook from Dreamspinner Press.