Cover Image: Of Literature and Lattes

Of Literature and Lattes

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Member Reviews

With Of Literature and Lattes, Katherine Reay has penned another contemporary blend of romance and women’s fiction in her picturesque Illinois town of Winsome. Nods to literature abound within this story of returning and working toward a worthy goal, with deeper themes of reconciliation and a bright secondary cast. Readers who enjoyed The Printed Letter Bookshop will be delighted with glimpses of familiar characters and perspective (once again!) from Janet, Alyssa’s mother.

To borrow a concept from Janet’s character, this story is very much about moving through forgiveness after one has let go of the past. While the friendship and romance between Alyssa and Jeremy is a major part of the story, another significant portion of it includes perspective on parenting, both with Janet and with Jeremy’s own experiences and his precious daughter, Becca. I appreciate the way this draws attention to concepts of people’s complexity, motives, relationships, and the way parents should intentionally be supportive for the hard and the good things in life.

The point of view changes employed in this novel echo a clever device used in The Printed Letter Bookshop, with multiple POV and tense shifts. But here, secondary characters sometimes have the narration. This device works and adds dimension, but sometimes I feel that it is abrupt and detracts from page time with the main few characters and deepening their connection with the reader. Maybe I just need a few more pages and time with these characters to feel the ending more fully “settled” with me.

Overall, I really enjoyed this return to Winsome and the themes these characters wrestle with. The Happy Ending is there, with all the bookish talk! I particularly liked the way children’s books are discussed and recognized as an important influence on childhood. I wouldn’t mind a future novel set in Winsome, especially if it has more of Chris and his brother’s conversations (Printed Letter favs!), or Jeremy’s daughter, Becca!

Thank you the the publisher and Netgalley for the review copy. This is my honest review.
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The beginning of it reads great then it gets annoying. I couldn’t get into this book. DNF

*******************************************I received an ARC for my honest opinion.*******************************************
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Contemporary relationship romance; series but stand alone read; mild faith elements
Revisiting the town of Winsome with Alyssa coming back after a complete implosion of her life in California, worrying about an investigation by the FBI into her place of employment and even her, and coming home to the mess that is her relationship with her parents, gradually unfolds as the reader also sees Jeremy's coffee shop, and his relationship with the town, and his customers and his place with his daughter in his life. Life that is messy, real, hurting, and capable of change, hope, and determination to make something right.
Alyssa's talents with business are an impetus to start her friendship gradually with Jeremy. As they both see their lives gradually unfold, and develop around them, Alyssa with her parents, and seeing them for who they really are in her life and their lives as well, and also seeing Jeremy's relationship with his daughter and ex-wife as that is exposed for what it really is, interweaving gradually together in this small town in a way that knits into your heart as theirs knit together.
You'll want to visit this town again, with the heart, the character, and the foibles, loving it all as it combines together to work it's way into your heart. Lovely, heartfelt, honest, hurting, and hopeful read. One of my favorite kinds of novels.
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Set in the smallish town of Winsome Illinois, semi-prodigal (or shall we say estranged) daughter of Janet has returned from California with her proverbial tail tucked between her legs. When the FBI opened an investigation on the company she works for in Silicon Valley, Alyssa lost her very important job. Although Alyssa truly believed what she was doing was not only legal but an invaluable service to the world, her greedy boss was likely selling personal data overseas and giving customers false and potentially damaging information about their health. Overextended, incredibly stressed, and broken emotionally, Alyssa drives home and finds that things have definitely changed in Winsome.

One of the changes is that Jeremy Mitchell is now in town. He has moved to be near his daughter from a marriage that lasted about 10 minutes. He is experiencing culture shock and may also be blinded by his own expectations of himself and others. As the layers of both Jeremy and Alyssa's stories are unraveled, we see that they have believed multiple things, important things, that are turning out to be profoundly wrong. And when they discover the truth, how will they cope, live, THRIVE in these new realities?

I love when authors do this: provide us with a 'follow up' or companion book (this is what I call them anyways...) I don't believe this book was listed as a sequel per se, but definitely a continuation story, if you will. It picks up where "The Printed Letter Bookshop" leaves off. Now, if you have ever read any of my other reviews you will know just how I feel about this, but it is ALWAYS BETTER if you read the first one. With that them both!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers and NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
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After fleeing her hometown three years earlier, Alyssa Harrison never planned to return. Then the Silicon Valley start-up she worked for collapsed and turned her world upside down. Jeremy Mitchell moved from Seattle to Winsome to be near his daughter and to open the coffee shop he’s been dreaming of for years. Problem is, the business is bleeding money—and he’s not quite sure why. This is Ms. Reay's second book in the series set in the quaint town of Winsom where most people know one another.  I read the first book in the series and enjoyed it so much that I encouraged my book club to make it one of their selections, which they did.  

This book, based on new character also has some of the same characters from the previous book that I grew to like.  And I pretty sure that since she left some things in limbo, there is to be another book in the series. The book is a combination of things that make you feel good including a restored marriage, things that are painful including a job that went sideways, and some things that are just wrong including theft.  I felt the theft was a bit undeveloped in the book but then that probably was just because of my work history. I realize that it was mostly there to show the relationship of the two men.

The book especially does a good job of portraying those relationships.  In addition to the two men, it depicts what can happen with three generations of, in this case, women.  It can be very difficult at time to understand parents and grandparents at times. It is something that really has to be worked on.  Also, the book brought in the relationship of children to adopted parents which gave the book a good feeling.

I would like to think NetGalley and the publisher for the copy of the book that I received.  The review is my own.
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This book is so good!! It's a well written story about small town second chance romance. I didn't realize it was book two of a series, now I want to read book one. If you like a book that shows grace and redemption, you will love this book. Thank you Thomas Nelson--FICTION via NetGalley for the complimentary copy of this book All opinions expressed are my own.
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In OF LITERATURE AND LATTES, Katherine Reay takes readers back to the cosy town of Winsome, Illinois where two people learn to love and grow. This is a small town book focused on friendship, family, and community. Although it is labeled as Christian Fiction, religion is not a heavy part of the story and readers of Romance/Fiction would enjoy the story. OF LITERATURE AND LATTES is a quick, charming read, with a satisfying happily ever after.
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This book is the second in a series about a small town called Winsome, Illinois. It's a quirky little town not far from Chicago but light years away in its vibe and its character....very Hallmark movie-ish which is one reason I love this series.

This story deals with family dynamics... from a mother estranged from her daughter, to custody issues, to teenage rebellion... it covers it all with some romance thrown in for good measure. 

This book can be read as a stand alone but I recommend reading the first book in the series which is "The Printed Letter Bookshop" as the story is a continuation of that book.  I can see these books being made into a Hallmark series and found myself picturing what actors and actresses would be best cast in the roles. Do yourself a favor an pay a visit to Winsome... you won't regret it.
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Alyssa Harrison never planned to return. However, when her life collapses where can she go?  After returning, Alyssa finds that maybe her town was not so bad after all.  Will she be able to leave again?  Jeremy Mitchell moved to be near his daughter and start his dream business.  However, his business is in trouble. Can Alyssa help him find the problems?  But can this relationship go further?  With the help from the quirky characters of Winsome, Alyssa and Jeremy try to find love and help.  I received a copy through Netgalley.  A review was not required.
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I dove into Katherine Reay's Of Literature and Lattes without knowing much about it - just that I loved the cover and books about books. This sequel to The Printed Letter Bookshop is just as charming as the cover and title would lead you to believe and though I haven't read the first installment I found it enjoyable and easy to follow. I'll definitely be going back to Winsome, Illinois, and reading The Printed Letter Bookshop soon. 
I loved the endearing characters, the beautiful story of love and second chances in a small town, and the love for books that permeated every page. 
Many thanks to Thomas Nelson Publishing and Netgalley for the advance copy.
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The characters in this book have had some lemons thrown at them - and part of the story has them floundering for a bit before they figure out how to make lemonade. What I loved most is the charming setting - small town Winsome with its shops and shopkeepers, its Main Street and its newcomers. Alyssa and Jeremy struggle but finally figure out the balance between what the town needs and what they can provide, while staying true to their values. Can’t beat a small town story with a bookshop, a coffee shop, and a smart as a whip data analyst!
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I didn't realize this was the second book in the series. I'll definitely have to go back to the first book to read it. This was the first book I've read by this author and really enjoyed it. I felt like the characters were so "normal" and relatable. As a reader, their emotional reactions stretched out to me.

One of the aspects I really liked about how this book was written was all of the different perspectives by different characters. It threw me off at first, but then I looked forward to seeing the different pov's.

Surprisingly, even though there are a LOT of people in this story (kind of like a Hallmark movie) I wasn't lost as I am with some stories. I felt like there was enough depth of storyline with each of the characters that I was able to get to know them well. 

Alyssa was such a complex character. I wanted to feel bad for her, but she was so angry I wanted to shake her. On the other hand, I could completely understand why she felt like she did - towards her company, towards her mom, and even towards herself. Then there's Jeremy. Boy does that guy need to catch a break. Krista is a complete jerk, but we finally understand why. And all I have to say on that count is there better be a 3rd book! lol

Janet and Seth were also an interesting read. I wish I knew more about their story, which maybe that's in book 1, but I have no idea. I've heard about couples getting back together after an affair, so it was good to read them go through working on things.

Overall it was a good read and a good introduction to this author.
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Having never read Katherine Reay, but having heard a lot of good things about her work, I was excited to get ahold of her newest release. Of Literature and Lattes is set in the small Illinois town of Winsome like The Printed Letter Bookshop. However, this book works well as a standalone.

The book gripped me right away as Alyssa Harrison limped out of Silicon Valley under F.B.I. investigation. She barely made it to her dad’s apartment in her small hometown. Her parents are divorced and Alyssa’s animosity toward her mother simmered as she moved in to her old room in the family home, and started pumping gas to pay for car repairs. This despite being a data-interpreting genius.

Across town, Jeremy Mitchell has bought the old town coffee shop and spent too much money dragging it, and the disgruntled customers into the twenty-first century. The brew may be superior but business falls away quickly and Jeremy has to fight for survival.

Both characters have towering family issues, but their relationship grows quickly even as external circumstances press in from all sides. Will Alyssa go to jail? Can Jeremy keep his daughter?

This charming tale of grace, second chances, family and hard work includes an ensemble cast of townsfolk who allowed Jeremy and Alyssa to take center stage. I haven’t read Katherine Reay before but I’ll be checking out her back catalog now.

Visit Katherine Reay’s website here…

Buy Of Literature and Lattes or read an excerpt, here…

Find other great reads here…
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Wasn’t to sure at the beginning but fell in love the story and characters not too far in. Well written book about relationships and redemption in them. Well developed characters. Waiting for next in the series to come out
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I wanted to fall in love with this book, I really did.  I just absolutely couldn’t connect with the characters for some reason.  Alyssa returns to her hometown after losing her job, and becoming involved in an investigation into her company.  She had previously cut her mom out of her life after her mom and dad’s divorce.  Upon returning to town, her dad insists she live with her mom, hoping they would reconcile.

Jeremy moved to Winsome to open a coffee shop, and to be near his daughter.  He invested everything in the renovations, and has got to make this work.  While he has good intentions, townspeople feel somewhat betrayed because he changed so much that was meaningful to them. 

Of Literature and Lattes is a follow up to the Printed Letter bookshop, which I have not read, but intend to go back and do so.  I did not have trouble following the story without knowing the entire background of the town.  

I received an advanced copy of this book via NetGalley, and was not required to leave a positive review.  Even though this book may not have been my cup of tea, I encourage you to give it a chance.
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This is the second book I read by Katherine Reay. When I saw her first book I couldn’t help to feel drawn to it, as I am with everything book-related (and I love books about books) and on this occasion when Of Literature and Lattes I thought it was just perfect because I love coffee too.
Nevertheless, I found more in this story than I thought I would, just like I found more on The Printed Letter Bookshop when I read it. Of Literature and Lattes is a tale of family and love but also about broken hearts and broken bonds. It was not easy to read about the relationship between Alysa and Janet because it felt so troubled and it made my heart ache, but I know it was necessary and it was well developed and presented. I liked the characters, although I did not like Alysa that much at the beginning. I even hated Jeremy a little bit sometimes but it the end it was all well. I liked the introduction of the new characters and the other characters playing a different role in this story. I know you can easily read this book without reading TPLB first but I think it would mean missing on a lot of background that was good for this story. I also liked the part about the community and the side stories like George’s.
In the end, it was a heartfelt story, full of difficult things but also filled with beautiful things too, like life itself. 
The only part I did not entirely like was the ending, just because I needed, still need, more. I just need to know what happens know!
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Chronic disease. Job loss. Watching your small business fail. Rebuilding one relationship while another falls apart. Katherine Reay doesn't shy away from tough topics and this title is no exception. 

"The Printed Letter Bookshop" first introduced us to the small town of Winsome, Illinois. "Of Literature and Lattes" takes us back, revisiting old friends and meeting new ones.

The switch between perspectives, combined with the wide cast of characters, was a bit confusing at first (and would be even more so if you hadn't read the first book). But if you keep reading you will find a story of friendship and forgiveness and freedom.

"The Printed Letter Bookshop" was definitely my favorite between the two. After all, it featured books much more than this new title does! And it really delved deep into friendship and the mother-daughter relationship. But "Of Literature and Lattes" hit home in other ways. And even though the character development didn't feel as complete (perhaps due more to the depth of the characters than any fault of the author's), I loved this chance to revisit the town of Winsome, even if it was on the other side of the street from "The Printed Letter Bookshop."
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Thanks to Partner NetGalley for the digital ARC of Katherine Reay's Of Literature and Lattes in exchange for an honest review. The book is available to read.

Katherine Reay's Of Literature and Lattes is a cozy comfort read. There's a warmth that infuses each page as we inhabit the small community of Winsome, Illinois, floating from character to character. I had a sense of dropping into lives in progress, of a shared history that came before and that would continue after the end of the novel.

Though the narrative moves through an array of characters’ perspectives, Reay focuses primarily on Alyssa and Jeremy. Alyssa has fled home to Winsome in disgrace after a Theranos-like scandal ended her employment at Vita XGC. Unfortunately, she's fleeing to a home she had already fled. Her relationship with her mother had always been contentious, but when Alyssa found out that her mother had been cheating, Alyssa broke off contact. Now, she's returning to divorced parents, no job prospects, utter disgrace, and horrible guilt that she was a part of a corrupt company.

Jeremy saw Winsome in the opposite light, moving there in hopes of nurturing his relationship with his young daughter, Becca. He and Becca's mom separated before Becca was born, and he wants to be a true father for her. He and his friend Ryan, a recovering addict, buy the local coffee shop, the Daily Brew, hoping that a complete overhaul can make it a success and allow each to start over.

Alyssa’s and Jeremy’s stories wind together eventually, but they also move within the larger story of the town. We come to know characters who are grieving, who are in love, who are aging. My favorite subplot is the one about Alyssa and her mom, who have to work through decades of resentment and repression to come to know each other again.

Of Literature and Lattes is a novel about redemption and forgiveness, about families born and chosen, about the ways that our communities can save us. The characters here are flawed and human, and I was absorbed in watching them come to terms with their own mistakes and misunderstandings and then working to move past them. It's not an earth shattering novel, nor is it overly plot driven. Instead, Of Literature and Lattes is a beautifully character-focused book that was, for me, a lovely and heartfelt escape.
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Of Literature and Lattes is a sweet and quick read set in Winsome (a cute little town). While I enjoyed the book, it didn’t stick with me in a way some books do. I’d recommend it for an easy beach read.
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Of Literature and Lattes is a touching, intriguing tale which follows two characters, Alyssa and Jeremy, as they liv e their lives in a small town in Illinois. 

What I loved most about this book was the realistic characters and the general atmosphere of the town. It was charming and gave me a cosy feel which I always look for in this genre) as I curled up with a latte of my own. The romance itself was great but I feel Raay's character development was the highlight of the book. 

Howver, athough I enjoyed the story, the perspective changes were a stylistic choice I was personally not a fan of. It was jarring at times and I would have preferred a single point of view.
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