Cover Image: Of Literature and Lattes

Of Literature and Lattes

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Another winner from Katherine Reay! Readers will delight in returning to the town of Winsome where there is no shortage of challenges, setbacks, friendship and second chances. A perfect#stayathome read.
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I really wish I had known before I started this book, that it was the second in a series. That’s my fault. That being said, I did enjoy reading about the lives of the people in this charming small town. There were a few too many characters to keep up with and I had trouble keeping all the names straight. This might not have been such an issue for me if I had read the first in this series. I appreciated that while it did have some romantic elements, that was not all that there was to the story. The storyline of Jeremy and his sweet daughter, Becca, drew me in and I hope learn more of their ongoing story in future installments to this series. I will definitely be picking up the first in this series soon.
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*cue dramatic voice* A control freak who owns a coffee shop. A girl caught up in a scandal. Both unsuspecting humans caught up in a dangerous game called…life!

But really, to be serious, Of Literature and Lattes got a little bit zany as Alyssa, the former employee of a crooked company, and Jeremy, the control-obsessed city-slicker end up going to Winsome, both for very different reasons. Jeremy wants to be close to his daughter and open the coffee shop of his dreams. Alyssa doesn’t want to return to her home-town but is out of options. Both have their own central plot that weaves around the other, telling the story of not only themselves, but the stories of the people of Winsome, as their decisions affect those around them.

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Things started off tense and worrying, and the punches would be pulled, only to lull me into a sense of security before Katherine Reay would pull out another not-so-crazy situation. I liked Jeremy instantly, as I can be a tiny bit of a control freak myself. Alyssa I had to warm up to, as I’m a mama’s girl and the character doesn’t have the best relationship with her mom, due to events that happened in the previous book, The Printed Letter Bookshop, which I didn’t read. Despite that fact, I could still orient myself enough in this world to read it without the other book.

Of Literature and Lattes was a fun and fast read. However, I wasn’t a fan of the constant point-of-view switching, bringing us into the heads of other inhabitants of Winsome, like Jill of the Sweet Shoppe, or Father Luke, or George, the town’s resident old man. I felt like the story could have been more engaging if it had stayed in Alyssa and Jeremy’s heads. Even if the point-of-view switching did give us insight into the people around them.

I also felt a little confused as to the romance. It just appeared out of nowhere. At least to me. I don’t know, maybe I’m just a blind old maid, but it just was like, boom! insta-romance. These two love each other, kay?

There were a few clever twists at the end of the book and it finished off in a pleasant note. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys contemporary, romance, and coffee. There was lots and lots of coffee. I’m a tea-drinker myself, but this book made me want to try a latte!

Thank you NetGalley for the free copy in exchange for a review!
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The title interested me and the first chapter piqued my curiosity. But there were too many characters and it got too confusing to me very fast and I could not keep with the story line. I struggled to complete the book.
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I have read several of Katherine Reay's novels. This one is her latest release and I thought I would love it. Unfortunately, I felt like I was dragging myself to the finish line. The story was slow and not really interesting. The beginning should have captured my attention. I was devastated. I wanted to like this book a lot. It had potential. Small-towns, Christian Fiction, and second chance stories are one of my favorites to read. But this lacked in expectations. The characters were okay. I just could not get attached to them nor the story. Their journey felt like it was being told rather than showing me. I know this writer can write well. I loved her previous books. Each of her other novels were similar in genre but were much more engaging to the reader, like myself, than this one was. Overall, Of Literature & Lattes just didn't hit it off with me.
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A wonderful return trip to Winsome!I love the coffee and book themes that permeate this story. Alyssa is a strong, intelligent woman who has hit a stall and finds herself back home. Alyssa is weighted down by guilt and shame and trying to figure out her next steps. The problem is, nothing at home is as she expects. Feeling displaced, she agrees to help out various friends with their businesses. Along comes Jeremy and there’s now a bright spot in her day. Jeremy is a likeable character and immediately draws you in to his tale. There are many characters and perspectives, so it is helpful to go slow and truly appreciate the depth of the story. 
I received a complimentary copy of this book and all opinions expressed are my own, freely given.
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Reay's Winsome, Illinois is the new Mitford, North Carolina, familiar to those who have read Jan Karon's novels.  Reay returns to the setting of "The Printed Letter Bookshop", with a new story of characters dealing with complex realities in a hopeful way.  I wasn't as enthralled as I was with the first Winsome book, primarily because I didn't particularly like the main characters, Alyssa and Jeremy.  However, I am still in love with Winsome, and I was glad for updates on characters I got to know in the previous book.  Hopefully Reay is planning a return to Winsome; I know I am.
Review based on an ARC received through NetGalley; opinions are my own.
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I thought the story was very slow moving. It was just ok, I never really got invested in the characters. They are all flawed, and struggling to get through life, so they were realistic, but I just didn't really care that much about any of them. There were multiple story lines that ended up weaving together by the end.
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The title of Katherine Reay's newest book screamed "Read me!" since a good chunk of my life is comprised Of Literature and Lattes. After reading the description and noting that the book was also set in Illinois where I live, I was sold.

Of Literature and Lattes is a light and enjoyable read. One of the interesting aspects of the book it that there are three main story lines that occur simultaneously. You have the new coffee shop owner and his relationship with his ex-wife and the bankrupt adult woman who moves back to her childhood home, but is dealing with the fairly recent divorce of her parents and a rocky relationship with her mom. And of course,the story line between coffee shop owner and the adult woman. While it does have a happy ending and all three story lines are resolved by the end as well as several minor stories as well, the characters are flawed and real which adds to the books enjoyment factor. These characters are not perfect but are trying to do better.

Since the book was published by Thomas Nelson there are some Christian references. For example, some of the characters attend a men's accountability group that involves the ministers and men of different churches meeting together. There are also some veiled references to prayer, but the book isn't preachy. It's more along the lines of small town America where going to church is embedded into the community structure. Overall, Of Literature and Lattes was just the fun, lighthearted read needed for an enjoyable evening.

I received a complementary copy from Thomas Nelson via Netgalley. All opinions are my own and I was not required to give a positive review.
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I always enjoy Reay’s books.  They highlight the value of being part of a community, whether that’s a city, town, or group of friends.  This book centers around a coffee shop and the new owner’s desire to create a welcoming environment that feels like home.  He finds that it’s not always easy to do this. 
Although she wasn’t very likeable at times, I was fascinated by Alyssa’s work and how she was able to help people in Winsome analyze the data to see how they could improve or reach more people.  
I loved how a seemingly minor character, George, had such an important role to play and a huge message about family.  
Thank you to Thomas Nelson for providing me with a free e-copy of this book.  All opinions are my own.
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Thank you to Thomas Nelson for the free review copy. All opinions are my own. 

It was so much fun to be back in Winsome in this novel. I am so glad that Reay decided to further the stories of the characters found in The Printed Letter Bookshop. I'm glad Janet and Alyssa were the focus of this book. This mother daughter relationship is complicated, and I liked how Reay showed this. She didn't stray from showing the hard, messy parts of this type of relationship.

Also, I am still in love with this town, and I can just feel its charm throughout the novel.I'm a big coffee fan, so I enjoyed Jeremy and his coffee shop in this book. I liked how he explored what it meant to be a impactful, present father. Him and Alyssa must also deal with what happens when life takes unexpected turns. Together, they form a friendship and are able to help each other with their problems.
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Thank you Just Read Tours and Thomas Nelson for the gifted copy.

I want to move to Winsome, be friends with just about every character in this book, shop at The Printed Letter, get coffee at Andante, get sweets at the Sweet Shoppe....This setting is a dream!  I love the small town feel, and how close everyone is.

To be honest, I didn't love this book as much as The Printed Letter Bookshop, but I can't put my finger on why.  I don't think it flowed as well, and several of the transitions were random and choppy.  However, I liked Alyssa's story, and Jeremy's too.  I feel like the next book is going to be about Krista, but right now I HATE her for what she did to Jeremy!  I do think there were a lot of characters and we got bits and pieces of some of their stories, but a few were just left hanging.

Alyssa's plate was fully loaded in this story, but it was balanced well.  Her drama from work, her relationship with her mother Janet, and all the fixing she had to do with basically every aspect of her life was daunting.  She had a. LOT going on.

I'm looking forward to seeing what the author writes next, and if it's about Winsome, I will definitely be reading it.  3.5 stars rounded to 4.
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A very sweet story about families and romance.  I enjoyed the main characters and I was invested in what happened to them. Howeve, I thought there were maybe too many characters. A few of them I really felt weren't necessary. That may be because I didn't read the first book. But this one was heartfelt and
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Despite not having read the author's previous book set in Winsome, IL ([book:The Printed Letter Bookshop|40590422], which has been on my tbr list since last summer), I picked up Of Literature and Lattes since it was listed on a Summer Reading Challenge list I am participating in.  Plus, I was lucky enough to get an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley, so how could I pass it up?

I will say, going into this, knowing nothing about what happened in the previous book (centered around Winsome's bookstore) I was worried that I would be lost. But, you don't really need to have read Printed Letter.. to read and follow Of Literature and Lattes.  Both central characters in Lit & Latte have recently arrived in Winsome.    Jeremy moved to Winsome from Seattle to be near his ex-wife and his daughter.   He bought the local coffee shop and gave it a facelift.  Then we have Alyssa who grew up in Winsome and is now back in town after the high-tech start-up she worked for in California is closed and under investigation.  She's broke so returns home and scrambles to find a job.  Alyssa and Jeremy have mutual friends so meet-up and find they have a connection.   

This was a sweet story and was a good way to destress.   It's a nice escapist read during these stressful times.   I recommend this to anyone who likes small town stories.   I can totally see this being made into a Hallmark movie. :)
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Of Literature and Lattes by Katherine Reay is quite an interesting book.

The plot was deep and full of twists. I wanted to unravel the twists early but I encouraged myself to be patient. I wanted to give up from the first few pages but I found myself opening page after page to follow Alyssa’s story. You can’t seem to drop this book down.

I was curious to know about the little coffee shop that was renovated recently in the novel.

There is a good amount of suspense in the book and you need extra dose of patience to get through it.

I longed to live in Winsome. I love how little but busy the town was described as  in the novel. In this town,everybody knew each other and that struck me as a thoughtful town full of kindness and support.

In this novel,books and their titles were spoken of severally. I finally understood why this novel was titled “Of Literature and Lattes”.

I even had a big suspicion about Brendon. He is a minor character in this novel and I was curious to know his story.

Themes of love,forgiveness and acceptance were thoroughly navigated in this novel. As much as we forgive others,we also need to forgive ourselves too. That’s the only way we can be truly free from inner pains,struggles and turmoils.

There are so much to glean and learn from in this book. It is a good and emotional book.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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Title:   Of Literature and Lattes
Author:   Katherine Reay
Genre:   Fiction
Rating:   4 out of 5

Return to the cozy and delightful town of Winsome, where two people discover the grace of letting go and the joy found in unexpected change.

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. She is broke, under FBI investigation, and without a place to go. Having exhausted every option, she comes home to Winsome, Illinois, to regroup and move on as quickly as possible. Yet, as friends and family welcome her back, Alyssa begins to see a place for herself in this small Midwestern community.

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. When he meets Alyssa, he senses an immediate connection, but what he needs most is someone to help him save his floundering business. After asking for her help, he wonders if something might grow between them—but forces beyond their control soon complicate their already complex lives, and the future they both hoped for is not at all what they anticipated.

With the help of Winsome’s small-town charm and quirky residents, Alyssa and Jeremy discover the beauty and romance of second chances.

I’ve read---and loved---several of Reay’s books in the past (The Brontë Plot, The Austen Escape, Dear Mr. Knightley) but I didn’t enjoy this one quite as much as those. I think it’s because this was about more than one couple and their issues. And because I wasn’t a huge fan of Alyssa. She was…really hateful to her mother and, despite wanting not be thought of as a child, she persisted in acting childish.

I learned more about the nuances of coffee than I ever imagined existed, and I did love the small-town setting here, but this didn’t feel like the Reay books I’ve read before, so I was a bit disappointed. Maybe it’s because the classic novel this is linked to is Of Mice and Men, which I’ve basically forgotten?

Katherine Reay is a bestselling author. Of Literature and Lattes is her newest novel.

(Galley courtesy of Thomas Nelson in exchange for an honest review.)
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A well crafted story which is beautifully written with wonderful characters and setting. The perfect comfort read. I felt at the end that there was more of the story to be told I hope there is and more is to come. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. 

ThankYou to the publisher and to netgalley
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2.5 stars rounded up
This is a pleasant second book featuring the people from the small town of Winsome, IL. It is a good story about figuring our your place in the world and about forging a family in many different ways. There are themes of forgiveness and starting over that will connect with readers, and you get to reconnect with people from The Printed Letter Bookshop It's not necessary to read the first book in the series, but it helps with character background.
There was quite a bit of head hopping and it didn't flow as well as it could have because of that. I never connected with any of the characters because I didn't know whose head I would be in next, and some of them were for a page or so and then never again. There were also some threads that just went nowhere, I don't know if they will be brought up in future books in the series or if they are finished, but it seemed like a bit of a lack of editing with all of the loose ends.
I also never warmed to Alyssa, I thought she was a whiny baby who needed to grow up and worry about herself rather than judging everyone else (especially Janet). I was extremely thrilled when her mom called her out on it, but then that just fizzled without any true evidence of growth.
I generally love Reay's books, so I will continue to read them in the future. This one was sweet but not really memorable.
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Thanks #netgalley @thomasnelson for providing a complimentary e copy of #ofliteratureandlattes for review…  opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Thirty-something Alyssa never planned to return home. Suddenly, the company she works for implodes, and she is broke, under FBI investigation, and returns to her home in Winsome, Illinois to regroup. Once in her quaint and charming hometown, Alyssa faces the challenges of reconciling with her mother, earning money to fix her car, and dealing with a health crisis. She meets Jeremy who is struggling to establish a coffee shop, working toward a functional relationship with his ex, and fighting for consistent, quality time with his daughter.

Finding home…..

In this follow-up to The Printed Letter Bookshop, Katherine Reay takes us back to the cozy and charming small town of Winsome, Illinois. New characters are introduced and old characters are mentioned. Of Literature and Lattes can be read as a stand-alone, but it’s always nice to see old friends! I loved The Printed Letter Bookshop (4.5 Stars), so I was eager to read this new release.

Cozy and Charming Two-Book Series: Sometimes, a delightful, and easy-reading story with a small-town setting that features a coffee shop, a bakery, and a bookstore is just the right book at the right time. A bright, cute cover and a catchy title always catch my eye! If this is what you are in the mood for, you can’t go wrong with Of Literature and Lattes and the first in the series, The Printed Letter Bookshop. Of the two stories, The Printed Letter Bookshop is quite compelling with its strong themes of community, friendship, and forgiveness.

One reason to love Of Literature and Lattes is for the small-town, cozy setting. It’s a community where “everyone knows your name” and features all our favorite hangouts: a coffee shop, bookstore, and bakery. There’s also plenty of book talk and a book club that meets in the coffee shop!

A second reason you might appreciate this story is for its themes of community, neighbor helping neighbor, grace, forgiveness, second chances, healing, mother/daughter relationship, taking risks, friendship, finding home, and book talk.

I’m recommending Of Literature and Lattes for fans of The Printed Letter Bookshop, for readers who might appreciate a gentle, cozy read, and for those who enjoy books about books and poignant themes. Overall, it’s a hope-filled read! 3.5 rounded up to 4 stars.
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I really enjoyed this one. If you read The Printed Letter Bookshop you will enjoy going right back to the cozy town of Winsome. Alyssa never wanted to return home, but when life gets turned upside down on her, she is broke and under FBI investigation, she really doesn’t have a choice. Jeremy moves back to the small town to be close to his daughter and opens a coffee shop. Somehow, his business is bleeding money though and he asks Alyssa for help.

This is a great story of second chances, letting the past go and about being in the present. This was well a written story with small town charm. And I suspect there will be another story coming that takes us back to Winsome. I’m a huge fan of Thomas Nelson publishing and they haven’t let me down yet!
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