Eat Dessert First

You must sign in to see if this title is available for request. Sign In or Register Now
Send NetGalley books directly to your Kindle or Kindle app

To read on a Kindle or Kindle app, please add as an approved email address to receive files in your Amazon account. Click here for step-by-step instructions.
Also find your Kindle email address within your Amazon account, and enter it here.
Pub Date May 07 2024 | Archive Date May 01 2024

Talking about this book? Use #EatDessertFirst #NetGalley. More hashtag tips!


Can a plus-sized, big-hearted baker discover the recipe for happiness?

Abbey Reilly has heard "you have such a pretty face" enough times to know that it's code for "if only you'd lose weight." Giving up her architectural career to care for her ailing mom and working in a bakery to make ends meet, she is convinced no one will ever find her attractive. So she's stunned when a handsome regular customer not only shows interest but asks her on a date.

Devastated when she learns her would-be beau is married, Abbey resigns herself to a lonely future. But the insecure woman can hardly believe her luck when she draws the attention of a dreamy guy at a bachelorette party... until his horrible ex plots revenge.

Will Abbey claim the confidence she deserves and find a keeper who recognizes her true beauty?

With light humor and loving insight, Michelle Paris weaves a delightful tale of learning to believe in yourself. Juggling elder parent care, tight finances, and hating the image in the mirror, Abbey Reilly will charm any reader fond of rooting for an underdog.

Eat Dessert First is a heartwarming work of women's fiction. If you like relatable heroines, chasing a dream, and finding hope and happiness, then you'll adore Michelle Paris's sweet story of fulfillment.

Can a plus-sized, big-hearted baker discover the recipe for happiness?

Abbey Reilly has heard "you have such a pretty face" enough times to know that it's code for "if only you'd lose weight."...

Advance Praise

“Paris is a master at characterization, making it easy to adore Abbey and Jax. I cheered for Abbey's growth and ached for her all too real struggle with caring for an aging parent in this delicious story!”

 -Kimberly Hunt

 Editor, Revision Division


“Michelle’s second novel is a delightful, charming, sensitive and wonderful read.”

 -Elaine Lundberg

 Humor Therapist and author of No More Bummers

“Readers will feel like best friends with the sweet and sassy main character, Abbey Reilly after devouring this novel (I read it in one weekend!) Abbey’s life is a whirlwind of taking care of her ailing mom, coming to terms with her curvy shape, working at a super star bakery, and maybe even finding Mr. Right.

Nudged along in the romance department by her boss/friend Caroline, an outrageous, witty woman of a certain age, Abbey opens herself up to finding love. Her efforts are thwarted when she discovers one suitor is hiding his marital status. The next handsome guy in her path unfortunately lives in another city. Can they overcome the distance? 

Told with humor and hope, Paris’ novel will keep you believing in love, and maybe even boost your own self-confidence. It will also make you ravenous with descriptions of all the sweets Abbey bakes, so have a snack on hand while you read!”

-Cari Scribner, author of A Girl Like You and A Place Like This

“Lovelorn, full-figured Abbey Riley is Bridget Jones in a purple apron, a young woman searching for love and eventually learning to love herself. Eat Dessert First is the laugh-out-loud-funny story of a young woman who leaves a promising career as an architect in Philadelphia and returns to her hometown of Ellicott City, Maryland, to care for her ailing mother. To make ends meet, Abbey works at Sweet Caroline’s Bakeshop, where her customers fall in love with her red velvet cupcakes, brownies, and chocolate chip cookies. Some of them fall in love with Abbey, too, but are any of them the right guy for her? From the zany cast of characters to the snippets of classic rock songs, from the charming small-town bakeshop to the hoity-toity Philadelphia social scene, Eat Dessert First is a sweet treat read.”

  -Dian Seidel

 Author of Kindergarten at 60: A Memoir

“Paris is a master at characterization, making it easy to adore Abbey and Jax. I cheered for Abbey's growth and ached for her all too real struggle with caring for an aging parent in this delicious...

Available Editions

ISBN 9781627205115
PRICE $6.99 (USD)

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (EPUB)
Send to Kindle (EPUB)
Download (EPUB)

Average rating from 21 members

Featured Reviews

I really Rnjoyed Eat Dessert First and look forward to acquiring it for our location. I love the ficus in a real plus size woman looking for love in all the wrong places. I also enjoyed that she was a baker and I could relate to being a caretaker as I currently do the same for my mom. I loved the handsome man she meets at the bachelor party and the twist of the horrible ex made the book exciting and unputdownable to see what happened. I love how our MC not only potentially funds love but herself along the process, Michelle Paris is an exceptional author and I look forward to hearing more from her soon.

Was this review helpful?

Here’s a delicious new book to add to your TBR.
The author is a master with characters, each one felt unique and perfect for their role in the story.
The message of accepting and loving yourself, as well as not letting yourself think that everyone is out to get you, really hit close to home with me.

I would recommend this book to anyone wanting to just kick back, relax, and enjoy a cute read that will have you kicking your feet and giggling with glee.

We follow Abbey, our FMC, as she struggles with self worth and self sabotage, and watch her grow and blossom into a confident woman with the help of the people around her (including two spunky and awesome fairy-godmother-like women who I absolutely LOVE).

Abbey struggles with accepting her body size, and has a love/hate relationship with food, so just keep that in mind when you are deciding whether or not to read this book. As someone who struggles with that same problem, I feel like this book handled the subject very well.
Abbey does not magically become skinny and “beautiful” at the end of the book, it’s not that type of book.

Was this review helpful?

Abbey Reilly, had an architectural career, but when her mother had a stroke, she made the decision to give it up and move back to become her mother's caregiver. When she moved back home, she got a job in a bakery. Abby was overweight, and she just couldn't seem to believe in herself. Caroline, the owner of the diner, see her as she truly was, and tried to help Abbey see it too.
She was at a dress fitting because she was in her best friend's wedding, and the seamstress told her after asking her who picked out this dress, and Abbey said she did. Magda, the seamstress, told her that the dress was horrible for her and proceeded to find the dress that would make her feel beautiful. When she was going to take two identical dresses and sew them together and make her beautiful, Abbey. Poor Abbey felt even worse, but what could she do. When it came the day for Abbey to pick up the dress, she was surprised, because she was beautiful in the dress. Magda said she was a magician who created magic, and when she went to the wedding, others saw the confidant, beautiful, Abbey, One of the groom's college friends, Jax asked her out. She really didn't believe he was sincere, and they left each other without trading numbers.
Abbey was working at the bakery, when Jax showed up, because Yelp, said they had the best chocolate chip cookies. They were comfortable talking to each other, but Abbey's lack of self-confidence, was dragging her down. Caroline and Magda, tried to get her to see what they saw, but the only one who could change what she believed was herself.
She did make progress because she had given up her career, moved back home to take care of her mother, and when she had a date and asked her sister to watch their mother, her sister said no. She finally stood up for herself. We started to see a new side of Abbey, and her journey took a new path. You will have to read the book to see what her new journey is, but a new path has many ways to go, things to learn and to see, and I don't want to spoil it for you. Hope you buy the book and enjoy it as much as I do.
I received an ARC from Books Go Social through NetGalley.

Was this review helpful?

THIS BOOK!! It was so so good. I couldn't wait for my company to leave so I could finish it in one day. It's going to leave a book hangover for sure.
This book is all about self appreciation, learning to self love and knowing that it's more than just a pretty face that matters.

Abbey, named after her fathers love for the Beatles, thinks she's this larger than a blimp sized woman who is "just" a baker. She doesn't see what other see, this accomplished, beautifully curvy, tenderhearted woman who changed her lifestyle and career to take care of her mother after her father died. Jax is a well-known real estate mogul with a love for old record albums who was told he couldn't follow his dreams because it didn't fit the picture his parents had of their family.

-There wasn't much I didn't like about this book.
- Abbey definitely got her esteem back in the end. SHE got to pick who she wanted when some men in her life came around.
-The banter in the book was funny and easy.
-The characters VERY likeable and relatable.
-The storyline around Abbey having to take care of her mother, and her mother getting her own HEA was nice.

-The ONLY thing I can think of is Abbeys weakness and indecisiveness when it came to the men in her life. It made it relatable because I personally would've done the same. "Do I go back to safe, or explore something new that's not a for sure thing?" I would choose safe, so I'm glad she didn't but I wanted her to be stronger.

Overall, I'd give this book a 4.8-5.0. I loved it. I will be recommending this everywhere and buying it on its release date.

I received this ARC in return for an honest review. The opinion is of my own and completely unbiased.

Grab this book, dont hesitate.

Was this review helpful?

I really enjoyed this book, it was hard to put down. Abbey was an awesome main character and I loved following on with the ups and downs of her life. Highly recommend.

Was this review helpful?

Abbey's mother had a stroke; on her father's death bed, she promises to take care of her mother. In order to do that, she sets her architect job aside and moves home ... taking a position in a bakery to help make ends meet.

In the mean time Eat Dessert First is also a romance. And this book also contains Nona's Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting recipe. Sounds yummy! (Although I still don't understand why one would add so much food coloring to a cake? I want to try it without the food coloring, would it just then be a Velvet Cake?)

Many thanks to NetGalley and BooksGoSocial for approving my request to read the advance read copy of Eat Dessert First in exchange for an honest review. 07 May 2024 is the publication date, approx 316 pages.

Was this review helpful?

Loved this book. It started off slow with the main character always thinking she wasn’t good enough. The book turns around when she finally lets go of that notion and ends up just where she wants to be.

Was this review helpful?

A pure delight … Abbey bakes to make a living but this hasn’t always been her life once a talented respected architect she moved back home to care for her mother who suffered a stroke . At a friends pre wedding party she meets Jax and something special begins . Everyone loves Abbey but being a curvy girl she doesn’t always see what others see in her and the doubts begin . I loved this book the characters the cakes and the added recipes at the end … definitely makes you want to Eat Desert First !!!

Was this review helpful?

Abbey Reilly has left her job as an architectural engineer to return home to look after her mother. She has always heard about having a pretty face; but she is on the cubby side. She is now working in a bakery and is a great baker; but is missing out on life. She has never really had a steady boyfriend. She is asked out by a judge that comes into the bakery often; but finds out later he's married. When returning to Philly for her BFF's bachelorette party she meets a really nice handsome and rich guy. He seems to pursue her and they ghost her. They meet again at the wedding, and he tells her he is not sure about dating since he recently broke up with is fiancé. Abbey needs to learn to accept and love herself.
Great story of Abbey finally standing up for her herself and taking charge of her own life. I really enjoyed reading this book.

Was this review helpful?

What an amazing story! This book is all about being true to yourself, which is easier said than done. It is a tale of supportive friends, new opportunities and spectacular growth. A gem to read.

Was this review helpful?

3.75 stars.

This story is as sweet as its title.
Fantastic Plus Size Rep in the FMC. I feel a lot of women will be able to relate to her self love/esteem struggle.

Abbeys journey of finding the strength to stand up for herself while navigating through dealing with a sick parent, and her career was heartwarming. This is at its core a story of finding belief in yourself within, and living up to your own potential.

The touch of both an epilogue & a recipe at the end was chefs kiss!

Was this review helpful?

Abbey is now a baker who gave up her previous career as an architect to take care of her mother after she suffered a stroke. This was her last promise to her father on his deathbed and one that her sister frequently reminded her of. Abbey struggled with seeing her own worth and was unhappy with her size throughout the book. The cast of supportive side characters (Madga, Caroline) really hammered home the theme of accepting yourself and believing in your worth. I had a hard time connecting with two of Abbey's potential love interests and did feel that the relationship with Jax was wrapped up rather quickly. I would have liked to see more of their relationship develop.

I really enjoyed the end of the book and how Abbey came to accept herself and found her true passion. I loved the idea of Eat Dessert First and how it tied back to her father. I felt that the writing was the strongest in the final few chapters and it showcased the struggle of dealing with an aging parent.

I would recommend this book to someone looking for a fairly quick read with a main character who finds her passion and becomes comfortable with herself.

Thank you NetGalley and BooksGoSocial for this ARC opportunity
#EatDessertFirst #NetGalley

Was this review helpful?

Readers who liked this book also liked: