This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Reviewed by Zarina de Ruiter
Faye Dobson has settled for a life with her husband Craig, rather than exploring the world and doing all the exciting things she'd been dreaming of when she was growing up. Her marriage may be more stable than sparkling, but taking care of her beautiful daughter has made all the sacrifices worth it. With Emma now away at university and no longer brightening up the house with her presence, however, the cracks in Faye's marriage can no longer be ignored. She knows Craig is not her happy ending, but what or who is?
When Faye comes across a bright pink rucksack at the back of her wardrobe, she finds a beautiful red dress she has never worn, a postcard of a city she has never visited and the living list she wrote for herself and failed to tick all but one of the boxes from. Finding these memories from her past and reading about all the foreign places she once was so desperate to visit, make her determined to rediscover the old Faye and do something spontaneous and adventurous.
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When a new deli opens around the corner from her work, amidst the aromatic fragrances of Italian sausages and Greek olives Faye finds what she has been looking for in the form of gorgeous globetrotter Dan. Temporarily working in his aunt's deli before embarking on a trip around Europe, it doesn't take long for Faye to fall not only for his scrumptious sandwiches, but also for his Australian charms.
The opening sequence of the novel sees Faye fantasising about Ryan Gosling in a way that is, let's just say, not entirely PG. And in that first scene I knew I was going to love reading about this character if only for our mutual appreciation of The Gos. It's a shame then that this very hot moment is brutally interrupted by reality when the sound of her extremely annoying husband's voice breaks through her daydream.From the moment we meet Craig I disliked him with a passion. He was selfish, needy and didn't appreciate all that Faye has done for him throughout the years. Therefore, I didn't blame Faye at all for falling for Dan's gorgeousness, especially as he was plying her with all sorts of delicious foodie delights. However, despite Dan's obvious godlike presence, I didn't instantly believe the move from friendship to more between the two, and not just because of the age difference.
To me, Faye and Dan's blossoming romance read like another fantasy, rather than a plausible story development, this time substituting Ryan Gosling for an equally handsome and unobtainable foreign hunk. Nevertheless, because I liked the both of them so much and I did root for them to find their own happy endings, I just went with it without questioning the plausibility of this storyline too much.
While the focus of the novel is on Faye's romantic life, there are also plenty of other things within the pages to keep the reader engaged, from mouthwatering descriptions of the amazing food Dan sells in the deli (warning: have chocolate at hand at all times, because you will get hungry while reading) to the heartwarming relationship between Faye and her mouthy young co-worker Mandy. Not to mention that the leading lady provides many unintentionally hilarious moments, from slipping in public places and wearing not entirely age-appropriate headwear.
Love, Lies and Lemon Cake is not quite as deceiving as the title makes it out to be, but if you're in the mood for a good rom-com filled with tasty Mediterranean food and hunky men then I can guarantee that this book will satisfy all your needs.