This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
British expat Laurie lives a pretty charmed life in New York City. She works for the girlie travel-planning website she and her best friend set up, through which she gets to visit all sorts of exciting places and is paid to do so! When beloved baker and fellow Brit Pamela Lambert-Leigh comes over to the States to find inspiration for her next baking bestseller and is on the look-out for someone to make the travel arrangements during her trip, Laurie jumps at the chance.
Laurie's extensive research pays off and she's soon signed on to arrange a delectable foodie tour along the East Coast of the USA – from the bright lights of New York City to rural Vermont, and everything in between. What she doesn't realise yet is that she'll be spending the trip not only with her baking idol, but also with Pamela's fierce elderly mother, Gracie, and obstinate 20-year-old daughter Ravenna. What follows is an often hilarious, sometimes poignant, but most of all mouth-watering journey. The road they travel – in a traditional red double-decker bus no less – is as diverse as the delectable treats they bake and devour along the way.This is the kind of novel the word 'lovely' was invented for. It was an utterly delightful read and it made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I instantly took a liking to the character of Laurie, even though I was also more than a little jealous of her fabulous job. She gets paid to travel to new places and eat all sorts of sweet treats? Sign me up, please! While she also had to find interesting things to stop by along the way and make sure the trip ran smoothly, that sounds like a small price to pay in exchange for getting the chance to visit new cities and eat copious amounts of cake.
Laurie's research is, of course, actually that of author Belinda Jones, and she has done a truly amazing job. Not only does she take her characters on a brilliant foodie tour of the East Coast, but she describes the places they visit and things they experience in such colourful detail that as a reader you believe you are right there with them, travelling from cake shop to coffee shop in the red double-decker bus. Unfortunately, this wasn't actually the case, but she made the stops on the road trip sound so appealing that I now really want to make this journey myself.
Even though this was merely fiction, the hugely inviting descriptions of the places visited made the novel resemble a good travel guide at times – one with a dash of romance thrown in and a swirl of scrumptious baked goods. It was the perfect calorie-free sweet treat for my Sunday afternoon and I'm already craving more of Belinda Jones' delicious writing.