All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Review: Cake At Midnight by Jessie L. Star

on January 15, 2018

Cake At Midnight
Jessie L. Star
Simon & Schuster AUS
2018, 319p
Uncorrected proof copy courtesy of the publisher

Blurb {from the publisher/}:

Giovanna, Zoë and Declan have always been a trio – their fierce friendship has seen them through every heartbreak and hardship and helped pave the way to brighter futures. Gio is a passionate baker of cakes, pastries and all things delicious, Zoë a take-no-prisoners beauty, and Declan an ambitious businessman on the way up.

Best friends forever, Gio thinks – until Gio’s lifelong crush on Declan is exposed, leaving her humiliated, and Gio realises she needs to cut him loose to get over him once and for all.

Enter Theo, Gio’s neighbour … She’s never met anyone like him before. He doesn’t talk much, but he’s kind, he’s sexy, he’s generous and he’s often awake in the middle of the night, like Gio. Theo has a sweet tooth and a mysterious history and Gio can’t seem to stay away.

Thanks to the power of sleepless nights and chocolate cake, Gio thinks she’s finally over Declan, but then his whole world turns upside down. Gio knows she can’t desert Declan in his time of need, but how can she explain a lifetime of love to Theo?

Letting go of the past isn’t so easy when your heart is breaking.

I loved this!

Gio, Zoë and Dec are childhood friends who refer to themselves as Baker, Beauty and Brains. They have a long standing friendship although it was complicated when Gio kissed Dec, who doesn’t return her romantic feelings. In the time since, Dec has been taking advantage of Gio’s feelings for him, resulting in Zoë distancing herself from him. When Dec invites Gio last minute to a work function at his fancy firm, she’s surprised to find someone she kind of knows there.

Gio refers to Theo as “Nod Next Door” – they live in apartments on the same floor and she’s taken to saying hi to him when she sees him, only to receive a nod in reply. Theo rescues Gio when she overhears something humiliating and all of a sudden he’s talking, rather than just nodding and disappearing. Soon they’re spending their nights together (innocently) – Theo works and Gio hangs out on his couch. She’s determined that she get over Declan once and for all and she might’ve found the perfect way to do it.

This was sooo much fun! Gio (short for Giovanna), Zoë and Declan all grew up in a rough neighbourhood and although Gio had a loving home life, Zoë and Dec definitely lacked that. Their childhood bond keeps them tight and even though Zoë and Dec aren’t the closest of friends these days, she’ll still drop everything when he needs her. Gio has been in love with Declan for years and although he doesn’t return her feelings, he does use them in order to get her to do things that he wants, to Zoë’s chagrin. Gio has never really seen it until her feelings are very hurt when she overhears something at Declan’s work party. It makes her see him in a whole new light and she decides that she really does need to move on from this crush. He doesn’t have feelings for her and he never will and she’s wasting her life pining after him when nothing is ever going to happen. Declan has the best of both worlds – women to date and Gio as permanent back up to step in whenever required so she needs to remove that from the equation.

I absolutely loved Gio and Theo together! I liked their early interactions – Gio is friendly and quite bubbly so she always offers a cheerful greeting whereas Theo is more reserved, nodding politely and moving on. As they spend more and more time together, at night in his apartment, you get a better picture of Theo and what has made him the man that he is. Gio is the perfect counterpart, baking sugary treats, providing a down to earth presence in a life that has been filled to the brim with drama. Despite Gio’s angst over Declan, she’s not particularly dramatic and her determination to move on seems to ground her. Weirdly, I never noticed until I began writing this review that Theo and Gio rhyme (I think because in the book he calls her Giovanna all the time). Like their names, they fit together.

I also loved Theo’s backstory, a lot of it was really unexpected. He’s wealthy, with an important job which was expected but the secrets in his family, his employment history were all really nice surprises, helping to construct his character in multiple layers. Gio’s support of him in difficult moments is something he really appreciates and is I think, not used to. Theo’s family are truly quite awful selfish people and it’s sort of both unbelievable and also incredibly unsurprising that he turned out the way he did. I also really appreciated that the book is told two ways – most of the narrative is first person from Gio’s point of view but at the end of each chapter is a brief portion that’s third person from Theo’s perspective which really helps round out the narratives and give the reader a better insight into his thoughts in the early stages.

Basically I just loved this from start to finish. I found Gio really easy to relate to, her crush on Dec and her resolution to get over it – well, who hasn’t been there? I liked Theo, even when he did silly things because I understood why he was doing them and that’s important. And did I mention this book talks about food a lot? Gio is a pastry chef (in training kind of) and she bakes lots of things. She shares a lot of them with Theo and this book made me crave rich chocolate cake so much. Definitely going to be looking out for more from this author in the future.


Book #5 of 2018


One response to “Review: Cake At Midnight by Jessie L. Star

  1. It’s always fun to read a book that you love, don’t you think?

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