Thursday, 13 February 2014

Review: The All You Can Dream Buffet by Barbara O'Neal

Popular blogger and foodie queen Lavender Wills reigns over Lavender Honey Farms, a serene slice of organic heaven nestled in Oregon wine country. Lavender is determined to keep her legacy from falling into the profit-driven hands of uncaring relatives, and she wants an heir to sustain her life’s work after she’s gone. So she invites her three closest online friends—fellow food bloggers, women of varied ages and backgrounds—out to her farm. She hopes to choose one of them to inherit it—but who?

There’s Ginny, the freckle-faced Kansas cake baker whose online writing is about to lead her out of a broken marriage and into a world of sensual delights. And Ruby, young, pregnant, devoted to the organic movement, who’s looking for roots—and the perfect recipe to heal a shattered heart. Finally, Val, smart and sophisticated, a wine enthusiast who needs a fresh start for her teenage daughter after tragedy has rocked their lives. Coming together will change the Foodie Four in ways they could never have imagined, uniting them in love and a common purpose. As they realize that life doesn’t always offer a perfect recipe for happiness, they also discover that the moments worth savoring are flavored with some tears, a few surprises, and generous helping of joy.

ebook, 400 pages
Expected publication: March 4th 2014 by Bantam 
Genre: Womans Fiction

Kristine's Thoughts:

* I received an advanced readers copy of this book from Random House Publishing Group- Bantam Dell via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*

I was drawn to this book because it is about a bunch of bloggers and although I am nowhere near the blogger that the women in this book are I could relate to their passion.

This book is about four different women, all with blogs, who connect through their online passion and call themselves the Foodie Four. All of them are at different stages of their lives, struggling with different demons and trying to figure out their paths. They are all getting together at Lavender's farm to celebrate her 85th birthday. It is about friendship, love and the journey of self discovery as these women prepare for the festivities.

O'Neal tells the story in an interesting and unique way, going from woman to woman, using blog posts, recipes and emails along the way. She does an incredible job of describing the landscape and the workings of the farm. You can tell that she did her research by how detailed the entire story was.

The All You Can Dream Buffet is not a fast moving story but it is so rich in feeling and emotion. The bonds of friendship are beautifully captured within the pages. The struggles are so hauntingly realistic that as a woman I felt so much empathy for each and every one of the characters. I thoroughly enjoyed every step of their journey and the little bit of magic (or should I say spirit!) along the way.

About the Author
Barbara Samuel (also known as Barbara O’Neal) is the bestselling author of more than 40 books, and has won Romance Writers of America’s RITA award an astounding six times. Her books have been published around the world, including France, Germany, Italy, and Australia/New Zealand, among others. One of her recent women’s fiction titles, The Lost Recipe for Happiness (written as Barbara O’Neal) went back to print eight times, and her book How to Bake a Perfect Life was a Target Club pick in 2011.

Whether set in the turbulent past or the even more challenging present, Barbara’s books feature strong women, families, dogs, food, and adventure—whether on the road or toward the heart.

A native of Colorado Springs, Barbara lives there with her partner, Christopher Robin, an endurance athlete, along with her dog and cats. She is an avid gardner, hiker, photographer, and traveler who loves to take off at dawn to hike a 14er or head to a faraway land, or curl up with the animals in the garden and read. She loves to connect with readers and is very involved with them on the Internet.

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