I am really excited about today’s review. This is a book that I have anticipated reading for a while–basically since I finished the first two books in the series (check out my reviews of those novels: The Saturday Night Supper Club and Brunch at Bittersweet Cafe).
The Solid Grounds Coffee Company by Carla Laureano is the third book in her Saturday Night Supper Club trilogy. I love love love everything I’ve read from Carla and knew I would really enjoy this one as well!
- I need to go experience the Denver restaurant scene! The way Laureano describes all the restaurants and delicious food continues to make my mouth water.
- I learned a lot about coffee, roasting, and publicity/marketing in this novel. I basically knew nothing about all three of these subjects before reading so it was interesting to get so many details about being successful in that type of business.
- So fun to see Rachel and Melody in this story and experience their happy endings!
According to Goodreads, “Analyn Sanchez can handle the long hours and arrogant clients that come with her job as a crisis management associate at Denver’s largest publicity firm. The high-powered job, expensive condo, and designer wardrobe are all part of her plan to prove to her family that her life choices haven’t been in vain. But when she’s asked to cover up a client’s misdeeds with serious moral and legal ramifications, she can no longer sacrifice her conscience for her career . . . and the cost is no less than her job.
Ever since a devastating climbing accident in South America eight months ago, and a bad decision that dried up his sponsorships, professional rock climber Bryan Shaw has found himself at similar loose ends. When the opportunity to buy a coffee farm in Colombia arises, he jumps on it–only to discover his wandering ways have left him utterly unprepared to run a business.
When Bryan returns home and offers Ana a role in his company as a solution to both their problems, she’s desperate enough to consider working with the far-too-flippant and far-too-handsome climber, even though he’s the polar opposite of her type A nature. As they delve deeper into the business, however, she begins to suspect there’s much more to Bryan than she’s given him credit for . . . and that sometimes the best plans are the ones you never see coming.”
I loved finally getting Ana’s story because I feel like we get to know her the least in the first two novels. Although she is certainly a part of the previous stories, she is always aloof and we don’t know much about her besides she’s good at her intense job, dresses expensively, and always works out to burn off the yummy food Rachel and Melody make. She is very careful about who she lets into her life and even more careful guards her past and her heart. First, getting more details about her job makes it even more crazy! I couldn’t believe what she was asked to cover up. How difficult that doing the right thing has so many negative consequences. And yet, Ana fights on. She is passionate, hard working, and very apt at reading people. It was a beautiful journey to see how she changes and forgives herself in this novel.
Bryan is our unlikely hero and I loved getting to know him better too. He is another character on the edges of our previous stories but it was fantastic to get to know him better. What a fascinating journey he makes from professional rock climber with little morals to an aspiring business owner rebuilding his relationship with God. His background is as complicated as Ana’s, and I admire his desire to start fresh and become a better man. Learning about his coffee business was fascinating and I was surprised by how much work went into learning how to make good coffee–let alone all the other business elements. He is also very hard working and determined to make his own way in the world. I found him easy to cheer for.
I love the romance in this novel. From the first page, we have some romantic tension between Ana and Bryan because obviously these two are going to get together but they try so hard not to for so long. I loved the way Laureano builds their friendship and then their romance. They begin the story misunderstanding each other but begin to peel back the walls they both hide behind to understand each other’s true intentions and aspirations. Their first kiss is tender, beautiful and I may have read it 3 times before moving on. I appreciated that they trusted each other and focused on love first. There wasn’t too much of a big frustrating climax when they were separated (although there is a crazy twist at the end!). The details of their relationship were beautifully introduced and woven together.
I love Laureano’s writing style. She always draws me into the story right away. I have a hard time setting this book down. I find myself constantly saying “just one more chapter” and then reading three. Additionally, I love how seamlessly God and faith are woven in to this story. Laureano doesn’t preach to her readers. We simply see God and faith in these characters’ lives. They are flawed humans like us all and are trying to become better people through forgiveness and redemption. I think we can all connect with people like that.
Another fantastic novel from Carla Laureano and an engaging, romantic end to this trilogy!
What are some of your favorite contemporary series?
What topics have you learned a lot about in fiction?