Favorite Quotes on Books and Reading

"A book is a gift you can open again and again." Garrison Keillor

Literature is a textually transmitted disease, normally contracted in childhood.” Jane Yolen

"It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it." Oscar Wilde

"Books have furnished, burnished, and enabled my life." Julia Keller

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Book 388: BLISS Review

Bliss by Hilary Fields
ISBN:  9780316277389 (paperback)
ISBN:  9780316277341 (ebook)
ASIN:  B00BWQW7L6 (Kindle edition)
Publication date: November 19, 2013 
Publisher: Redhook


Nothing says "oops" like your naked a** skidding in the salmon mousse...
A year ago, pastry chef Serafina Wilde's seemingly perfect life fell to pieces. So now, when her eccentric Aunt Pauline calls from Santa Fe needing her help, Sera jumps at the chance to start over. Pauline even offers to let her take over the family business, "Pauline's House of Passion," and turn it into a bakery... provided she agrees not to ditch the "back room." Cupcakes and sex toys don't exactly mix but Sera is willing to try, and what she finds in the beautiful City Different is the best life has to offer --- if she has the courage to go for it.


Serafina (Sera) Bliss Wilde was orphaned at the age of thirteen and was then raised by a very eccentric aunt. Serafina's love of baking helped her to maintain an even keel after her parent's death, and her passion for baking grew into a career as a pastry chef. Sera was fortunate enough to be hired by one of New York's top chefs straight out of culinary school. She was unfortunate enough to accept being that chef's girlfriend. After four years of his cheating and constant belittling she crashed. Again she was unfortunate to crash during one of the biggest weddings of the season and was subsequently fired. Realizing she had a serious alcohol problem on top of her ego problem, Sera turned to her Aunt Pauline for support, successfully went through rehabilitation, and attempted to start her life over in New York as a caterer. One year later Sera receives a frantic phone call from her aunt and rushes off to Santa Fe to help out. Little does she know that this one trip would result in her biggest challenge to date.

Sera is no novice at starting over, but her move to Santa Fe may be the biggest step she's taken in quite some time. With the assistance of her Aunt Pauline and the support of the Back Room Babes or BRBs, Sera agrees to stay in Santa Fe and start her own bakery, Bliss. She also meets a gorgeous hunk that just happens to be her landlord and business neighbor. It's hard enough being a recovering alcoholic, but add to that the challenge of starting a new business and a steamy romance and the tension builds. The last thing Sera needs is to be confronted by her ex-boyfriend and former boss, but that's exactly what happens. Will Sera be able to deal with all of these stressors and make a success at her new venture and romance? 

Bliss was an interesting read for me as it pulled out my inner prude due to the frank sexual discussions (often lead by Aunt Pauline and the BRBs). It was interesting reading about the relationship between the conservative twenty-something and her widely-liberal sixty-something aunt. I also enjoyed reading about Sera's self-discovery, not to mention her romance with Asher. Parts of the story brought a smile to my face and others made me laugh out loud. I think I may have enjoyed the story a lot more if I had been able to quell my inner prude. Bliss was a read that was a little bit coming-of-age, second chances, and romance with a lot of minor themes including alcoholic recovery, sexual awareness and acceptance, and the issue of bullying in relationships. If you enjoy reading about second chances and self-empowerment then you definitely want to add Bliss to your TBR list.

Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of this book free for review purposes from the publisher via NetGalley. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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