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Brunch at Bittersweet Café

(The Supper Club #2)

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  1,458 ratings  ·  366 reviews
From the RITA Award–winning author of Five Days in Skye comes a sweet, romantic treat that will leave you hungry for more.

Baker and pastry chef Melody Johansson has always believed in finding the positive in every situation, but seven years after she moved to Denver, she can’t deny that she’s stuck in a rut. One relationship after another has ended in disaster, and her cla
Paperback, 432 pages
Published February 5th 2019 by Tyndale House Publishers (first published February 2019)
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Average rating 4.10  · 
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 ·  1,458 ratings  ·  366 reviews

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DJ Sakata
Favorite Quotes:

She was the one who had wiped Melody’s tears and kissed her scrapes and taught her all the things a young girl should know and quite a few things she shouldn’t. But that was her grandmother.

I would call it an enthusiastic hobby, not an obsession.

Pete negotiated the extra stop with the driver in rapid, confident Spanish. Justin only caught a handful of words—he’d naively studied German in high school and college, which so far had only come in handy for reading labels on imported
Heidi Robbins (Heidi Reads...)
There are several elements in this book that make it stand out. The romance is always my favorite of course, but I also appreciated the focus on all types of relationship dynamics- family, friends, and co-workers. Melody's semi-estranged mother, her two well-meaning best friends, and Justin's sister and her husband all play important roles in the story. It was interesting to see the details involved in the food industry, and all the creativity and planning it takes to open a new restaurant. The ...more
Deanne Patterson
Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really, really enjoyed this book! This is my first book I've read by this author and as I do my happy dance I already have planned to read the first book in the series, The Saturday Night Supper Club. This is a foodie lovers dream book. Page after page of scrumptious sounding food descriptions that are guaranteed to make you hungry. The atmosphere of the book was relaxed and fun. I loved seeing the interaction between baker and pastry chef Melody Johansson and her friends. It was inspiring to ...more
Toni Shiloh
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Brunch at Bittersweet Cafe is filled with bookish culinary delight! From the first line to the very end, Carla Laureano swept me away to Denver, Colorado. Ms. Laureano has such a gift with words. She put me in the dead of winter. Let me experience the smell and feel of baking bread. (Seriously, is that not the best smell ever?!) She helped me experience that tingle of attraction when you meet a guy that has the looks (and an awesome job to boot!). Ms. Laureano doesn’t just write a story, she bri ...more
Jan 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
“Brunch at the Bittersweet Café” by Carla Laureano is the second book in “The Saturday Night Supper Club” series. It can easily be read as a standalone. I read (and loved) the first book and I think readers will have a more enriching reading experience by reading the first book as well, as there are many familiar places and faces that show up in this installment.

Ms. Laureano does not just simply write about a subject, she writes about it! Meaning she goes above and beyond in her research about
Jill Hart
Oct 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Every time I read a new Carla Laureano book it becomes my favorite. I don't know how she continues to top her own writing, but she does! I adored Brunch at Bittersweet Cafe and it is now my absolute favorite of all her books to date.
I laughed, I cried, I swooned, and then I felt all those emotions again. This book is full of characters with depth and Laureano addresses faith in a realistic and authentic way that had me highlighting and thinking long after I read the last page. Melody is full of
Sarah Monzon
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
You know how when you take that first bite of a delicious desert your eyes kind of roll back into your head and you sigh and savor and get all giddy? Yeah, the first few chapters of BABC was like that. I don’t normally like instant attraction storiess but the author did SUCH a good job with it here. I savored every page of this story, loving the friendship between Melody, Rachel, and Ana as much as the romance between Melody and Justin. It’s not often you get to see the ends and outs, highs and ...more
Lou Allen
Apr 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book has strong characters. I felt their pain as they struggled with the dilemma and I couldn't predict what their choices would be until the end. As well as the relationship between Melody and Justin, I also enjoyed the conflicts between Melody and her friends and with her mum.
The plot is really strong in the first and last thirds of the book.
The faith element comes out slowly and it felt natural to the characters.
I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series when it comes ...more
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Warning: reading this book may induce hunger...and may also cause some readers to mourn their lack of imagination when it comes to their culinary skills (raising hand sheepishly.) I'm not a foodie, but this book makes me want to be one! If I wasn't drooling over the hero (which I was -- a lot!) I was drooling over the food descriptions!

What an emotional love story! Despite their imperfections, Justin and Melody are perfect for each other BUT the timing is all wrong. Honestly, I ached with yearni
Chautona Havig
Feb 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Written with an authentic tone in every aspect of the story, Carla Laureano doesn’t just give you a fabulous story, she transports you out of your house and drops you into the Denver, Colorado foodie scene.

I’m no professional, not by a long shot, but I could feel the tension of the bread as it rose, sense the dip in humidity and the need to adjust. Even more than that, Laureano made me experience the difference between baking on a commercial scale and as an artisan.

Then there are the characters.
Susan Snodgrass
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
'He'd thought that God was distant, but until now, he'd never thought He was cruel.'

Melody Johansson, baker and pastry chef, has had a string of relationship disasters when a handsome stranger knocks at the door of the bakery in the wee hours of the morning and explains that his car is stuck in the snow. Melody lets him in and wonders if this is a sign from God. Justin Keller, private pilot, is definitely not looking for a relationship. His schedule is much too demanding for that. It has never b
Tressa (Wishful Endings)
BRUNCH AT BITTERSWEET CAFÉ is a wonderful, heartfelt story that readers will love from beginning to end! The likable characters, small town charm, sweet friendships, and beautiful romance make for the perfect read.

I knew from the first chapter that this story was going to be good. And it was. I loved the characters! I loved how they changed and developed, how they faced challenges and choices, how their faith grew. I loved the friendships and the family. Melody's friend, Rachel, did get on my ne
Carole Jarvis
Feb 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Reviewed at The Power of Words:

There’s so much to love about Brunch at Bittersweet Café and I enjoyed this book so very much! Those who love food themes will find this story everything they dream about because it is such a vividly conveyed and intricately woven part of this book – and while I did find the theme interesting, it was the excellent writing and character depth of Carla Laureano that drew me to the story.

Melody, a secondary character from the previous “supper cl
Alysha (For The Love of Christian Fiction)
GUYS! I got to be around carbs and sugar and I didn't gain a single pound. (I also wasn't able to eat any of it which was definitely a downfall...)

I loved the premise of this book! The best friends-- who are more like sisters--, the dreams put on hold until they finally got fed up with life and made their dreams a reality, the bakery and all the things that went with it.
It was different than anything I've read in this genre before.

There were some great characters in this book. The main characte
Maria Clara
Jan 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed, favorites
Hope is not practical because hope feels.
It is honest, so it will cry, it will ask questions, and it will hang on.

This is probably the biggest lesson Justin Keller needs to learn. His rational and pragmatic self may have helped him become a successful young pilot, and his tendency to be a planner helped him avoid any serious commitment, but, when it comes to the heart, can reason prevail?

Justin stubbornly refuses to deny the possibility. Even when he meets Melody Johansson, with whom he has fun
Dec 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Brunch at Bittersweet Cafe is simply delicious. With a buttery, crumbly story base about following your dreams, topped with smooth and very sweet romance, sprinkled over with friendship and faith renewal, Brunch at Bittersweet Cafe has the perfect recipe to create what is a thoroughly enjoyable contemporary Christian romance novel.

Melody has always wanted to own her own bakery or follow her dreams of being a top pastry chef. Instead, after numerous job switches, she finds herself in a chain bake
"Judging from the little quivers she felt in his presence, a mere twenty minutes after their first meeting, this one was a heartbreaker."

Such a delightful world of delectable desserts and aviation! I don't know a lot about either one of these worlds, but Carla Laureano combines them vividly and beautifully in this heartbreaking, soul-searching contemporary romance. The dialogue is fun, incredible, and witty especially between Justin and Melody. The plot is well-paced and well-crafted, as is the
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
To whomever reads this book be sure to have plenty of napkins by your side!! Why do I say this? Because you'll drool your pants off and then some!!!
I felt like I was there drooling and tasting Melodys desserts and I loved tasting them right along with Justin.
He's so lucky and has it made but doesn't see past the end of his nose!!
Has all the sweets and then some right there in front of his face!!
I really admire Melody and the way that she can turn anything into something delicious! I can bake
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was so good!

I loved the first book in this new series. and this one just as great. I liked the update on the relationship between Rachel and Alex and the hints to what's going to happen in the next book (such a long wait!).

Just like in the first book, this story revolves around food. I have someone in the family who has worked as a pastry chef, and it's just like in this story. The setting plays the role of anchor, but it's the characterization that makes the story shine.

I totally recommen
Eliza Noel
Oct 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Ok, so what an interesting review to be writing. First of all-


Super cute. Like a Hallmark movie. Melody likes baking, old books, taking pictures of books...just. like. me. UM YES. The Saturday night supper club? Something I've totally wanted to do! I'd love to make a several course meal and have a few friends over.


As charming as Justin was and how they literally had the cutest dream dates I'd love to go on, the romance most of the time felt a bit shallow. It seemed to be focused on
Courtney Clark
Feb 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A delectable "second course" in the Supper Club series, Brunch at Bittersweet Café offers an engrossing story of friendship, romance, and trust along with its yummy foodie tendencies.

THE FOOD. First off, this story had me wanting to bake all. the. things. with its yummy foods. From things Melody baked to the quaint restaurants she (and Justin) visited, the food selection was eclectic and inspiring. Carla Laureano includes food as an inherent part of the story and naturally in Melody's life. (And
Feb 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: review, 2019
Brunch at Bittersweet Café by Carla Laureano | Book Review

STORY | Restless is what Melody Johansson feels. As a French-trained pastry chef, she’s going nowhere (fast!) working in a chain bakery where nothing is made from scratch. Ideally, she dreams of the day she can open her own bakery. Then, things slowly come together when she and best friend, Rachel, make a plan to go into business together. As a talented chef, Rachel will control the food while Melody plans their pastries and the bakery si
Fiction Aficionado
Oh my word. I think I put on five kilos just reading this book, and the romance was even more delicious than the food. But this story was so much more than a light and fluffy endorphin stimulant. These characters had some tough choices before them and had to ask themselves: Which regret can you live with? And which one would tear you apart? I can tell you how 999,999 contemporary romances would have answered those questions, but this story was the one-in-a-million that turned those answers on th ...more
Jan 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
To whomever reads this book be sure to have plenty of napkins by your side!! Why do I say this? Because you'll drool your pants off and then some!!!
I felt like I was there drooling and tasting Melodys desserts and I loved tasting them right along with Justin.
He's so lucky and has it made but doesn't see past the end of his nose!!
Has all the sweets and then some right there in front of his face!!
I really admire Melody and the way that she can turn anything into something delicious! I can bake
Apr 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
I read romance about 1-2x a year and when I do I make sure it’s by Carla Laureano. Impeccable writing and every scene boasts of research so well executed that I’m convinced Laureano is just simply an expert at everything she writes about! Everything feels real and authentic but not like an instructors manual or cold in any way. In Bittersweet I escaped to Colorado and not only got to hang out in Melody’s kitchen but also Justin’s plane. What could be better? The kiss scenes are superb and the ch ...more
Completely Melanie
Apr 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
This was such a cute story. I want to eat all the treats she makes! I love the fact that she is a bookstagrammer as well.
Jennifer Fluegge
Jul 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This author knocked it out of the park again! Loved the book, loved an inside look at the baker’s/bakery’s/restaurant’s world, and loved the storyline in general.
Feb 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2019
If you are a fan of food and friends, you’ll love this series! And this second book is even better than the first one! I really enjoyed getting to know pastry chef/baker Melody Johannson, her mother, and of course Justin (swoon). I love this author’s characters because they seem so real. I can’t wait for book three; I hear it will be Ana’s story.
Feb 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2019
July 2020 update: I recently reread this novel, and, well, let's just say I took the book totally differently! I do think my initial thoughts were valid, so I'm leaving that review below, but I also want to give my updated thoughts and star rating.

The romance between Melody and Justin didn't feel particularly passionate/chemistry-filled, but it also felt real, and I wanted them to succeed as a couple. (view spoiler)
Becky Van Daniker
Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“Brunch at Bittersweet Cafe” by Carla Laureano is the second book in the Supper Club series. While this is the second book, this can easily be read as a stand-alone. Can I just say that I thought the first book was super fun and made me hungry for all of the food? Mrs. Laureano outdid herself with this sequel. With that being said, I think readers would find more enjoyment having read the previous book before reading as there are many beloved characters and references throughout the book.

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Carla Laureano is the RITA® Award-winning author of contemporary inspirational romance and Celtic fantasy (asC.E. Laureano). A graduate of Pepperdine University, she worked as a sales and marketing executive for nearly a decade before leaving corporate life behind to write fiction full-time. She currently lives in Denver with her husband and two sons, where she writes during the day and cooks thin ...more

Other books in the series

The Supper Club (3 books)
  • The Saturday Night Supper Club (The Supper Club, #1)
  • The Solid Grounds Coffee Company (The Supper Club, #3)

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When it comes to writing, Jocelyn Johnson is about that life.    The Virginia native—born, bred, and wed—has had aspirations of being a...
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“Her Instagram feed filled up with gorgeous photos of her creations displayed alongside books, some of their links tenuous at best. Double chocolate cookies made with huge chunks of Valrhona chocolate found their American-Parisian mash-up reference in Alcott's Little Women. Currant cinnamon rolls as big as a baby's head were paired with The Secret Garden. Her lemon-blueberry muffins posed alongside a favorite childhood picture book, Blueberries For Sal. 1 likes
“Bread shouldn't be some sort of bland, spongy starch that you use to push down your food. When it's done right, it's as complex as wine- the pleasantly sour flavor of well-fermented dough, the nutty quality of freshly ground wheat flour, the bitter caramel notes from the crust. Haven't you ever wondered why the Bible says Jesus is the bread of life? Bread was once worthy of that metaphor. Somehow I don't think He would like to be compared to Wonder Bread.” 1 likes
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