The Sunshine Diner has been Tanner Castillo’s home away from home for years, and his place behind the counter is a fixture in the small town of Maple Falls. After years of working there and saving every penny, he is able to purchase the diner and make the necessary renovations to bring it into the 21st century. Growing up poor, Tanner’s always felt like he’s needed something to his name before he could ask out Anita Bedford.
Due to some savvy business investments, Anita’s parents have been able to provide her and her siblings with everything they’ve ever needed or wanted. But Anita doesn’t have the same ambitions as her doctor brother and lawyer sister. She’s always been happy to work as a waitress at the diner, especially since it kept her close to Tanner, whom she’s been crushing on since middle school.
When Anita decides to open a coffee shop and bakery, she puts herself in direct competition to Tanner’s Sunshine Diner. After working side-by-side for years, can working against each other finally be the thing that brings these two lovebirds together?
Not me again with reading the second book in a series before the first… Oh well. At least this is one of those series where the books are more standalone and just include characters from the other books. I like series like that because you get to see what happens to the old characters while focusing on new ones and a new story.
I loved both main characters, Anita and Tanner, as they had their own drive and dreams that they wanted to achieve, including being with one another. However, as they work together at the Sunshine diner, they’re too oblivious to see how they feel and friend-zone themselves. It works though, as it allows them to focus on their goals – for Anita, it’s buying a vacant building and opening her own café, and for Tanner, it’s buying the Sunshine Diner where he’s currently assistant manager and revamping it to include a modern coffee bar.
Anita definitely has self-esteem issues when it comes to her family, as she’s not as successful (in her mother’s mind) than her siblings. When she decides to take the plunge and open her café, she wants to do it all on her own, and that includes not taking any money from her parents. I respect her for wanting to do that on her own, though she does hit some bumps. I kind of relate to why she didn’t want to ask for help because she didn’t want to be a burden on anyone, so I understood why she didn’t. The best part of Anita was that when she saw the girl who used to be Tanner’s girlfriend and assumed that was the type of girl he liked (a hussy, as my favorite side character Jasper calls her), Anita decided she wouldn’t change to fit Tanner’s type of girl.
“… But she could change for herself.”
Tanner I loved because he was a caretaker. He took care of the diner, his mom, and even Anita when she needed help (which happened a few times). His relationship with his mom was so sweet. He had no problems living at home with her at almost 28 years old, as he wanted to help keep up the house, and he had promised his father as a child that he’d take care of his mom and younger brother. Even if he hadn’t, he would’ve stayed with her. He wanted his mom to work less before she worked herself into the grave, and that’s something I can understand as well. Tanner had a great head and heart on his shoulders, and he was someone I could definitely fall for.
The story is more about the process of each of their dreams happening, as opposed to it starting with Anita opening her café and Tanner redoing the diner. So the whole part of them being business rivals is short lived, which to me was disappointing. However, the book is very good in general, I just think the synopsis is a little misleading. What I really loved is that this is a clean romance, so there weren’t any steamy surprises (I hate those). It’s listed as Christian fiction, but don’t let that turn you away. It’s not so much about the characters and their relationship with God, but there are definitely Christian values in place, which I love. But it’s not going to do any Bible-thumping to those who don’t believe.
I definitely want to read the other books in this series (I already have the first one, after realizing this was the second) and I think the third one just came out or is coming out soon. Either way, I’m excited to read the stories of Anita’s friends… and see more of old man Jasper in Maple Falls!
Rating: 4.25/5 stars
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2 thoughts on “Review: Much Ado About a Latte”
this looks so charming & the title?!! 🥰 loved reading your thoughts on this TK!
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Thanks! It was definitely a charming book!
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