Harvest House Publishers
Get ready to settle down with some tea and scones, because Trish Perry’s latest novel, The Perfect Blend, offers a rich mixture of love, drama, tears, and quaint tea shop delicacies. Directly after newcomer Stephanie is abandoned by her fiancé in an unknown small town, she is taken in by the kindly owner of a tea shop, Milly. What ensues is a whirlwind of emotion as Steph tries to find her place in this small town of Middleburg she soon grows to love--as well as Kendall, the handsome owner of the local inn. With the help of new friends and a temporary job, Steph gradually discovers her own worth, true love, and God’s plan for her life.
Taking on a casual tone, The Perfect Blend very well suits the small town atmosphere of Middleburg. However, like any suburban town, there is no lack of drama and gossip to fan the flames that make for an interesting plot. Fresh off the curb after being dumped at the altar, would-be-bride Steph falls into the caring arms of Kendall, who is smitten by this young woman’s quirky personality and sweet charm. Their relationship builds until suddenly two unexpected visitors from both lovers’ messy romance histories throw things for a loop, leaving the reader to wonder if the pieces of Steph and Kendall’s newly budding relationship can ever be salvaged.
Steph is ultimately left with vital decisions to make: does she leave Middleburg and admit defeat, returning home to her protective parents? Should she stay and try to work things out with her ex-fiancé, Rick? Does she try to patch things up with Kendall, the one man who truly seems to understand her and hold the key to her heart? Or rather, holds the string to her tea bag.
Through it all, Steph proves to be a strong, determined young woman, set on making her way and discovering God’s will for her among all the confusion in this quaint little town. Jeremiah 29:11 states, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” This is a truth Steph comes to terms with as she struggles with feelings of betrayal, bitterness, and confusion in her circumstances. But the Lord comes through and, in the orchestration of such circumstances, reveals a greater plan than Steph could have ever dreamed.
All in all, The Perfect Blend is an enjoyable story. It took me awhile at first to get into the book, and at times the tutorial sessions with Steph making such concoctions as homemade mayonnaise distracted from the actual storyline. However, the chemistry between characters was very real and relatable, and I found myself wanting to weep and laugh along with them. At times, even the description of the tea shop pastries tempted me to hunt down a local tea shop myself! In the end, I appreciated this pleasant romance. If you’re in need of a relaxing, casually paced chick-lit book to cuddle up with, then this novel is definitely for you! – Lyndsey Gammage, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
If you enjoy the novels of Debbie Macomber, you’ll love this perfect blend of recipes and romance set in a small town with a big heart. Steph Vandergrift is in need of a job. She left everything behind to elope with Middleburg attorney Rick Manfred, never imagining he would stand her up at the altar. Now, hoping just to get by until she can decide what to do next, Steph thinks she’s found the perfect position at the local tea shop. Kendall James, one of the kindest and most eligible bachelors in the area, meets Steph and proceeds to pursue her. But by the time Steph feels able to consider dating again, her runaway fiancé returns and tries to win her back. Steph is wary, but she and Rick always seemed to blend so well. Are they truly meant to be together, or does God have something else in mind?