I received this book for free from . This review is voluntary. My opinion is not influenced in any way.The Tea Shop on Lavender Lane on June 24, 2014
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When it comes to men, sisters don't share!
After a fake food poisoning incident in L.A., Bailey Sterling's dreams of becoming a caterer to the stars collapse faster than a soufflé. Now Bailey's face is in all the gossip rags and her business is in ruins. But the Sterling women close ranks and bring her back to Icicle Falls, where she'll stay with her sister Cecily.
All goes well between the sisters until Bailey comes up with a new business idea — a tea shop on a charming street called Lavender Lane. She's going into partnership with Todd Black, who — it turns out — is the man Cecily's started dating. It looks to Cecily as if there's more than tea brewing in that cute little shop. And she's not pleased.
Wait! Isn't Cecily seeing Luke Goodman? He's a widower with an adorable little girl, and yes, Cecily does care about him. But Todd's the one who sends her zing-o-meter off the charts. So now what? Should you have to choose between your sister and the man you love (or think you love)?
The party was going perfectly until the hostess clutched her stomach with an agonized cry and crumpled to the floor in a heap.
Rory Rourke, her boyfriend and star of the new TV series Man Handled, knelt by her side and barked, “Someone, call 911.”
“Call her doctor,” said someone else.
“Call The Star Reporter,” the victim said faintly.
And that was when Bailey Sterling knew she was in trouble.
She’d been so excited to land this gig catering Samba Barrett’s party. Samba wasn’t an Emma Stone or Kristen Stewart but she was …. someone. Sort of. And with her catlike green eyes and red hair everyone said she was on her way up, like the rest of her party guests. And surely that had meant Bailey was on her way up, too. The West Hollywood apartment had been packed with hot young actors and actresses. As she’d slipped among them bearing trays of goodies she’d heard more than one person rave about the food and had envisioned a whole string of catering gigs after this one.
The shrimp salsa in Phyllo cups had been an especially big hit. “Oh, my God, this is to die for,” America Winston (from the new reality show Hard Ass) had raved. Bailey had smiled modestly and kept circulating, while her assistant Giorgio served up stuffed mushrooms. She’d been working hard for the last three years to earn a reputation as caterer to the stars and things were finally starting to happen.
Except now here was Samba Barrett, writhing on her living room floor, groaning in agony. Only twenty minutes ago she’d been eating those shrimp cups and laughing. Did she have food allergies she hadn’t told Bailey about? Samba had gone over the menu with Bailey, approved everything. How could this have happened? Was Bailey going to be known as killer of the stars?
Thirty people gathered around the actress, some offering advice, some taking pictures with their cell phones, others texting wildly. Bailey stood on the fringe and nervously downed one of her own appetizers.
“You’ll be okay, baby,” Rory Rourke assured Samba.
“I think I ate something bad,” she whimpered.
“Oh, no, that’s not possible,” Bailey protested and everyone turned to look at her. One woman aimed her cell phone at Bailey, capturing her miserable expression. This couldn’t be happening.
But it could. And it did. Now Bailey felt sick. She lost her grip on the tray of canapes she was carrying and down they went, the tray landing on a Jimmy Choos of one of the party guests who was busy recording her hostess’s misery on her cell phone.
The woman let out a yelp and jumped back, then glared at Bailey.
“Sorry,” Bailey muttered, and bent to scoop the mess onto the tray. In the process she managed to get in the way of another guest, nearly tripping him.
He didn’t settle for glaring. He swore at her.
Caterer hell, that was what this was. Bailey bolted for the kitchen and hid out, watching the drama unfold from behind the counter.
The Tea Shop on Lavender Lane by Sheila Roberts is the 5th book in the Life in Icicle Falls series of books, but it’s the first one that I’ve read. I enjoyed my trip to Icicle Falls. The town sounded so quaint and fun and like somewhere that I would really like to visit. Cecily is torn between deciding who she should date – the bad boy who really heats her up, or the safe, sensible guy who she’d be stupid not to choose. Besides this issue, we’re also dealing with her sister Bailey, who has come home after her catering career is botched. Bailey is back in Icicle Falls trying to put her life back together and figure out what she wants to do. Things get complicated between the sisters and the relationship dynamics.
This was a really interesting contemporary romance and one that I enjoyed. I liked it enough that I would be willing to go back and read the others in the series just to spend more time in Icicle Falls. I liked the setting and the characters. Sheila has written a story that is entertaining and sweet.