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Vanity Fare: A novel of lattes, literature, and love Paperback – December 26, 2012

53 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Literature and luscious baked goods make for a perfect pair in this indulgent debut romance. Molly, mom to six-year-old Aidan, is soon to be divorced and in need of steady income to support their Brooklyn lifestyle. An old friend offers her a freelance project writing the marketing materials for a new bakery headed by British playboy pastry chef Simon. Building on the bakery’s proximity to the New York Public Library’s main branch, Molly comes up with a name, Vanity Fare, and product descriptions that tie into great works of literature. These clever descriptions, like Tart of Darkness, are peppered throughout, and the epilogue includes select recipes. But the real substance of this novel is Molly’s attempt at finding love again, first through an ill-fated dalliance with Simon, then with a slow-building romance with Simon’s broody but kind and handsome business partner, Nick. Caldwell’s novel is as sweet and enjoyable as its subject matter. --Aleksandra Walker

Review

“...a charming winter read...” (Romantic Times BOOKclub)

“Caldwell’s light intrigues and bevy of supporting characters cast an old-fashioned spell on her modern Brooklyn romance.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“...readers will identify with [Molly’s] attempts to rise from the ashes.” (Publishers Weekly)

“It has everything I could ask for in a book, a brilliant plot, brilliant characters, witty writing (I LOVE witty writing), it’s snarky, it’s just plain fantastic. Do pick up Vanity Fare, it will surprise you — in the best way possible.” (Chick Lit Reviews)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (December 26, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062188364
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062188366
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,323,908 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author



Megan Caldwell grew up in a remote town in New Hampshire where she devoured every book of fiction in her well-read parents' library. An English literature major at Barnard College with double minors in political science and religion, Megan wrote and edited reviews for a music industry magazine for fifteen years. Eventually, she became editor-in-chief and went on to develop conference programs for the industry. Now she is the community manager for Heroes and Heartbreakers, a romance novel website, where she blogs daily as Megan Frampton about the fiction she reads. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and son.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Miss Bonnie on December 26, 2012
Format: Paperback
Molly thought she had hit rock bottom when her husband of 10 years left her and their six year-old son for a younger woman. That wasn't rock bottom though. Rock bottom came when she finds out her soon to be ex-husband has also lost his job (and his ability to pay her child support) and also depleted their savings leaving Molly with nothing to pay the bills. She ends up being hired as a copywriter for a new up and coming bakery. But on top of finding a job she may have also found a new romance. Or two.

Anyone who knows my typical book preferences would likely find it laughable that I decided to read a book regardless of the fact that it stated in the summary that there was a love triangle. Typically? I'd be running for the hills but the concept of this story was too cute to pass up.

I am total sucker for foodie type books in general but I completely fell in love with the concept for this book. I also made full scale plans of starting my own bakery just to be able to do something like this. Molly is hired to come up with a 'hook' for potential customers and it needed to be closely related to the library (which the bakery is across the street from) and/or literature in general. She comes up with the idea to use double entendres to name menu items and the store itself (Vanity Fare). A few of my favorites? The Bun Also Rises. A Room of Ones Scone. Of Mousse and Men. Much Ado About Muffins. And the best? Tart of Darkness. There are even real recipes included at the back of the book for several of these (including Tart of Darkness which I will so be trying, it sounds delicious!)

The romance(s) played a huge part of the story (and possible more than I would have preferred) which I suppose should have been expected as this can definitely be considered a chick-lit novel.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Anonymous on February 19, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a well-written romantic comedy, with a likeable main character and some good humor. It was a "good read" for me. All romantic comedies are a bit frustrating in that one usually knows early on that a couple is going to end up together, but plot twists must keep them apart until the end of the book. My one objection to "Vanity Fare" is that this business seemed particularly forced in this book. However, I still enjoyed and would recommend this title.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By JudithAnn on February 8, 2013
Format: Paperback
This was a very pleasant read about a woman who is left to fend for herself after her husband leaves and, as it turns out, loses his job soon afterwards. She has two friends and a therapist to confide in and to ask for help, and there are a few love-interests running around the book, too.

The story is a bit predictable, but that didn't matter (sometimes it's nice to see whether a story will develop as you expect). It was fun to see how Molly got more confidence as the story advanced and how she distanced herself from her ex-husband.

Molly helped with the setting up of a new bakery, but there weren't a lot of pastries around in the book. Of course, the bakery wasn't open yet, but as a reader, I would have loved to be tempted a bit more with talk of chocolate and bakes.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mc on March 13, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought this book while on vacation and it was exactly what I needed. Fun, easy read with witty dialogue and romance. I would recommend this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Kosiavelon on January 24, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great novel overall and a great read for any woman you know making life changes, whether it be career, divorce, remarriage, marriage, relationships, what have you. Great little love story intertwined the sub character relationships. Also, really speaks to the stigma's women face throughout life whether it be working mothers, stay at home mothers, wives, single women working their way to the top, retired mothers, etc. I thought the author really addressed, albeit not always in depth, all of these stigmas.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kristine Cook on February 18, 2013
Format: Paperback
Thankfully the contents of this book are just as appealing and delectable as the pile of old books (and even the plate of chocolate chip cookies) on the cover that drew me in.

Molly is middle-aged and suddenly a single mom after her scummy husband left her for a younger woman. The cherry on top is that he lost his job at the same time, leaving him unable to pay child support. Suddenly it's imperative that she find a job, not an easy feat for someone who has been out of the workforce for so long. Then into her lap falls the perfect position: writing copy for a new bakery in town. With it comes the company of two charming men as well.

Caldwell has a way with words as she weaves together Molly's personal and professional lives. I really enjoyed her descriptions, especially of the various people throughout. The main character is realistic in that she's sometimes frustrating but most of the time easily the one the reader is rooting for. For once, the conversations between people are so natural! I feel like everything I've picked up lately has felt so forced and stilted.

The pacing was also handled excellently. It was fast for the reader but also felt a little slower for Molly, in a good way. So many romance novels rush into those immediate primal urges where all that's driving the plot is lust. Caldwell completely avoids this, sprinkling in Molly's work and her fledgling social life to keep it interesting.

Plus, I'm an absolute sucker for a Byronic hero. While Nick's big reveal may be underwhelming and the closest thing to a plot device to be found, it didn't detract from the journey getting there.

Favorite quote: "Green eyes. Brilliant, emerald green eyes. Man, did I love green eyes.
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