67 of 69 people found the following review helpful
on November 11, 2014
Lexi is finally in France, living her dream of going to baking school and working at local bakeries. She hadn't counted on being so lonely or not being accepted because she's American, though. Finally, she makes a friend in a young girl named Celine, who has lost her mother and just happens to have a handsome dad. When things seem to be going well between Lexi and Phillppe, Dan, Lexi's old boyfriend, comes to visit, and she's more confused than ever.
Although the book seemed to move slowly, I still found it interesting and well-written, despite the fillers, like pages of recipes (which should have been in an appendix) or a list of terms Lexi had to study for her exam. I was all poised to give the novel 5 stars, until I got to the end. It was a cliffhanger with nothing decided, expecting the reader to buy the next book. Never! If I like a book, and it's one of a series, I will buy the next one, but I hate books with cliffhangers and would never buy the next one because of that. Shame on authors who do this without warning. It is dishonest!
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on October 19, 2008
Bon Appetit by Sandra Byrd is a book about a young girl, Lexi, who moves to France to work in a bakery and go to school to become a pastry chef. Lexi's transition from America to France is fraught with difficulty. First of all, so many of the people with whom she deals hate Americans, which is understandable as a cultural generalization, but not of Lexi who is wonderfully warm, respectful of French culture, and best intentioned. Secondly, school is hard and complicated by different personalities and someone sabotaging the students' recipes. Finally, Lexi has to make difficult choices concerning her romantic life and her professional career. You'll find yourself pulling for Lexi as she encounters each obstacle, and your heart will soar each time she learns to trust in God for guidance and companionship.
Lexi's story is great. This book is the second in a series, the first book being Let Them Eat Cake. However, you do not need to have read the first book to completely enjoy and understand Bon Appetit (I still haven't read the first book, but I will).
The best part about this book for me were the discussions on food. Seriously. I love to cook and reading about the cooking school and all the fancy desserts being made was just facsinating to me. Best of all, there are several recipes featured in the book. Most are desserts, but there was a recipe for French Onion Soup which, once altered to suit a vegan diet, was DELICIOUS!!! I love French Onion Soup, but haven't had it in years because of the beef broth used in restaurants (and the fact that my one attempt to make it at home years ago was a horrible flop). I tried the recipe in this book (page 143) and LOVED IT. In fact, I started out by making half a batch in case it was bad, and went back and made a double batch the next day.
This book is truly a yummy book, for reading entertainment and your pleasure in cooking! I'm looking forward to the next French Twist book!
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on December 1, 2008
In this follow up to "Let Them Eat Cake", author Sandra Byrd brings more delightful tales of Lexi. This time around, Lexi is starting to live her dream of becoming a classically trained Chef. The setting of France adds depth to Lexi's story with its wonderful history of delicious foods and wondefully romantic scenes.
As Lexi tries to entrench herself deeply into French life, she begins to wonder is new avenues are in store for her or if her heart is still in Seattle and tied to Dan.
This is a wonderful story that sees Lexi explore her relationship to God, her parents and two men - one French and one American.
Sandra Byrd does not disappoint in this follow up which is reach with wonderfully engaging characters, tempting descriptions of amazing food and an opportunity to see Lexi continue growing into her destiny.
This book was a delight, BUT left me ravished for the 3rd and final installment!
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on July 16, 2009
I read both books while away on my recent pre-anniversary trip with my husband. I couldn't put the books down. I almost felt bad for my husband because I was so enthralled with the books he was left to entertain himself at times. So much for an anniversary trip haha. He was great about it though; he was glad I enjoyed the books he bought me. :-D I think I particularly loved these books because I am obsessed with baking and cake decorating, as well as PARIS, and these books involved both of these topics. I loved how the author included actual recipes in the book. I want to try the boyfriend bait beef stroganoff.
If you like Christian fiction, baking, traveling, or romance stories I would highly recommend you buy/rent these books. She is a fantastic writer, and I look forward to reading more books by Sandra Byrd!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 22, 2008
Embarking on her lifetime dream, Lexi Stuart has left the comfort of Seattle and the possibility of love, to live and learn in the city of love itself....Paris.
Anticipating being welcomed with open arms by the family of her former boss, Lexi is disappointed. Held at arms length and struggling to make friends in the competitive environment of L'Ecole du Patisserie where she is studying the art of becoming a pastry chef, Lexi fears she will be a failure.
As Lexi explores her faith, delights in the friendship of little Celine and her "Oo la la" father, Philippe Delacroix, and pursues her passion for cooking, she begins to appreciate that although life's choices may not be easy, fulfilment can be measured in many different ways.
It was an epicurean delight to once again delve into Lexi's life as she pursues her love of France and food! Sandra Byrd writes with joy, humour and delectable accuracy. Paris and its people come to life as Lexi escorts the reader from the Eiffel Tower to the Chateau de Versailles, from patisseries to restaurants and straight into her heart and mind as she struggles with loneliness and embraces joy. I am so glad that Lexi's journey has not finished and I am eagerly anticipating the final French Twist tale, Pièce de Résistance. Bon Appetit will whet any discerning reader's appetite for fabulous and fun fiction and the included recipes are asking to be tried out!
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on July 20, 2014
I really wanted to love this book. I tried reading it three times.
I wanted more feeling instead of telling! I wanted to eat the bread with her. I wanted to experience the TASTE of everything. The warm, soft bread. The crisp, refreshing salad dressing. The smell!
I wanted sore feet from standing all day, sore hands from washing dishes, exhaustion from school-work-school-work. I wanted to be in that pastry shop with her!! I wanted fast heart beats and cold sweats.
And, I could not get past the fact that suddenly, several chapters in, it became a Christian Romance with no preamble. There were no prayers, no Thank God's, no bible quotes, nothing at the beginning.
Then all of a sudden, BAM! Church, bible, God become a huge part of the story line. I'm a very "Yay God" person, but it pulled me out of the story and made me doubt the character's credibility. She only remembered God in her time of crisis.
Outside of the religion being used as a crutch, her dialogue was awkward! I liked the French-English dialogue. Appropriately written.
But our heroine's voice was too proper. English to English would have more contractions, more slang. More chances for hilarity to ensue.
Granted, I did not read book one. However, I'm just not inclined to do so.
This author is very talented, but she needs to work on her craft a bit more. Promising, but not quite.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Sandra Byrd enchants the Francophile within with her novel, "Bon Appetit"! This is the delightful continuation of Lexi's story that began in "Let Them Eat Cake". This time, she is in Paris working for her former boss' (Luc's) family bakery and going to a prestigious school to learn baking techniques from French masters. France is fabulous, but Lexi misses home. Her relationship with Dan had barely begun when she left for Europe. And sometimes it's difficult to fit in with the new crowd. Some, however, have welcomed her with open arms, like Philippe and Celine. Will Philippe steal Lexi's heart? Will France?
This is a fabulous read! Walking beside Lexi, I relived my childhood challenges of frequent moves and having to make new friends. I also learned a bit about French culture. I could almost taste the pastry as I read. The recipes included in the book helped. I fell in love with several more characters. And, because of the cliffhanger in this book, I absolutely cannot wait until the release of book three in the fall of 2009!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 11, 2013
It's a dream come true for Alexandra (Lexi) Stuart. After showing promise while working at a French bakery and café in Seattle, her boss, Luc Delacroix, is giving her the opportunity to work for six months in his family's bakeries outside of Paris. That's only part of the plan. Lexi will attend school during that time to learn the art of making French pastries, breads, and desserts. Excited for her adventure, she's also a bit torn. Handsome attorney Dan Larson has made it clear that he's interested in her. But not wanting to stand in her way, he's willing to let her go without making a commitment to return. But how long will he wait for her?
As Lexi learns to adapt to a different culture, she's also challenged and inspired by French cooking. While French food nourishes her body, and her work feeds her passion for creative baking, her spirit is sustained by God's presence. Lexi harbors hope that she'll be hired permanently by the Delacroix family at one of the bakeries in France. But in order to be considered, she must rank high in her class at the pastry school, and that brings its own challenges.
Along with wanting to prove herself to the Delacroix family, she's also drawn to Phillipe Delacroix, a widower, and his young daughter, Celine. He seems to be attracted to her, but Dan is still a part of her life. Stay in France with Phillipe? Return to Seattle and Dan? Lexi may have a difficult time deciding . . . but the choice may not be hers.
Bon Appétit is the second book in the French Twist series. After reading the first novel, Let Them Eat Cake, I was eager to dive in and read about Lexi's adventures in France. I wasn't disappointed. As a reader who enjoys stories with romance, I loved the triangle created by Lexi's relationships with Dan and Phillipe and the inner conflict it brought. How does one choose when both relationships are just at the beginning stage, and both hold so much promise?
As someone who has never been to France, this story was a treat! The descriptions were so vivid, I felt immersed in the country and culture. And the food!!! I could almost see and taste it. After reading Bon Appétit, I have a craving for French pastries I've never even seen. Like the first book in the series, the author includes some recipes.
Along with venturing to France to learn the fine art of French pastry making, Lexi also embarks on another type of journey. The author skillfully weaves a spiritual theme into the story that relates to Lexi's need for connection, nourishment, and dependence on God.
If you enjoy inspirational books with a bit of romance and humor, I highly recommend Bon Appétit.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Lexi gets the opportunity of a lifetime! She's going to France to study cooking and work in Luc's family's bakery. This doesn't come without a price, though! She's leaving her family and friends. It's especially difficult being away from her best friend, as things progress very quickly with her boyfriend. Lexi feels guilty not being there for her. Then there's Dan. Lexi doesn't know if she's leaving something special uncovered or not.
While in France, Lexi meets new people and friends. She even meets a little girl that she actually likes(she's not a kid person, to say the least). Plus, a new man enters her life.
I liked Let Them Eat Cake. It was fun and cute. It's with this book, Bon Appetit, though, that I fell in love with the series. I adored that it was set in France. I gained a better appreciation of the culture over there. You will learn the difference between preservatives and preservatifs! ;) I appreciated that laugh!
Lexi now has two amazing guys in her life, and I honestly didn't have a clue who she would end up with as the story ended. I enjoyed seeing Lexi's spiritual growth, and even passing that growth on to others. It was fun to see her thaw out many of the cold shoulders she encountered, and even strengthening her relationships with friends and family.
There was recipes throughout this book, just like Let Them Eat Cake. I have quite a few of them bookmarked!
Overall, I loved Bon Appetit, and jumped right into the next book.
*I was provided a review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 14, 2013
Following on the heels of Let Them Eat Cake, Book 2 in the French Twist series Bon Appetit is just as good--if not better! Picking up almost immediately where Let Them Eat Cake leaves off we once again follow Lexi, this time in France. If you're like me you expect a book set near Paris to be fun and this book definitely is. It still has that chick lit feel so there isn't loads of romance. I could definitely see the change in Lexi which is must in a series that follows a character book to book. I love to see characters grow and evolve, if they don't things getting rather boring rather quickly. The relationships that Lexi establishes are intriguing to say the least. I can honestly say I have no idea if Lexi is ever going to find Prince Charming. Unpredictability isn't something you come across everyday when reading Christian fiction so that's why I adored this book!
*I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from the publisher/author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.*