LOVELY and creative!
This book was recommended to me by a friend who suggested we purchase it for our library, and boy, am I happy I listened!
After her final battle, Vic, an orc barbarian, decides to retire from her old life and use an artifact she gathered on her travels to begin a new adventure. This adventure brings her to the town of Thune, where she decides to open something revolutionary in the area; a coffee shop.
With all the dedication in the world but a lack of know-how, Viv slowly immerses herself into the town, recruiting different people to her cause and hiring them one by one to make her dream a reality. Getting the shop open and off the ground is the first step, and the eccentric cast of characters she finds within Thune adds so much heart to an already fun fantasy. This novel’s stakes aren’t overly perilous, but the small-town threats are interesting and fun.
While Viv is an incredibly fun and interesting character in her own right, her interactions with the supporting cast give this book the extra punch. Cal, the builder she recruits to rehab the building, is great in a kind, and quiet way, Thimble, who becomes the baker of her cafe, is unassuming and yet a master; and Tandri, a succubus who hates the preconceived notions others have for her rounds out the main cast as Vic’s coworker and love interest. This book truly is an ensemble piece, and although it’s Vic’s story through and through (she narrates the entire novel), her life is forever shaped and changed by her interactions with these characters and more importantly, their belief in her and her dreams.
This novel also has a subtle through-line of romance, though it doesn’t kick in until about halfway. The romance between Viv and Tandri is a slow burn; the pair are both closed off because of their pasts, but their chemistry grows as they open up to those around them. It’s not in your face, nor does it overwhelm the real story of Viv’s life change, but it’s a happy and enjoyable subplot that is honestly too damn cute. Big fan of this one and would happily read anything else by this author.
Title: Legends and Lattes
Author: Travis Baldree
Three Descriptors: Heartwarming, Fun, Creative