Small-town girl Marjorie is visiting Chicago in 1928, away from her family and her fiancé, when she runs into the love of her life from ten years ago, a man presumed dead since he fought in the First World War. Though the man now denies knowing Marjorie, she stays on in Chicago to find out more about him. But she may have more to find out about herself in You're the Cream in My Coffee by author Jennifer Lamont Leo.
Ah! The Roaring Twenties so wonderfully depicted by this fun, glamorous, and vibrant cover art. It's rather intriguing, a woman holding a steaming cup of coffee (instead of a glass of something...else) during the era of Prohibition and speakeasies in the U.S. After reading the novel, I felt that the book blurb incorporated the title more meaningfully than the story itself did, but as Marjorie would say, "That's beside the point."
The point, here, is that this is quite a charming novel that kept me engrossed from start to finish. Marjorie's department store job in Chicago had me thinking so much about Selfridge's department store in London, so imagine my delight when Harry Selfridge's name popped up! (I did wonder, though, why he isn't mentioned in the Author's Note as a real historical figure, along with the real Marshall Field & Co. folks.) With all the various moving parts to Marjorie's journey, there was never a dull moment in the reading for me.
However, I did find the plot development odd in places. It seems that Marjorie comes to certain conclusions or resolutions, and then she resumes thinking or behaving as if she hasn't decided anything. I didn't quite buy into the central romance because I didn't see anything compelling that the (sudden, or present) feelings there were based on, didn't quite see what the attraction was. Also, the pacing of the last quarter or so of the novel is awkward, as if it's rushing to go here, there, and back again, trying to cram in all the final events.
Still, anyone who enjoys Christian historical and women's fiction should appreciate taking this spin back to the twenties. I'd definitely read this author again.