The first time I saw the title of The First Love Cookie Club by Lori Wilde, I have to admit I scoffed at it. I was so put off by the title that I almost passed the book over for review. Thankfully, I decided to read the blurb and realized that the title of the book didn’t do it justice. Turned out that The First Love Cookie Club was about the many versions of love: unrequited, true, father and daughter, etc. I’m so glad I didn’t judge the book by its title, because if I had I would’ve missed out on a very heartwarming read.
“On Christmas Eve, if you sleep with kismet cookies under your pillow and dream of your one true love, he will be your destiny.”
The townsfolk of Twilight, Texas, believe the legend, but not Sarah Collier—not since she was a pudgy teenager, running down the church aisle on Christmas Day in a jingle bell sweater and reindeer antlers, trying to stop Travis Walker from marrying someone else. She may be grown-up, slimmed-down, bestselling children’s book author “Sadie Cool”now, but Sarah will never forget that day. And she’ll never fall foolishly in love again!
But when a letter from a sick fan brings Sarah back to Twilight, she’s shocked to discover that Travis is the little girl’s father—unattached and hotter than ever. His smile still makes her melt, but Sarah knows that ship has sailed. Travis, however, might have different ideas.
The theme throughout Lori Wilde’s The First Love Cookie Club is about how we love each other and the effect it has on our lives. Take Sarah Collier for example, her experiences with her parents, her Gram, Travis Walker and a few jerk boyfriends that cause Sarah to completely withdraw into herself, which is where the reader finds her at the age of 24. Through flashbacks and Sarah herself, we learn all the things that have happened over the years that shape the lonely, yet successful person she is today. The reader soon learns that Sarah has written a successful children’s book called The Magic Christmas Cookie and has no friends other than her agent. Also that she spends all of her time locked up in her Manhattan apartment trying to write her 2nd book, with very little contact with anyone in the “real world”.
Travis Walker, on the other hand, has been through a lot when it comes to love but still tries to embrace it. When the reader meets back up with him, he is now a single father of a very ill little girl named Jazzy. His wife has walked out on their family and both of his parents have passed away. All Travis has is his Aunt Raylene and his daughter Jazzy whom he loves with all of his heart. Despite all of the heartache Travis has been through over the years (which is also revealed to the reader over time) he still believes in fate and happy endings.
So as you can see both Sarah and Travis are two very different types of people, but both have been shaped by their different experiences with love. This made for a very interesting dynamic between the two. When Sarah decides to go back to Twilight as her pseudonym, Sadie Cool, she has no idea she’s fulfilling the wish of Travis’ very ill daughter and Travis has no idea that his daughter’s favorite author is none other than Sarah. The first meeting between the two of them is pure magic. It could not be more fun and flirty, with a hint of sexual tension and the chemistry between the two is undeniable. However, because of Sarah’s fear of love things are definitely not smooth sailing for these two…there is a lot for them to overcome if they want to be together.
One of the things I like most about this book was that the town of Twilight was a character in itself. Its Christmas traditions, its belief in true love and the history of the town all lend itself wonderfully to the theme of the story. I definitely could see myself getting caught up in the romanticism of it all if I were to live there.
I would be remiss if I didn’t also talk about the actual The First Love Cookie Club in the book, as they have a hand in bringing Travis and Sarah together. In fact they are the reason Sarah found out about Jazzy Walker in the first place. The cookie club is a group of ladies, including Travis’ Aunt Raylene, who get together starting mid-October of every year and start planning the towns Christmas festivities and their annual Christmas cookie swap. This group is exactly what you’d think it to be…a group of gossiping women who do a lot of good for the town. They are strong believers in true love and family, which is evident when Sarah spends time with them.
I found The First Love Cookie Club to be an extremely quick read. I was done with it in less than a week, which says a lot because I’ve been getting my house ready to be sold and working OT at work. As a leading man, I really loved Travis. There is something so sexy about a man with his kid. I think it’s because you often hear stories from mom’s about how they do all the work and their hubby’s barely help. So, for me, when I see a man with his kid(s) there is nothing sexier and I’m not the only person I’ve heard say this. Travis is the ultimate father and he’s attractive and funny to boot. It doesn’t get much better than that as far as I’m concerned. Wilde did an amazing job creating a character for us ladies to drool over!
My only real complaint about The First Love Cookie Club was how long it took Sarah to come out of her shell. There’s a part of me that completely understands it given her history, but then there’s this other part that gets angry that she’s willing to let her destiny slip through her fingers. If I’m really looking at my feelings objectively I have to admit that it’s probably because I can’t relate to her at all. I’m much more like Travis when it comes to love and interactions with people. However, this complaint is so minor it really didn’t affect my love of the book at all.
I honestly could go on and on about The First Love Cookie Club. Yes if you look at the story as a whole it is a little cheesy. However, it spoke to the sappy romantic in me. I love the idea of kismet and “happy endings”, no matter how unrealistic it might be. That’s why we read right? To get lost in a world very different from the one we live in. Lori Wilde does a very good job of creating a world to get lost in with The First Love Cookie Club, which will make you smile and cry…without a doubt a great read.
Also reviewed by: Storybook Reviews