Genre City Review: The Perfect Blend by Trish Perry
Title: The Perfect Blend (Tea Shop Series Book 1)
Author: Trish Perry
Publisher: Harvest House
Date: September 2010
Reviewed by: Kim Peterson
Readers will be able to relate to a life-changing decision gone awry and the ensuing struggle to find normal again.
Defying her parents and refusing to heed the advice of her friends, Steph Vandergrift packs her belongings and leaves her family and job behind. But her plan to elope with Rick Manfred unravels when he jilts her in Middleburg, Virginia. She must go home and admit her foolishness—which she won’t do—or create a new life for herself in this historic town.
Millicent Ashford Jewell notices Steph crying across the street and invites the embarrassed girl into her tea shop. Milly consoles Steph with delectable goodies and offers a temporary job serving customers and baking, while she figures out what steps to take next. Steph accepts and allows Milly to introduce her to the town’s residents, including the eligible Kendall James, owner of a local inn. As their friendship develops, Kendall presents Steph to area business owners. But his attempts to help her find permanent employment are thwarted by Steph’s klutziness, dislike for dirty jobs, and hilarious inability to do things right.
When the attraction between Steph and Kendall simmers, Rick reappears, determined to court his fiancée and win her back. While Steph debates giving him another chance, she makes more mayhem, alienates Kendall, and impedes acceptance in her new hometown.
Readers will be able to relate to a life-changing decision gone awry and the ensuing struggle to find normal again. Author Trish Perry combines vulnerability and laughter, the stress of facing the unknown, and the struggle for acceptance into a delightful story. She also serves readers the perfect blend of characters in this humorous romance: a hard-headed but likable heroine, a misguided ex-fiancé, an attractive other man, and new friends. Milly, the tea shop owner, rounds out the ensemble and links the books in the Tea Shop Series together. The dynamics between Steph and the residents of Middleburg provide a lighthearted read that emphasizes God’s unconditional love.