E-galley Review: Living La Vida Mocha (The Coffee Loft Series) by H.M. Shander

Posted February 28, 2024 by Lisa Mandina in Review / 9 Comments

I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

E-galley Review:  Living La Vida Mocha (The Coffee Loft Series) by H.M. ShanderLiving La Vida Mocha by H.M. Shander
Series: The Coffee Loft
on February 28, 2024
Genres: Adult Contemporary Romance
Pages: 318
Source: the author
Format: E-galley
My Rating: three-half-stars
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Brewing Up Second Chances and Love in the Heart of the Rockies

Cara Gallagher had it all: the perfect apartment, a charming plus one, and a dreamy marketing job. Until, in the blink of an eye, she had nothing. Fired and dumped in a matter of minutes, Cara finds herself at rock bottom. Desperate for a moment of respite, she stumbles upon the Coffee Loft, hoping for a burst of sugar and caffeine to mend her wounded heart. Instead, she walks straight into the unexpected – the person she never thought she’d encounter again, the one who had always held her heart.

Thirteen years has passed, but Carter Cross remains the enigmatic soul she remembers from their college days. The pain of his departure for European adventures still haunts her, but her heart yearns for another chance. Carter, too, longs to be with her, yet secrets hold him back.

With the gift of a fresh start in her hands, Cara sets out to rewrite her destiny. Her focus? Ridge Heights, the picturesque small town brimming with opportunities for redemption. And the center of her mission is Carter.
Will their second chance at love be as sweet as the coffee at the Coffee Loft?

My Review

This series is a lot of fun, and the different stories and characters are all over the place, meaning there is probably a story for everyone here who enjoys sweet romance.

Now this story had a lot of potential, just like the last one in the series that I read. I did like the setting, and I loved learning the things about the coffee that Carter told Cara about. However, at first Cara was a little unlikable of a character. It was hard to feel sorry for her with the things that happened because of how she reacted to them or thought about those things as they happened. And while I liked how her friend would call her out and hand it to her with no sugar-coating, her friend was a bit unlikable at times too.

When we found out why Carter had broken up with Cara before, I really got over any issues I’d had with him because then it made a lot of sense what he’d even done to her since their reconnection at the beginning of the story. And then there was Carter’s sister, who was upset with Cara because she thought that Cara had done the breaking up. Once again that character was a little unlikable. And even after things were straightened out, I still wasn’t sure just how much I liked her.

A good story, just some issues with the likability of some characters, as well as the writing was a little off in some places. Like maybe the author switched some things when they edited but left part of the original lines in? Or maybe comparisons or sayings that didn’t quite make sense, maybe trying to not be too cliche? And as with the last one in this series, I also was made to think I need to go ahead with my own writing again, finish my own stories and get them out there.

About the Author

H.M. Shander was born and raised in Edmonton, AB. 

Married to an amazing man, and the proud mother of two teenaged kids, her life is blessed beyond words. Thanks to the wild success of the romance anthology Romantically Ever After, she has achieved USA TODAY bestseller status. 

Having enjoyed creative writing ever since she drafted her first novel at 14 on many sheets of looseleaf paper, tied together with ribbon – (no, it will never be published), she has enjoyed the way writing allows her to unwind, and create memorable characters.

With the success of the Cheshire Bay series (Return to Cheshire Bay won a 2021 Bronze Medal in a Readers Choice Award), she’s expanded it a 10 book series (the first is free).

With an exciting 2024 starting up, you can expect to read her latest second chance, small town romance – LIVING LA VIDA MOCHA releasing on Feb 28. After that, she’ll be busy diving into a fun romantic comedy for Christmas and expanding “Swept by Desire” into a five book series – with a little luck.

To be the first to read about the exciting news, to see the latest covers, and for all the information on release dates, teasers and sneak peeks, join her newsletter.

You can email her at hmshander@gmail.com

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9 responses to “E-galley Review: Living La Vida Mocha (The Coffee Loft Series) by H.M. Shander

  1. I remember your review for one of the other books in this series, it sounds like a fun series. Too bad Cara was a bit unlikable at times, I often find it hard to connect with unlikable characters. That’s good they reason they broke up before made sense, that’s pretty important that makes sense in a second chance romance.

    I didn’t knew you were writing a book yourself, that’s cool! I hope you get the chance to pick it up again and finish your book. What genre is it?

    • Lisa Mandina

      So far I’ve had a hit, and two so-so books for me in this series. Before 2020 I was really writing a lot, did NaNoWriMo, and have one YA book finished, but need to edit it. One novella I self-published in 2020, but actually unpublished this year. And I have two stories I’m so far in and want to finish, but just also don’t seem to ever want to sit and write. The YA is a contemporary retelling of Cinderella set in my hometown of Kansas City. The other are all romances.

      • I didn’t realize you wrote so much and even had one novella self published. Hopefully you have the chance to finish some of your stories. I like that idea of setting a retelling in your hometown.

        • Lisa Mandina

          I used to write a lot. I got inspired by an English teacher I worked with about wow, almost 15 years now? She told me about NaNoWriMo. And I have a friend who self publishes her own books, so for a while I was having writing dates with her. I hope to maybe get the actual desire to sit down and write again some day.

  2. I feel like there has been an insurgence of Canadian romance writers. I’ve read a few in the last six months and that’s usually not the case, lol.

    Sorry you didn’t like this book as much as others in the series.

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