Title: The Cafe Between Pumpkin and Pie
Author: Kate Angell
Series: Moonbright, Maine #3
Publisher: Kensington Publishing
Release Date: August 31, 2021
Pages: 370
Book Source: Trade Paperback

“In Moonbright, Maine, there’s a pumpkin on every porch, fresh brewed apple cider in every cup—and the sweetest sorcery in the air …

Before, after, and even during the excitement of the annual Halloween parade, gathering at the Corner Café is a beloved Moonbright tradition. Costumed revelers of all kinds come for the famous whoopie pies, the heartfelt hospitality, and the chance to hear the town’s spookiest stories and local legends whispered to the younger generation …

The most magically romantic legend of all promises that a Moonbright woman will marry the man she sees reflected in a mirror on Halloween. For three such singles, the crunch of fall leaves and the fragrance of fresh-baked pie sets the perfect stage for this most tantalizing trick—and most delightful treat—the genuine enchantment of true love.” – Amazon

Kim’s Review

Every year (or at least for the last three…) I’ve looked forward to the newest Moonbright, Maine anthology. Even though it usually comes out around my birthday, I wait until closer to Halloween to read the three short stories, since it’s now part of the things I enjoy during the Autumn season. I mean, romance and magic, what a powerful combination in a book and in life.

I was a bit disappointed this year. While each story was good, the first was the best and the next two each got a little bit weaker. The first story, Love Over Easy by Kate Angell was excellent. There was so much cuteness (dressing up as Little Bo Beep with her three nephews as sheep) and sexiness (Beep’s stockings with blue bows) that was seamlessly combined throughout the entire story. We also get a really hot, bad boy, a loving grandma, and some sisterly rivalry. Love Over Easy is what I’ve come to expect when I get transported back to Moonbright, Maine.

Love Rising by Stacy Finz is the second story and while it was well written and we get a sexy handyman who will do whatever chores we want around the house without us nagging him, I became quickly bored of Sydney’s attitude. She came back to settle her grandma’s estate, and then wanted to head back to the big city to open a more cozy bakery. Sydney was continually cranky with Nick, although he couldn’t care less since he had the money already and was going to finish the job no matter what.

The last story, Romance on Tap by Marina Adair definitely felt the weakest to me in all three of the anthologies that I’ve read. I really liked the concept and enjoyed that the actual start of the story happened many years prior, but it just felt really rushed to me. Maybe each author had a page restraint that they needed to stick to, but I wanted more details. There were so many aspects of the characters that could have been explored, and not just Mila and Ford/Hudson, but her friends, that I felt was a real missed opportunity.

Will this keep me from picking up next year’s anthology? No, but I do hope they are stronger stories, especially since they have a year to think about and write them!

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