Save the Cake by Stella Torres
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Being in a Baker's Shoes: A Review of Save The Cake by Stella Torres (*spoilers ahead)
My first reaction to the story was: why is everyone talking formally and without contractions (ex. I do not understand why women put on makeup)? Even if most of the characters are Hispanic or half-Hispanic...I'm not sure they talk like that today. Maybe a generation ago. Weirdly enough, there are some contemporary expressions like addressing women in a familiar way by saying "girl." I'm putting this up front because it was a distraction to reading the story.
Now, onto the story. I loved all the descriptions of the baking. Though, I didn't understand why Eloisa and Monica are always worried about their cakes falling apart (also, I'm not sure anyone would pay for a fondant-covered cake that had ribbons to cover cracks). It was nice to be in the kitchen and baking supply warehouse with Eloisa. That was when she was in her element. I had problems with her character, though, when it came to love. I felt that she was either repressed or had double standards. Why was everyone, including Eloisa, judgmental about Hazel getting married legally before getting married in church? This is especially worrisome when I find out what happened to Eloisa in Singapore. Why was she suddenly making out with Sean Alvarez the first chance she gets alone with him? She's 28 years old! Why would she be concerned about her older brother and father getting in the way of her relationship?
I liked how Eloisa changes from kitchen assistant to a woman with her own business. In fact, if the story revolved just around that I think I would have been satisfied. I feel that Eloisa is more inconsistent in her love life. I'm not sure if she's liberated or conservative. She certainly *acts* conservative but when I get to know more about her, she *thinks* in a liberated way. That would have been fine except she also *judges* in a conservative way. Don't get me wrong, I like complex characters. However, Eloisa's choices seem disjointed sometimes. I don't know where she's coming from. There was actually no conflict in the way of love. I just found it weird that she moved so fast with Sean. That was what led me to believe she was repressed. However, her relationship with Gino (flashbacks) made me rethink that. Maybe being far from her family emboldened Eloisa?
Lastly, I didn't think the conflict between Paul (her older brother) and Eloisa is so believable. Paul's concerns about Sean are too superficial. If Sean really had a hidden past, I would understand why he was so protective and unreasonable. But Sean is a perfectly nice guy with no history of fooling around with women. So Paul was overreacting *all* the time. I would have wanted more scenes where Paul was just being a jerk, in general, rather than concerned about Sean, just to bring up the fact that Eloisa and Paul really can't work together. I also found it strange why she would find any reason to blame her friends, Hazel and Denise, for the brouhaha in Singapore. That was her own fault (or Gino's, if you look at it another way). I didn't see how she could distrust her friends over that incident.
Overall, it was nice to be in a pastry chef's shoes. I would have wanted more baking and self-discovery and less fooling around with Sean.
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