Bliss

Bliss - Hilary Fields Serafina (Sera) Bliss Wilde was orphaned at the age of thirteen and was then raised by a very eccentric aunt. Serafina's love of baking helped her to maintain an even keel after her parent's death, and her passion for baking grew into a career as a pastry chef. Sera was fortunate enough to be hired by one of New York's top chefs straight out of culinary school. She was unfortunate enough to accept being that chef's girlfriend. After four years of his cheating and constant belittling she crashed. Again she was unfortunate to crash during one of the biggest weddings of the season and was subsequently fired. Realizing she had a serious alcohol problem on top of her ego problem, Sera turned to her Aunt Pauline for support, successfully went through rehabilitation, and attempted to start her life over in New York as a caterer. One year later Sera receives a frantic phone call from her aunt and rushes off to Santa Fe to help out. Little does she know that this one trip would result in her biggest challenge to date.

Sera is no novice at starting over, but her move to Santa Fe may be the biggest step she's taken in quite some time. With the assistance of her Aunt Pauline and the support of the Back Room Babes or BRBs, Sera agrees to stay in Santa Fe and start her own bakery, Bliss. She also meets a gorgeous hunk that just happens to be her landlord and business neighbor. It's hard enough being a recovering alcoholic, but add to that the challenge of starting a new business and a steamy romance and the tension builds. The last thing Sera needs is to be confronted by her ex-boyfriend and former boss, but that's exactly what happens. Will Sera be able to deal with all of these stressors and make a success at her new venture and romance?

Bliss was an interesting read for me as it pulled out my inner prude due to the frank sexual discussions (often lead by Aunt Pauline and the BRBs). It was interesting reading about the relationship between the conservative twenty-something and her widely-liberal sixty-something aunt. I also enjoyed reading about Sera's self-discovery, not to mention her romance with Asher. Parts of the story brought a smile to my face and others made me laugh out loud. I think I may have enjoyed the story a lot more if I had been able to quell my inner prude. Bliss was a read that was a little bit coming-of-age, second chances, and romance with a lot of minor themes including alcoholic recovery, sexual awareness and acceptance, and the issue of bullying in relationships. If you enjoy reading about second chances and self-empowerment then you definitely want to add Bliss to your TBR list.