Title: Legends & Lattes
Author: Travis Baldree
Publisher: Amazon/Kindle Unlimited
Length: 318 Pages
Category: Gaslamp Fantasy
Rating: 4 Stars
At a Glance: Two people finding love when they weren’t even looking for it is the luckiest kind of love story, and watching these women shyly and cautiously dance that dance was lovely. Legends & Lattes isn’t a blustery book filled with action and drama. It’s a fanciful and thoroughly charming book, sweet and kind and hopeful.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: Worn out after decades of packing steel and raising hell, Viv the orc barbarian cashes out of the warrior’s life with one final score. A forgotten legend, a fabled artifact, and an unreasonable amount of hope lead her to the streets of Thune, where she plans to open the first coffee shop the city has ever seen.
However, her dreams of a fresh start pulling shots instead of swinging swords are hardly a sure bet. Old frenemies and Thune’s shady underbelly may just upset her plans. To finally build something that will last, Viv will need some new partners and a different kind of resolve.
Review: Travis Baldree’s delightful Legends & Lattes refers to itself as “A Novel of High Fantasy and Low Stakes,” and while that may be so—depending on how we determine the value of Viv’s dreams and aspirations—this is also a story of friendship and found family that is nothing less than heartwarming.
No one is out to save the world in this story, no extreme feats of heroism or existential threats to all personkind exist, no epic battles are waged on its pages. Rather, this is a cozy and frothy little story about an orc named Viv who strives to be something more than the warrior bounty hunter she’s been for twenty-two years. Viv has a dream: She wishes to forge a new life doing something no one else in the village of Thune has done, let alone heard of, before. Viv . . . just wants to open a coffee shop. Bless her and that dream. What she didn’t count on was finding something priceless and giving her heart to someone along the way.
It was impossible not to adore Viv for her hope, her spirit and perseverance, and the folks who join her circle only serve to enrich the story. A hob named Cal helps her renovate the dilapidated livery she’s bought into an inviting little café called, what else, Legends & Lattes. The challenge is in convincing the townspeople to give her dark, rich, robust new beverage a try, which she might not have succeeded at if not for the creative marketing ideas of her new employee, a succubus named Tandri. It’s not until they hire a rattkin named Thimble, though, who happens to be a prodigy in the kitchen where he invents such delectable delights as cinnamon rolls and biscotti and chocolate croissants, that the café flourishes.
Though the story is utterly charming and delightful, that doesn’t mean there isn’t some conflict along the way. Viv is being coerced by the local gang to pay for the privilege of doing business in Thune, which Viv adamantly refuses to do. Some former acquaintances also show up to complicate things just a bit. Well, one of her former acquaintances in particular is bad news; he has an axe to grind and wants something Viv has in her possession, and he will stop at nothing to get it. When she sees her dream go up in smoke, it’s through that hardship that she discovers she’s found something invaluable: a family of good and loyal friends. And love in the bargain.
The relationship that blossoms between Viv and Tandri grows furtively, and, in fact, Viv can’t begin to name the sensation she feels when she’s around Tandri. How can an ex-mercenary orc possibly know what that heaviness and the fluttering in her chest is when she’s never experienced it before? Two people finding love when they weren’t even looking for it is the luckiest kind of love story, and watching these women shyly and cautiously dance that dance was lovely. Legends & Lattes isn’t a blustery book filled with action and drama. It’s a fanciful and thoroughly charming book, sweet and kind and hopeful.
You can buy Legends & Lattes here:
[zilla_button url=”https://books2read.com/Legends-and-Lattes” style=”black” size=”large” type=”round” target=”_blank”] Amazon/Kindle Unlimited [/zilla_button]