Vanilla with a Twist by Peggy Jaeger

Vanilla with a Twist by Peggy Jaeger
One Scoop or Two
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Tandy Blakemore spends her days running her New England ice cream parlor, single-parenting her teenage son, and trying to keep her head above financial water. No easy feat when the shop’s machinery is aging and her son is thinking about college. Tandy hasn’t had a day off in a decade and wonders if she’ll ever be able to live a worry-free life.

Engineer Deacon Withers is on an enforced vacation in the tiny seaside town of Beacher’s Cove. Overworked, stressed, and lonely, he walks into Tandy’s shop for a midday ice cream cone and gets embroiled in helping her fix a broken piece of equipment.
Can the budding friendship that follows lead to something everlasting?

What could be sweeter than possibly falling in love while serving up cold, sugary treats?
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I couldn’t stop giggling at the dialogue. Tandy and Deacon both had distinctive speech patterns that not only made it a breeze to identify who they were but also interacted with each other beautifully. Both of them were excellent at saying exactly what was on their minds even if it wasn’t always necessarily what would be the most diplomatic response. No, this isn’t to say that they were thoughtless or anything like that They simply knew what they wanted and weren’t afraid to express their wishes straightforwardly and without any pretense.

The chemistry between Deacon and Tandy was fantastic. I had a wonderful time figuring out just how much they had in common, especially since they seemed to be polar opposites at first glance due to where they lived and what sort of work they each did. The more I realized how many similarities they shared and how nicely they complemented each other, the more I wanted them to end up together. They truly did seem to be a great match.

While this was a minor criticism in the scheme of things, it would have been nice to have more foreshadowing, especially when it came to Deacon’s long term plans for his life. There were a couple of plot twists regarding this topic that could have been developed a bit more clearly. I wondered if something like them might happen, but it would have been helpful to have a gentle nudge in that direction before the plot picked up speed.

Speaking as someone who used to work in an ice cream shop, I loved the descriptions of what that sort of job is like. Ms. Jaeger captured the hectic but also unpredictable pace of it perfectly. Those rare quiet nights in that business can’t be predicted ahead of time anymore than one could know in advance that a crucial piece of equipment was about to break down at the worst possible time. The only thing better than reading about the ups and downs of that business was getting a reminder of what it’s like to run around all afternoon and evening making milkshakes, sundaes, and more. By the end of the night, anyone who works in a place like that will be smeared in just about every kind of ice cream they sell. It’s sort of funny! While all of this was a small part of the plot, it really spoke to me.

This is part of the One Scoop or Two series. It can be read as a standalone work.

Anyone who is in the mood for something lighthearted should give Vanilla with a Twist a shot.


  1. Thank you for this lovely review!!!! I agree with the plot line – it could have been longer, but the series was billed for novellas so I had a word count!!!!!

    • You’re welcome. And, yeah, I can see how dealing with a strict word count could make that a little tricky. It was still a great story!

  2. Great review!!


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