Review Request Sign up for Newsletters Tips and ideas Write for us

Follow by Email

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Cocktails and Dreams by A.L. Michael - Book Review & Guest Post

Book review 
By Anniek

Amazon USA Amazon UK Goodreads

Savannah, Savvy for short, lived with her rockstar mother when she was a small child. At the age of seven all Savvy wanted was a normal life. Her mother eventually left her with her aunt and never looked back. Savvy's mother even wrote a song about leaving her daughter behind. Now that she's an adult Savvy's world shatters again when her boyfriend breaks up with her. She helped him with his career for many years and after everything she's done for him he repays her by breaking her heart, leaving her for someone else. This finally gives Savvy the chance to think about what she wants in life. She has a talent for creating delicious cocktails and is a passionate foodie. Will Savvy have what it takes to live her dream? And Will meeting Milo, a gorgeous bartender from America, finally bring her the happiness she deserves?

Savvy likes to be invisible. She doesn't want people to know that she's the daughter of an international rockstar because she wants to make it on her own. Savvy works at a burlesque bar and I loved all the colorful characters that work there. Savvy is a people pleaser and has a lot to learn. I liked how she grows as a person throughout the story. She's actually very funny and great to be around. It felt as if her cocktails taste like memories and I kept wishing I'd be able to try out the whole menu. She's a multilayered main character with a fascinating talent that I enjoyed reading about a lot.

Cocktails and Dreams is a beautiful story about overcoming insecurities and trusting your own talents. Savvy's mother is always trying to outshine her daughter and I loved that after years of accepting this behavior it's finally Savvy's turn in the spotlight. This was my first book by A.L. Michael and I think it's fabulous that she put so much of herself into this story. A.L. Michael knows what she's writing about and this really makes the story. A book this delicious deserves great romantic love. Savvy and Milo have amazing chemistry together. I loved reading about how they complement each other with their talents. I highly recommend this wonderful book filled with mouthwatering descriptions of cocktails and food.


If you like stories filled with delicious recipes and unconditional love you'll enjoy Cocktails and Dreams very much.

About A.L. Michael

A.L. Michael is hurtling towards the end of her twenties a little too quickly. She is the author of nine novels. Her most recent collection of books, The Martini Club Series, will start with Cocktails and Dreams, released 24th July 2017. She likes to write about sassy females who follow their dreams, and don't take no for an answer.

She is a Creative Therapeutic Facilitator, currently researching the power of creative writing to be helpful in recovering from eating disorders, and believes in the power of writing to heal.

You can find out more about A.L. Michael at (surprisingly) and on twitter:

Guest post

Writing Food: Food and Symbolism in Cocktails and Dreams
By A.L. Michael

I write about food for a living. Sometimes it’s exciting, when I go out to eat something delicious and have to describe the exact balance of citrus and seasoning in a hollandaise, or when I’m desperately trying to find a way to describe cake that doesn’t include the word ‘moist’. Sometimes it’s trying to encourage words from others, who can only use the words ‘nice’ or ‘tasty’ and I want to cry, because these people obviously aren’t tasting their food.

I knew that I wanted food to play a big role in this book. It all started with the series on Netflix called The Chef’s Table. The first episode of the first series is about an Italian chef called Massimo Bottura, and it completely blew my mind. There was something magical about watching Bottura walk through the market in Modena, Italy, and see the stall owners call out to him, ‘Hey Maestro, try this!’ To be known as a maestro in your city, to see the power and passion behind flavours and how they worked. And it made me think, I wanted to create something like that, I wanted to write about food with that passion, about how food was nostalgia and promise and possibility.

Savvy, my main character, dropped out of cookery school to support her partner, and it’s not until years later that she rediscovers her love of food. She thinks that she’ll never be anything but a amateur, as she hasn’t got the ‘attitude’ of a chef. She’s quiet and calm. What watching The Chef’s Table made me realise was that there are many different types of chefs, the same way there’s different types of writers, accountants and anything else. A continual theme throughout the book is that everyone seems to think every chef is like Gordon Ramsay - Savvy thinks she can’t be quiet and be a good chef. I am pretty sure, in the same way there are different personalities of writer, builder, receptionist, doctor...there are different types of chef.

The best thing I think food does is bring people together. It opens conversation, it stops time. And sometimes, as Savvy notes the movie Sabrina with Audrey Hepburn, cooking lets you return a little more like the person you’d like to be. Savvy’s relationship with food is about bringing her family around her, connecting with her colleagues, and building a new life.

UK only giveaway

One very lucky winner from the UK will win a cocktail making gift set and a digital copy of Cocktails and Dreams.


  1. Great review! That book cover certainly stands out!! :)

  2. I totally believe that food brings people together too :-)

  3. I love a good food-themed book!


  4. Food is always a motivation to read this.

  5. This sounds like a fun read. I'd like to know more about Savvy and Milo's relationship.

  6. this was not what i was expecting from the title -it just goes to show you - don't judge a book by its color

  7. That cover is so cute! But the story sounds like so much more.

  8. Thanks for the review. Sounds like a fascinating read. Would love to find out more about Savvy.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  9. I love that there are recipes included. Thank you for sharing.

  10. I love good food & as for cocktails? More please!

  11. This is a new author for me but the book sounds very interesting. In my younger days I was known for enjoying a good mixed drink so I will enjoy reading about her cocktails.

  12. I love the idea of weaving recipes and stories together. This is going on the TBR shelf.

  13. I really enjoy the book. I also followed the blogtour.

  14. What a cute cover!
    And sounds great! :)