Thursday, September 23, 2010

the first love cookie club.

Book Description:
"On Christmas Eve, if you sleep with kismet cookies under your pillow and dream of your one true love, he will be your destiny."

The townsfolk of Twilight, Texas, believe the legend, but not Sarah Collier—not since she was a pudgy teenager, running down the church aisle on Christmas Day in a jingle bell sweater and reindeer antlers, trying to stop Travis Walker from marrying someone else. She may be grown-up, slimmed-down, bestselling children's book author "Sadie Cool" now, but Sarah will never forget that day. And she'll never fall foolishly in love again!

But when a letter from a sick fan brings Sarah back to Twilight, she's shocked to discover that Travis is the little girl's father—unattached and hotter than ever. His smile still makes her melt, but Sarah knows that ship has sailed. Travis, however, might have different ideas.


The First Love Cookie Club was a sweet story of romance between Travis and Sarah. Wilde creates believable, relatable backgrounds for both characters. It's easy to understand why they are the way the are. The story is also about the two of them reconciling their pasts and finding a future together. As the reader, you want them to work through their issues and be together. In Jazzy, Wilde has created an adorable, astute kid who adds even more charm to the story. A small thing that I loved was the little bit of added depth to Crystal, making her less of a villain than she originally appears. The only downside was what seemed to be an unnecessary twist with Raylene and her secret background. Perhaps it seems that way because I haven't read the previous Twilight books, though I plan to rectify that very soon.

This will be a comfy book to read under a blanket with hot tea. If the other books are as sweet and heartwarming as Travis and Sarah's story, Wilde has a great series on her hands.

The First Love Cookie Club will be available for purchase on October 26, 2010. Advanced reader's copy provided for review by NetGalley.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

always the baker, never the bride.

Book Description:
Thirty-six-year-old Emma Rae Travis has been baking specialty cakes and melt-in-your-mouth pastries at The Backstreet Bakery in historic Roswell, just outside of Atlanta, for the last six years.

When Jackson Drake hears about this local baker who has won a prestigious award for her wedding cake artistry, he tells his assistant to be sure and include her in the pastry tastings scheduled at his new wedding destination hotel the following week. But when the arrogant baker he met a week prior in Roswell stumbles into the dining room with a platter of pastries and a bucketful of orders, he knows for certain: It s going to be a really rotten day.

Can these two ill-suited players master the high-wire act and make a go of their new business venture? Or will they take each other crashing downward, without a net? And will the surprise wedding at The Tanglewood be theirs?


First, the version I read didn't really match the book description. I'm not sure if it was changed before it went to final print, but there was a difference in the circumstances. It's not a big deal, but I just thought I should mention it.

Overall, I found Always the Baker, Never the Bride to be a comfortable and pretty easy read. For the most part, it was a what you see is what you get book. It is Christian fiction, with the mentions light at the beginning, and getting heavier throughout the book. It could've been integrated into the story a bit better, as it seemed a bit forced sometimes. As a Christian book, you'll find no profanity or love scenes, and the story does not suffer from the lack of it.

Jackson and Emma Rae made a cute couple, with a lot less animosity than the description suggests. I would have liked more of their thoughts and feelings in the earlier part of the book, but the author makes sure to detail those feelings later. The entire cast of characters is an interesting bunch. The author includes tips and recipes related to what's going on in the story, which could have been cheesy but I made one of the cookie recipes the day after reading the book and they weren't bad.

While the story wasn't as great as it could have been, I enjoyed it nonetheless and it wasn't a bad way to spend a few hours.

Always the Baker, Never the Bride is available for purchase.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

once upon a holiday.

Once Upon a Holiday is an anthology consisting of three African-American holiday stories. I choose this book because it seemed like it would be a decent read.

Holiday Heat - Beverly Jenkins
Holiday Heat starts the book off with characters Eve and Leyton meeting at a masquerade party. Dressed as a warrior goddess and a Roman soldier, they both attend the party for reasons not their own. Eve is pressured into it by a cousin, while Leyton goes to add a discreet police presence. The idea of the party is that guests are randomly paired and assigned a hotel suite to share. But after meeting Leyton, Eve fixes it so that they are paired together. They spend a hot night together and go back to their separate lives. Of course, it doesn't end there. The author brings the characters back together through work, both of them investigating a fire.

Jenkins does a decent job of detailing the investigation and also putting the characters together romantically. At first, she goes too far in showing the "other side" of Eve, the tough woman in a man's world side, and she starts to become annoying. Thankfully, that doesn't last for too long. The love scenes in Jenkins' story were detailed, but not too raunchy or outrageous. I think she did her best once they both realized who they other person was and they get back together again.

Candy Christmas - Adrienne Byrd
The second story, Candy Christmas, did not live up to Holiday Heat in any way, shape, or form. I absolutely, positively did not like this story. In Byrd's story, Montel and Candace are both vying for a promotion at the same company. On the surface, the two despise each other, but a tryst in the office shows that there is chemistry between them. It is later revealed through flashbacks that they are actually married. I found that to be a ridiculous twist and completely unnecessary. Unlike Holiday Heat, the sex scenes in Candy Christmas seemed to be excessive. I felt like the author went out of her way to include what she, and some readers, might think was "exciting." I found myself rereading a few of the positions included, not because they were great, but because they were poorly explained. If I had known the tone of this story before reading it, I would've skipped it.

Chocolate Truffles - Kimberly Kaye Terry
After reading Candy Christmas, I figured the tone of the book was that the stories would get progressively worse, and I was nervous about reading this one. But I shouldn't have been. Chocolate Truffles turned out to be my favorite of the three stories.

In Chocolate Truffles, Camille and Gideon meet in an elevator after she receives a promotion and he closes a deal with her company. Instantly attracted to each other, they agree to meet for drinks at a bar in the building. Drinks and dancing lead to more and they spend the night together at Gideon's hotel room. Similar to Holiday Heat, the two characters don't know each other's full names and have no way of finding each other until they find out that they are working together. Also, like Byrd, Terry tosses a curveball by subtly revealing that the Gideon is white. I had actually picked up on this at the beginning, not as much because of how she described him, but the words she didn't use to describe him when they first meet.

I thought this one was the best of the three because it made the most use of the amount of pages to create a full story. It didn't feel rushed at all and the characters were well developed. I may have also liked it because it was a true romance, their jobs were just background noise to the story of the relationship. I'm now interested to read more of Terry's work and hoping that it's as good as this was.

Once Upon a Holiday is scheduled to be released on October 1, 2010. Advanced reader's copy provided for review by NetGalley.