Saturday, July 30, 2011

Book Review: Always the Baker, Never the Bride

Author: Sandra D. Bricker

Title: Always the Baker, Never the Bride

Description (source): 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. But here s the rub about her job as a baker ... Emma is diabetic. When she tastes her creations, it can only be in the most minute portions. Emma is considered an artisan for the stunning creme brulee wedding cake that won her the Passionate Palette Award last year, but she s never even had one full slice of it. 

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. And for Jackson, that particular day has started out badly with two workmen trapped in a broken elevator and a delivery of several dozen 300-thread-count bed linens in the wrong size abandoned in the lobby. 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? (product description)

Review source: Free kindle book.

Plot: A mixed bag here. There were a lot of subplots, some more successful than others. The one about Emma’s aunt gets way too much play time (it’s like the author would pull her out whenever she couldn’t think of anything else to advance the action). Also, read the description… does it sound like a Christian romance? Nor does it begin like one. About halfway through the book, though, all of a sudden, everyone starts praying, worrying about their relationship with God—I don’t mind Christian romance, but it just hit me weird in this book because it was so abrupt.

Characters: The main characters suffer from the “I’m boring because I have to be normal because everyone I know is so eccentric” syndrome. This syndrome seems to only occur in books.

Writing style: I think the novel was at least one-third too long. So some of the things that bugged me would have been taken care of if it had been shorter. There were details that seemed thrown in that never advanced the story. Who cares if she’s diabetic? It didn’t make much difference (except we got to hear how much she wanted sugar all the time). At one point, she was a mechanical whiz, but that was just dropped…

Audience: Christian romance readers. Not me so much.

Wrap-up: The book was readable, but I started to get pretty tired of it. I wouldn’t seek out more books by Ms. Bricker. 2.5/5*

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