Title: A Teaspoon of Trouble
Author: Shirley Jump
Series: Bachelor Bake-Off #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: Short novel
Type-A chef Carolyn Henderson has walked away from her job at a trendy NYC restaurant after an abrupt family tragedy. Now, as a guardian to her four-year-old niece, Emma, and a very disobedient mutt – kids and dogs are so not her skill set – moving back to Marietta, Montana seems the best temporary option. But when confronted by her parents’ declining health, Carolyn has to face reality. And she’s going to need some serious help. So who better to ask than Matthew West, a blast from her high school past… and as hunky and helpful as ever.
Vet – and very eligible, if reluctant, Bachelor – Matthew West can’t believe his luck when his high school crush stumbles through his door. Dogs, kids, and gorgeous damsels in distress. Carolyn needs help with the pup, and he needs help whipping up delicious concoctions for the Bachelor Bake-Off. So she wants to make a deal: dog obedience lessons for cooking tips… but Matthew wants to broker quite a bit more…
Source: Review copy from Tule Publishing via NetGalley
I love a second chance romance, and I’m rather fond of Great British Bake Off too, so this Marietta combination was something I couldn’t resist. Much like Matthew, little Emma and naughty Roscoe. Those three make an adorable team and I loved reading about them. Sadly, I was less fond of Carolyn.
I tried, believe me, I really did try because things aren’t easy for Carolyn in this book. I don’t fault her for having ambition and moving away like she did (though she didn’t do it in the best way), and it’s great that she’s willing to take on Emma and the dog. What annoyed me was her completely impractical habit of not doing anything about her problems. She has a life in New York, she knows it isn’t compatible with a child and a dog, but that’s as far as she goes in working things out. It’s not even that her emotions make it difficult for her to tackle, she simply doesn’t bother. Instead she toys with Matthew’s heart and gets annoyed when he tries to form a lasting connection between them. She’s annoying.
And yet, at the same time, the moments when she has a break through with Emma are just the sweetest thing. I just wish she’d been a bit more proactive when it came to tackling her future, and maybe bothered considering some middle ground or other alternatives here and there.
Because Matthew is a sweetheart. He’s a good man, has a good job, is well liked and is good looking besides. He’s a real catch, and yet somehow has never been good with relationships. He’s adorable. Quite what he sees in Carolyn is hard to fathom at times, but his loyalty and willingness to try is lovely. Plus he’s good with Emma and Roscoe, which makes him pretty much perfect.
So while not entirely perfect overall, I still liked this. Throw in a few delicious baked treats and I found it an enjoyable start to this series. I look forward to reading the next one.
A Teaspoon of Trouble is Out Now.
Visit Shirley Jump for more details.