Title: Baking for Keeps
Author: Jessica Gilmore
Series: Bachelor Bake-Off #4
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: Short novel
Available: 28th Feb
Lacey Hathaway has it all — a job she loves as a local radio DJ, a home with her adored, eccentric aunt and, best of all, a community after a childhood traveling with her musical parents. So what if her life is a little too safe? Marietta is everything to Lacey. Not only is she helping to organize the Bachelor Bake-Off and filming a documentary about the process, she’s also volunteered her brother as a Bachelor. But, when her brother backs out, Lacey has to find a last-minute replacement. And who better than her aunt’s lodger, gorgeous – if taciturn – Zac Malone?
Zac’s not exactly community-minded. In fact, he makes it clear that the sooner he’s out of Marietta the better. But when Lacey persuades him of the powerful impact the Bake-Off funds will have on local children, he decides to give it a go. On one condition. If he has to learn to bake, so does disaster-in-the-kitchen Lacey. Desserts aren’t the only thing heating up, and as the attraction flares and Zac makes plans to leave, Lacey’s beginning to realize that maybe there is a world beyond Marietta’s borders after all… if she’s brave enough to take that step.
Source: ARC from Tule Publishing via NetGalley
This was a nice, clean addition to the Bachelor Bake-Off series, with nice characters doing nice things, baking delicious cakes and raising money for charity, but it is fairly slow moving and while a pleasant read, it failed to really catch my attention.
Lacey is a woman who craves security. After spending her childhood being dragged hither and yon by her musical parents, she finally stopped at sixteen and settled in Marietta. Nine years on she’s still there, living with her aunts at Crooked Corner, running the local radio station and being the person everyone can call upon when they need something.
There’s nothing wrong with Lacey – she’s a nice person with a good heart – but she wasn’t particularly interesting. I couldn’t understand why she didn’t have any friends. She’s outgoing and fun and always willing to pitch in. There are plenty of other people like that in Marietta, so surely, surely, after so many years she’d have at least one person outside of her family to get along with. But nope.
Likewise, Zac was a decent guy underneath all his “Keep Out!” signs. He had a tough childhood and has coped by never staying anywhere long or letting anyone close, but he has a good heart beneath his grumpiness and Lacey easily wriggles her way into it. But like Lacey, he’s a nice person who isn’t all that interesting. They’re cute together and I did enjoy their baking rivalry, but that fizzled out across the book and since it was obvious throughout where this was going, I wasn’t all that invested in getting to the rather rushed end.
It’s not a bad book, in fact it has some fun characters and I’m really enjoying seeing more of the bake-off, I just wish Lacey and Zac had been a little more interesting. Away from the pair of them, I enjoyed learning a bit more about Harry’s House and it’s always good to see more of Marietta.Overall this was a nice addition to the series that I enjoyed, even if it didn’t blow me away, and I look forward to seeing who’s up next.
Baking for Keeps is out February 28th.
Visit Jessica Gilmore for more details.