New Release Review: How the Cookie Crumbles by Jaime Samms

How the Cookie CrumblesHow the Cookie Crumbles by Jaime Samms
Book #12 in Bluewater Bay
Genre: M/M / Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: February 13th, 2016
ARC provided by Riptide Publishing and Netgalley

Synopsis from Goodreads: After losing a rigged cooking show competition — and a potential lover — to another baker, Frederic Jackson packs up his considerable baggage and moves to Bluewater Bay. He uses the network’s hush money to buy a new bakery where he hopes the small town’s revitalized economy will let him start anew.

Blaire Caruthers never wanted to work for his father at Caruthers Industries. He should have known that fixing the company’s show results was a mistake, and that choosing another man over kind, generous Frederic was an even bigger one. But the damage is done. As punishment, he’s been sent to Bluewater Bay to oversee the company’s interest in Wolf’s Landing merchandise.

Stuck in a small, nowhere town doing a job he hates, Blaire wants nothing more than to prove to Frederic he’s changed. However, Frederic struggles to trust the man who betrayed him once already. As Blaire loses ground with his father, and Frederic starts falling back into self-destructive habits, they both have to find the balance and control that’s been missing from their lives.

Angie’s Review – 3 Stars – B-

How the Cookie Crumbles was a sweet story about a man who doesn’t know when to ask for help because no one has ever been there for him, and the man determined to change that. This was the twelfth book in the Bluewater Bay series (all by different authors,) and I didn’t feel lost while reading it. There were some characters that I found interesting, so I will go back and check the back list for the series so I can find out if they have books.

Frederic and Blaire are on the outs at the start of the story, as their history didn’t leave them in a good place. But Blaire knows he made a mistake, and he’s here to prove to Frederic that he loves him and wants to be with him. After being paid off to keep silent about a rigged cooking show, Frederic makes his way to Bluewater Bay and starts his own bakery – Cookie Crumbles. Unfortunately, the money Frederic made from the reality show isn’t enough to keep him afloat and when his father bleeds him nearly dry, Frederic begins to work himself into the ground. Frederic was a bit scatterbrained, though I think this was more because he was overwhelmed by his to-do list than actually being ditzy, and he was incredibly clumsy. To be honest, this story reminded me very much of the billionaire trope saturating the market right now. Except this one happens to be about two men, and Frederic, while stereotypically clumsy (again, specific to this trope,) is way more likable and experienced than any of the clumsy heroines I’ve read. Whnen Blaire shows up, it’s under the guise of doing business for his father, but his work could have been done anywhere. Proximity is what he needs.

While this was told from both points of view, it was clearly Frederic’s story and Blaire was just along for the ride. Parts of it felt a bit slow; it centered mostly around Blaire trying to win Frederic back, and the back and forth was sometimes a bit much. While we are given a resolution to Frederic and Blaire’s situation, I feel like at the end of the book, Frederic was pulled out of character and maybe just a little too brazen for me to buy. My favorite parts of the story were their pasts – Frederic’s upbringing was very sad, and Blaire’s father was such a jerk there was no pleasing him. I did like what tore Blaire and Frederic apart, and Blaire’s revelations as he finally realized how much he’d hurt Frederic and that he’d taken much more from him than some reality show prize.

As I mentioned earlier, there were some interesting characters I’d like to read more about, and I liked the author’s writing style enough to read more from her. There was nothing extraordinary about How the Cookie Crumbles, but it was entertaining and I’m glad I read it.

Rating: 3 Stars

Series Reading Order:
1. Starstruck
2. There’s Something About Ari
3. Hell on Wheels
4. Lone Wolf
5. The Burnt Toast B&B
6. Lights, Camera, Cupid
7. Wedding Favors
8. The Deep of the Sound
9. When to Hold Them
10. Rain Shadow
11. Stuck Landing
12. How the Cookie Crumbles
13. Selfie

Thank you to RIPTIDE PUBLISHING and Netgalley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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