Title: How the Cookie Crumbles (Bluewater Bay #12)
Author Name & Publisher: Jaime Samms (Riptide Publishing)
Publication Date & Length: February 13, 2016 – 345 pgs
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.
This is part of the Bluewater Bay series but can be read as a stand-alone and you will still enjoy it. In this story we have Fredrick and Blaire, who were a second chance kind of love. In the beginning I did not like Blaire but immediately fell in love with Fredrick. Then I realize Blaire was just trying to prove to Fredrick that he had changed. All-in-all this book really fit in with the Bluewater Bay series and I absolutely loved it but then I love Jaime Samms. I hope this series continues as I love to see the men of Bluewater Bay falling in love.
I have only read 1 book in this series, prior to reading this one. Samms is a wonderful author, so I decided to read some more.
I did really enjoy this story. I didn’t feel that I was missing anything – it was a complete story and despite not having read the previous books directly leading up to this one, I was never lost on who the characters were or what they were dealing with.
I really enjoyed Frederic. He was spunky, dedicated, loveable and snarky all wrapped in what I can only imagine was a wonderful sugary smell. His work ethic was obsessional and despite being a very successful baker, he was always seeking more. I don’t know if he was intent on driving himself crazy, but he was hurting on the inside and when he was unable to really put words to his feelings, they came out in the form of baked goods. I do wish that he had made more peace with his family situation – that he had been more completed with the outcome, but I felt that he was left kind of standing on a precipice of what might have been.
Then you have Blaire. He is successful, smart, sexy and not altogether very happy with his choices in life. While he knows that the choices he made were wrong, I love how he was dedicated in helping Frederic succeed, even if it was from behind the scenes. I really wanted to throttle him with some of his choices and even how he wanted to go about winning Frederic back… Really?!?! It was like he was moving too fast for his brain to keep up!
The secondary characters in this book only enhanced the story. Even those that I was not too fond of – Lee and Vince helped create this picture of community.
Then, when you believe that all else will come together, more wrenches, more twists and then finally, a somewhat satisfactory resolution. I wanted more yelling at a certain character and more throttling to occur, but alas, I will not get that.
Overall, this was a cute, sweet story about standing up for what you believe in, who you love and your family.
This is another sweet romance in the Bluewater Bay series. New Bluewater baker Frederick is a great character. Talented, bull-headed and working himself into the ground to support his family, it is impossible not to love him. Blaine took a little longer to love. He works for his wealthy, corrupt father. He has already cheated on Frederick once. Never mind love – it took me a while to trust him.
The connections to Wolf’s Landing are loose in this twelfth book. Blaine’s father’s company is somehow involved in production and Blaine himself is involved in merchandising for the show. While I loved the bakery scenes, I found myself skimming the detailed descriptions of Blaine’s job.
In this story, Bluewater Bay presents as a small Pacific town that is gentrifying quickly. I love all the different angles Bluewater Bay has been written from and the geekiest part of me enjoys piecing together characters and timelines across the various authors’ books.
While Frederick and Blaine are quite damaged characters at the start, I loved the warmth of Frederick’s customers and the sense of small town community that shines through this story. And the baking is absolutely sumptuous.
Together, Frederick and Blaine are not my favourite Bluewater Bay couple. Too many artificial barriers are put in their way and too much manufactured angst is added to draw the story out to novel length. Disproportionate miscommunications and the standard M/M hospital-emergency-brings-clarity plot enhancer lengthen the story but don’t necessarily add anything to the central relationship.
Overall, I enjoyed the romance and I enjoyed returning to Bluewater Bay for another gentle romance.