Monday, February 15, 2016

How the Cookie Crumbles by Jaime Samms

Title: How the Cookie Crumbles
Author: Jaime Samms
My Rating: A-

Genre: Contemporary Romance (m/m)
Series: Bluewater Bay #12
Main Characters: Frederic and Blaire
Release Date: February 2016
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
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.

My Review:

I've enjoyed most of the Bluewater Bay novels, but this one rates up there as one of my favorites in the series. 

Blaire and Frederic have a history, but it's not a happy one. Blaire was in charge of a cooking show/contest that Frederic was participating in. He *thought* that he and Blaire had a connection so it was a blow to him to find out that not only had that not been true, but that Blaire rigged the contest so the guy who he was sleeping with won. It all came out and was a huge that Frederic got paid off so he'd never talk about it. But he needed the kitchen equipment, not the cash...for his bakery. His father wouldn't have been able to guilt him out of the he has every bit of money Frederic has earned. 

So, Frederick is in Bluewater Bay doing everything he can to make his struggling bakery a success. He works 18-22 hours a day and is exhausted. But he keeps thinking if he does one more thing, then he can make enough money to catch a break, hire a helper, or fix the oven that keeps malfunctioning. Then something else happens and it all comes crashing down. 

And then Blaire walks back into his world...making everything just that much worse. 

Screwing Frederic over was the biggest regret of Blaire's life. He's in Bluewater Bay hoping to fix that mistake. But he quickly realizes that Frederic needs more than just a boyfriend (one that he doesn't want anyway...there's no way he's going to trust Blaire again), he needs a keeper before he ends up dead from exhaustion or the klutziness that comes with that exhaustion. Blaire is also working to set up his own business out from under his father's he has a lot on his plate too. 

I really liked these two. I loved how much Frederic really needs Blaire, although he is so stubborn and independent, he refuses to give in. I love that Blaire is this totally put together gorgeous executive who should have it all together, but he's completely taken down at the knees by his need for Frederic. I loved that Frederic is so determined at the same time he's barely surviving, but that will of his was so freaking strong. I loved him and his determination...until it became dangerous. I loved that Blaire was able to see what Frederic needed and despite everything, he'd rather have Frederic mad and hate him than see Frederic suffer for his stubborn will to do it all himself. 

There's a lot happening in this story...for both men and their family situation on top of them both struggling to get businesses off the ground. Top that off with a fledgling relationship...and yeah, they have way too much on their plates. A lot of stress. But even when Frederic was falling-down exhausted, they connected and wanted them to find their HEA in the worst way. It was a really good book. I thoroughly enjoyed it. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

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