The Burnt Toast B&B (Bluewater Bay #5)

Author: Rachel Haimowitz & Heidi Belleau

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Rating: 4 stars

Buy Links: Riptide and Amazon

Type: Standalone from Series

Received from Publisher


Blurb: After breaking his arm on set, Wolf’s Landing stuntman Ginsberg Sloan finds himself temporarily out of work. Luckily, Bluewater Bay’s worst B&B has cheap long-term rates, and Ginsberg’s not too proud to take advantage of them.

Derrick Richards, a grizzled laid-off logger, inherited the B&B after his parents’ untimely deaths. Making beds and cooking sunny-side-up eggs is hardly Derrick’s idea of a man’s way to make a living, but just as he’s decided to shut the place down, Ginsberg shows up on his doorstep, pitiful and soaking wet, and Derrick can hardly send him packing.

Not outright, at least.

The plan? Carry on the B&B’s tradition of terrible customer service and even worse food until the pampered city boy leaves voluntarily. What Derrick doesn’t count on, though, is that the lousier he gets at hosting, the more he convinces bored, busybody Ginsberg to try to get the B&B back on track. And he definitely doesn’t count on the growing attraction between them, or how much more he learns from Ginsberg than how to put out kitchen fires.


Review: Derrick is done. He’s tired of living his parents’ dream and he’s tired of being someone he isn’t. And he’s an unemployed logger! He’s not in the hospitality industry, working at a Bed & Breakfast and doing it badly. Derrick is going to sell and get back to his regularly scheduled life as soon as possible. Just as Derrick has this personal epiphany, Ginsberg shows up on his doorstep. The guy is bedraggled and wounded. Ginsberg is soaked from the current rainstorm and trying to keep his cast dry. Derrick backtracks a bit on his post-epiphany plans. He’ll take in Ginsberg then provide service so horrible he’s got no alternative but to move out. Only things don’t turn out quite like Derrick expected. Derrick didn’t expect to find Ginsberg so sexy. Nor did he expect to feel such guilt at doing crappy things to someone life has already kicked pretty hard.

Ginsberg realizes he shouldn’t take on as a project this disaster of a Bed & Breakfast nor its owner. He just can’t stop himself. Both have so much potential! And there is so much potential for Ginsberg to get his heart broken. Of course he tries to stop. Of course that doesn’t work.

Ginsberg is a guy who also happens to be trans. He also happens to be tattooed and a stunt man. If you’re looking for a review that’s going to explore what it means to be trans this isn’t it. I found Ginsberg’s physical form to be neither here nor there. It was Derrick who had to deal with it, not me, and Derrick was very pleased with Ginsberg’s physical form.

I absolutely loved the first three quarters of this book. That last fourth quarter I didn’t love quite so much. It’s safe to say Derrick has issues. He was the victim of long years of bullying and he suffered some serious abandonment issues with the deaths of his parents with which he never dealt. Derrick doesn’t handle these things well, especially when scared or worried about something. So, without spoilering the major conflict, I’ll say Derrick was particularly fearful and lashed out at Ginsberg. Ginsberg said a lot of really horrible things back. Some of them were completely unfounded. Then he left. What I felt I read was Derrick, with his history of being bullied, was told he did horrible things he didn’t, then abandoned by the guy he had fallen in love with. I was actually okay with that. What upset me was Derrick was the only one who ever needed to make an apology. As I stated, Derrick most definitely had issues. Derrick was not perfect, but he was hardly the only person who did something crappy in this relationship. Ginsberg gave a great speech about not taking Derrick’s problems on as his own. It made a lot of sense. I liked it, but part of me felt that’s what a relationship is. It’s accepting your boyfriend is really afraid of what other people think of him after being bullied.

I wanted these two guys together. They were such stabilizing forces for each other. In addition to that, Ginsberg was the levity Derrick needed. Ginsberg made Derrick finally wake up after the deaths of his parents. Derrick was finally able to grieve and move on. Reading as these guys slowly worked their way into a relationship was tense. I wanted it to work so much! It was almost like watching sports. Overall I was pleased. They’re together and happy. That’s what counts.



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