Author: Jaime Samms
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Rating: 3.5 stars
Type: Novel in a Series
Received from Publisher
Blurb: 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. To escape the fallout, he’s gone 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.
Review: The newest book in the Bluewater Bay series brings us back to town for a second chance romance. Which I usually love. This is a little different in that they never really were a couple but one of the MCs chose a much more brazen and of course ugly hearted guy instead of the sweet small town baker who was crushing on him. I didn’t love this one. For me this book was full of angst and miscommunication. To be fair those are two things I do NOT like and this book gives us a double portion of it.
One of the main issues plaguing the couple in this book were their daddy issues. Frederic’s father is an alcoholic. He’s always taking Frederic’s money to blow through for medical reasons, a place to live or just his next drinking binge. Frederic thinks it’s his responsibility to care for his father, who is so obviously using him as addicts do, so he lets him drag him down and forces him to go broke. He won’t even discuss it with his best friend so you know he knows he shouldn’t be doing it.
Blair has a rich disapproving father who likes to control everyone around him. His rebellion against his father is choosing the easy to his knees competitor in the baking competition Jerry. I can kind of see this as shoving a more lively and flamboyant type character in his dad’s face but for me that excuse didn’t fully work. There was also the brief explanation that Jerry was better looking and more polished. That entire thing just gets blurry because none of it happens on page. Blaire and Frederic kissed once and flirted while filming the show. Yet the rest of the book sets Blaire on the path to make up for this horrific wrong he has to right. I just didn’t feel the heaviness of wrong doing that was implied. There are some short flashbacks but their history seems kind of silly beyond Blaire screwing Frederic out of the equipment he badly needed. Yes it was a crappy thing to do. That Frederic holds Blaire responsible for breaking his heart seems unfair given that he made no promises to him that I read. I know broken hearts and rational don’t really go together but I think it was the hoops Blaire is made to jump through for Frederic to give him the time of day that bugged me. He’s obviously not an evil guy and he obviously cares. Yet he’s made out to be unforgivable in Frederic’s eyes. I think this may have helped tarnish my perception of Frederic. It wasn’t the only thing however.
It’s weird that I liked Blair better than Frederic but I did. Blair is a tad spoiled and entitled in his thinking but not overly so. His heart is always in the right place. Another thing that doesn’t always work for me is the Mary Sue Martyr mash up. Frederic was a hot mess and everyone loves him. He overworks himself to the point of exhaustion. He’s horribly clumsy. This should be endearing but for me he came off as ridiculously stubborn. Especially since he obviously had people who cared about him. Who went out of their way to care for him. The explanation of why he acts this way didn’t really appease my irritation at all. In fact I’m still trying to wrap my head around it.
The relationship could have been good if they’d been better at communicating. Blair is kind of pushy. He’s used to getting what he wants and thinks his way is the best most efficient way to go about solving all of Frederic’s money problems. Again Frederic is stubborn about forgiving Blair and accepting help despite the fact he really wants Blaire. Frederic uses every excuse he can to push Blair away. The push and pull was just too much for me to ever settle in and enjoy them as a couple. My favorite parts were when Frederic was too tired to fight Blair’s attentions anymore. Which seems kind of messed up.
So yeah. This book wasn’t really for me. It was too much angst. Frederic was too irrational and petulant for me most of the time. It all just felt heavy. I’ve found this series to be hit and miss but I keep reading them because I like the idea of the town and all the quirky characters the author’s come up with. I’ll continue to read them but for me this one was a miss sadly.