Review copy was received from Publicity team. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Baking Me Crazy by Karla Sorensen
Series: Donner Bakery #1
Published by Smartypants Romance on October 8, 2019
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Source: Publicity team
Amazon, Barnes & Noble
I’m Levi Buchanan, and until five years ago, I thought the legend of my family’s curse was a load of crazy, Southern nonsense.
No curse can make you fall in love at first sight. No curse can force a true, deep, passionate, all-consuming love that will haunt you all the days of your life.
Then I met Jocelyn Abernathy and I realized how completely wrong I was.
The problem is, Jocelyn guards her feelings like well-armed soldier. She’s the most beautiful, stubborn, infuriating woman I’ve ever met. Every time she talks, I want to kiss the living daylights out of her. But I can’t.
Because when we met, she didn’t need true love. She needed a best friend. And that’s what I’ve been to her…for five years.
But when Jocelyn meets a handsome stranger her first day working at Donner Bakery and she lets him buy her a dill pickle cupcake, I realize with ominous regret that I may have missed my window with my best friend.
If I can’t get her to see past our friendship, my new curse may be to watch the love of my life move on with someone else.
Baking Me Crazy is the beginning of a wealth of releases in the Penny Reid universe. It is the first in the Donner Bakery series, which I chose because a: who doesn’t love food? and b) since Jenn runs it there would be Cletus! My choice was excellent.
Levi is a really swoon worthy guy and deserves the great family and to get the girl (Joss). He is patient and kind and just a really good guy. He is also talented at his work. He has been waiting at least 5 years for Joss to be ready to date, being her friend, because he fell in love at first sight.
Joss is very cool and funny. She has done well in a difficult situation. Her mother is not the best help. But she has had amazing support, physically and emotionally, from her best friend, Levi and his family. She is courageous and smart.
I was worried that some other guy would take Joss from Levi which was going to break MY heart, to say nothing of Levi. I loved this tender story of Joss learning about dating and relationships. It’s a wonderful thing but so scary, to make oneself vulnerable to another person. I enjoyed this a lot and look forward to Stud Muffin which is coming up next in the series.
She cut me a look. “You’ve been getting those perks for two years, Buchanan. Don’t even pretend you didn’t put on a solid ten pounds that first year I started baking.” Quite pointedly, she looked at my stomach, which we both knew was covered in muscle.
“That’s rude,” I mumbled under my breath. I flexed my bicep. Nero licked my elbow since it was right in front of him. “Yeah, ten pounds in my left arm maybe.”
The noise she made roughly translated to you are ridiculous. She made that sound at me a lot. Of course, the sad truth of the matter was that I was ridiculous.
Not once in the past five years had my feelings lessened for her. I had just learned to live with them. In my junior year of undergrad, I was taking a class on brain pathology in injuries, and a man came to talk to us about how he learned to live without his right arm after it was amputated.
He told us about how, even years after he lost his arm, his brain still triggered sensations to the limb that was no longer there. The adult brain, in particular, struggled to reorganize after the loss of a limb, and given that four out of five amputees suffer from phantom pain symptoms, some of which were incredibly debilitating, it was a lesson that stuck with me.
I wasn’t fool enough to think that me loving Jocelyn was on par with a man who’d lost his arm, but something about the way he talked plucked at a chord inside me. Sometimes my brain struggled to remember that we were just friends.
She’d never dated, never even hinted that she wanted to. She’d never given me a longing glance. Never stared at my mouth like she wondered what it tasted like.
But my hands never, not once, stopped wanting to reach for hers. My fingers always, always itched to dig into her crazy hair and see what the curve of her scalp felt like.
My brain knew what this relationship was, but sometimes, the signals it sent to the rest of my body didn’t always match up with the truth of our situation. We worked out together a lot, Joss and I, and when she got frustrated with the limitations of her body, I always wanted to wrap my arms around her.
I wanted to pull her into the curve of my body, absorb her dissatisfaction into my skin, and carry it for her. That was the irony when she made noises like that.
She had absolutely no clue how ridiculous I really was.
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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2019 Releases