Title: A Recipe for Romance (Bachelor Bake-Off, #5)
Author: Lara Van Hulzen
Publisher: Montana Born, Tule Publishing
Expected Publishing Date: March 7, 2017
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Rating: 3 Stars
Wes planned a drive by trip to Marietta, Montana to help his dad close a business deal and then to head back to his life in New York. But when his dad volunteers him for the Bachelor Bake Off to commemorate a local fallen first responder, Wes can’t say no, even though Marietta holds painful memories and baking eludes his skill set.
After an accident sidelines Noelle Olsen’s career as a dancer, she moves to Montana to pursue a new dream: opening a dance studio in Marietta’s historic and charming downtown. When one of her students suckers her into helping the handsome Wes St. Clare whip up some winning recipes, Noelle finds herself dreaming about more than teaching dance.
Falling in love wasn’t part of Wes’ plans, and definitely not in Marietta, and as Noelle learns more about Wes and his business dealings, she fears she’ll lose her business along with her heart. Will cozy kitchens and a nudge from the St. Claire family help Wes and Noelle find the love they didn’t know they were looking for?
♦ Personal Thought ♦
Meet Wesley St. Clare, the fifth – and most loaded – bachelor got shanghaied into taking part in Bake-Off competition. His tutor is Noelle Olsen, a former ballet dancer who opened dance studio in town after a tragic accident ended her dancing career. What’s a dancer got to do with teaching how to bake? An adorable five year old student of her, that’s what.
This fifth entry to the story is quite a sweet, sedate-paced one; the highlight for me actually was five year-old Annalise and her father (and Wes’s brother) Mike. Yep, totally missed the focus there. I just thought Wes and Noelle’s story too down pat billionaire and damsel-in-distress. Now Mike… The pain of what he and his daughter’s going through had a whole lot of potential to a gripping story!
But let’s talk about Noelle and her prince charming; he who lived in a mansion, went everywhere in driven town car or flew in the family private jet. See, their story was sweet, true. Albeit lukewarm. Wes was the perfect gentleman; even his way of dealing with painful memories of his late mother was civilised. Same went for Noelle with her own tragedy. Although their mutual attraction was instant, the romance was muted; almost like an aside.
No, I don’t mean to imply the story as boring, because it’s not. At least I don’t feel an aggressive dislike to both characters! Although frankly, A Recipe for Romance lack some sort of oomph that made it more memorable than the previous Bake-Off stories. And – perhaps due to the character’s newness or temporary living in the Marietta – I didn’t feel the small town inclusiveness as I did on previous books. Heck, other than Harry Monroe there’s not much mention of people involved in the Bake-Off itself! The upside of that is: this book could be read as a standalone. All in all, A Recipe for Romance is a nice introduction to Lara Van Hulzen‘s books for me.
Advanced copy of this book is kindly provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.