Monday, June 1, 2015

Review: Courtship of the Cake by Jessica Topper

Courtship of the Cake by Jessica Topper
Series: Much “I Do” About Nothing, Book 2
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Contemporary Romance Courtship of the Cake Cover
ISBN: 9780425276853
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

“Always a bridesmaid, never a bride” has suited Danica James just fine…until the mysterious man who crashed her sister’s wedding steals her heart, leaves a slice of groom’s cake under her pillow, and then disappears.

Hoping to forget her unforgettable fling, Dani takes a job as a backstage masseuse for a rock music festival, not expecting the tour’s headlining bad boy to make an offer she can’t refuse. Nash Drama needs a fiancée—and fast…

Mick Spencer is the best wedding cake designer in New Hope and the town’s most eligible bachelor. But despite the bevy of bridesmaids he’s sampled, Mick can’t get the evening he spent with Dani out of his mind.

So when she shows up for a cake tasting at the Night Kitchen—with his former best friend’s ring on her finger—Mick vows to charm the woman of his dreams into choosing a sweet and sinful ever after, with him

A free-spirited massage therapist, a sexy cake designer who knows his way around more than the kitchen, a rock star at a crossroads in his life… There is a lot to capture readers’ interest in Courtship of the Cake. Jessica Topper’s second Much “I Do” About Nothing novel can be fun and charming, and at times almost captures your heart.

Dani is the black sheep of her family, happier on the road treating festival musicians than staying home and fulfilling her parents’ expectations. I liked Dani; she has a good heart and can hold her own against the dominant personalities at the music festival. When a mishap at the festival lands her in hot water and out of a job, bad boy Nash Drama comes up with a heck of a job offer. He needs Dani’s skills as a massage therapist to help him when his AS flares up and he also needs a respectable fiancée for his return trip home. Against her better judgment, Dani accepts Nash’s offer, but the trip to his hometown yields an unexpected surprise in the form of Nash’s childhood best friend, Mick. Mick is a too-hot-for-his-own-good baker who fell fast and hard for Dani the one disastrous night they met the year before. Mick and Dani have good chemistry, and though there was sexual tension aplenty, the romance fell short. There was no true development to the love story; it was glossed over and I was disappointed in the lack of depth. I didn’t really know why Dani and Mick were in love, aside from a romance novel requiring it.

Courtship of the Cake has a lot of potential. There are half a dozen interconnecting storylines involving Dani, Mick, Nash, and the book’s sizeable supporting cast. Family drama, lost love, dreams coming apart, friendships being tested, and more are all plotlines at play, yet none of them are given the attention they deserve. This was frustrating because Ms. Topper would introduce an element to the story that was really interesting and then skimmed along the surface of it until going to the next plot point. That’s not to say that Courtship of the Cake is a bad book – there’s a lot to enjoy and I was undoubtedly invested in the story. I was simply surprised that the book was more superficial than I would have expected given the characters and their various problems.

Courtship of the Cake is the second book in the Much “I Do” About Nothing series but it can be read as a standalone. Despite the fact that this book wasn’t quite my cup of tea, I do still want to read the first story, Dictatorship of the Dress. Ms. Topper knows how to write charming characters and I liked her writing enough to give her work another shot.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.