Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!
Series: Bachelor Bake-Off #5
Title: A Recipe for Romance
Author: Lara Van Hulzen
Publisher: Montana Born, Tule Publishing
Published: March 7th, 2017
This series, set in Marietta, Montana concerns the participants in the Bachelor Bake-Off which is being organised to help finance ‘Harry’s House’, a house where it is planned children can go, take part in activities, learn key life skills and be helped with their studies. A safe place for them all being created in memory of Harry Monroe, a first responder who was tragically killed whilst endeavouring to help an elderly couple. Each story in the series has one of the bachelor’s participating in the bake-off as the focus.
This is the fifth novel and, sadly, the last book in this series and this time the main characters are wealthy businessman, Wesley St Clare, and ex-ballerina now dance teacher Noelle. Wes is visiting his father, brother and niece in Marietta, only intending to stay for a little while before returning to his home and work in New York. He initially can’t understand why the other three have settled in the small community but does admit that all seem much better and very settled there. Wes can’t help remembering how his mother suffered and eventually died in the small town and those memories detract the location from his point of view. However, his father seems to be playing quite an active role in the community and both his brother and niece seem happier there, too. One night he goes out to the local saloon for a drink and that’s where he sees Noelle for the first time. After a deliberately clumsy encounter he introduces himself and gets her to dance with him. The attraction is starting but a phone call tears him away and he doesn’t even know her name . . . but his father enters him in the Bachelor Bake-Off and his niece volunteers her dance teacher – Noelle – to help him! Another great recipe for romance ☺
This is a warming story of love after tragedy. For me, the heroine of the story is Annalise, a delightful young matchmaker and I really hope someone will write a romance for her father, Mike – maybe with Annalise as the matchmaker in that one, too! I’d really like them to have their own happily ever after, too. This time there seems to be less connection to the community in Marietta as both main characters are relatively new arrivals in the town and the villain of the story is also someone from out of town. The plot has plenty of twists and turns as they are chauffeured around and even jet off to New York for a surprise trip – by private jet, of course. It is a very different story in the series but still thoroughly enjoyable and can easily be read as a standalone or in conjunction with other stories in the series. There are surprises, misunderstandings, a couple of shows, a man with plans and much more in this story, a great set of ingredients creating a books to escape into!
Many thanks to the publishers for gifting me a copy of this novel, via NetGalley, with no obligation. This is my honest review.
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?