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Book Review: Mann Cakes

Updated: Oct 2, 2020

Second chance romance is right up my alley, I mean our first novel was all about that. So you’d think that I’d be all over two second chance romances with two hot brothers like frosting on cake.

And I kind of was…

Kind of…

After their business is burned down and one of their employees killed, brothers Garrett and Tanner Mann decide that the big city isn’t for them. That they’re better off in their home town. And would wonders have it, there’s a place that’s just perfect for them. That caters, literally, to Garrett’s chef skills and Tanner’s marketing savvy… namely a restaurant turned catering company.

The only problem is the competition. Namely sisters Paige and Morgan and their cupcake catering company/shop. It doesn’t help that the brothers have a history with the two sisters. Or that the whole town is just waiting to see the sparks fly.

I wanted to like this book more than I did. I really really did. I love second chance romance. I love cute plot kids. I especially love the positive portrayal of autism… which let me tell you is bloody rare.

The problem with this book was that it was just too ambitious. Seriously. There were four POVs, two romances, at least four major plots, and several secondary subplots. It was too much and unfortunately something had to give.

And the thing that gave was the inciting incident – the arson and employee death. While it’s realistic that they not get closure regarding what happened, this is fiction. And it was portrayed as a Big Fucking Deal. If the plot wasn’t important, then there are other ways to bring the characters back to their hometown. (Example: a sick relative, an inheritance, something!)

Also with so much going on, things got lost. Namely the romance between Garrett and Morgan. They felt like secondary characters in their own book. Even their characterization was flat and two dimensional. Which isn’t good. Their plot was rushed… like seriously rushed.

Basically this book was Paige and Tanner’s. They had the biggest history. Paige had the kid. Paige had the bigger chip on her shoulder. Tanner had the bigger hurt and bigger fall.

It would have been better to focus on just them and save Garrett and Morgan for a sequel… or if that wasn’t possible not have them be POV characters. As it was, I felt their story detracted from the overall book.

That being said, I liked a good chunk of the book. Paige and Tanner’s romance was fun. And I liked the description of small town life. Even more I loved the portrayal of life with an autistic child and how it wasn’t portrayed negatively.

There was a lot of potential here. Good potential. But the author bit off more than they could chew.

So because of that, I can only give this

Three Stars.

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