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After his sister’s death, businessman Marshall Hunter gains custody of his niece. Unused to children, Marshall struggles to connect with her. In an effort to make her more comfortable in her new home, he hires professional muralist Pace Barlow to personalize her room.
Pace is intrigued by his tiny client, and even more interested in her handsome uncle, but Pace isn’t certain he’s ready for the commitment of an instant family.
When Marshall decides to move for the sake of his niece, will he be able to keep his relationship with his young artist, or will he have to give up love to become a good father for a lonely little girl?
The love baked into an old-fashioned recipe might bring the two men together, but some things take more than magical cookies to fix.
You know when a book starts out really great and then all of sudden you’re slapped in the face with a story that went off the rails? A story that starts off so sweet and cute and then you get to the last chapters and you wonder where that came from and why? Yeah…I feel you.
Cookies for Courting started off really sweet (pun intended), and very nice. Individually, I liked the characters enough and could almost see where the attraction between the two was coming from. With a short, an author does not have a lot of pages to work through the whole, erm, courting process. So, I was kind of feeling it in the beginning, despite the insta-love vibes.
And then everything derailed. I mean, derailed in a huge way. So huge, for a moment I wondered if I was reading the same book.
Marshall is an honest, hardworking man, trying to do his best to take care of his niece Alice after his sister, the mother, dies. I liked him well enough, even when he was being a dumbass. Pace is a sweet, creative, and kind artist. I liked him right off the bat. The attraction between Pace and Marshall was sweet, nice and doing the job for a potential 3 stars. Add Alice to the mix and you’ve got this golden opportunity, a recipe made in heaven. (More bad puns, I know) But then, when the story is enough on its own, the author manufactures decides on a conflict and situation that is so far out of left field, I felt like I was missing something. In hindsight, I guess I saw a little bit of the clues, but I actually stopped, blinked at the screen a few times, and wondered what the heck just happened and why.
Not every story needs to have an OTP conflict to resolve. This one certainly didn’t. I don’t know that I can even explain how messed up this became without totally spoiling it. I actually felt duped. What starts as a nice story about love and finding the one and creating a family, turned into Russian mobsters, abductions for money, and feelings that felt fake and insincere. In the end, I felt like I was given a foundation solid enough for a short story, only to have it ripped right out from under me.
So for me, there were a lot of things wrong with how this book. And then…Not only did the plot die a horrible death, but the recipe for cookies that are raved about in the story was not provided. I might have liked it better if I could make the cookies. The cookies sounded amazing.