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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

How the Cookie Crumbles (Bluewater Bay #12) [Blaire & Frederic] by Jaime Samms

I'm not sure how to review this book. I liked it, I did enjoy it, but I somehow had too many misgivings about it. I considered DNFing it about half way in, but decided I SHOULD give it a better chance because I liked the idea behind the story and WAS interested in seeing how things would work out between Blaire and Frederic.

Blaire and  Frederic have history, and not a positive one.. while participating in a Reality TV Show about baking, Frederic falls for Blaire who not only deceives him, but chooses someone else, not only for his bed, but for winning the big prize (since he was one of the producers). Even though Frederic was compensated for what happened it basically screwed with his big plans.. He needed more than money, he needed the equipment because having money means his father will be at his door asking for more and more to buy alcohol. While for the most part Frederic's father was a HORRIBLE dad, Frederic is incapable of pushing him away though he deserves it for sure. He also can't leave his grandmother with the liability which is his father - her son, so he does what he can, and even what he can't really and works himself almost literally to death in the bakery he opened in Bluewater Bay. 

Blaire is so very sorry about EVERYTHING that happened on that show. He made all the wrong decisions and now he is determined to UNDO them ALL and even see if he can have another chance with Frederic. He has his issues himself, also father issues, but his are different. His father, also his boss, swims in money and enjoys using it to control people as he is TRYING to do with Blaire, this time not so successfully.. Blaire had enough and coming to Bluewater Bay means working for his father but not directly under his thumb and so he has more time to consider what he truly wants for a future, if possible with Frederic by his side.

Though Blaire is VERY controlling himself, and though he made really bad decisions in the past, I DID come to like him. In the end, he was doing everything he could to help Frederic and make him forgive him. That means he was trying to use the money he obviously has to help but Frederic wasn't liking it one bit. He WOULDN'T be "bought" again by him. Thing is, Blaire really doesn't know any other way, he was doing what he did best, he was REALLY trying to help, to support Frederic, be there for him, care for him. At a certain point I felt Frederic should have realized this is FOR REAL. But it kept dragging with Frederic's distrust in Blaire, second guessing him at every step. Yeah Blaire did things behind his back, things that could be considered controlling, but in the end, I think he would have told Frederic if he thought he would accept ANY help. So I can't really fault Blaire for everything Frederic was accusing him of.

The trust issue was a HUGE part of the story, and while it made sense it was also VERY tiring. It mostly made Frederic's character sort of redundant. Though he should have had a lot of sweet and caring characteristics, I found him to be mostly foolish in his behavior. It took him TOO LONG to realize basically EVERYTHING, not just how much Blaire cares for him, but how much the people in his community do. His back story was HORRIBLE, and I didn't' even have time to pity him because he was making everything SO difficult for himself.. 

I enjoyed seeing a little bit of characters we've met in the 5th installment "The Burnt Toast B&B", but I gotta say, Blaire's assistant and Frederic's best friends were SO annoying. I didn't like their characters AT ALL. Frederic's best friend was not only too nosey but SO judgmental! and Blaire's assistant was "evil" right up until he sort of wasn't? his whole behavior was unclear to me. 

So as you can see I had MANY issues with this book which is why I can't give it a solid 4 stars rating, but I DID enjoy the way the romance built between Blaire and Frederic, the way the trust was slowly established, how much Blaire did for Frederic, how much Frederic wanted all of it to be true. How Blaire changed and grew as he started not only focusing on Frederic buy making a different future for himself. Frederic also had to make a few difficult decisions about his life, those took longer and in a way we didn't get to see them happening it's more of a promise he will be better now with so many people on his side. 

I really liked how independent Frederic was, and how much he accomplished on his own and the fact he WOULDN'T let anyone take over his life. He wanted Blaire the lover, not Blaire the huge bank account. he wanted a partner. Blaire wanted it all too, but not using his money to make things better isn't something he is used to, not to mention, since he is independent as Frederic is, he was used to doing things HIS way and Frederic wouldn't accept that. It took them time to realize what the other one needs. I enjoyed seeing it evolve throughout the book. Sadly there were too many things distancing me from the MCs, I can't even say I like Frederic, but I did come to appreciate Blaire. Considering the other supporting characters I was left with too little to truly enjoy this novel which is really a shame because the issues the MCs were dealing with really appealed to me. So, yeah, I guess a nice read, though not a favorite for sure.  

Read on:
8-10 Jan 2017

Welcome to Bluewater Bay! This quiet little logging town on Washington state’s Olympic Peninsula has been stagnating for decades, on the verge of ghost town status. Until a television crew moves in to film Wolf’s Landing, a soon-to-be cult hit based on the wildly successful shifter novels penned by local author Hunter Easton.

Wolf’s Landing’s success spawns everything from merchandise to movie talks, and Bluewater Bay explodes into a mecca for fans and tourists alike. The locals still aren’t quite sure what to make of all this—the town is rejuvenated, but at what cost? And the Hollywood-based production crew is out of their element in this small, mossy seaside locale. Needless to say, sparks fly.

This collaborative story world is brought by collective authors, each contemporary novel stands alone, but all are built around the town and the people of Bluewater Bay and the Wolf’s Landing media empire.

1. Starstruck By L.A. Witt [Levi Pritchard & Carter Samuels] (Published 3 November 2014) ★★★★
2. There's Something About Ari By L.B. Gregg [Buck Ellis & Ari Valentine] (Published 8 November 2014) ★★★★
3. Hell on Wheels By Z.A. Maxfield [Nash Holly & Spencer Kepler-Constantine] (Published 29 November 2014) ★★★★
4. Lone Wolf By Aleksandr Voinov & L.A. Witt [Hunter Easton & Kevin Hussain] (Published 20 December 2014) ★★ (DNF 25%)
5. The Burnt Toast B&B By Heidi Belleau & Rachel Haimowitz [Ginsberg Sloan & Derrick Richards] (Published 11 January 2015) ★★★½
6. Lights, Camera, Cupid (Bluewater Bay #6) Valentine's Anthology (Published 7 February 2015) ★★★★
    [ Just Another Day [Levi Pritchard & Carter Samuels] by L.A. Witt  ★★★ ]
    [ Nascha By Amy Lane  ★★★★★ ]

    [ No Easy Way [Cary Teijan & Dylan James] By S.E. Jakes  ★½ ]
    [ Helping Hand [Lucas Wilder & Gabriel Savage] by Anne Tenino  ★★★★★ ]
    [ I'll Be There [Nash Holly & Spencer Kepler] By Z.A. Maxfield  ★★ ]
7. Wedding Favors By Anne Tenino [Lucas Wilder & Gabriel Savage] (Published 11 April 2015) ★★★★
8. The Deep of the Sound By Amy Lane [Cal McCorkle & Avery Kennedy] (Published 13 June 2015)  ★★★★
9. When to Hold Them By G.B. Gordon [Doran Callaghan & Xavier Wagner] (Published 15 August 2015)  ★★ (DNF 49%)
10. Rain Shadow By L.A. Witt [Jeremy Rose & Scott Fletcher]  (Published 17 October 2015) ★★★
11. Stuck Landing By Lauren Gallagher [Anna Maxwell & Natalya Izmaylova] (Published 12 December 2015) ★★ (DNF 38%)
12. How the Cookie Crumbles By Jaime Samms [Frederic Jackson & Blaire Caruthers] (Published 13 February 2016) ★★★¾
13. Selfie By Amy Lane [Connor Montgomery & Noah Dakers] (Published 16 April 2016) ★★ (DNF 51%)
14. All the Wrong Places By Ann Gallagher [Brennan Cross & Zafir Hamady] (Published 12 June 2016) ★★★½
15. Bluewater Blues By G. B. Gordon [Jack Daley & Mark Keao] (Published 15 October 2016)
16. No Small Parts By Ally Blue [Nat Horn & Rafael Cortez] (Published 19 December 2016) 
17. For A Good Time, Call... By Anne Tenino & E.J. Russell [Nate Albano & Seth Larson] (Published 8 April 2017)

Though I enjoyed many books in this series, I'm not going to continue past the 17th. Firstly, this series, with so many different authors and different themes and at times sub-genres made the whole experience "bumpy". I had too many books I didn't connect with and I feel like it's going to stay this way with the authors who weren't my favorite. Secondly I feel a bit unsure about supporting this publisher considering its recent revealed "shade".

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