Friday, April 17, 2015

Sweet Surprise Romance Collection - Review & Giveaway

Sweet Surprise Romance Collection

Nine Contemporary Romances by authors:
Wanda E. Brunstetter, Kristin Billerbeck, Kristy Dykes, Aisha Ford, Birdie L Etchison, Pamela Griffin, Joyce Livingston, Tamela Hancock Murray, Gail Sattler
Review by Deb Czajkowski
Sweet is the operative word on more than one level.  First, this book is a collection of nine separate stories, all romances, and all (spoiler alert!) very sweet and predictable, with no surprise twists in the plotlines.  The second sweet aspect (and perhaps the surprise aspect?) comes in the form of a baked treat in each story.  In some of the stories, the delicious dessert is a strong−but still secondary to the romance−focus of the storyline.  In others, it’s just a sweet addition that adds a bit of interest and delightfully connects these nine stand-alone romances.  A bonus is that at the end of each short story is a recipe that was prominent in that narrative.  Sweet!

Kayli, in Sweet as Apple Pie by Kristin Billerbeck, is a European trained chef who has opened her own neighborhood bakery in California.  Adam is a contractor from a small town in Montana who is hired to build a major restaurant/bakery cafĂ© just down the street from Kayli.  How does author Kristin Billerbeck bring two such unlikely people together?  With−you guessed it! −apple pie.

While cupcakes are Cynthia’s specialty in Cupcakes for Two by Birdie L.Etchison, she loves baking just about anything. So starting her own online baking school proves to be a great way to share her gift for culinary concoctions as well as to distract her from Gabe, the handsome but headstrong owner of the B&B she now manages.  Will Cynthia’s sweet nature or his sweet tooth be his undoing?

Lorna is a young widow returning to college.  She is intent upon finishing her degree; and also intent upon not finding a new romance. It’s here she meets Evan, a fellow student and a culinary novice, who falls for her on Day 1.  How will author Wanda E. Brunstetter use blueberries in her story, Blueberry Surprise, to heat things up for Evan and Lorna?

In Pamela Griffin’s Bittersweet Memories & Peppermint Dreams, Erica proves that to try, try, and try again does not always get you to success, especially if you have absolutely no knack in the kitchen department.  Despite her domestic disasters, will Erica try and try again for sweet success in the romance department?

Dairy Baked is looking for a new photographer for their ad campaign.  Gwendolyn is known for her creativity behind the camera, but applying her creativity to her culinary concoctions proves calamitous.  In Cream of the Crop by author Tamela Hancock Murray, will Gwendolyn’s dairy disasters lose her this big account?  Will they lose her the respect of—and perhaps something more−from the boss’s son?

Apple Annie is Apple Valley Farm’s third generation owner’s nickname, and for good reason.  Not only is her Awesome Caramel Apple Pie known far and wide, but the restaurant is chock full of everything apple, thanks to Annie’s degree in marketing and her devotion to the property’s success. Then the unthinkable happens.  How will Joyce Livingston, author of Apple Annie, turn heartache into happily-ever-after for Annie?

When Angel inherits an old building, she sees her dream of opening her own restaurant finally coming true.  Getting it ready and making it a success are all Angel can think about, all she can focus on, all she wants to focus on.  Cyril, on the other hand, is a business owner in the neighborhood who believes faith, family, and friends should rank highest in the success category.  Author Kristy Dykes strives to show us in Angel Food that your home truly is where your heart is.  Where will Angel’s heart end up?

Monica and Gil were teen sweethearts, long ago separated by a family feud that also divided the two restaurants the families had jointly owned.  Now, Monica’s family does “Just Desserts”, while Gil’s family runs the restaurant.  A client wants Monica’s famous desserts for her wedding, but she also wants Monica to cater the main meal, something Monica cannot do.  Enter Gil.  Can Gil and Monica work together to fulfil this contract? Will the two families stand in the way of either a business collaboration or a personal one?  Read Aisha Ford’s Just Desserts to find out!

Apple Pie in Your Eye by Gail Sattler brings us Lynette, the pastor’s daughter, and Rick, a faith filled member of the congregation.  Rick has loved Lynette for years, but Lynette won’t date a congregational member.  When the church roof needs to be replaced, a serious fund-raiser is required, and Rick and Lynette join forces to bring in the dough.  (Yes, like pie crust dough.)  J   Will their combined efforts cash in enough to pay for the roof?  Can Lynette get past her fears to see her future?

These nine fictional concoctions unfold into lovely literary dramas, filled with faith and joy and love.  If you enjoy light-hearted romance with the added sweetness of culinary delights, you will find these stories and recipes heavenly.  Whether you are a romantic at heart, looking for uplifting reads, or you just love to try new recipes, you will find it in Sweet Surprise Romance Collection.  Happy reading; happy baking!

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The Sweet Surprise Romance Collection!
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