Sunday, July 16, 2017

Book Review: Mann Cakes by Mysti Parker

Love makes men do desperate things, if desperate things means opening a rival cupcake shop to drive your ex-girlfriend crazy.

Twin brothers and Air Force vets, Tanner and Garrett Mann, return from deployment to find their thriving business burned to the ground. Time for Plan B: Move back to their hometown of Beach Pointe to start over.

But that means running into Paige and Morgan Baxter –gorgeous, curvy, and owners of Two Sisters Cupcakes.

There’s an old diner for sale across town, Garrett’s a great cook, and Tanner has an idea. They’ll make savory cupcakes that men would like. We’re talking bacon and Cheez Whiz. Even better? They'll call it Mann Cakes. Problem is, they end up attracting an unexpected crowd.

Paige is furious. Every man in her life has left her behind, including Tanner. She’s sacrificed everything for her shop. She won’t lose it over some egotistical ex-boyfriend, even if he does have an Air Force-chiseled body. Her younger sister, Morgan, isn’t helping matters. She’s been gaga over Garrett since high school.

To hell with that. If it’s a fight Tanner wants, it’s a fight he’ll get. But how much is Paige willing to risk to win a cupcake war?

This is one of those times when I hate reviewing books. I feel badly when I have to tell everyone that a book and I didn't really get along. And this time, it's for a few reasons. One of which has nothing to do with the plot. For the most part, I liked the meat of the story and by meat, I don't mean the yummy military guys either. 

The whole concept behind the book was pretty interesting: two brothers creating a savory cupcake shop that is involuntarily in competition with two sassy sisters and their cupcake shop. Interesting, right? The cupcake shop idea is not a new one in romance novels, it's been done ... it actually seems to be a theme that runs rampant in the contemporary romance genre ... sometimes it's done well and sometimes not so well but this one was just a little different. You still have the flour and powdered sugar covered heroines but this time, the author threw in some treat baking dudes to stir things up a bit with some healthy competition. 

Unfortunately, I think that the plot was the best thing about the book because I didn't connect with the characters at all. And I should have. I should have connected with Paige on a level that I don't with most other people because like her, I have an autistic son. But I didn't and it was because of something that Paige's sister, Morgan, said. I think that I really resented the sisters because at one point in the story, it says something about the autistic son acting out. Dude, I reached boiling in about two milliseconds. Every time I hear or read something about an autistic kiddo "acting out", instead of just feeling sorry for the person's ignorance for saying that, I get angry at the person's ignorance. Because these are the people that think my son is acting out when he's just had a bit of sensory overload. Anyway, this was a totally personal and what some may think as completely irrational reason to not like a couple of characters in a book. And you know what, that's okay. But that was why I was just totally turned off by these sisters. After that point, I just totally shut down to them. 

The brothers didn't fare much better for me either. And I don't think that their characters were tainted by what I thought of the sisters but that's only because I found the brothers completely interchangeable. Since this book was really about all four of these characters and their corresponding love stories, I was expecting to at least be able to differentiate between the brothers but they read like they were the same person, just with different names. Yes, they are twins but these were the same dude. And I got the feeling that they weren't intended to be like that since it says that they both have different strengths and all of that but it didn't come across like that with me. 

Now, I'm definitely in the minority on my thoughts with this book. It has a super high rating on Goodreads and Amazon, so if you're reading this before you buy, make sure you read some other reviews as well because I'd hate for someone to miss out on a book that they would love just because I'm an angry momma bear. 

* I received this novel in exchange for an honest review *

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