Title: A Sweet Mess (A Sweet Mess #1)
Author: Jayci Lee
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Publication date: July 14th, 2020
Korean-American author Jayci Lee delights with this delicious and light-hearted romantic comedy that readers will devour and ask for more.
Bake a chance on love.
Aubrey Choi loves living in her small town nestled in the foothills of California, running her highly successful bakery away from the watch of her strict Korean parents. When a cake mix-up and a harsh review threaten all of her hard work and her livelihood, she never thought the jaded food critic would turn out to be her one-night stand. And she sure as hell never thought she’d see her gorgeous Korean unicorn again. But when Landon Kim waltzes into her bakery trying to clean up the mess he had a huge hand in making, Aubrey is torn between throwing and hearing him out.
When she hears his plan to help save her business, Aubrey knows that spending three weeks in California wine country working with Landon is a sure recipe for disaster. Her head is telling her to take the chance to save her bakery while her heart—and her hormones—are at war on whether to give him a second chance. And it just so happens that Landon’s meddling friends want them to spend those three weeks as close as possible…by sharing a villa.
When things start heating up, both in and out of the kitchen, Aubrey will have to make a choice—to stick it out or risk her heart.
“People say when something you enjoy becomes your full-time job, the joy gets sucked out of it.”Jayci Lee, A Sweet Mess
I picked this romance up when I received an eARC of the companion novel, The Dating Dare, from Netgalley. It had been on my TBR, but vaulted to the top with the advanced copy of the next one. I have read a lot of romances involving bakers or chefs recently, and they were also with AAPI characters – which is super interesting. I was really enjoying this book until the end and the final conflict, there was just a trope utilized for the final conflict that is not one I vibe with or enjoy. But that’s on me, and doesn’t mean I don’t suggest you pick this one up if you want to.
There is an insta-love feel to the book as Aubrey and Landon meet at the local brewery and have an immediate connection that has them falling into bed together, knowing it is just for one night and they likely wouldn’t see each other again. But Landon is the premier food critic in California and he inadvertently, and unknowingly, was served a bizarre special request kid’s birthday cake when he stopped into Aubrey’s bakery on a whim. He then writes a scathing article about the experience, not knowing the owner was the woman he slept with. When Aubrey’s business takes a huge hit due to the article, and Landon finds out it was her, he does everything he can to make it up to her – by getting her a spot on a huge cooking show. They end up spending a lot of time together and realize their connection is more than just the one night.
Again, my main issue with this book, which took it down 2 stars, is the trope used to end the book. So, I generally wasn’t a fan of the last 25% of the book. But, it wasn’t due to the writing or the overall plot. So I still highly recommend this book – but if you’re interested in knowing the trope that I don’t like, I’m happy to tell you.
Happy reading, folks!