Karla Sorensen – Baking Me Crazy: A Friends to Lovers Small Town Romantic Comedy (Donner Bakery Book 1)

Title: Baking Me Crazy: A Friends to Lovers Small Town Romantic Comedy (Donner Bakery Book 1)

Authors: Karla Sorensen

Retailers: Amazon

Date of Publication: October 8, 2019

Length: 258 pages

Genre: Contemporary romance

Audience: Young to mature adult

Collective Favorite Quote: “What comes next is whatever you want, and that’s the biggest, scariest, most beautiful part of living.”

Sensitivities: Ableism

Other Books in the Series: Stud Muffin (Donner Bakery Book 2), No Whisk No Reward (Donner Bakery Book 3), Beef Cake (Donner Bakery Book 4), and Batter of Wits (Donner Bakery Book 5)

Disclaimer: There may be some spoilers in our detailed banter below:

Hello readers!

Today we will be reviewing Baking Me Crazy: A Friends to Lovers Small Town Romantic Comedy (Donner Bakery Book 1) by author Karla Sorensen.

Please see above for more details on the book.

Levi Buchanan comes from a long, male lineage plagued by a family curse. A curse he thought was a load of crazy, Southern nonsense. What kind of a curse makes someone fall in love at first sight…and forever? It was like a warped alternate reality for a Pandora jewelry commercial. Enter Jocelyn Abernathy and Levi soon realizes his suspicions were futile attempts at denying this very tangible reality. Joss is beautiful, stubborn, and infuriating but the two become best friends. Five years down the road and Levi has refrained from showing his true feelings and it looks like his window is closing. Will he ask her to be more than friends or watch the love of his life move on with someone else?

Despite being fully aware of the Buchanan curse, why did Levi take so long to admit his feelings to Joss?

Bridgette – Levi was living a life of fear. He strategically decided to friend zone himself and patiently (or stupidly, depending on how you want to look at it) wait until Joss was ‘activated’ by another man. He was afraid of pushing her away with his true feelings; therefore, he sat back and lied to her for five years to keep her close. Keep your friends close and your ‘would be’ lovers closer. 

Amy –  If I were to guess, actually not to guess too much, he says he knew she wasn’t ready. I think that really speaks about his character. He knew he loved her the moment he saw her but waited years because he knew she needed time. So romantic!

Claire – I would really like to think Levi is a hopeless romantic (hence the flours) and is just incapable of showing his feelings. God forbid it takes him five years to do so but I can understand not wanting to ruin his relationship with Joss. When the time finally comes for him to make a decision, I was pleasantly surprised by his candor but less than pleased with his romantic ploys. However, I cut him some slack for creativity.

What did you think of the dual perspective? Was it distracting or did it add to the story?

Bridgette – I always enjoy a dual perspective book. I am a greedy reader and want as much information as the author could possibly give me. I did not find this distracting to the story and quite enjoyed being able to get an inside look to each character’s process of coming to terms with the changes they were undergoing. However, what I found most distracting was the awkward sentence structures and grammar errors throughout the book. 

Amy –  I actually appreciated it in this story. It made it easy to understand the motives of both leading characters. It added a lot to the story.

Claire – Just like tomatoes on my sandwich, I’m usually pretty hesitant about dual perspectives because I have the tendency to get confused relatively easily and sometimes they leave a bad taste in my mouth if not written (or made) well. That being said, I found the alternating perspectives to be helpful in this case because it was a guy and girl in the same situation. 

This romance takes awhile to unfold. Did the author keep things exciting or did the candle burn out?

Bridgette – This was not an exciting book. It was predictable and the attempted build up of the romance left me wanting so much more. I am not sure the candle was even lit. The story could have been improved upon by adding some pages and creating a less predictable plot for readers to enjoy. I could have just read the title and blurb without the entire book and still have understood the entire storyline. 

Amy – I think adding both perspectives really kept this story going. If it would have been one or the other then I could have seen dead spots or flames being put out. I think the supporting characters also kept it fun. Joy was funny, and Mrs. B being there for Joes was nice cushioning.

Claire – This book did have quite predictable tendencies but I kinda feel the need to read a simple plot every once in a while. For the sake of my sanity. I liked the incorporation of uber cute PT Andy but didn’t feel like the author took this relationship with Joss as far as she could have. It would have added drama and a little bit more flavor, if you will. 

Joss’ struggles don’t go unnoticed as she deals with a lot of ableism, which is not a common plot dynamic. Was this discrimiation depicted effectively?

Bridgette – This is not a common plot dynamic in the books we read. The discrimination was evident from the start and certainly a main theme throughout. When a person deals with such a struggle, it truly is a constant in their lives. The author did depict this situation well for Joss and imparted to the reader her struggles from various perspectives including her own family, friends, coworkers, and strangers.  

Amy – I think so? I mean that is hard for me to answer since I don’t struggle with ableism. I think the author does a great job of describing her day to day routine and how people treat her because of it.

Claire – I guess I have been stood up by books that approach this subject. This plot was approached with care and the book really offers a fresh perspective on this plight and the author showed no sign of writer’s paralysis in coming up with such a unique story. 

What does the ideal audience for this book look like? Literally, figuratively, metaphorically, psychographically…?

Bridgette – The ideal audience for this book includes those who love to read love stories about friends to lovers and are able to overlook a handful of grammar and structural errors throughout a book. I do think there is value in this book to readers who are struggling with their own incapacities in life from various perspectives. Although completely different diseases and presentations, I can see parallels from Joss’ struggles to my own living with cancer. People in the lives of those with various mental or physical ailments often react in a variety of ways, a few of which the author successfully depicts in this book.

Amy – I agree with Bridgette. This book is great for people struggling with their own issues. And of course, if you like friends to lovers!

Claire – This book is for anyone looking for a quick, fun read with a sprinkle of predictability, a dash of conflict resolution, and iced with a very cute love story that will give you warm fuzzies. Not to mention, anyone who has ever encountered discrimination and is looking for a strong, female protagonist. 

Thanks for reading. Comment below if you have read Baking Me Crazy: A Friends to Lovers Small Town Romantic Comedy (Donner Bakery Book 1) by author Karla Sorensen or if you are going to put it on your TBR!

Disclosure: We are in no way affiliated with the author and are not being compensated for this review.

Amy & Bridgette & Claire

Amy’s Rating: 4

Bridgette’s Rating: 3

Claire’s Rating: 4

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