When I first saw the title of Robyn Neeley's novel, I was intrigued. Batter Up...was it a baseball novel? It turns out it's not but what it is is a sweet, entertaining romance that has magic and, best of all, cake. What's not to love?
Here's the synopsis:
She mixes more than flour and sugar into her cake batter, and he’s about to find out if a little bit of magic is to his taste...I was telling someone about this book as I was reading it and as I was explaining it I realized it sounds completely hokey. Magic cake batter? But the beauty of this story is that it totally works. I liked that the magic added a fresh element to an otherwise simple (but in the best way) romance story. I also liked that the magic was a bit of a mystery, even to Emma.
Bakeshop owner Emma Stevens has a secret — a delicious, slightly unorthodox secret. Each Monday, she mixes up a premonition to share with the bachelors of Buttermilk Falls, and sets one lucky man on the path to true love.
When reporter Jason Levine finds himself mixed up in a Las Vegas bachelorette party, he hears the strangest rumour: the marriage is happening thanks to magic cake batter. Seriously sceptical, and sick of frauds, Jason journeys to the backwater town of Buttermilk Falls to expose the baker and release the townspeople from her evil clutches.
But when Jason meets Emma, tempers flare and sparks fly. Will Jason cling to his logic at the expense of a future, or will he let himself fall under Emma’s spell?
I've said it before and I'll say it again...I love novels, romances especially, that take place in a small town. I like the quirky characters you get to meet and that everyone is in everyone else's business. How else would anyone get together if it weren't for meddlesome neighbours? They also seem to have the most fun events, like a bachelor auction for a good cause!
The romance is, as you may expect, quite predictable in that you know Emma and Jason are going to get together. That's the way of the genre! They have their ups and downs and miscommunications and sparks fly, and all get a happily ever after. But, to me, the formulaic romance doesn't matter because Neeley manages to keep things fresh and interesting. I didn't know exactly what was going to happen and she kept me rooting for the couple all the way through. In my mind, that makes a great romance novel.
If you like your romance with a dash of magic, Batter Up is definitely a book for you to read. It won't take you long, it's a novella, so it's an absolute perfect read for a rainy weekend afternoon. Or any time, really! I really enjoyed Robyn Neeley's book and can't wait to see what she writes next.
*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher, Escape Publishing, via NetGalley in exchange for review consideration. All opinions are honest and my own.*