The Baker’s Man | By Jennifer Moorman
Book Review | NetGalley E-ARC | Contemporary Romance
New York City–trained pastry chef Anna O’Brien inherited her grandma Bea’s small-town Southern bakery—situated between the seventy-five-year-old hardware store and the newly opened clothing boutique on Main Street—along with its unusual, life-changing recipes two years ago. And while Anna has adjusted to small-town life with the support of her two best friends, Lily and Tessa, she’s also smothered her own dreams in order to keep the family legacy intact.
When she tries out a recipe left behind by her grandmother—“how to create the perfect man”—a gorgeous stranger suddenly appears. Soon Anna is living in a world where she must deal with the repercussions of Elijah’s unexpected existence. Amid the inevitable chaos, she realizes that listening to her own voice is the most important ingredient of all.
Narrative and Plot
The Baker’s Man is a whimsical romantic comedy that follows Anna O’Brien, the protagonist. What drew me to the book was its unusual plot and the possibility of the chaos that would ensue. I was hoping for a situational comedy, but the story took an unexpected turn and it took me a while to get on board.
The pacing was good in the first half but somewhere in the second half the plot felt like it was overstaying its welcome. Even so, if you suspend your disbelief entirely this is a story that can be enjoyed with some cookies.
Characters and Conflicts
The main draw for the book is the conflict. It is not a spoiler that the chef bakes her own man and the story is all about the chaos that follows. However, in order to care for that conflict and keep your interest as a reader, you need to be equally invested in the characters.
I was invested in the main characters too. That was the kind of conflict I was expecting from the story. But it is disappointing that we never get Eli’s point of view. His part was put on the back burner. The book was more about female friendship and usually, I enjoy reading those. I am all for the female bonding chic-lit style of storytelling, as long as it doesn’t interrupt the main story.
I cared about Lily, and her dynamic with Anna but Tessa was my main problem in the book. She mostly came off as a two-dimensional character who was functioning as a plot device rather than enhancing the story. It was hard to care for her when she didn’t feel like a person but an interloper.
Elijah was surprisingly believable and an adorable character who left me wanting more. It would have been interesting to see his journey and see him becoming a well-rounded individual rather than the cliched turn the story took.
However, the baking aspects and the little bit of romance were all quite enjoyable.
Overall, The Baker’s Man was a one time read for me. If you are in the mood for a breezy romance with a backdrop of hunger-inducing baked goods, this book is a fun pick.
[…] The Baker’s Man is a NetGalley e-ARC that I picked up because of the unique synopsis. We follow a pastry chef Anna, who goes through a breakup and tries to bake a man by following her grandmother’s magical recipe. The story is about the chaos that ensues when the man actually appears in her life. This one didn’t meet my expectations, but it was alright. Again, a one-time read that I rated 3/5. ( Review) […]