After years of making a wreck of his life, Colin Renwycke has a plan: to complete culinary school and become a pastry chef, proving to his family once and for all that he can do something right. However, thanks to his frequent messes and slip-ups, his by-the-book teacher is ready to kick him out of the school entirely. Instructer Rylan Jefferson has one more chance at grasping her dream of her own bakery, but she knows she doesn't have the creativity that would guarantee her the job. When her worst student Colin shows up with a crazy proposal to help her out--and hopfully convince her to not expel him--she can hardly believe she agrees. But the next thing she knows, she's in the car with him on the way to his family home in Iowa where they will combine her skill with his creative flair to create masterpiece pastries . . . and maybe even something more.
As fun and quirky as her stories always are, it's amazing how much depth the author also includes. They aren't sugar-coated; there's some poor choices, heavy regrets, and messed up family life in there too. But there's also a lot of hope, dreams developed, and dreams realized, even in something so short as a 100-page novella.
Colin's struggles with what he really wants to do--not to mention the knowledge that he has never managed to follow through on really anything--is easy enough to relate to, but combine that with his wounded heart, he's really a sweet, swoonworthy hero. He's made some pretty poor choices, but he's also trying to do better. He and Rylan are similar enough in certain areas to understand each other, yet different enough in others to provide balance. It's a good combination.
And, of course, the story is another fun tie-in to the Walker Family novels, the author's other books set in Maple Valley, IA.
Enchanted Christmas Collection
1. One Enchanted Christmas
2. One Enchanted Eve
3. One Enchanted Noel
0.5: "Three little Words"
1. From the Start
2. Like Never Before
3. Keep Holding On
3.5: "A Maple Valley Romance" (published in Right Where We Belong collection of small-town novellas)
4. All This Time