CBR15Bingo: Edibles square
CBR15Passport: New to me author
Noah is a reluctant baker trying to keep his deceased bubbe’s beloved family bakery afloat. After leaving school to be the sole guardian and provider for his fourteen-year-old brother Adam, Noah believes he cannot survive losing another family member.
As a young child, he and his family left Tel Aviv after the death of his father. Devastated, his mother never recovered and met her own tragic end. After losing his grandmother, twenty-year-old Noah makes a promise to Hashem that he will live as orthodox a life as possible as long as his little brother Adam is safe.
Jumping ahead twenty years, we find Noah diligently making his grandmother’s recipes for Bubbe’s, the namesake bakery the family has operated for the past forty years. Adam, Noah’s brother, runs his own food truck along with his cafe-owner girlfriend, Talia. Noah and Adam’s relationship is brittle but they still manage to get along well enough to communicate. While Adam thrives in the kitchen, it is Noah’s burden. Noah knows that Adam branched out on his own to escape from Noah’s rules and strict beliefs, and to make a go of it on his own.
Meanwhile, Noah’s crippling anxiety prevents him from making meaningful connections outside of a very small circle of friends from school and from work. He is a forty-year-old virgin whose only date was so disastrous, he gave up relationships altogether. However, when his favorite gay porn star Sylent has his life fall apart on Twitter, Noah sends him a message of support. This gets Sylent’s attention as the message of support was a video of Noah signing in ASL.
So…that’s quite a bit of backstory. Without giving anything away, Adriano (Sylent) strikes up a friendship with Noah via texting and video messaging.
I enjoyed this book as it took the time to flesh out Noah and Adam’s characters. We got quite a bit about Adriano as well, but his story was the thinnest in comparison.
I found out that this author tends to write differently-abled characters, specifically protagonists. Much of Adriano’s frustration focuses on his desire to be understood. Even his own brothers pressure him to get better at lip reading. He challenges them to finally learn to sign more than just the basics. He does not expect people in Noah’s hometown to know ASL by default, but he expresses the sheer exhaustion of having to smile and communicate via writing, texting, and pantomime only. In his vulnerable state, having someone attractive and caring communicate with him using ASL makes it easier to believe how a painfully shy baker and a hunky porn star could come together.
Sorry, I couldn’t resist.
I will be the first to admit that much of the plot doesn’t make sense. Still, it is one of the cutest books I have read in quite some time. I will definitely check out more works by E.M. Lindsey.
I got this book as part of the June “Stuff Your Kindle Day” on romancebookworms.