Tori’s a high school chemistry teacher known for her innovative Biochem of Baking classes. She’s also a divorced mom to twins who are about to go off to college and worried about her being on her own. So they sign her up for the American Bake-o-Rama. Kendra Campbell’s one the celebrity chef judges for Bake-o-Rama. Known for her chain of cookie shops and her cutting remarks, Kendra wouldn’t be on the show at all, but she needs to the publicity and paycheck to keep the restaurant that’s her baby, Gamma Raye, open. When they first meet a Tori’s audition, they both feel sparks. But each of the women has plenty on her plate, and there’s a fraternization rule in their contracts. Still, neither can keep from feeling that something special is cooking between them.
I really appreciated that the Bake-o-Rama was it’s own thing, and definitely felt more like a Food Network show than a Great British Bake Off rip off. Not that there’s anything wrong with those, but it’s nice to see something a little different. I also liked that both Tori and Kendra are in their forties and their concerns are relevant to where they were in life. I also appreciated that while both Kendra Tori put a lot of thought into getting into a relationship with one another given all the things that are at risk for both of them. It definitely made the ending more satisfying. The fact that both of them had problems that a romance wouldn’t solve, and that they both dealt with those issues themselves helped establish each of the woman as their own people with different needs even if they had great chemistry together. The fact that they both were so supportive of the other even before they got together also was very nice. It definitely felt like they were good friends even though they were just getting to know one another.
All of the characters in the book are great. Tori and Kendra definitely, but some many of the supporting cast like Trevor, Kendra’s cohost, Mel, one of contestants, and Buddy, the annoying TV executive, were all great and helped move the story along. Kendra especially could have easily been a very one dimensional character, but she has a lot of depth to her and turned out to be incredibly relatable. The story also took some turns that I didn’t expected at all, but overall it made for a really great read. There were a couple of things that I would have preferred a little more focus on or resolution for, but those are all minor nitpicks. The story was a great combination of heartwarming and fun. Four out of five stars.