After one false start, I’m finally posing my first review for The January Project 2015. First up, the brand-spanking-new contemporary romance The Confection Connection by Monica Tillery.
The Confection Connection conforms to not only the essential element of romance – the happily-ever-after but also to a tight focus on the primary romance and how the characters grow and change within and because of that relationship. In this case, Carly Piper and Michael Welch are rival bakers from the same geographic region who once competed for top cake honors in an eliminations style cooking show. A high profile wedding sets them in conflict but in a misunderstanding, the bride-to-be decides they are a couple and she wants her wedding cake made by them.
Ms. Tillery aptly handles the conventions of romance and the path from “They hate each other” to “They love each other” is a believable and satisfying journey. The characters are complex and well rounded. Michael in particular will remind readers of some of their favorite Food Network personalities. The bride-to-be grew on me after my initial dismissal of her as a crackpot. She is a fun secondary character handled deftly, not obtrusive, but integral to the plot. If you watch a lot of cooking shows on TV, put down the remote and pick up this book, especially when something boring is on, i.e. a recipe not involving sugar or butter.
From the cover and the character professions, I expected this would be more of a foodie book. For better or worse, it did not make me run to my closest cupcakery for a buttercream fix. When I read food scenes in any book, I want to salivate and vicariously enjoy forbidden treats like peanut butter (I’ve written elsewhere about food allergies in my family). That’s more my issue as a reader than the fault of the author.