by Katie Allen.
Blurb: A free-spirited baker becomes the best kind of mess in her uptight landlord’s perfectly ordered life in this next installment of the Off Guard series by Katie Ruggle writing as Katie Allen
Leah loves everything about her bakery—the heavenly smells, the satisfaction of feeding people and, of course, unlimited cookies. The only thing she doesn’t like is her uptight landlord’s daily visits. Sure, the man’s drop-dead gorgeous, but for someone with an insatiable taste for treats, he’s anything but sweet.
Army vet Hamilton knows he comes off as rigid. He just can’t seem to bite his tongue around Leah—he might be a virgin but he can imagine a dozen better ways to use his mouth. But when the woman he considers absolutely delicious is threatened by an unwanted admirer, Hamilton intervenes, captivating Leah with his softer side.
Now the man Leah couldn’t avoid is swiftly becoming the one she can’t resist. Unrelenting temptation soon overwhelms them both, leading to an indulgence in everything they’ve been craving. But when past actions bring a fallout neither imagined, they’ll be forced to confront whether their affair is half-baked—or something to savor forever.
Series: Off Guard #2.
Read as an: eBook.
I loved it!
From start to beginning, I was in love with this book. The characters, the plot, and the baking all combined to make this a really enjoyable read that already has me wanting to give it a re-read.
The characters of Baking Lessons are above and beyond those seen in Acting Lessons. Where the first book of the Off Guard series was a fun but kind of emotionally empty romp, Baking Lessons is a sweet read that will grab you by the heartstrings.
The character Leah was so great – she is strong, sweet, and more importantly, feeds people she cares about cookies. Can I also just say how much I loved seeing pacific islander representation within a romance book? Good, because I loved it. Leah has a Samoan Father and even though it doesn’t really play any part in the plot of the story, I just really enjoyed seeing this representation.
The romantic interest of the book, however, is a tough one. Hamilton comes off as a very cool and uptight character. Initially there is an emotional distance between Leah and Hamilton, however the closer the pair get the more I ‘got’ Hamilton.
Once again I love how Allen has included a very different character, if he wasn’t handled and written so well, Hamilton could have been a big failure as a romantic lead but as Leah fell for him, so did I. Also his nickname for Leah – Lee Lee – was adorable ❤
Smut Level: Of all the Katie Allen books, I *think* Baking Lessons is the tamest in regards to the intimate scenes. This may have something to do with Hamilton being a virgin. From what I’ve read, this trope isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but I loved it. It really challenged the notion of the ‘alpha male’ and typical ‘hyper masculine’ romantic lead.
In regards to sex, Hamilton hadn’t found someone he connected with, had views on the nature of sexual intercourse, and had trouble connecting with people. All of these combine to create such a nuanced character, and when you see the walls come down and Hamilton admit to both his romantic and sexual feelings for Leah, it just made the connection between the two so much more real. Just with everything in this book, I loved it!