Author: Heidi Belleau and Rachel Haimowitz
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Pages/Word Count: 241 Pages
At a Glance: This whole series gets better with each book.
Blurb: After breaking his arm on set, Wolf’s Landing stuntman Ginsberg Sloan finds himself temporarily out of work. Luckily, Bluewater Bay’s worst B&B has cheap long-term rates, and Ginsberg’s not too proud to take advantage of them.
Derrick Richards, a grizzled laid-off logger, inherited the B&B after his parents’ untimely deaths. Making beds and cooking sunny-side-up eggs is hardly Derrick’s idea of a man’s way to make a living, but just as he’s decided to shut the place down, Ginsberg shows up on his doorstep, pitiful and soaking wet, and Derrick can hardly send him packing.
Not outright, at least.
The plan? Carry on the B&B’s tradition of terrible customer service and even worse food until the pampered city boy leaves voluntarily. What Derrick doesn’t count on, though, is that the lousier he gets at hosting, the more he convinces bored, busybody Ginsberg to try to get the B&B back on track. And he definitely doesn’t count on the growing attraction between them, or how much more he learns from Ginsberg than how to put out kitchen fires.
The Bluewater Bay series can be read in any order
Review: I expected a lot from this book before I even started it. I love the universe it is written in already, and I was looking forward to another visit with the folks of Bluewater Bay. These authors simply blew me away.
The premise is simple. We meet Derrick, who is the owner of a Bed and Breakfast he has inherited but doesn’t want, who is really a logger (albeit currently laid off), and that is a much more fitting job for a manly man to hold. Ginsberg is a stunt double for the lead actor in Wolf’s Landing, the television production that has taken over Bluewater Bay, but is temporarily out of work with a broken arm and needs a cheap home to recover in for about 8 weeks.
The comedy of errors in perception that follows is simply fun, but the undercurrents that we learn about are engrossing. This conflict the authors have created flows throughout the story, with new details and tangents added in each chapter. Both characters were built in layers of dialogue and actions that revealed more of their depths and desires, and caused the reader to be completely invested in their story. I truly raced through the book, eager to see where they were going and how they would resolve their individual situations and get together for a HEA.
Although the premise of the story is simple, the reality of it is not. Derrick’s search for his own identity, and his ownership of that, is such a contrast to Ginsberg’s surety of who and what he is that we, as readers, feel a torrent of emotions throughout the book. We are curious with Derrick, annoyed at him, and finally pleased with him as he grows stronger. But we also commiserate with him as he continuously rubs up against the much more extroverted nature of Ginsberg. I found myself laughing out loud at the book. I oohed and ahhed and omg’d. I found myself totally engaged by the story and the nature of the topics within it.
I won’t spoil the book for others, but I will say the authors presented their characters in such a realistic manner that they impressed me greatly.They normalized a topic that is anything but, and gave me hope. I loved the ending of the story; it was very funny, but apt in the circumstances, and completely demonstrated Derrick’s growth of character. It was also very good to see familiar characters from a different point of view that stayed within the boundaries of a multi-authored universe. This whole series gets better with each book. Sincere kudos to both authors for taking the promise of a good story and turning it into a great reality. I loved it.
You can buy The Burnt Toast B&B here: