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review 2020-07-08 00:57
Brownies and Brownsticks
Brownies and Broomsticks - Bailey Cates

Katie is fresh out of a breakup and in a position at her job that really isn't going anywhere. When she receives an offer to join her aunt and uncle at the bakery they are opening, she jumps at the chance. She moves south to Savannah. She's always had a good relationship with her aunt and uncle, but has never really "known" them. This will shock you, but Katie has always felt different. It turns out she is a hereditary witch. (And of course now she fits right in!)
I liked the characters; both Katie and the multiple secondary ones. I do wonder at the love triangle (Declan- a firefighter and very close to Ben, Katie's uncle and Steve a journalist and also a witch. The boys have a history (of course they do!). I don't really like Steve (Katie girl- thought this was condescending). This has a slow start, but picked up.
I read this for Romance-opoly Coffee Shop moon track

Declan's BFF was also a firefighter and died in a fire by not following instructions. He was Steve's brother and Steve blames Declan for death.

(spoiler show)
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review 2019-06-05 18:53
Brownies and Broomsticks ★☆☆☆☆
[ Brownies and Broomsticks (Magical Bakery Mysteries) by Cates, Bailey ( Author ) Mar-2013 Compact Disc ] - Bailey Cates

I picked this up on a whim, thinking it might be a fun new cozy mystery series, but was dismayed to find that it's really more Romance than mystery, and not the good kind, either. 

For example: The MC is busy trying to get her new business off the ground and dealing with her first big customers, but the moment she locks eyes with some random guy in the shop, she's thinking about long term relationships and admiring how straight and white his teeth are. Later, the MC has just seen the strangled body of a woman she was just interacting with and hears that her uncle has been arrested for the murder, but that's not nearly as important to her as checking a stranger's hand for a wedding ring. 

Audiobook, purchased from Audible. I gave it a full 45 minutes before DNF'ing at just over 10%. This was after absolutely nothing happened for the first 30 minutes except the introduction of a bunch of characters and gobs of exposition, unless the reader is interested in hearing about the color scheme of the MC's apron and how it matches her melon balls. 

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review 2018-03-07 08:41
Spells and Scones (Magical Bakery, #6)
Spells and Scones - Bailey Cates

Eh.  I generally enjoy Bailey Cates' writing, but a few of my least favorite tropes were trotted out for this one:  the relationship crossroads; the ex's last ditch effort (which was SO transparently meant to give Steve an HEA) at reconciliation; the jealousy bit with Mungo the dog... eh.


The mystery plotting  didn't light up my disco ball either. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't great; too few clues and a reliance on the 'lightbulb' moment at the very end.  Reading Golden Age mysteries is ruining my mediocre tastes.


Still, a relaxing enough read when one's brain has been overtaxed in real life.



This book qualifies for the Murder Your Darlings Scene of the Crime card:  Gryffindor Common Room.  This was one of the crime scenes identified by Nighttime Reading Center in the Green Game Round, so worth 10 points for my team (Themis-Athena, Lillelara and myself).


My misunderstanding of the rules left me with this book unused, so I'm using it for the Suspect: Jane Austen cards.  (Alliterative Title)

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text 2017-10-02 07:37
September: Coda
It's a Book - Lane Smith
Bibliomysteries: Stories of Crime in the World of Books and Bookstores - Otto Penzler
Burn for Me - Ilona Andrews
White Hot - Ilona Andrews
Jamaica Inn - Daphne du Maurier
Magic and Macaroons - Bailey Cates

I'm going to preface this monthly wrap-up with the disclaimer that there were a lot of short books and short stories in the mix this month.


Total number was 26 - A number I was completely unprepared for.  I think the Bingo game sort of distracted me from paying attention to numbers, even though on some level I knew I'd read enough to complete my bingo card. 


Not including re-reads, I had one 5-star read this month; a children's book that I recommend for all ages, It's a Book by Lane Smith.  If you see it in the library or store, read it - even if you have no reason to buy it, it'll make you laugh when you get to the end.


I had three 4.5 star reads, one an anthology (up front, I've only read a few of the stories - the rating reflects the stories not the overall collection), and the first two in Ilona Andrews' new urban fantasy series, masquerading as paranormal romance.


My least favorite read was easily Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier; literary classic or not, that ending was horse-shit.


In the midst of all of that were a lot of 4 star reads, and the completion of my 2017 Reading Challenge (Magic and Macaroons by Bailey Cates on 14 Sept), all of which tally up to a very successful reading month.  

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review 2017-09-14 11:08
Magic and Macaroons (Magical Bakery Mystery, #5)
Magic and Macaroons - Bailey Cates

I'm generally a fan of Bailey Cates writing but this one left me feeling ambivalent.  The characters remain charming, and I love the Savannah setting, but... meh.


It didn't help that the murderer was achingly transparent from the first (although part of it was a surprise, at the very end).  Really there wasn't much mystery at all.


Cates did have me smiling though when she takes a moment in the book to explain the difference between a macaroon and a macaron; both luscious desserts but utterly different from one another despite the confusing similarity of their spellings.  It was a source of confusion when I first moved Down Under, (macaroons, which are the ones made of coconut, are not generally known here at all, though macarons - think oreos made with meringue - are hugely popular), so the aside felt very relevant.  


I have the next one in the series, but unless it's a markedly more exciting plot, I might let this series go with no hard feelings.


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