Book Review: The Burnt Toast B&B by Heidi Belleau and Rachel Hamowitz

The Burnt Toast B&B by Heidi Belleau and Rachel HamowitzTitle: The Burnt Toast B&B
Series: Bluewater Bay, Book 5
Author: Heidi Belleau, Rachel Haimowitz
Genre: Contemporary Romance, M/M Romance
Sensuality Rating: Erotic
Source: review copy provided via NetGalley
Published: January 10, 2015 by Riptide Publishing

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 just how to put out kitchen fires.

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Reviewed by: Crissy

Why I Read This Book: I am a fan of all things Bluewater Bay. The mish-mash of authors and this series have intrigued me since book one, and luckily I have not been disappointed thus far. As for Burnt Toast, well, first and foremost, the title caught my attention. And to be honest, I can hardly pass up a burly man with a bad attitude and the man who has a hand in changing his ways.

In A Nutshell: Emotional, angsty, happy, sweet goodness—that’s what this book is. From start to finish, it’s a maelstrom of grumpy logger meets optimistic stuntman with a lot of fun, unbelievably horrible cooking, and sweetness in between. It’s a definite must.

The Setup: Just when Derrick Richards is ready to shut down the B&B he’s running into the ground anyway, Ginsberg Sloan shows up on his doorstep—sopping wet and in need of a place to stay. He knows he should send Ginsberg on his way, but after hearing his story, Derrick decides to make Ginsberg’s stay so horrible, he has no reason not to leave. He never expected to fall for his guest and for his business.

What I Liked: Ginsberg is such a well-rounded character. I love his self-worth and optimism even after all he’s been through. As this story progresses and we see Derrick grow from simply being in Ginsberg’s presence, I started to realize what it took Derrick forever to get through his thick head: Ginsberg is quite possible one of the strongest characters I’ve read in a while. He’s bold and vulnerable, but he’s self-aware and doesn’t let that hold him back. The fact that he’s trans is merely just another facet of his person. He’s the kind of guy who finds projects and builds them, makes them betted—Derrick was one such project.

Derrick’s journey in this story is slower. He’s open-minded, but not. I know—contradictory. The thing is, Derrick is living as the man he thinks his father would be proud of—what he thinks the ideal man is. He’s known he was gay forever, but to be classified as less than manly is something that he can’t handle. Wearing pink, cooking, baking, running a B&B—these things are beyond him until Ginsberg walks into his life. And the man makes mistakes—lord, does he make mistakes. Like I said, open-minded, but not. But the way he makes up for them, the way he comes to find himself—that’s what this book is about. It’s the beauty of this story.

What I Also Liked: There are a few touchy subjects here and I feel like the authors did a good job with rounding them off really well without standing on a soapbox. Ginsberg is post-op trans so the sex scenes were very well planned and researched—and hot. Transphobia and effemiphobia were hit on, mostly in relation to how Derrick treated Ginsberg and why. Oh, but I think my favorite part is that through it all Derrick isn’t seen as this big, bad guy—just slightly ignorant in the fact that he’s selectively bigoted. But Ginsberg, for the most part doesn’t give up on him, knows that he means well and sees that he’s trying.

What I Didn’t Like: I’m not really sure I’d classify this as a didn’t like… more of a could have been more. The tension between Ginsberg and Derrick is killer almost from the very beginning, but believe it or not, this one is such a slow burner. I didn’t mind it so much, outside of the times I just wanted to knock their heads together and say, “Come on! Get on with it!” It made sense for these two to gain a friendship first and a relationship last. With Derrick as skittish as he was about Ginsberg’s quirks, it was likely he’d run screaming anyway. Not that I would have minded that chase either.

In My Opinion: The Burnt Toast B&B is worth the read. It’s sweet and emotional and funny. It’s painful at times, but so rewarding at others. It’s a definite must in my opinion.

Memorable Moments:

“I’m still essential, but in a different way. You know?”
“But you know what, even introverts need somebody some of the time. Even if it’s just someone to break them out of their very sad lonely echo chamber and tell them to get their shit together.”
“I want to cover you in candied bacon and eat you whole.”
Men cried when their hearts were broken. That was okay.

Crissy’s Rating:
4 1/2 Frogs

About Brianna: Supermom by day, naughty reader by night. Addicted to chocolate, Twitter, her iPad, her Kindle, and 99¢ Kindle deals. You can follow Brianna on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Instagram.

1 comment:

  1. For some reason, I'm not sure I would have been into a romance with a trans man in it, before I read this review. You have me really curious.


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