Life is too short to read a bad book.
Saturday, June 14, 2008,9:39 AM
Just Desserts by Barbara Bretton
Just Finished:

Synopsis: Once upon a time, Hayley believed that a good woman (her) could turn a bad boy (her ex) into a knight in shining armor (pure fantasy.) Ten years of marriage to Michael Goldstein finally drummed the truth into her head. People don't change with time. They just become more of who they were to begin with...

Hayley Goldstein should be jumping for joy. She's been offered the chance of a lifetime: to bake a cake for world-famous rock star Tommy Stiles. But why would such a celebrity send his big-time lawyer to her small-time South Jersey bakery? Hayley's had enough hard knocks in her life to always suspect the worst. And she has a sneaking suspicion that this is about more than just cake...

Well, lawyer Finn Rafferty has to admit she's right. The truth is, Hayley is Tommy's long-lost daughter, and the aging rocker wants to meet–and maybe spoil–Hayley and her daughter. With her world turned upside down, Hayley will need help letting down her guard and hanging onto the things that matter most. And Finn may just be the man for the job . . . .

My Thoughts: I loved, loved, loved this story! Finn and Hayley were real if you get my meaning. Well, as real as fictitious characters go. She is 38; he is 39. She is a mother, a baker, a small business owner who is barely making ends meet. According to her, her thighs are a condo where cellulite has made themselves at home. She is a classic TV fan and had the pets to prove it ~ Mary, Murray, Rhoda, Ted, and Mr. G (a little Mary Tyler Moore, anybody??). She has one failed marriage behind her, and an ex-husband who quite frankly isn’t worth the energy it takes to breathe in oxygen. Add to that a mother who she doesn’t quite have a relationship with because she is always on the road lecturing, an aunt who helped raise her and who is now a permanent fixture in her daughter’s life, a 14-year-old daughter who could probably out maneuver the best businessman in the world, and a best-friend who is also her former sister-in-law and that pretty much sums up Hayley’s life.

Finn is a lawyer full-time and a rocker part-time. With the rocker part of his lifestyle he finds himself part of an extended, loving, mixed-up menagerie of Tommy Stiles children, ex-wives, fiancé, band members, and all that comes with that. Tommy however, is not your typical rocker. He has his head on straight when it comes to family and it definitely shines through to all who know him. There’s also Anton, a shaved-head, tattooed, pierced, hard-rocking man who likes to bake, cook, and read romance novels on the side. (Who for some strange reason reminds me of Preacher from Robyn Carr’s Virgin River series ~ not sure why? Maybe because Preacher screams like a girl?????)

When Finn and Hayley meet they can’t stop looking at each other. He, because he is looking for a family resemblance to Tommy Stiles; she, because he keeps looking at her. That’s how it starts. Then it extends to emails, phone calls, last minute dinners, and soon a romance has developed.

But this book is more than a romance. It’s family, friendship, forgiveness, chaos, gossip, and all that goes with it. It’s a wonderful, wonderful story that immediately sucked me in from the moment I started it until I finished it.

Verdict: This was Excellent. I laughed, I cried, I got angry, I got the “ahhhh” moments ~ it was just an awesome. This was my first Barbara Bretton, but most definitely will not be my last. I loved every minute of this book and I look forward to reading more by her in the future.

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  • At 11:35 AM, Blogger nath

    I love you Dev! I have this in my TBR pile and you just give me the push that I needed to start reading it! Thanks!

  • At 12:17 PM, Blogger Dev

    Nath ~ Read it! I can't wait to see what you think :-)

  • At 11:01 AM, Blogger Isabel

    stop making me add books to my list! lol

  • At 11:03 AM, Blogger Dev

    Izzy ~ Sorry! Well, not really. :-)

  • At 11:34 AM, Blogger Anne

    This is the book that had me actively seeking out Ms. Bretton's backlist and much of it is just as awesome as this book. I thoroughly enjoyed this book as much as you did.

  • At 11:42 AM, Blogger Dev

    Anne ~ I was surprised that I actually owned quite a bit of her backlist, and the rest of them I could get at the the library so I'll be busy devouring those books in the very near future.

  • At 2:38 PM, Blogger nath

    Okay, I finish reading it :D I'll be reviewing it this week, but seriously, great book! Don't forget to review the others that you read! :D

  • At 2:41 PM, Blogger Dev

    Nath ~ I won't. Speaking of which, I'm halfway through Breathless now and am on the hunt for Laure Lee Guhrke's backlist too. Our library only has 3 of her books! Thank goodness for PBS and my book credits :-)

  • At 6:52 PM, Blogger Julie

    Thanks for the great review, I am definitely reading it!