Overall Grade: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 1/2
Who doesn’t love a grumpy hero and “good girl” heroine who isn’t such a “good girl?” Add in a marriage of convenience and some serious $exy scenes, and you’ve got the deliciously decadent Making Whoopie by Erin Nicholas. This book is the third book in the Hot Cakes series, and quite frankly, it’s her steamiest. It is also, in my estimation, my favorite thus far. Why?
- Grumpy hero Grant. Honestly, if I didn’t know any better, I’d think Grant might be on the spectrum. The guy has issues with feelings, while also being brilliant at helping people live their best lives fiscally. Unfortunately, he doesn’t quite realize that he isn’t living his best life until he becomes obsessed (yes…I think he’s a little addicted) with Josie. In the best kind of trope, grumpy Grant becomes tamed by sweet girl baker Josie, and it’s glorious.
- Josie is much more complicated than we assume. Obviously in the first two books of the series, Sugarcoated and Forking Around, Josie is an ancillary character whom we know little of. In this book, we come to realize that Josie is a baking genius AND she’s the most self-effacing heroine. Actually, she might be tied with Jane in Forking Around. In fact, this seems to be the case with Nicolas’s heroines. Their lack of selfishness works nicely with the alpha-esque natures of their heroes.
- The story is poignant in its portrayal of the difficulties of working for a small business. Nicholas does a nice job of showing the challenges associated with maintaining a profitable margin which oftentimes means forgoing benefits, and perks come in the flexibility of schedule and stronger relationships between employees. Additionally, through Grant’s characterization, Nicholas shines a light on the plight of women in finding success. Both of these messages offer a gravity to a seemingly sweet story.
Making Whoopie is probably my favorite thus far. However, Cam and Whitney’s story is next and Erin Nicholas teases it in this story. In fact, that is my biggest criticism of this story as there is a large part of it that provides some background for their book, which suggests that Making Whoopie might have been shorter without their struggles. This crossover of stories feels more significant than in the first two books. I would have liked Cam and Whitney’s story teased more towards the end of the book instead of throughout it. Yet, it did its job in that it piqued my interest in book 4. In the end, though, Nicholas does what she sets out to do: offering a romance that fogs your glasses and tickles your heart.
In love and romance,