Book review: Batter Up by Robyn Neely

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The women in Emma Stevens’ family have a talent for matchmaking, and it all comes down to their cake batter.  Emma herself has matched up countless couples in her hometown of Buttermilk Falls, and so far, there hasn’t been even one break up.  Emma’s matches are perfect.  So perfect, in fact, that an investigative reporter catches wind of her special “batter up” nights at the bakery and decides that he’ll expose her as a fraud.

Batter Up is a cute, quick read that’s not going to change your life, but it will likely help you unwind after a hard day. Obviously, Jason, the investigative reporter, falls hard for Emma, and vice versa. Things happen that prevent the two from getting together, but the book is less than 200 pages, so it’s not like you have to wait too long for the HEA.

I liked this book, but there were a couple things that kept me from giving it a higher rating.

First, Emma is still harboring a grudge over something her neighbor did in high school.  Emma is, I believe, in her late twenties, and it’s time to move on.  Because of this high school drama (which I think was related to cheerleading?), Emma constantly judges everything that Caitlin does, shames Caitlin for being romantically and sexually involved with men, and is generally just unwilling to let Caitlin live her life in peace.  I’m sorry, but high school drama should end with high school graduation.  Get over it.

Second, Emma’s personality really got to me throughout the book.  She’s very stubborn after everything, and she needlessly hangs on to ideas and preconceptions that she should really give up on.  (I guess this is somewhat related to my first point.)  She’s fixated on who can perform the spell, how it should be performed, and how everything must be absolutely perfect for it to work.  She latches on to some kind of prophecy her mother made when she was young without really understanding what she’s doing. And she won’t let go of her initial impression of Jason, even when he proves her wrong.

Although this book could at times be very frustrating, the writing style was engaging and the plot moved along at a pretty fast pace.  I don’t think I’ll be continuing on with this series, but I’ve certainly read worse.

Final rating: ★★☆☆☆

#mmdreading: a book you chose for the cover