Sweetie Pie by Willa Blair

Sweetie Pie by Willa Blair
Publisher: Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (75 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Makenna Stewart flees Scotland for the Big Island of Hawaii intent on making real a cherished dream—-a bakery of her own. Hard work and long hours leave Makenna craving some fun in her life. Her best customer, Greek-god sexy surfer Tom may be just what she needs, but she suspects there’’s more to him than board shorts and a devastating smile.

Retired professional surfer and real-estate multi-millionaire Tom Bensford is there when she opens every morning, but he’’s not craving her magical Morning Glory muffins. Fascinated by the dark-haired, blue-eyed wahine with the creamy Celtic skin and devastating Scottish accent, he’’s never met a woman like her. Too bad he’’s about to destroy her dreams.

To him, it’’s just business. To her, it’’s the kind of betrayal she fled Scotland to escape. Can the island magic in Makenna’s heritage save her dream and their romance, or will his secret tear them apart?

Makenna loves her new bakery – Sweetie Pie. Having left Scotland – and her idea-stealing ex boyfriend – behind, Makenna was determined to make her gluten free bakery a success in Hawaii where her mother’s family lived. A few weeks in and Makenna is loving it, and thoroughly enjoying her first local repeat customer, Tom. Tom is deeply intrigued by Makenna, and loves that she has no clue about his past and zero knowledge – or interest – in his money. Wanting to get to know her better he offers to teach her to surf. It’s just the opening they both need to get to know each other far, far better.

I loved the pacing in this story, slow but not dragging, moving forward while still taking its time. Makenna and Tom both have their past issues, but together they blossom and finally can heal and learn to trust again. I loved the spicy sex scenes – descriptive and hot while still tender and loving. While explicit, I didn’t find anything in it to be envelope pushing or outrageous. I also found the placement of the scene – when Makenna and Tom truly began to trust each other and open themselves up – to be perfect. It helped the sex not just be for sex’s sake, but to acknowledge both the characters were truly becoming serious about each other.

I found myself having mixed feelings about the conflict in the plot. While I thoroughly enjoyed the slightly different twist – it didn’t feel too clichéd to me – I was disappointed that Makenna had such double standards. I thoroughly understood her upset and anger toward Tom, but felt the fact she’d kept him in the dark about her past made her anger somewhat unjustified. Tom didn’t know about her past, didn’t know about her hurt and pain, and so without that knowledge how could he know or understand how strongly her reaction to a similar “betrayal” could be? The fact the conflict made me really sit back and think about the situation, mull it over and tease it all out in my mind showed how excellently it was written – and how invested in the characters I had become. In that sense, the writing and story was fantastic. It didn’t quell the spurt of disappointment I had in Makenna as a character though, and while I happily moved on when she did, it did leave a slightly unhappy flavor in my mouth.

Overall though I really enjoyed the story. I loved seeing Makenna and Tom get together, I loved the fact the plot really made me think and got me so hooked and invested. I loved the writing style and will happily search out more of this authors work.

A fun short story that packed quite a punch. Recommended.

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