Review: A Teaspoon of Trouble by Shirley Jump

A Teaspoon of Trouble by Shirley Jump
Series: Bachelor Bake-Off (# 1)
Release Date: February 7, 2017
Publisher: Tule Publishing
Pages: 198
Source: book purchased by reviewer

 

 

Type-A chef Carolyn Hanson has walked away from her job at a trendy NYC restaurant after an abrupt family tragedy. Now, as a guardian to her four-year-old niece, Emma, and a very disobedient mutt – kids and dogs are so not her skill set – moving back to Marietta, Montana seems the best temporary option. But when confronted by her parents’ declining health, Carolyn has to face reality. And she’s going to need some serious help. So who better to ask than Matthew West, a blast from her high school past… and as hunky and helpful as ever.

Vet – and very eligible, if reluctant, Bachelor – Matthew West can’t believe his luck when his high school crush stumbles through his door. Dogs, kids, and gorgeous damsels in distress. Carolyn needs help with the pup, and he needs help whipping up delicious concoctions for the Bachelor Bake-Off. So she wants to make a deal: dog obedience lessons for cooking tips… but Matthew wants to broker quite a bit more…

 

Review:  I believe this was my first book read that was produced by Tule Publishing and it was my first visit to the small town of Marietta.  I’m happy to say that I was impressed by the quality of work put out by Tule and A Teaspoon of Trouble was a great start to what looks to be a promising series.

A Teaspoon of Trouble, the first in the Bachelor Bake-Off series, revolves around Carolyn and Matthew.    Carolyn left town to become a chef, but is back in town when she’s gotten custody of her young niece and dog.  Matthew is a local vet and is a contestant in the Bachelor Bake-Off.  The competition is a fund raiser for a local charity and features bachelors is a series of baking challenges.  Matthew doesn’t have much confidence in his baking skills and Carolyn doesn’t know what to do with a pet.  These old friends decide to trade services, cooking lessons for dog training.

This is really a second chance story.  Carolyn and Matthew were high school sweethearts and he pretty much didn’t ask her to stay when she made it clear she wanted to leave Marietta after high school graduation.  Now she’s back in town, temporarily, and Matthew’s decided he’s not quite over her.  He’s willing to help her out in the hopes that maybe, just maybe he can get her to stay this time.

This is also a tear-jerker of a story.  The whole story line of Carolyn dealing with a young niece after her sister passes away, just tugged at my heartstrings.  Carolyn was also having to come to grips with her aging parents and really not being able to “pass off” Emma as she’d originally planned because being a single mother does not jive with the life of a New York City chef.  I found myself grabbing for the tissue box quite often during the scenes with Emma and Carolyn.

All-in-all, I found this to be an enjoyable read and I can’t wait to return to this small town and the bake-off competition.  Ms Jump created endearing characters that have kept with me months after having read this story.  I highly recommend trying out this series.