After his sister's death, businessman Marshall Hunter gains custody of his niece. Unused to children, Marshall struggles to connect with her. In an effort to make her more comfortable in her new home, he hires professional muralist Pace Barlow to personalize her room.
Pace is intrigued by his tiny client, and even more interested in her handsome uncle, but Pace isn't certain he's ready for the commitment of an instant family.
When Marshall decides to move for the sake of his niece, will he be able to keep his relationship with his young artist, or will he have to give up love to become a good father for a lonely little girl?
The love baked into an old-fashioned recipe might bring the two men together, but some things take more than magical cookies to fix.
©2015 Amber Kell (P)2015 Dreamspinner Press
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"Russian Mob Boss With a Soft Heart?"
Tails of the Curious Cookbook is the series name for an anthology of five short stories by five great writers. The writers, R.J. Scott, Amy Lane, Marie Sexton, Amber Kell, and Mary Calmes have written vastly different M/M romance stories with the unifying theme of a curious cookbook entitled Recipes for the Heart subtitled Mystical Meals and Dangerous Desserts hand written by the anonymous Granny B. The stories come in either a Kindle e-book or audible format. The cookbook is depicted as very old, tattered, faded, leather bound, and rich with notations from its users adding clarifying notations and reactions to the varies magical recipes. The recipes when prepared and served is intended to aid in sorting out some confusing romance aspect of the stories or make one feel better after a broken heart. These books will appeal to those with a romantic soul and believe in the magic of comfort food served with a side of the power of suggestion of magic.
I have written five separate reviews for each of the five stories. Please refer to the list below when looking up the appropriate review:
1. For a Rainy Afternoon by R.J. Scott
2. Food for Thought by Amy Lane
3. Lost Along the Way by Marie Sexton
4. Cookies for Courting by Amber Kell
5. Just Desserts by Mary Calmes
Cookies for Courting: Tails of the Curious Cookbook by Amber Kell narrated by Michael Stellman. Cold calculating no strings attached businessman Marshall Hunter has the responsibility of a young niece, Alice, thrust upon him following his sister’s death. Artist muralist Pace Barlow is retained turn her impersonal penthouse bedroom into a fantasy kingdom fit for 8 year old princess Alice. There is a subplot of greedy grandparents arranging a kidnapping in order to gain control of Alice’s sizeable trust fund inheritance to bolster their sagging fortune. However, Pace comes to the rescue through a Russian mob acquaintance to regain the child for Marshall. The romance between the two main characters is organized by Marshall’s housekeeper, Ilona, and of course Granny B’s recipe for cookies for courting.
This story revolves around the world view of rich folks. The outlier of unselfish true love and creativity is Pace. The subplot of grandparent kidnapping for gain of Alice fits in with the rapacious moneyed class. However, the Russian mobster willing to help Pace recover the child out of “friendship, perhaps a small crush” for Pace and or the “goodness of his heart to impress Pace” is a bit farfetched.
In my opinion, the real unsung hero of the story is the faithful family retainer and housekeeper is the character Ilona. She is the key linchpin that holds the Hunter household together through the gold-digger baby sitter crisis and the source of Granny B’s cookbook containing the magical cookies for courting recipe that serves as a catalyst between Marshall and Pace.
"great book read smoothly"
The book and narrator's performance in this book are mostly unrememberable for me in the best way. The narrator's voice is sexy and youthful. I would listen to him again. I listened to it twice and the story was sweet the reading was well. The charactors were fleshed out just enough to like, but not get horribly attached to. I am a fan of Amber Kell, a wonderful and daydreamy pleasure.
The best was the character of pace he was very interesting, what I liked least was throwing in the kidnapping at the end that felt forced
The last book I listed two the Matting of michael was better
no there does not seem anywhere to go with the story
"Fun short story good narration"
Marshall is a rich businessman who finds himself suddenly a single father. In a bid to help her with the grief of losing her mother, he commissions Pace to paint a mural for her room.
Pace and Marshall immediately succumb to an intense physical attraction. What remains is to sort through Marshall’s commitment issues and his new fatherhood status and Pace’s artistic nature.
If you let the “magic” of the cookies sweep you away it’s easy to “swallow” the insta-love and HEA.
I enjoyed this for what it was – a fanciful, sweet, light-hearted romance.
Michael Stellman does a really nice job with the narration. He subtly changes the voices and does a great job “acting” the emotions (including the sad little girl parts!).
All in all I give it 4.5 of 5 stars for the audiobook.
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