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Monday, May 24, 2021

Cakewalk (Busy Bean #3) by Claire Hastings

A Review by Wendy
 4.5 Finding A New Approach Stars
* * * * 1/2  

Spoiler Free

So far, the Busy Bean Series has been a winner on many levels. The use of our favorite coffee shop has worked extremely well. It is inviting, has characters that highlight every story, and feels like a place you would call home too.

Gigi Hawthorne lived a life that she never felt part of...her family expected her to toe the line and present the perfect picture of their place in society and wealth dictated. She married "like should have" and it turned out he was abusive. She found the strength to leave, had a plan to go to Canada but her new used car broke down in Vermont.

As she sits in the Busy Bean, pondering how to figure out what her next move is, Gigi hears that the local bakery is no more and the Bean needs pastries.
The ladies are talking about decorating and Gigi mentions a trick she learned in the cake decorating class she took. The ladies turn to her and ask if she knows how to do cake decorating, for real. Gigi says yes and the next thing she knows she has a part-time gig.

She knows she may be over her head because of that class she took...well, the cakes were already baked and the students just did the icing and stuff. Gigi figures she will fake it while she learns to make it. Her luck also increases because the fella who is working the coffee bar tells her of a garage apartment he had just moved out of and would be perfect for her. The only hiccup will be the owner.

Holden St. James had settled into a life, it wasn't the one he wanted, it was just the one he inhabited. He had had the life he wanted, with a successful career in rugby, a beautiful loving wife, and a baby on the way. But sometimes, the perfect life you have can be taken away in an instant, and that is what happened to Holden. He was away with the team, coming back, and a home invasion robbery turned murder.

Holden never really recover. He came to Vermont to be with his uncle and stayed long after his uncle returned to the warmer weather in the south. His uncle understood the pain of loss, he lost his beloved wife after many decades of marriage. Holden's family was understanding but felt it was time for him to start living not just existing.

When Holden meets Gigi parts of his mind reawaken. Shocked and confused, he is talked into having Gigi renting his garage apartment. When everyone asks the usual questions to Gigi about who she is, her background, and her status, she repeats the story she has concocted because she does not want her ex-husband to find her.

This tale takes us on a fun path with many hiccups along the way. Gigi is all sunshine and light, the opposite of Holden at first. Events happen that cause them to become more friendly than just landlord and tenant. This opens the story to all sorts of fun. There is real heart mixed in as well.

I happened to enjoy the journey, even when I wanted to shake some sense into Holden a few times.
This series is a winner and I look forward to the next entry.

 A gifted copy was provided by author/publisher for an honest review.


Claire Hastings is a walking, talking awkward moment. She loves Diet Coke, gummi bears, the beach, and books (obvs). When not reading she can usually be found hanging with friends at a soccer match or grabbing food (although she probably still has a book in her purse). She and her husband Drew live in Atlanta with their fur-child Denali.




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