Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Review of BATTER UP by Robyn Neeley

"Emma, you've got this entire town under your spell." - Jason Levine

Batter Up
Author: Robyn Neeley
Publisher: Escape Publishing
Release Date: August 1, 2014
Source: Publisher for Review

Purchase Links: Amazon - B&N - Kobo
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She mixes more than flour and sugar into her cake batter, and he’s about to find out if a little bit of magic is to his taste…

Bakeshop owner Emma Stevens has a secret, a delicious, slightly unorthodox secret. Each Monday, she mixes up a premonition to share with the bachelors of Buttermilk Falls, and sets one lucky man on the path to true love.

When reporter Jason Levine finds himself mixed up in a Las Vegas bachelorette party, he hears the strangest rumor: the marriage is happening thanks to magical cake batter. Seriously skeptical and sick of frauds, Jason journeys to the backwater town of Buttermilk Falls to expose the baker and release the townspeople from her evil clutches.

But when Jason meets Emma, tempers flare and sparks fly. Will Jason cling to his logic, at the expense of a future or will he let himself fall under Emma’s spell?

Emma Stevens has a secret, one she doesn't want reporter Jason Levine to find out. So when he shows up at her counter wanting to know everything about her bakery, Emma will do just about anything to keep him away. Unfortunately for her, Emma is just as drawn to Jason as much as she wants to push him away. Lucky for him, that means he won't be tasting her "new" cupcake flavor anytime soon. After a small town carnival and bachelor auction, word gets around that there might be something other than flour in the air between Emma and Jason. Will Emma's secret batter predict happiness for these two? 

Oh, my gosh! This book was absolutely adorable. Batter Up is a sweet romance with a set of crazy adorable characters. Emma doesn't quite know what to think of Jason. She's immediately drawn to him, but the moment she finds out that he's a reporter, she's determined to make him stay away. She helps all the bachelors in her small town to find their soul mate and she's thrown for a loop when her potential match steps into her life. Emma cracked me up. I adore her. She's sweet and caring to those she loves, but she'll turn on you in an instant the moment you cross her. I loved Jason and felt he was a perfect match for Emma. He started as a skeptic, but it didn't take long for Emma and the town of Buttermilk Falls to win him over. As a couple, I loved Emma and Jason together. I smiled during Emma's bidding war. I cringed during the kissing booth (poor Jason!). I just thought they were so cute together. The secondary and background characters were a lovely supporting cast for Jason and Emma. I loved their friends. They were both supportive and willing to kick some butt if it was needed. Buttermilk Falls is definitely a small town I would love to visit. It is filled to the brim with crazy lovable citizens, each with their own matchmaking story to tell.

Everything about Batter Up was adorable. From the cover to the characters to the small town setting, everything felt as if I stepped into a Hallmark movie. And since I have a deep love of Hallmark movies, Batter Up was right up my alley. I would love to read more about the citizens of Buttermilk Falls, especially a pair of friends whose budding romance appeared towards the end of Batter Up. 

Batter Up
© 2014 Robyn Neeley

Emma spooned up a huge dollop of batter. “So, Jason, are you ready?” she asked in a suggestive voice.

“Sure.” He closed his laptop. His eyes danced with amusement.

“Here’s what I need you to do. Close your eyes.” 

He obediently shut them. Emma couldn’t help but take this opportunity to stare at his handsome face. Her eyes lingered on his full lips. Stop it, Emma. He’s the enemy.

“Everything okay?” Jason opened one eye.

“Shut them.” She reached for his hand and inserted the spoon. “Repeat after me. Batter I’m about to taste. Show me my true love, and make haste.”

Abby giggled. Emma put her finger to her lips, motioning her cousin to be quiet.

Jason repeated the chant, eyes still closed. “Now what?”

“You eat the spoonful. You have to do it in one large swallow, got it?”

“Okay, easy enough.” He shoved the spoon into his mouth. Within seconds his eyes flew open and he reached for his throat, gasping for air. “Water,” he choked out. 

Abby rushed over with a water pitcher and glass. He drank the full glass and demanded another. His eyes were red and watery. Little droplets of sweat began to form on his forehead.

Emma smiled and picked up the mixing bowl, hugging it tight to her chest. “I think you should leave now.This stool is no longer available.”

Jason stood and shook his head. “You got me good, Ms. Stevens.” He grabbed his laptop and started for the door, still coughing. 

Abby rushed over and handed him a bottle of water. “For the road.”


Turning back to Emma, she grinned. Something was forming in her cousin’s pretty little head. “So, Jason, does anyone call you J?” 

“What?” Jason turned around. He twisted the bottle cap and took a large swallow.

“You know. Just by your initial?” She handed him a napkin.

“My mom did.” He took another drink and wiped the sweat from his forehead.

“I see.” Abby shot Emma a smug expression. 

Emma walked over and crossed her arms, her voice firm and in control. “Get out of my bakery, Mr. Levine. There’s no story here.”

Robyn Neeley is an East Coaster who loves to explore new places, watches way more reality TV than she cares to admit, can’t live without Dunkin Donuts iced coffee, and has truly never met a cookie she didn’t like. If you have a must-read romance suggestion or a fabulous cookie recipe, she wants to know.
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