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November 7, 2021

Half-baked Holidays by Kat Bastion ~ a Review

by MK French

Half-baked Holidays is a collection of five romantic comedies all with a holiday theme. 

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

Half-baked Holidays
November 2021; Indie; 978-1957025018
ebook, print (300 pages); romance

We open with "So NOT A Silent Night," with former high school crushes causing family chaos. Amanda was hesitant to visit her hometown after years of estrangement, and in this novella, she visits two: a friend's home with four young kids where Trey is the fun uncle of the household, and then her mother's chaotic household with multiple younger siblings from subsequent marriages and a menagerie of pets. She had run, thinking there was no place for her in town, and that Trey had his own future without her in it. Surprise! Both have a need for and joy in a hectic and full household, and a continued attraction with each other.

"Enticing Wrapper Number 9" follows Hope, looking to romance a firefighter working as a volunteer holiday wrapper. Miguel is grumpy due to breaking his arm and putting further training on hold, so he's trying to avoid her as much as she's trying to catch his attention. Of course, we want them to get together, and there's nothing but his own bad mood preventing the hookup and potential for a relationship.

In "Give Me A Break," a businesswoman ditches her stressful family while they're all at a Hawaii resort for a yoga instructor. Brooke is tense and uptight at the start, while Koa has her pegged from the start as Little Miss Attitude. As he puts it, "Can't escape what you bring with you." He's the calm to her frustration and emotional turmoil; he knows what he wants out of life, but she had suppressed her dreams to make her family happy, and now is cracking. It's a whirlwind fast relationship, with Brooke taking a leap of faith she was more than ready to make.

The title story includes a duo creating a baking contest; anyone loving baking shows will love this one. It's easily my favorite of the bunch, with Anna sneaking into a Queen Anne home intending on using the massive kitchen to bake cookies and treats to bring to a care home. Jonathan happened to see her and snuck in to see what she was up to and helped her with her task. Both had their own plans and hopes for the future, and wind up working together and learning about each other as they did so. It's a connection that is a great foundation, and the promise for a future together feels the most realistic to me.

"Billionaire Bash New Year’s Crash" stars a law student crashing a party. She's understandably worried about her future in law if the "borrowed" dress and party-crashing are taken as theft and trespassing; Dali's hard-won grades would be worthless if she's barred from practicing law. Logan is grieving and only threw the party as a way to appease friends, so he doesn't care about Dali's transgressions and is drawn to her quiet dignity.

These are quick and fun reads, a dash of fluffy cheer that are as light as a sugar cookie. Structurally, they seem like fleshed-out outlines, so we're not really seeing deep motivations or strong attachments other than initial attraction in most of these stories. Also, they're interracial romances, and race really doesn't come up as a potential barrier. If you're looking for deep, introspective kind of romances, this isn't the book for you. This is meant to be fluffy and a diversion on a chilly fall day as you prepare for holidays, and it hits that mark beautifully.

Buy Half-baked Holidays at Amazon

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and a golden retriever.

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  1. sometimes a light easy read is the way to go and these sound like they fit the bill. great review
    sherry @ fundinmental