Kelly and Elana’s relationship is a recipe for disaster. First, they meet at a wedding, and that never works. Second, Kelly’s older brother is marrying Elana’s ex-lover. And third, Elana is still painfully, undeniably in love with said ex.
When it comes to other people’s lives, Elana Verdad is an expert. As a licensed psychologist and life coach, she helps people overcome obstacles. Her own life, on the other hand, is a disaster. Her lover left her for a man, so she drove over his mailbox accidentally on purpose. Now, not only did the judge take away her driver’s license, he also assigned her to community service at the local women’s prison. In what may be her worst idea ever, Elana decides to crash their wedding.
Kelly Miller may not understand her brother’s rush to marry his girlfriend, but when he asks her to bake his wedding cake, it’s not as if she can refuse. She’s in the catering business after all. At the wedding, she meets a beautiful, complicated, and seriously damaged woman. Although Kelly knows it’s crazy, she’s drawn to her nonetheless.
In an effort to expand my reading horizons, I’ve been trying to read more of the F/F romances the blog receives review invites for. I am not ashamed to admit that girl-on-girl action can be quite uncomfortable for me to read at times, making me a bit squeamish. But when done right, when there’s a connection between the women, I find it uncomfortable for an entirely different reason because it can quite squirm inducing. It’s because of this that I’ve been very selective about the books I’ve signed up for – I didn’t want an erotic novel with no story. I’m not sure if it was the length of the novella, Elana’s profession, the fact that Elana was attending her way-too-recent ex’s wedding, or some combination of the three that appealed to me, but I’m very happy that I took a chance on Cake – oh wait, it could have been the title!
The book’s blurb does a good job of setting the stage and expectations for the story. But the meat of the story – or should I say, the filling, because we are talking about cake after all – is where it’s all at. Belle does a good job of introducing the major players in the beginning – Kelly, her brother, David, and Elana. I’m going to say straight out, I did not care for David, and my feelings regarding him did not improve as the story unfolded. But my dislike of David was nothing compared to my ultimate feelings about his fiancée, Bree; while I don’t believe Bree was purposefully malicious in her actions, she was extremely inconsiderate of the feelings of the people she claimed to love. While Cake is actually Elana and Kelly’s story, it is Bree and David’s relationship that impacts it from the very beginning, so even though they are secondary characters, they play a big role in what occurs between Elana and Kelly.
As for Elana and Kelly, there is an instant attraction between the two. When Kelly learns who Elana is and sees just how hard it is for Elana to watch Bree get married, Kelly realizes that she feels an urge to protect Elana – at least emotionally. Unfortunately, she finds herself in a position to do that during the reception, and when she spirits Elana away from the situation, the high emotions combined with their attraction leads to one hella hot encounter in a storage room. Because the author had taken a bit of time to introduce me to Elana and Kelly, and I shared in Elana’s emotional distress, I had connected to the characters, just as they had connected to one another. So even though their “first contact” occurred within hours of their meeting, it worked for me – I mean, it was a wedding after all. But it was the author’s decision to treat Cake as the beginning of a potential relationship, rather than going for the gusto of a happily ever after story that made it enjoyable. There was no rush to Elana and Kelly becoming girlfriends, merging their lives, moving in together, and finding marital bliss. Rather, Cake was their meet cute, the forming of a connection (not love, though), the slaking of a bit of lust, facing the obstacles they’ll have to deal with should they decide to pursue a relationship, and making the decision of whether or not to pursue more. In short, it’s a great beginning to what I hope is a series about Elana and Kelly – or will at least let us provide updates on them as other characters’ stories are featured. Either way, I’m looking forward to the next book in the series and more of Belle’s writing.