A Taste of Honey by Rose Lerner (Lively St. Lemeston #4)
Released: September 12, 2017
Reviewed by Mandi
I absolutely adore Rose Lerner’s, Lively St. Lemeston series. Fans of this series will be excited that Mr. Moon, baker extraordinaire, (a minor character from Sweet Disorder) is the hero. If you have not read this series, each one works very well as a stand alone. Besides this book, the others are full length.
The blurb of this one drew me in right away:
Robert Moon risked everything, including his father’s hardwon legacy, to open his beloved Honey Moon Confectionery on the busiest street in Lively St. Lemeston. Now he’s facing bankruptcy and debtor’s prison.
When a huge catering order comes in, he agrees to close the sweet-shop for a week to fill it. There’s only one problem: his apprentice is out of town, so his beautiful shop-girl Betsy Piper must help Robert in the kitchen.
Betsy’s spent the last year trying to make her single-minded boss look up from his pastries and notice that she would be the perfect wife. Now the two of them are alone in a kitchen full of sweet things. With just one week to get him to fall in love with her, she’d better get this seduction started…
She soon discovers that Robert brings the same meticulous, eager-to-please attitude to lovemaking that he does to baking, but can kisses—no matter how sweet—compete with the Honey Moon in his heart?
A baker and his shop girl? How cute is this?? And it is adorable. Coming in at about 140 pages, it’s a quick romance but it felt realistic and believable. After Mr. Moon’s apprentice had to leave for personal reasons, Betty steps up to help him when he gets a very big order in. She has been lusting after Robert for a long time, and decides it’s time, now that it’s just the two of them in the shop, to step up her flirtation and go for a kiss.
It was strange as well, knowing she planned on seducing Mr. Moon. Strange to look at his familiar face and think, I’m going to kiss him, and not how lovely it would be if he asked her to go walking with him. It made her feel powerful, humming with could-bes and just-maybes. It also made the pit of her stomach wobble like jelly with nerves.
Robert feels affection for Betsy as well, but because his finances are crumbling and he is close to bankruptcy, he feels like he can’t offer Betsy anything, so he might as well not even try. When a large catering order comes in, it gives him hope that maybe he can pay off some debts and put a little in savings. But first, he has to prepare all the food, and the more inexperienced Betsy needs to help.
When Betsy decides to ramp up the flirtation, she of course turns to baking for her cues, which I loved:
Betsy had often thought there was something immodest in the motion of driving the pestle into the mortar—more so when she watched Mr. Moon’s expert, forceful strokes, and his shoulder moving beneath his shirt. Even with most of the ovens banked, the linen clung damply to him.
Always before, she’d tried to put it from her mind. But Jemima had said, Make a few dirty jokes, so he knows you know what’s what.
“This poor mortar,” she said, glancing at him. “She’ll be that sore in the morning.”
Mr. Moon dropped his pestle with a clang. It rolled across the kitchen and under a table on the far side of the room.
I adored Betsy – she knows she wants Robert and she goes all in for it. She doesn’t care that he isn’t rich. The thought of working in the shop, a shop that would also belong to her, excites her. She wants to support him, and help him – and help him get naked. It’s all very cute.
And can I mention that our hero, Robert, is a virgin? He has been too busy in life to have sex! And Betsy is not a virgin, and all about teaching him pleasure. Robert thinks it can’t be too hard:
“But I learn quick,” he added hastily. “It can’t be much trickier that a good pie crust.”
Let’s hope not, Robert!
After all this cuteness, I do have one complaint. And it may sound weird – but there was too much sex in this novella. I wanted more cute – pie crust and mortar pestle flirting!! I felt like every chapter was overrun with a sex scene. I didn’t need all of that – but that’s just my opinion.
Otherwise, very cute and adorable. If you have not read Rose Lerner, I highly recommend her books. They are smart, and sexy, and her characters absolutely shine.