Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Review: "The Key to Love" by Betsy St. Amant

I'm always up for a good "hate to love" story. For one thing, there's usually good banter. And who doesn't love watching enemies fall in love? (OK, this doesn't exactly fit the trope, but close enough for me!)

The only thing Bri Duval loves more than baking petit fours is romance. So much so, she's created her own version of the famous Parisian lovelock wall at her bakery in Story, Kansas. She never expects it to go viral--or for Trek Magazine to send travel writer Gerard Fortier to feature the bakery. He's definitely handsome, but Bri has been holding out for a love story like the one her parents had, and that certainly will not include the love-scorned-and-therefore-love-scorning Gerard.

Just when it seems Bri's bakery is poised for unprecedented success, a series of events threaten not just her business but the pedestal she's kept her parents on all these years. Maybe Gerard is right about romance. Or maybe Bri's recipe just needs to be tweaked.

Novelist Betsy St. Amant invites you to experience this sweet story of how love doesn't always look the way we expect--and maybe that's a good thing.

The Key to Love is a fun small town romance! Sparks fly (and not exactly the good kind) when baker Bri and writer Gerard meet. He's in town to write about the Pastry Puff bakery's love-lock wall; she's desperate to save the bakery from being sold to her ex-boyfriend, who wants to turn the space into a chain coffee shop. Bri loves love (though she's never experienced it herself); Gerard has sworn off women. But as the two work together, they learn from each other's perspectives, and the good kind of sparks begin flying.

My favorite aspect of this book is the banter between Bri and Gerard. It's witty and funny and exactly what you would expect from two people trying to deny their attraction to one another. And once the romance heats up, it's pretty good, too.

I really enjoyed Bri's journey to learning more about her parents and their relationship (I thought it was fascinating), and the "love angels" (the matchmaking women who owned the bakery Bri worked at) were adorable.

One thing that irked me (and honestly, it's probably just me ...) is that Gerard is referred to as being from "up north." He lives in Chicago, and the novel is set in Kansas, so technically Chicago is north ... northeast. I'm originally from the Wichita, Kansas, area, I have spent considerable time in Kansas through the years, and I have never once heard someone say that Chicago is "up north." (Kansans, feel free to correct me if this really is how you talk about Chicago.)

That one (minor) quibble aside, I really enjoyed this novel, and it certainly made me want to find some macarons and petit fours! 4 stars.

Buy the book (#ad).

Read my reviews of St. Amant's A February Bride (4 stars), All's Fair in Love and Cupcakes (5 stars), Love Arrives in Pieces (4-1/2 stars), and Love Takes the Cake (4-1/2 stars).

Betsy St. Amant Haddox
is the author of more than fifteen romance novels and novellas. She resides in north Louisiana with her newly-wed-ish hubby, two total-opposite young daughters, an impressive stash of Pickle chips, and one furry Schnauzer-baby. Betsy has a B.A. in Communications and a deep-rooted passion for seeing women restored to truth. When she's not composing her next book or trying to prove unicorns are real, Betsy can be found somewhere in the vicinity of a white-chocolate mocha. She writes frequently for www.ibelieve.com, a devotional site for women. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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