Sweetest Thing by Natasha WestSweetest Thing by Natasha West is a contemporary romance that takes place in a competitive baking show. If you think you’re going to read this book without wanting to snack on some cake or cookies, I have some bad news for you.

Robyn Vincent is high strung, has a slacker girlfriend named Alex that she isn’t overly fond of, and has an okay-but-not-exciting career as an insurance agent. In her off time, she loves to unwind and get creative by baking. She’s so good at baking, in fact, that people wonder why she doesn’t do it for a job, but Robyn is always quick to answer that her passion wouldn’t be as fun if it were work.

When Robyn finds a box with an engagement ring in Alex’s pocket, she panics and says she’s going to apply to go on the show Bake It!. No one is more surprised than Robyn when she finds out that she’s going to be a contestant.

Jodie Jacobs is determined to get on Bake It! for one reason: to make it far enough in the show that she’ll be able to start a baking business and make enough money to buy out her dad’s old house. She doesn’t care about making friends or playing it up for the camera, nor does she care if she comes across as cold while delivering derisive looks or one-word answers.

Robyn and Jodie definitely don’t like each other, but (after Alex is out of the way because no, Robyn doesn’t cheat on her) things turn explosive one day, as they go from fighting to kissing, and more. Can they take the heat when real feelings start to grow?

The Characters

Tara: I’m a huge fan of these two. While I wouldn’t necessarily call them opposites, they’re not at all alike and it’s so much fun to watch them go from an antagonistic relationship to a romantic one. There’s one scene in particular when Jodie goes out of her way to help Robyn with a kitchen disaster that’s SO cute and made me laugh out loud.

Sheena: I loved that Robyn and Jodie each had such different reasons for entering the show and how that played off in the moments when the show was being shot.

I enjoyed their chemistry and I will confess that the tinge of Ice Queen that Jodie gave off made me excited to read about her. I do love a good character with growth.

The Writing Style

Tara: I’ll admit I wasn’t sure about this book at first because I didn’t love anything to do with Alex. Once she’s out of the way, though, I couldn’t put it down. It’s an adorable story that was a perfect antidote to a terrible week.

Sheena: I didn’t have the same problem as Tara. Yes, I hated Alex, but I trusted enough in West that I knew she wouldn’t be a problem forever. I guess it just comes down to the fact that I have read so many of her books and I trust her to take me on a fabulous journey each time.

The style of this book is fun, flirty and reality tv rom com. I adored every word.

The Pros

Tara: Watching Jodie warm up to Robyn. That’s my favourite thing by far because it’s clearly happening against her will and it’s fantastic.

Sheena: I agree with Tara – that was definitely a highlight to the story. I also loved the details about the show. I am a sucker for a story where something is going on in the background like this baking competition and reality show.

Through the show we also got to see how Jodie and Robyn reacted to being so exposed on camera and it gave layers to their characters.

The Cons

Tara: Like I said, I didn’t like the whole Alex thing. And while Robyn doesn’t cheat on her, there IS a cheating thing in relation to her, so be aware of that.

Also, the cover doesn’t really work for me because the story keeps telling us how talented Robyn and Jodie are at baking. If someone presented cupcakes that looked like that on a competitive baking show, they’d be sent home that week.

Sheena: I see Tara’s point but I am not bothered by the cover.

My biggest down side was that the cakes and breads all sounded so delicious that I took to the kitchen to bake. I am no baker, though. Make sure you have a snack while you read because it will make you hungry.

sheena's favouriteThe Conclusion

Tara: If you like fluffy, angst-free romances, this is the book for you! I had a lot of fun reading it and will be keeping an eye out for more books by this author.

Sheena: I loved it. This book is as sweet as the cakes and as tasty as the tarts in the story. It’s a light, fun read with a light ice queen, sweet girl next door and terrible (soon to be ex) girlfriend to muddy the waters.

I love how original the setting is and highly recommend this one. It has everything I would want from this kind of book with some icing on top too.

Excerpt from Sweetest Thing by Natasha West

‘Texting your boyfriend to tell him you’re through?’ Robyn asked, her eyes on her own phone.

‘Bold of you to assume I’ve got a boyfriend,’ Jodie said with a side-eye at Robyn.

Robyn looked at her. ‘Yeah, I suppose so.’ It was nearly an apology.

‘Is that what you’re doing? Texting your boyfriend?’

‘Girlfriend,’ Robyn said.

‘Jesus, I hate it when women refer to their friends as ‘girlfriends’,’ Jodie muttered to herself.

A cold laugh fell from Robyn’s lips like a pellet of ice. ‘I beg your pardon. My girlfriend is not a friend. She’s… I mean, we live together and share a bed. Who’s assuming now?’

Jodie looked at her freshly. ‘Oh,’ she exclaimed in mild surprise. For her joke about whether Darnell or Jen was more Robyn’s type, ultimately, she’d assumed that anyone as repressed as Robyn would most likely be Straighty McStraight of Straight Town. She was slightly embarrassed to be proven wrong. ‘Sorry.’

‘Why should it bother you that girls sometimes say girlfriend when they mean friend, anyway?’ Robyn asked.

‘Just does,’ Jodie said. She could have said more, mentioned that she too was into women. But she had no desire to bond with Robyn over any overlaps of sexuality. This cab was not about to turn into a queer bakers support group if she had anything to say about it.

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Bits and Bobs

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For the Love of Cake by Erin Dutton

Note: I received a free review copy of Sweetest Thing by Natasha West. No money was exchanged for this review. When you use our links to buy we get a small commission which supports the running of this site

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Reviewer at The Lesbian Review
Tara Scott lives in Calgary, Canada with her family. If you don't find her with her Kindle in her hand, she's probably busy talking about what she's currently reading.