The Bad Luck Wedding Cake
With a title like The Bad Luck Wedding Cake, I was expecting a fun book, and I wasn’t disappointed. This book is brimming with laughs and charming, likeable characters. The Bad Luck Wedding Cake is a sequel to the also enjoyable Bad Luck Wedding Dress, which came out a couple of years ago. Although it helps to have read that one first, it is not necessary as any important information is repeated.
The plot centers around Claire Donovan, who has just deserted her family and left her fiance standing at the alter. She comes from a family of expert bakers who own three successful bakeries in Texas. Their success is largely due to an extract called “magic,” a secret family recipe which makes baked goods taste delicious. Claire’s family is loving, but overbearing, and unwilling to listen to her concerns or opinions. She takes her dowry and opens a bakery in Ft. Worth. Immediately, she crosses paths with Tye McBride, who is the twin brother of her landlord. Tye is caring for his three nieces, known to the town as the McBride Menaces, while his brother is on his honeymoon.
Tye and Claire quickly befriend each other. They each have problems – Tye has trouble disciplining his mischievous nieces, and Claire has trouble standing up to her intrusive family. Throughout the book, Tye and Claire work together and help each other through all the difficulties. Their personalities compliment each other. Claire lends a hand and makes sure Tye follows through on discipline, and Tye helps Claire stand up to her bossy family who show up in Ft. Worth and try to take over her bakery. The romantic side of their relationship is slower to develop. Although their attraction is immediate, they both fear commitment. Tye steadfastly believes himself incapable of love and unworthy to be Claire’s husband.
The book’s main flaw is Tye’s treatment of Claire. He can’t forgive himself for past sins, so he snaps at her and pushes her away repeatedly. He says some cruel, nasty things to Claire, and his behavior after they marry borders on the unforgivable. Claire does forgive him, and so did I, grudgingly. But there were times when I really wanted to scream, “Get over yourself!”
What redeems the book are the strong secondary characters and the refreshing friendship between Tye and Claire. Tye’s love for the McBride Menaces, whom he calls the McBride Blessings, softens him and makes him more likeable even when he treats Claire poorly. The girls add interest without overshadowing the love story. Claire’s family is maddening at first, but their foibles make them seem more real. They love her, but they completely ignore her feelings. With Tye’s help, Claire stands up to them, and they begin to respect her. Watching Tye and Claire support each other and bring out the best in each other is the best part of the book.
One additional caveat: this is a book about a bakery, and there is a lot of delicious food consumed. Claire is always baking something scrumptious. So if you are on a diet and easily tempted, you may want to pass this one up. After it was over, I really wanted some (what else?) wedding cake.