Title: From Scratch
Author: C.E. Hilbert
Publication date: March 1st 2016
Publisher: Pelican Book Group
# of pages: 292
Synopsis: Maggie McKitrick loves everything about her new life in Gibson’s Run, Ohio—her charming bakery, her quirky customers, her distance from the past. Yes, she loves everything…except her new landlord. Police Chief Sean Taylor is like a piece of sand in an oyster—irritating, but with the promise of something beautiful. Despite Maggie’s self-imposed man-fast, she wonders what kind of treasure she and the lawman could create together. Sean Taylor likes to keep the peace, but his new tenant is making it nearly impossible to keep anything on an even keel—including his heart. Despite her sassy attitude, Sean is drawn to the beautiful pastry chef and has an overwhelming need to serve and protect her. As Maggie and Sean draw closer together, her long buried dreams about her life are reawakened into a hopeful prayer…until a threat from her past promises to destroy their future. Will Maggie be forced to run—again—starting fresh? Or will God answer her prayer and give her the happily-ever-after she’s started from scratch?
Disclaimer: I have received an arc on Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Keep reading for what I liked and didn’t like 🙂
A little bit about this book and I…
If I was going to be really honest, I would start off by telling you that I went on a requesting binge on Netgalley and was drawn to this book simply because of the cover. I thought it would be the typical hot cop and small town bakery girl type of romance but was quickly proven wrong when there was a stalker church group leader and of course, the subject of religion. Personally, I don’t dive straight to Christian romances. I don’t really know what they are and why they’re really different from romances except maybe that the characters mention their faith to God or their love for him. This is completely fine by the way if you do like Christian romances or you like mentions of Christianity but for me, I prefer to have texts not dedicated to heavy subjects like religion.
With that being said, I didn’t know this was a Christian romance. Will it affect my rating for the book? Absolutely not.
My personal rating: 3.5 / 5
What I liked…
From Scratch by C.E. Hilbert was a fun read. I fell in love with the witty banter Maggie and Sean had between each other. Maggie thought Sean was a jerk for not being a proper landlord in terms of fixing the leaking toilet and the bad ventilation. Sean thought it was Maggie’s fault because she never asked the century old repairman that he sent over to fix the things to actually fix it because she was too nice and kept deterring the repairman from doing his work. Maggie complained that Sean only hired the repairman because he was old and therefore, cheap. But in reality, Sean hired him because he needed the money and was too proud to receive a handout.
And that was exactly when I fell in love with Sean. He was sweet, protective, and fierce. I imagined him to be a very powerful cop. For Maggie, I liked how much spunk she carried. She could bake a delicious cake for you and put you in your place at the same time.
I enjoyed the plot. The element of danger was a surprise since I didn’t read the synopsis. The danger felt real because readers were able to catch glimpses of the thoughts of the stalker. It had quick action scenes and bits where I was scared as to what would happen.
What I didn’t like…
Maggie’s whole story about why she blamed herself for things seemed very blown up. I lacked sympathy for her because it was clearly not her fault but she kept going at it, driving herself insane with guilt. I felt that a reasonable person would have never blamed themselves but she did anyways.
I’m not a regular reader of Christian Romances but it felt like C.E. Hilbert snuck in bits to me towards the end. I thought she would have done a better job if it was more spread out, mentioned more towards the beginning than towards the end.
Earlier, I talked about how the action and danger were pushing factors that kept me reading. However, I didn’t like how there was no really danger for maybe 70% of the book. The stalker was merely stalking and not acting on his vicious thoughts until the last three chapters. To me, that’s potential wasted. C.E. Hilbert should have pushed the limits with this one.
That’s it for now! I hope you enjoyed my review and if you’re interested, support the author by purchasing the book on March 1st 2016 🙂