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Cookies for Courting

(Tales of the Curious Cookbook #4)

3.35  ·  Rating details ·  411 ratings  ·  87 reviews
After his sister’s death, businessman Marshall Hunter gains custody of his niece. Unused to children, Marshall struggles to connect with her. In an effort to make her more comfortable in her new home, he hires professional muralist Pace Barlow to personalize her room.

Pace is intrigued by his tiny client, and even more interested in her handsome uncle, but Pace isn’t
ebook, 68 pages
Published April 22nd 2015 by Dreamspinner Press LLC
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Average rating 3.35  · 
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 ·  411 ratings  ·  87 reviews

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~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~

Take a seat.

Where do I start?

I've never read anything by this author, so perhaps shifters and BDSM are more her speed, but this novella took a muddy nosedive down the rating hill.

It began as 3-star book. Pace is an artist who'd rather scrape out a living than live off his trust fund.

He does murals at restaurants in exchange for unlimited meals, which seems like a total deal.

I mean, FREE Thai food for a lifetime! Can I offer my editing services?

Enter Marshall, who wants a mural for his
What the hell were you thinking, Dreamspinner Press?!


I've been really impressed with the rest of this series, but Cookies for Courting was so ridiculous and cheesy that I just can't - I just can't even.

I was going to give you a blow-by-blow recap of all the schmaltzy lines that caused me to roll my eyes so hard I nearly sprained them (so that you could all groan along with me), but then I realized we'd be here all day.

However, in spite of the cornball lines and borderline boring
Uhm, can I just say that this one is a mess and leave it at that?

I mean, seriously, this story had 'sitting-on-the-possibble-boss's-lap' in the beginning (how could I take you seriously, Pace? HOW?!), lack of chemistry between the characters (how they could end up saying that they fell in love with one another, was just beyond me), then ended up with a kidnapping/extortion, with a dash of a Russian mob friend in between?? WTF was that?!? Oh, and that epilogue *slaps head*. Sorry, this one was a
2.5 stars I loved the first half of this book, and really thought it would be a 4 star read. Pace and Marshall were both likable characters, in particular I loved Pace's attitude towards life. And the introduction of Alice was sweet, I enjoyed seeing Pace interact with her.

My problems were:

1) the cookbook didn't play much of a role. At first I thought it would just be the housekeeper cooking for them from it. But even once Pace used it, he never cooked with Marshall, and the cookies didn't do
Apr 27, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m
This made me giggle. If only.

Not the best addition to this series but a short little shot of insta-love and forever all because of some cookies.
May 12, 2015 rated it it was ok
I liked this story least of the 5 shorts in this series. Too simple, too short (for a short), and too unbelievable. Meh.
Jul 24, 2018 rated it liked it
rating: 3 stars

I found the plot too unbelievable and too much insta-love for my taste. I am usually one to be able to suspend my disbelief, but this was just too out there for me. The whole business with Alice at the end of the book was when the author really lost me. It wasn't the worst book that I have ever read and up until the end it was a bit entertaining.

Serena Yates
Apr 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2015, gay
‘Cookies for Courting’ is a fun and very sweet variation on the theme of “magical recipes” handed down by the mysterious Granny B. Businessman Marshall is adorably helpless when facing the task of raising his niece after her mother dies in an accident. He definitely needs all the help he can get! And Pace, an artist with a drive to create so he doesn’t have to live off his trust fund, is equally adorable—yet totally mistaken—in his certainty that he is no good with children. Both men have a ...more
Love Bytes Reviews
Apr 26, 2015 rated it it was ok
2 heart review by Amber

Yikes! This was a rough read for me. I don’t really know where this story veered off course but when it did, it really did! I honestly felt no real connection between these characters aside from lust and that really only seemed one sided. Pace was a complete mystery character, in my opinion. I’m not against instalove stories, not at all. But there has to be some semblance of a foundation for the love. I don’t understand how these two could have fallen in love so quickly.
Lisa The Novel Approach
Review: I am a big fan of Amber Kell’s paranormal stories, and decided to take a chance on this short. Well, I think as many who have read my reviews know, I am not a fan of insta-love. There are some situations in which this works, but mostly if falls flat. I like seeing a couple’s friendship develop and the characters fall in love. Cookies for Courting is a contemporary love story—without the love.

Pace is a trust fund baby who doesn’t like to use his trust money on principle. He is an artist.
Sep 12, 2016 rated it it was ok
1.5 really because it's so short and the magic element of the cookbook is more of an afterthought rather than the hook on which the story falls.

There were some promising movements and I did smile a few times but overall it just didn't seem like it really was part of the cookbook series.

Marshall and Pace were fairly one dimensional, I loved Joyce and Ilona though and Russian mobster kid Sandy was probably more interesting than the two MCs - I wanted to know what favour Pace had done for him more
♥️Victoria ♥️ ♥️love books♥️
Overall book rating 3 stars
Audio book: Narrator - Michael Stelman 4 stars
Book cover 2 Stars

If this book was longer it would have rocked I loved the plot it just ended to fast and lack a lot of detail. Like I said if it was longer it had the potential to rock!!

Maybe not the greatest start...

I have to admit the saving grace on this one was Michael Stellman's narration I definitely enjoyed listening to this narrator. Unfortunately the story while it sounded good in concept for me feel short in the execution and that's the end of that.

It's only about 2 hours and 14 minutes listening time on this one so I'm not going to spend a lot of time examining the whys and why nots of this one because the next book is waiting for me.
Jenn (not Lily)
The least satisfying of the Curious Cookbook stories so far. Not a lot to it, and it seems to skip from one emotional peak to another. I'm generally all about paring down a story to what really matters, but I think this would have benefitted from a few more pages, like fleshing out the relationships of all the characters.
Barb ~rede-2-read~
ARC provided by the publisher through Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words in exchange for an impartial review.

Another installment in the Tales of the Curious Cookbook series, each is by a different author, and each features a different recipe which is guaranteed to be a catalyst for an emotional response. The cookies featured in this story will bring about true love, in other words they facilitate good old-fashioned courting.

Marshall Hunter gained custody of his niece, Alice, when her mother, a
Morgan  Skye
May 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is another installment from the magical cook book that helps people in need. In this case Marshall is a lonely, suddenly single father who needs someone in his life and help with his niece whom he is now guardian to.

Pace is the carefree artist he meets to help paint her room but finds he’s ridiculously attracted to.

Together they rapidly move through “getting to know you” to hitting the sheets to moving in together. It’s a short story and we have to just accept that between the magic in the
Nov 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I really loved this book. I wish it would have been longer. I loved everything about it: the plot, the characters, the story, the little girl. Everything.

The main characters, Pace and Marshall, were perfectly made for each other. Pace is sweet, kind, giving, a creative artist. Marshall is the strong, assertive, wealthy, independent man who has had this 8 year old girl thrust upon him. He takes to being a father pretty quickly and adjusts to it very well. The little girl, Alice, is very sweet and
May 27, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: m-m
Meh. It felt rushed, and not in an accelerated storytelling way. Just… lacking somehow.

And it’s not the dearth of sex (not that I ever mind that). The characters just did stuff and said stuff and it never really amounted to much of a story, even when things happened that could be put in a summary. Everyone, especially all secondary characters, simply remained cardboard cutouts rather than coming alive. Even the writing itself had a listless quality to it.

So aside from an interesting stray
Ula'ndi Hart
Jan 21, 2016 rated it liked it
Overall book rating: 3 stars
Audio book: Narrator - Michael Stelman 4.5 Stars
Book cover: 3 Stars

Um...yeah. Lots of little things here. I liked the idea of the story, even liked the characters but for a short read it got a “little bit” Cray-cray there for a couple minutes? I liked the Russian Maffia thing going on but really? The grandparents?

LOVED the Narrator though! Michael Stelman definitely made me enjoy it more than I would have if I just read it.
Apr 14, 2015 rated it liked it
2.5 I wanted to love this one because I love the idea of the curious cookbook and I liked Pace from the beginning. But it had too much that made me eye roll - be professional at your interview (especially when you need the money) by jumping on lap of the guy interviewing you. I liked niece Alice, who knew what she wanted (and I did especially like the epilogue) but the whole snatching idea was just a no for me.
Benjamin Wong
May 06, 2015 rated it it was ok
Just blah. Weakest book in the series so far. Felt disjointed, pacing was off and totally rushed from middle to end. Did nothing to make me feel for the characters. And unlike the first 3 books in the series, Granny B's cookbook was not made to feel like a character of the story, more like an after-thought. Read some of Amber Kell's shifter stories and they were not half bad compared to this one. Maybe she should just concentrate on that genre instead.
Aug 29, 2015 rated it it was ok
Sometimes it was weird and too fast paced. I didn't like that combination. Although I did enjoy the main characters, I thought they had potential.
Apr 23, 2015 rated it it was ok
Though one novel is short ,it must have sense however and this story doesn't.
Apr 24, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mm
This story could - possibly - have been something nice of the sweet & warm type but it just simply wasn't even given room to unfurl and spread it's wings and fly. Not at all. Just.. what a waste.
Dec 10, 2016 added it
Shelves: m-m, audio
Didn't finish, never got a feel for the MCs
Christi Snow
Oct 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My Review:
Overall: 4.5
Performance: 4.5
Story: 4.25

This is a super-short book, but I absolutely loved and enjoyed listening to the audio of it. The story worked for me.

I enjoyed Pace's artwork. I enjoyed the story line with Marshall's niece. The conflict felt a little bit rushed, but overall I enjoyed this one. This would be a great choice if you're new to m/m romance or want to give audiobooks a try.
Dec 20, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbt, m-m, audiobook, romance
Not for me, obviously. I didn't connect with the characters, at all. The story failed for me from the very beginning when the characters seem to believe that hitting on your prospective employee is an adequated behaviour in a job interview.

From then on, it went downhill, and, seriously, the supposed angst-riddle moment with Marshall's niece? It comes from nowhere and made no sense at all.

Michael Stellman does a good job with the narration, though.
Oct 01, 2017 rated it did not like it
It started out fine but at some point there was a kidnapping and suddenly BANG! they were in love even though they met 3 days ago and saw each other for a total of 10 hours...
Nov 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
He licked his neck and tasted the male flesh... and then the Executive did something… it was bold. No, thank you. It was like a 2 hour audio-book and you couldn't keep me.
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Dreamspinner Press: Cookies for Courting by Amber Kell 1 3 Apr 23, 2015 07:36AM  

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Amber Kell has made a career out of daydreaming. It has been a lifelong habit she practices diligently as shown by her complete lack of focus on anything not related to her fantasy world building.

When she told her husband what she wanted to do with her life he told her to go have fun.

During those seconds she isn't writing she remembers she has children who humor her with games of 'what if' and let

Other books in the series

Tales of the Curious Cookbook (5 books)
  • For a Rainy Afternoon (Tales of the Curious Cookbook)
  • Food for Thought (Tales of the Curious Cookbook)
  • Lost Along the Way (Tales of the Curious Cookbook)
  • Just Desserts (Tales of the Curious Cookbook)