Nothing is sweeter than a hot southern man in uniform who is unabashedly trying to seduce you. Well, for professional baker and long-time flower child Poppy Blakemore, everything sounds great about that phrase except for the uniform part. While she has no problem with the man outside of the uniform she cannot reconcile her childhood upbringing to her newly acquired adult way of thinking. When she meets Matthew while serving him one of her delicious vegetarian sandwiches at the towns local fair she immediately pegs him as a soldier, a melts in your mouth and in your hand soldier that clearly likes her despite his love of both the army and meat.

Matthew is a vet of the Afghanistan war who returns home after a near fatal accident that still haunts his dreams. He is -to say the least- bemused by his feelings towards Poppy but decides to pursue a relationship with her simply because he enjoys her company. Over the next few months after their fantastic first date the couple grow closer to one another never realizing that while they were bonding over their disparate upbringings they were slowly but surely falling in love.

While the opposites attract storyline has been done to death, what saves this story from being trite and pedestrian is the enchanting appeal of the couple. I liked Poppy's pragmatic enthusiasm about all things green and I loved Matthew's unconventional conservatism. The couple themselves looks and sound like people that I know which makes the story even more appealing to me because there is a solid connection to the text. The only criticism that I could state is that there could have been a little more focus on building the couple's foundation than just another sex scene. I believe that it would have made the pivotal scene towards the end of the novel more powerful if there was enough inertia behind them to warrant more than the reaction that I had.

Overall this is an excellent quick read that anyone who has the time should read. This is the first and definitely not the only story that I will read from this author.

Book Blurb for Buttercream

Genre: Multicultural Contemporary
Length: Novella

Like the sinfully decadent treats she whips up in her bakery, Poppy Blakemore is irresistible, even to a battle scarred warrior like Matthew McAlister. Unfortunately, except for a love for delicious pastry and a passion so hot it leaves them scorched in its wake, the two of them have nothing in common. He is a straight-as-an arrow helicopter pilot who has been traumatized by combat, while she struggles to reconcile her capitalist tendencies with her counter-culture background.

The passion between them is undeniable, but Poppy knows that anything more than a sexual relationship is out of the question. Matthew wants so much more. Are sex and buttercream going to be enough to hold them together, or is their love doomed like an overcooked madeleine?

Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual content and graphic language. 

Night Owl Reviews Sep, 2011 4.00