Having thoroughly enjoyed the first book in this series, I was excited to dive back into Jack and Lauren’s world and see what happened next. Could these potential soul mates make a long-distance relationship work, or would their different locales be an insurmountable obstacle? When the story opens, we see Lauren back in Baltimore (the first book was set entirely in Austin where Lauren’s family lives). Lauren has a great life there – a new home, a job she excels at, and a sassy BFF. Is she willing to give all that up for Jack is the big question, not that he’s asked her to. In fact, he’s been acting a bit flaky since their meet-cute at Thanksgiving, which confuses Lauren and makes her wonder if there’s really a future for them.
Why Jack’s so distracted becomes an interesting plot point in the story and gives the new couple their first serious issue to deal with. Will it make them stronger, or drive them apart? They also have holiday craziness (Finding the perfect Christmas gift for a loved one is never easy!) and their families to contend with. I liked that not everyone in Lauren’s family was sold on Jack as that’s realistic considering the whirlwind pace of their relationship. And adding Jack’s tough cookie Aunt Minnie to the mix was a genius move by the author. It gave some good insight into the Jack character, and I had fun wondering if the not-easily-impressed Minnie would be friend or foe to Lauren.
How to Bake the Perfect Christmas Cake had everything I could want in a romantic read – a hero and heroine with palpable chemistry, an entertaining plot with several surprises, believable conflicts in various forms that test the couple and their commitment to each other, some LOL moments (There’s a scene in the airport with Lauren and her family that cracks me up every time I think about it!) and a big, romantic moment at the end that made me want to stand up and cheer. This is a book (and a series) that I would recommend to any romance lover.