Barb, A Zany Old Lady Review: The Burnt Toast B & B by Heidi Belleau & Rachel Haimowitz


Rating: 5 stars out of 5:BWBlogo_Web

The Burnt Toast B & B coverI know I keep saying this but it bears repeating—I LOVE this series! This story, in which injured stuntman Ginsburg Sloan seeks shelter at the B&B run by Derrick Richards, a laid-off logger who is trying to make a go of the business he inherited from his parents, is right at the top of the list of outstanding books in this series.

Ginsberg is temporarily out of work after he broke his arm on the set of Wolf’s Landing, the TV show being shot in Bluewater Bay, Washington. In an effort to save money, he heads for the B&B with the worst reputation and therefore cheapest rates, and there he encounters not only Derrick but a smoke-filled kitchen with a fire blazing both in the oven and on the stovetop. Thankfully, Ginsberg knows his way around a fire extinguisher, even with one arm, and after putting out the fire, he takes the time to assess his soon-to-be landlord.

Derrick has been out of work as a logger and was trying his hand at running the B&B he inherited when his parents were killed in an accident several years ago. He’s come to the conclusion that his clumsy efforts in the kitchen, his inability to do the necessary home repairs, and his lack of funds to do anything else equals “get out of business”. But before he can do that, he’s now going to have to find a way to get this guy to vacate the premises. So Derrick sets out to make him leave but it backfires when Ginsberg jumps in to help out. He manages to help so much that Derrick finds himself getting back into the business and enjoying it, despite his inherent objections to doing feminine work such as cooking and cleaning.

As they work together, both he and Ginsberg find themselves attracted to one another. But Ginsberg is feisty and opposed to any outdated notions Derrick expresses about roles for women and men and he won’t tolerate Derrick’s comments on what makes a man masculine. Ginsberg is transgender but, as he explains to Derrick, that has no impact on his opposition to Derrick’s comments and actions. Derrick’s ideas are just plain stupid and outdated, and Ginsberg sets out to help Derrick leave the macho bull behind while making a go of the business. Derrick finds himself enjoying the work and spending all his free time fighting his desire for Ginsberg. He wants him desperately and starts to daydream about every facet of this man—his body, his personality, his kindness, his energy, and his courage. But at the same time, Derrick is still hiding behind his gruff persona and still negative about whether or not his business can succeed in the long run, and he’s firmly convinced that Ginsberg will be leaving by the time his cast comes off and he goes back to work.

He’s so convinced of this, in fact, that he torpedoes their relationship just as it’s starting. They’d spend an amazing night together after which Ginsberg had to get up and get out the door to work and while he was away, Derrick convinced himself that this just couldn’t last. So when Ginsberg came home and presented Derrick with a special gift, it backfired and Derrick blew up, shaming Ginsberg and forcing him away.

This is just a simplified explanation for a complex plot that has more facets than a brilliant-cut diamond. Secondary characters were outstanding, especially Derrick’s ex-boyfriend Jim, and the revisit with Carter and Levi was much appreciated. The way this story evolved, the growth and learning experiences for the MCs, the heartbreak and despair they suffered, and the maturity and change in Derrick’s outlook as the story evolved all combined to make this story amazing and memorable.

I highly recommend this series to all lovers of M/M romance. I am amazed that every author in the series, though very different, has brought us characters which make me smile and leave me with a warm and fuzzy place in my heart each and every time. Don’t hesitate to invest your time in this one.

Cover art by LC Chase depicts both the gorgeous Ginsberg, complete with the typical Hollywood sunglasses, and the rugged Derrick, arms crossed in one of his perpetual scowls, standing in front of the B&B.

Sales Links:   Riptide Publishing     All Romance (ARe)     Amazon          Buy it here

Book Details:

book, 225 pages
Expected publication: January 12th 2015 by Riptide Publishing
edition languageEnglish
seriesBluewater Bay #5

Bluewater Bay Series by book and author:WolfsLanding_transparent

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