Early Book Review: Baking Lessons (Off Guard) by Katie Allen

Baking Lessons is the second book in the Off Guard series by Katie Allen. It is currently scheduled for release on March 12 2018.  The books can be read as stand alones, the only connection to the previous book is that the guys happen to be close- however they make no cross over appearances.
Leah loves everything about her bakery; the heavenly smells, the satisfaction of feeding people and, of course, unlimited cookies. The only thing she doesn’t like is her uptight landlord’s daily visits. Sure, the man’s drop-dead gorgeous, but for someone with an insatiable taste for treats, he’s anything but sweet. Army vet Hamilton knows he comes off as rigid. He just can’t seem to bite his tongue around Leah. He might be a virgin but he can imagine a dozen better ways to use his mouth. But when the woman he considers absolutely delicious is threatened by an unwanted admirer, Hamilton intervenes, captivating Leah with his softer side. Now the man Leah couldn’t avoid is swiftly becoming the one she can’t resist. Unrelenting temptation soon overwhelms them both, leading to an indulgence in everything they’ve been craving. But when past actions bring a fallout neither imagined, they’ll be forced to confront whether their affair is half-baked or something to savor forever.

Baking Lessons is a wonderful romance, with characters that are quirky in their way. I found Leah to be very relatable. She has loves her job and baiting her landlord to see if she can get a reaction from the stoic Hamilton. She was just very fun, and someone that I would love to hang out with in the real world. Her relationship with her roomate, and the way Ham interacted with her, just made everything even better. I loved seeing the pair discover each other beyond the verbal sparing that began their knowledge of each other. As with my reading of Acting Lessons, I found myself laughing out loud on occasion- not as often, but still. I was glad to see the depth of the characters, particularly the explanation of why Ham liked things so neat and controlled. He was just so in control, but such a soft touch and off center when it came to Leah that he was endearing. I loved the pair together, and that they actually talked about things like adults- when they got past their initial hesitation.  The secondary characters were on point, and I would love to see more of them. . I found the danger of the stalker to be realistic and well done, and something I could see happening all too well. I look forward to seeing more from this side of Katie Ruggle.

Baking Lessons is a sweet and fun romance with a hint of danger. There is plenty humor, well defined characters, a dash of danger, and plenty of steam. Well done all around. My only question is, how long do we need to wait for the third book?

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