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Tails of the Curious Cookbook is the series name for an anthology of five short stories by five great writers. The writers, R.J. Scott, Amy Lane, Marie Sexton, Amber Kell, and Mary Calmes have written vastly different M/M romance stories with the unifying theme of a curious cookbook entitled Recipes for the Heart subtitled Mystical Meals and Dangerous Desserts hand written by the anonymous Granny B. The stories come in either a Kindle e-book or audible format. The cookbook is depicted as very old, tattered, faded, leather bound, and rich with notations from its users adding clarifying notations and reactions to the varies magical recipes. The recipes when prepared and served is intended to aid in sorting out some confusing romance aspect of the stories or make one feel better after a broken heart. These books will appeal to those with a romantic soul and believe in the magic of comfort food served with a side of the power of suggestion of magic.
I have written five separate reviews for each of the five stories. Please refer to the list below when looking up the appropriate review:
1. For a Rainy Afternoon by R.J. Scott
2. Food for Thought by Amy Lane
3. Lost Along the Way by Marie Sexton
4. Cookies for Courting by Amber Kell
5. Just Desserts by Mary Calmes
Cookies for Courting: Tails of the Curious Cookbook by Amber Kell narrated by Michael Stellman. Cold calculating no strings attached businessman Marshall Hunter has the responsibility of a young niece, Alice, thrust upon him following his sister’s death. Artist muralist Pace Barlow is retained turn her impersonal penthouse bedroom into a fantasy kingdom fit for 8 year old princess Alice. There is a subplot of greedy grandparents arranging a kidnapping in order to gain control of Alice’s sizeable trust fund inheritance to bolster their sagging fortune. However, Pace comes to the rescue through a Russian mob acquaintance to regain the child for Marshall. The romance between the two main characters is organized by Marshall’s housekeeper, Ilona, and of course Granny B’s recipe for cookies for courting.
This story revolves around the world view of rich folks. The outlier of unselfish true love and creativity is Pace. The subplot of grandparent kidnapping for gain of Alice fits in with the rapacious moneyed class. However, the Russian mobster willing to help Pace recover the child out of “friendship, perhaps a small crush” for Pace and or the “goodness of his heart to impress Pace” is a bit farfetched.
In my opinion, the real unsung hero of the story is the faithful family retainer and housekeeper is the character Ilona. She is the key linchpin that holds the Hunter household together through the gold-digger baby sitter crisis and the source of Granny B’s cookbook containing the magical cookies for courting recipe that serves as a catalyst between Marshall and Pace.
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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.