Baking Spirits Bright by Bryce OakleyBaking Spirits Bright by Bryce Oakley is an absolutely adorable, quippy festive romance set against a televised baking contest.

Beth wants to open her own bakery. It’s a life long dream and she can finally see a way to do it. She has entered Top Holiday Baker and plans on winning the prize money and using it to fund Beth’s Bakery.

She is not at all prepared for how much she likes one of the judges nor the fact that they keep running into each other outside of the contest.

Ari is a well known chef and TV personality in the food sector. She also happens to be the judge who is most difficult to impress on Top Holiday Baker. But it’s tough to judge a contest fairly when you are having feelings for one of the contestants.

Is it possible that a contestant and judge can find their happy ending?

Pros And My Favourite Parts

Oakley wrote the book in first person from Beth’s point of view. This means we get to experience her quirky way of viewing the world first hand and her growing attraction to Ari.

I am not always a fan of first person stories because it takes a special something to make me like a character enough to want to live in their head. Oakley, though, has a deft touch when it comes to writing and I was happy to reside in Beth’s brain for the duration of the story.

Heads Up

It’s a short read but a good one. You will want to keep reading, so make some time to just sit and enjoy this book. And warn your family that you are taking this downtime because interruptions may lead to injury as you throw your kindle at their heads.

The Conclusion

sheena's favouriteOnly get this book if you like

  • adorable rom coms about Christmas baking shows
  • hot celebrity chefs
  • girl next door main characters
  • mistletoe kisses

Bonus points for the fact that it’s a short read which makes it perfect for the end of the year and yet it still packs a happy little romantic punch.

I highly recommend this one for anyone with a pulse. And hey, who am I to judge – if a zombie wants to read this book too then more power to them.

Excerpt from Baking Spirits Bright by Bryce Oakley

My attention goes to the door, where none other than Ariadne Greco herself is standing. Not only is she a judge on Top Baker, but I religiously watch her Food Network show, After Hours. I suddenly feel like I might throw up. She is so cool, touring the country—and the world!—and tasting casual food in dive bars and dark hole-in-the-wall food joints. And she’s no less cool in this moment, standing in black jeans and a leather jacket; her short dark hair pushed back casually, like it takes her no effort to look this good. I can’t tell if I want to make out with her or be her. It’s a dopplebanger situation; the eternal queer struggle.

Jenny laughs at Ariadne’s joke, then gives me a strange look. I imagine I’m as red as Rudolph’s nose. Or maybe green like a Christmas tree. Either way, I’m hoping it looks more oh-she’s-very-festive than call-an-ambulance.

Jenny gestures to Ariadne. “This is my old friend—“

“Ariadne Greco,” I say, my whispered voice coming out with a truly embarrassing tone of awe.

Jenny’s eyes widen and she looks like she’s about to tease me, but then Ariadne steps forward and shakes my hand.

“Please, call me Ari. What a mouthful.” Her eyes crinkle at the corner as she smiles, and her handshake is warm and firm. Then, she’s chuckling, her teeth biting into her lower lip as our hands stay together, neither of us pulling away. Oh, so this is how I die: instant heart attack from touching Ariadne—“call me Ari”—Greco. I’m not even mad about it.

“Beth,” I say, pointing to myself, then cursing myself for the gesture. Am I a caveman now?

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Snowy Springs Holiday Romances

Baking Spirits Bright

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Bits and Bobs

Publisher: Indie Author

Bryce Oakley Online


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Note: I received a free review copy of Baking Spirits Bright by Bryce Oakley. No money was exchanged for this review. When you use our links to buy we get a small commission which supports the running of this site