Plucky Polly Waterford wants a simple life of baking treats at the Little Beach Street Bakery and cozying up her home, a run-down lighthouse she shares with a beekeeper boyfriend and pet puffin.
Colgan (Little Beach Street Bakery, 2015, etc.) offers her latest literary confection, the tale of Polly, whose plan to buy the quaint Little Beach Street Bakery is derailed when its current owner dies. This leaves room for greedy, meddling heirs who put profits above pastries, forcing Polly to grapple with how to maintain both her job and her integrity. She never has to make that choice, though, as she's fired after showing up for work covered in puffin vomit. (Shockingly, the new boss isn’t a fan of Polly’s puffin, who regularly visits the bakery.) With the help of her hunky beau, Polly ventures out on her own with a mobile bakery. Reading more like a romantic-comedy movie script than a novel, this formulaic tale has all the requisite elements of a boppy chick flick. There’s the forced merriment of the pub scene where a cast of tipsy friends laughs at their own sloshy jokes. There’s the daffy part when Polly bargains with the bumbling owner of “Nan the Van.” (She offers more money than he wants…crazy, right?) And there’s that time when Polly and her ex-boyfriend’s widow dance together while baking. While there’s no shortage of quirkiness, the missing ingredient in this novel is plot. Polly simply goes through her paces and gives readers little reason to turn pages and root for her.
Colgan has a wide fan base who find her light novels as warm and delicious as the sweets in her books. Her latest, though, is half-baked.