Contemporary romance | Reviews

Review: A Sweet Mess by Jayci Lee

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: A Sweet Mess by Jayci LeeA Sweet Mess by Jayci Lee
Published by Headline Eternal on 14th July 2020
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Format: eARC
Source: the publisher
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Korean-American author Jayci Lee delights with this delicious and light-hearted romantic comedy that readers will devour and ask for more.
Bake a chance on love.
Aubrey Choi loves living in her small town nestled in the foothills of California, running her highly successful bakery away from the watch of her strict Korean parents. When a cake mix-up and a harsh review threaten all of her hard work and her livelihood, she never thought the jaded food critic would turn out to be her one-night stand. And she sure as hell never thought she’d see her gorgeous Korean unicorn again. But when Landon Kim waltzes into her bakery trying to clean up the mess he had a huge hand in making, Aubrey is torn between throwing and hearing him out.
When she hears his plan to help save her business, Aubrey knows that spending three weeks in California wine country working with Landon is a sure recipe for disaster. Her head is telling her to take the chance to save her bakery while her heart—and her hormones—are at war on whether to give him a second chance. And it just so happens that Landon’s meddling friends want them to spend those three weeks as close as sharing a villa.
When things start heating up, both in and out of the kitchen, Aubrey will have to make a choice—to stick it out or risk her heart.

Rating~ 3.5-3.75 stars

I was super excited to read A Sweet Mess! A quick glance on the blurb, its had everything that would hit my spots.

Aubrey Choi is a baker, she runs her bakery comfort zone in a small town. Landon Kim is renounced food critic, who works for a magazine. Landon ends up being stranded in the small town due to car failure and gets served a cake meant for someone else. Aubrey and Landon meet later, not knowing each other and proceed to have a one night stand. Landon goes on to write a very damning review of Aubreys bakery. Now months later, Landon has a solution to Aubreys declining bakery and thats to have her be a part of the new cooking show.

As you can guess, when Aubrey finds out that Landon is the one behind the review, she’s not at all happy. She’s furious at him (Rightly so!) and no matter how much the town tries to reach out to Landon they get no response back. All the while Aubrey’s bakery is struggling financially and her expansion won’t be going as planned.

I liked A Sweet Mess for most part! Just the later half of the book I wasn’t a huge fan. This really was Aubrey’s story for me, I loved her. She was an amazing woman. Landon, I was less of a fan off. I didn’t like him much at the start and then after what happens in the later half I ended up being meh towards him.

Let me give a bit more detail: he clearly does love Aubrey and wants her and is miserable without her. It takes him two months to finally decide to anything about it and its mostly due to the fact that his mum calls him home and comes to some realisations, we see him doing what he wants now and then he really does nothing for another month??? He’s moved in a new house but that seems to be really it, apart from penning a semi decent letter and the half arsed grovel (i shouldn’t even call that) Aubrey forgives him. 🤷🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️ 

I just Landon found to be unmovable and rigid at times. In the beginning, his refusal to retract was extremely frustrating because he knows he’s in the wrong yet he refuses to do anything to correct his mistake. He’s actually annoyed at his boss (and friend) for suggesting that he re-review the place. I personally think I would have liked his character a lot more, if Jayci Lee had instead made him try and make him suggest re-review (like a decent person) and his boss to be the ‘bad guy’. This way I wouldn’t have ended up feeling that Landon really just cares about his images and the hell with a small bakery and their struggle even though he knows the baker. He only bothers because the worker who makes the mistake visits him and he laments his woe’s to his friend who comes up with the idea. Similarly the thing at the end.

I will be trying the authors other books, because I did like Jayci Lee’s writing, the way the food is described is mouthwatering. The friendships and family aspect is also done pretty well. The plot on a whole is also engrossing but the romance just wasn’t my favourite. Which is related to me not liking Landon. He was growing on me in the middle, I was starting to feel their connection and chemistry but then he had to go and do that thing. Apart from Landon aspect of the book, A Sweet Mess was a pretty decent read. 

This quote is pretty accurate way to summarise my feelings as well:

“What did I do to deserve you?”
“Some guys just have all the luck.”

Quote taken from ARC copy of A Sweet Mess provided by Headline Eternal.

You can check out of what I thought at random % if you’re interested:

6% Not much time to connect with the couple or feel the chemistry

17% Kinda pissing me off

17% someone punch Landon

19% where’s the apology

44% Ahhh sweet lord the food i am so hungry!! Anyone reading this either read on a full stomach or have some snacks with you. 

48% the man has a problem saying sorry.

79% Why is he so unmovable 

This is giving me minimal grovel vibes

94% the one time i wanted more than a sorry and actually some action all he has is sorrys 🙃🙃🙃🙃 

95% sigh grovel over.  

About Jayci Lee

Jayci Lee writes poignant, sexy, and laugh-out-loud romance every free second she can scavenge. She lives in sunny California with her tall-dark-and-handsome husband, two amazing boys with boundless energy, and a fluffy rescue whose cuteness is a major distraction. At times, she cannot accommodate real life because her brain is full of drool worthy heroes and badass heroines clamoring to come to life.Because of all the books demanding to be written, Jayci writes full-time now, and is semi-retired from her fifteen-year career as a defense litigator. She loves food, wine, and travelling, and incidentally so do her characters. Books have always helped her grow, dream, and heal, and she hopes her books will do the same for you.