Domestic Goddess was published as an e-book on 12 July 2016, and I got a version for review from NetGalley. Deb Schneider writes paranormal, steampunk and gothic romance under pen name Sibelle Stone and “regular” romance under her own name. I read it in December 2016 but forgot to publish a full review on my own little blog. Since I’ve been in a little reading rut lately, I decided to look back at some books that I hadn’t reviewed yet. So here we go!
What do you do if your life is suddenly a fixer-upper?
TV lifestyle expert Bailey Holmes is about to take her show, Domestic Goddess, to the big time. With a larger network, new sponsor and series of shows around her upcoming wedding, she’s poised to be a media darling.
Until her fiancé announces he’d rather be the bride and a gossip reporter publishes an unflattering article about her. With her life going flatter than a sad soufflé, she heads to Horseshoe Island for a family gathering and to hide-out.
Bailey’s family offers to let her renovate their ancient family fishing lodge for her show. There’s only one stipulation, they’ve already hired a carpenter to do the job, and he stays.
Max Cumberland is thrilled at the chance to renovate Blue Moon Lodge until he discovers the job is going to be part of a television show and he has to put up with a micro-managing domestic diva.
Despite clashing over plans for the lodge, there’s a sexy sizzle of attraction between Max and Bailey that quickly goes from simmer to steamy. Before long they’re spending long decadent nights together.
But once the Lodge is renovated and the show has finished filming, will there be a second season for the couple, or will Bailey be off the island for good?
I really loved this book. It contains all the elements for a good romance novel but it wasn’t annoyingly riddled with clichés. Bailey is down in the dumps because her fiance broke it off and it was written about in the gossip magazines. She was on the verge of taking her tv show national and now has to fight to keep her show on the air at all. When she returns home to nurse her wounds, she comes up with a brilliant idea: to renovate her family’s old Lodge on her show. But her family already hired the carpenter and she needs the extra hook to convince the TV network. Fortunately for her show, sparks fly between the two of them, which leads to an interesting back-and-forth that captures the attention of the TV bosses. But that’s unfortunate for Bailey herself because she has no intention whatsoever to fall in love and after her experience with her fiance, she’s kind of done with men.
Naturally, they gravitate more and more towards each other, sparks turn into butterflies and then into love. I loved Max (the male lead) because right from the beginning he knew he wanted Bailey. For the sake of the project (which would not only save her career but also be a big boost for his), he kept his distance – respecting their circumstances and also her nerves and need for distance. He stays around and keeps on reminding her of their chemistry, but he doesn’t push his presence and his attraction on her. This makes it very realistic and I was rooting for the both of them throughout the book.
In conclusion: a believable, realistic romance about two people who have amazing chemistry and witty banter. A must-read for romance lovers who are looking for something lighthearted, fun and not too cliched. Not too schmoozy, not too “let’s just dive in bed and get this over with”, everything just right.