Publish Date: Out now
How I got this book: ARC from the publisher via Netgalley
A girl like her comes around once a century…
For ninety-nine years, every man in the Dumont family has remained a perpetual bachelor. Residents of Cedar Bayou, Louisiana, whisper about a voodoo hex cast upon the family, sabotaging each man’s chance at marriage. In truth, the Dumont men have their own player personalities to blame, and Marc is no exception. As captain of his family’s riverboat, he’s broken hearts up and down the Mississippi. That is, until his high school crush strolls onboard…
Allie Mauvais rocks the boat when she fills in as pastry chef. She hasn’t seen Marc since senior year, when rumors flew that her great-great-grandmother was the one who cursed the Dumonts. After two weeks on the water, neither can deny the attraction that still burns between them. But to truly reach Marc’s heart, Allie must show him that the hex is all in his head and it’ll take more than her mouthwatering sweets to prove it. Will Allie’s love be enough to finally make Marc hers?
This blurb came from the author’s website.
I was out browsing sites looking for upcoming stories of interest when I stumbled on this one. I like the idea of cooking, voodoo, hexes with real results, and the power of mind over… I thought this would provide some laughs, some food cravings, and some tender moments. In short, I was looking for a light read. Instead, I ended up reading something that provided a lot fewer laughs, more dark moments, and several instances when I wanted the heroine to get rid of the hero and his entire family altogether.
Allie came from a family known for their ability in voodoo. The Mauvais women were also known for their attraction to the Dumont men. This particular attraction wasn’t always returned the way the Mauvais ladies thought it should so as a result the Dumont men were cursed to never have a marriage. Instead they ended up raising packs of motherless half-brothers who all grew up indoctrinated in the Dumont Curse. Allie however, never believed in the curse and also never gave up on her crush on Marc Dumont. When she spotted the opportunity to fill in as the pastry chef on his riverboat and work with one of her chef idols she leaped at the chance.
Marc was attracted to Allie but refused to have anything personal to do with her ever since a negative reaction to her presence back in high school. As a result he really didn’t want a Mauvais on his family’s boat but he was unable to find any other pastry chef so he accepted her application with the provision she keep all of her voodoo away from his ship. While he was willing to take a chance, he faced the risk of his crew, all family, mutinying and one angry very territorial head chef. Marc was also a firm believer in not only her ancestor’s curse but thought there was a little something extra in it for him every time he started thinking about Allie and how attractive she was. This resulted in a lot of hot and cold behavior towards Allie as his attraction grew along with his personal and professional fears of her impact (really the curse) on his life.
I really ended up with mixed feelings towards both Allie and Marc. I liked the level of determination and grit Allie demonstrated as she persisted in succeeding in her hostile work environment. I also really liked how she was able to use food as a way to make people feel special. However, I also thought she accepted a lot of emotional mistreatment from the man she claimed to love and his family. It made me wonder how much and what she thought about her self-worth. I also had some concerns about Marc because of his behavior towards Allie. He seemed to have a pattern of: make a move, run/blame or blame/run, feel remorse, repeat. I really could not see him in the role of a loving hero who cured of a curse could become part of a Happily Ever After. Instead, I felt that every time he experienced a setback he was likely to revert.
My difficulties with the hero/heroine and their HEA aside, I did like the sense of family and the idea behind this series. Allie had close bonds with her sister, Devyn, and not only did they work together business-wise but they also supported each other personally. In the same light, Marc was trying to build the same sort of family support with his half-brothers. I loved how he worked to provide them a better way of living and to give them options but sometimes his support of his family came at the cost of other perhaps innocents. However, I really enjoyed the late entrance of his brother, Beau, also a chef. I umm actually found Beau a much more likeable individual.
Make You Mine was a mostly unsatisfactory introduction to this series. I enjoyed the premise and saw some promise but overall I did not believe in the romance. I struggled with both Allie and Marc yet didn’t feel like they “deserved” each other. I much preferred their separate interactions with their respective families. However, I was very intrigued with the dynamic between Devyn and Beau who coincidentally star in the second installment. Based on my reaction to this first one, currently I am more inclined to borrow instead of buy until I see how the romance and characters are developed.
I give Make You Mine a C-/D