The Cake (Elemental Superpowers 1)

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Title and Link: The Cake (Elemental Superpowers 1)
Authors: AJ Llewellyn & Serena Yates
Cover Artist: Posh Gosh
Publisher: Total-e-Bound
Genre: M/M Paranormal Romance
Length: Novel (158 pdf pages)
Rating: 4 stars out of 5

A Guest Review by Cole

Review Summary: A short novel about two possible adversaries falling in love and going against the system as a team, as well as the first book of an interesting world that I’m excited to continue reading about.

BLURB

Book one in the Elemental Superpowers Series

Baking the best cupcakes in San Francisco is Daine’s true calling…who knew that the tastiest cakes could lead to a talent for danger?

Phillip Sedgwick is a lawyer who works for an unusual law firm: Arden, Bainbridge, Chinook and Damek is the supernatural world’s most prestigious company, protecting, and often prosecuting, members of the supernatural world for various crimes and infractions. His latest case involves the owner of Fabulous Cupcakes, Daine Paradis, who has been accused of abuse of his superpowers.

Daine is proud that he’s been able to keep his father’s bakery going and has made it a huge success. Weird things start happening, and hard work no longer seems enough to stay in business. When he meets Phillip the sparks fly, but will the two men be able to solve the case before everything goes up in flames?

REVIEW

Phillip Sedgwick has been a junior associate at one of San Fransisco’s supernatural law firms for six months. As a cover, he also teaches law at a local college. The work is strenuous and Phillip often feels like he’s signed his life away over to the senior partners. He must come at their beck and call, and when he is given a week to pursue an investigation into the illegal activities of Daine Paradis, who owns the bakery Fabulous Cakes just around the corner from his job at the university, he knows that it would be unwise to refuse. So, with a week to pursue finding evidence to move forward in prosecution of Daine, who is alleged to be using his supernatural power for fire to make his cupcakes the best in the city, Phillip finally gets his chance to taste the cakes he’s heard so many wonderful things about. What he finds when he gets to Fabulous Cakes, however, is not only a man who seems to take pride in being the hardest worker at his business, and completely unaware of his powers, but a sexy, caring, honest, and humble man that calls out to him in every way. Now, unsure of exactly who is putting pressure on him to find that Daine is breaking Superpower Law, he is forced to carry out an increasingly dangerous investigation, while at the same time unable to stay away from pursuing a relationship with Daine.

Daine has loved to bake since he was a little boy. Not only is the creation of new flavors and the act of making them his passion, but he loves the affect they have on his customers and the community. Supporting the local Girl Scout troop, as well as gearing up for the annual baking competition, whose previous two winners now have national chains of their stores, is a full time job. Since he has taken the bakery over from his father in the last three years, he hasn’t had time for dating. Keeping the business completely aboveboard, specifically in the interest of making sure his workers all have proper documentation is difficult, especially since his deliveries have recently stopped coming and his bakery has been broken into on numerous occasions. Despite all that, his hard work has paid off — there are daily lines around the corner from his bakery for his daily confections, and a new man he likes to think of as Mr. Gorgeous has been stopping by to taste his cakes and flirt with him. Daine really likes Phillip, but he hates lawyers after his parents up and left him for Venezuela years ago after some kind of legal trouble with his uncle. Everything seems to be going right, until he realizes in one day how everything can go completely wrong, and how little you can know about those who love you.

This is a short novel which only slowly allows room for world-building (more on that later), so the pace of the story moves quite fast. I really liked the characters — Phillip is passionate and driven, though possibly in over his head, and Daine is impossible not to love. I worry sometimes when a character seems to be perfect in every way, but I didn’t feel like this was the case here for two reasons. The first is much of the story is told from Phillip’s POV, which is admittedly admiring, as he is falling in love with the man, and secondly, Daine is so unfailingly honest and humble that it made sense for him to be a sort of shining light, a genuinely good person. I was also happily surprised that the book is more about two men who really try to work together and help each other, instead of (in Daine’s case) angsting about what was going wrong in his life.

I had a difficult time reading this story at first. I immediately liked the characters, and I loved Daine, but I really didn’t quite understand what was going on. Was this magic they were talking about? The world-building is sparse, which I usually prefer to being beaten over the head with backstory. Still, because I liked the growing romance between Phillip and Daine, I kept reading and I found that the answers slowly came. By the end of the story, I could see that this is really only the beginning of understanding the world of the Elemental Superpowers. Hopefully, the next few books will center on the other elements — water, earth, and air, and the development of the world will proceed to grow. The advancement of the world-building arc really makes a lot of sense, in the aspect of the overall series. Of course, I would have loved to know more about the world. At times, I also wondered actually what the dileniations in the law were (Was it the success of his bakery? Is using his powers at all a violation?), or to hear more about Phillip’s backstory, but they weren’t necessarily important to the story, and I admit, I’m probably alone in wanting to hear more about specific laws!

Still, this was an enjoyable read and I’m looking forward to the next book in the series. I’ve read quite a few books by both of these authors before, and I was curious to see the result of a working partnership between them. I have enjoyed their books separately and I found that I could see a bit of both their styles in The Cake. Most important though, to this baker and owner of a major sweet tooth, were the frequent and imaginative references to different flavors of cake. Yum! Even though it might sound strange, I’m starting to wonder about that Buttery Popcorn Cupcake…

I think that fans of both authors would enjoy The Cake.

16 thoughts on “The Cake (Elemental Superpowers 1)

  1. Raine

    All sorts of food puns have been avoided in this comment, self restraint has been shown.

    You have made this sound really good though. I like the idea of a new series too. Thanks Cole

    1. Cole

      Ha! Yes, you’re right. And you can only imagine just have many steamy scenes dealt with food in some way. They were also quite inventive, but not too much (sometimes it bugs me when they play with food during sex, like melted chocolate and it just gets everywhere!).

      So yes, I did what I could :)

      I’m excited to read the next book when it comes out, which AJ has said will be about water. I hope I get some more world-building!

  2. Helena

    Cole, I´m not surprised your baker´s eyes have been sparkling reading this book :grin:
    Thank you for your review :cool:

    1. Cole

      Yes! I need to personally write AJ and Serena and thank them for giving me some new flavor ideas :)

      Thanks Helena!

  3. Leslie S

    Ooh this sounds interesting! I like to be hit over the head with worldbuilding too, but if the characterisation is strong enough, I can forgive a lot. i will give this one a go. Thanks Cole! :grin:

    1. Cole

      Hi Leslie :)

      Yes, the world-building was very slow, but it also was not the major focus of the story, which really was the growing relationship. So, I cannot fault the authors for that. Sometimes I’m in the mood for a really in-depth world, and sometimes I like the romance to guide the story. I don’t usually like that “info-dump”, however, so I was happy to see that they didn’t do that here. And, I suppose I’m a little frustrated about not being able to read the second book to figure out more about the elemental world, but alas, that is the nature of a series. I suppose I’ll just have to wait :)

      I hope you enjoy the book, Leslie. It’s pretty short, and if you’re like me you may want more world building, so maybe you should wait for the second book. I’m only guessing, since this one just came out, but AJ and Serena are both very prolific so it shouldn’t be too long.

      Thanks Leslie :)

  4. Reggie

    Hmmm… Sounds entertaining! I’ll be putting this on my list for when I want a fun short read.

    Thanks for putting the world building in perspective. This will help me be in the right mind set to fully enjoy the ride.
    Glad to have you back, but especially glad you are healthy!! :yes:

    1. Cole

      Thank you Reggie! You’re always so sweet to me, you’re kind words have meant a lot :)

      I suppose you never really know going into a series how closely aligned they will be to one another, from a continuation of a story, to an almost completely separate story. I’m glad to put it in perspective for you though, as now I will know more about what to expect for the second book. AJ says it is water, and water and earth were always the ones I would say would represent me if I had to choose an element :)

  5. AJ Llewellyn

    Hi Cole,
    I want to thank you for such a wonderful review. I am really pleased you gave the book the time to tell its story – book two The Blancmange (water element) – is coming soon. Both Phillip and Daine return in this one, with a cast of supernatural characters. Thanks again!!

    1. Cole

      Thanks AJ, I’m glad you enjoyed the review. Do you have any idea when the next book in the series will be released?

      I’m excited to read the next book. By the way, you two did an excellent job with those flavor combinations! You were making me crave cake, and that is no easy feat since I make so many of them :)

      1. Serena Yates

        Thanks for the review, Cole. Glad you liked our flavor combiations, we sure had fun coming up with them. :-)

        We’re about to submit the second book. The publication date will be up to the publisher, of course. We’re crossing our fingers for it to be sooner rather than later, LOL.

        1. Cole

          Hi Serena,

          Thanks for letting me know :) Hopefully it won’t be too long from now.

          I bet you had fun with all those flavors! I couldn’t believe that I actually wanted to try all those combinations, although I have made tofu cupcakes before! Yum, yum :)

  6. Aunt Lynn

    So, you know supernatural/paranormal stuff ain’t my thang, necessarily, but you’ve enticed my Cole. I wanna read about cake makers!

    1. Cole

      Yes, I have noticed :) Still, it isn’t a book that you really have to commit to — I read it in about 2 hours, so you might enjoy it. Especially since there isn’t a whole lot of world-building.

      Anyway, I hope you enjoy it!

  7. Wave

    I was hoping for a bit of world building but I’ll wait for book 2 to see whether I’ll get my wish.

    This sounds like a very good series Cole, with or without the cake. :)

    1. Cole

      Hi Wave,

      I was hoping for a bit more world-building as well, which is why I’m looking forward to the second book. Hopefully I’ll get more of it then!

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