Blog Tour Review: Tough Cookie (Donner Bakery #3) by Talia Hunter

Posted May 8, 2023 by Lisa Mandina in Blog Tour, Review / 11 Comments

Tough Cookie, an all-new heartfelt fake dating small-town romance from Talia Hunter, is now available in Kindle Unlimited!

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

Blog Tour Review:  Tough Cookie (Donner Bakery #3) by Talia HunterTough Cookie by Talia Hunter
Series: Donner Bakery #3
Published by Smartypants Romance on April 27, 2023
Genres: Adult Contemporary Romance
Pages: 361
Source: the publisher
Format: E-galley
My Rating: four-half-stars


Noah Malone is back in his hometown for a short break from his stunt work, but his mother’s set on convincing him to settle down in Green Valley so he can give her grandbabies like the good Lord intended. Not only is she pushing him to help out at the Donner Bakery decorating cookies, but her matchmaking is relentless.

To end his mother’s awkward set-ups, Noah needs a no-strings-attached pretend girlfriend. And who better than Carla, a mysterious recluse who seems to have taken an instant dislike to him? When she reveals she’s been isolated by illness, he proposes a fake relationship that’ll stop his momma’s shenanigans and help Carla ease back into the world.

Tech-geek Carla creates a spreadsheet of fake-date challenges. She’s serious and focused on her goal of slowly becoming more social… until daredevil Noah starts messing with her spreadsheet. He’s ridiculously charming, and his sexy additions may be even more appealing than the cookies he brings her, but Carla won’t let her resistance crumble.

Opposites may attract, but can such different people find a recipe for love?

‘Tough Cookie’ is a full-length contemporary romance, can be read as a standalone, and is book #3 in the Donner Bakery series, Green Valley Chronicles, Penny Reid Book Universe.

Grab your copy TODAY!

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My Review

I loved the way this story fit into the Donner Bakery world! It was perfect! The characters were both ones that I fell in love with, and I adored how their romance came together, fake dating trope for the win!

First there was Noah’s mom and how she was pushing him at every woman in Green Valley, trying to get him to fall in love and move back home to give her grandbabies. Noah had memories that kept him away, and his own demons driving him to keep up the dangerous job of being a stuntman, even as it wasn’t really a passion or something he loved doing.

Carla was such a real person, and her issues were of a physical sort, a type of disease that people often look at and assume people just need to buck up and try harder. It was really interesting to get to read more about it and learn just what kind of symptoms/effects types of things people might deal with for this. I loved how she was taking her own illness and using it along with her tech expertise to try to create an app or something to help others with her disease, or in a way, even just help other people who were sick.

For the most part the story worked perfectly for me, other than a few kind of awkward moments towards the beginning, and possibly some that felt a little forced. But once the actual fake dating and romance began building, it all fit together and developed into a wonderful story and addition to the SmartyPants Romance Universe.

About the Author

Talia Hunter likes to include her three favorite things in her novels: toe-curling romance, snort-laughs, and heart-warming friendships. She recently moved to Australia’s beautiful Gold Coast, where she’s constantly amazed and not at all freaked out by the weird and wonderful critters. When she’s not writing, you can usually find her with a glass of wine, a good book, at least one of her three cats, and a jumbo-sized can of bug spray.

Find Talia online




TikTok: @talia_hunter_romance



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11 responses to “Blog Tour Review: Tough Cookie (Donner Bakery #3) by Talia Hunter

    • Lisa Mandina

      The whole series has the bearded guy but made out of bread like this on the covers, lol.

    • Lisa Mandina

      I love the whole Green Valley world that Penny Reid created and now others are writing stories in.

    • Lisa Mandina

      It was a great story with a heroine with real problems. Hope you get a chance to read it!

    • Lisa Mandina

      I don’t know if exciting was the right word, but it was a fun read for the most part.

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