Since she was a little girl Abby Benson has dreamed of making elaborate, detailed, beautiful wedding cakes. She bought books and took classes, but starting her own business wasn't possible until an aunt, who understood her dream, left her an inheritance including a house that would make an ideal bakery with a little renovation. The contractor hired to do the renovation is young, single, handsome, LDS and a constant reminder of another of her dreams--to marry and have a large family.
Abby can't decide how much to charge for her cakes and finally decides to have her customers decide what the cakes are worth and pay accordingly. Her family thinks she's crazy, but the method works well in most cases. Not only does her payment plan become the theme of Karey White's novel, but also the title, For What it's Worth.
Abby's business starts off slowly, but begins to mushroom when a local reporter decides to do a story on her bakery and her unique pricing policy. Soon she has to hire several assistants and an office manager. The Today Show invites her to New York to film a segment for the well-known show and the show is quickly followed by more orders than she and her staff have time for. Even a famous movie star requests she do her wedding cake.
Abby and her employees work long hours, the prices people pay for the cakes is stunning, but there's little time left for the growing relationship between her and the handsome contractor, Dane. Fatigue, and what she considers criticism from his family, leads to a confrontation between the two and Dane decides they need to step back and stop seeing each other. Abby is crushed, but slowly begins to examine what the different elements in her life are worth.
The story is set in Seattle and shows a realistic picture of that city, the surrounding area, and the weather there. The characters are likable and it's interesting to watch Abby's relationship with her family and the steps she takes in becoming a stronger, more confident woman. Readers who have ever decorated a cake will find the details of decorating such elaborate cakes enlightening. Brides and anyone who enjoys fancy baking will be particularly pleased. Each chapter begins with a recipe, most but not all, pertain in some way to cakes and icings.
The plot moves quite slowly through most of the book. It is a romance and some readers may become frustrated at first with a romance that has no obstacles and yet seems to go nowhere for so long. It does get better; very good in fact. The major portion of the book is taken up with the bakery and the cakes. The theme of determining the worth of different elements in life is of importance too.
Karey White has lived in several different states. She attended Ricks College and Brigham Young University. She is married and the mother of four children. This is her second novel.
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FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH by Karey White, published by Bonneville Books an imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc., soft cover, 231 pages, $15.99, also available for e-readers