This Chick Read: Rogue Wave (Cake Series #5) by J. Bengtsson

Synopsis: A love story that survives the test of time.

Keith McKallister is the king of the stoners. You know the type. Every school has one – the hot, fun, dopey guy beloved by the student body but despised by, well, just about everyone else. He spends his early mornings in the ocean and his days trying to get to class on time. Life is as easy as it gets until one poor choice too many catches up with him and he’s forced to reevaluate his path. 

Samantha Anderson sits in the front row. You know the type. Every school has one – the quiet, faceless, studious girl who fears the taunts of her peers and fades into the background. Life has never been simple for Samantha, and it’s about to get a little more complicated when Keith slides into the seat beside her with a partnership plan designed for his benefit only. But what Keith brings to the table is more than either of them could imagine. 

Sometimes the person you least expect to make a difference will change your life forever. Sometimes the person you love the most might be better off without you.


Rogue Wave tells the story of Keith and Samantha, but in two parts. The first half taking place in High School before Keith’s brother Jake is kidnapped and has a very young adult feel, and the second half of the novel takes place after Jake’s kidnapping and is most definitely a second chance adult romance novel. The combined story takes the reader on such an emotional journey. We’ve read about the kidnapping from Jake’s view point (Cake), but now we see how it affected Keith and how his choices drew him further from happiness.

I don’t recall ever reading a romance that 1) revolved around a main character who was a stoner and 2) where I really liked him. Even though Keith made bad choice after bad choice, he was so dang likable! Typically, I’m not comfortable with stories that revolve around drugs, drug problems, et. al. However, there was just something about Keith that made me want to see his story to its conclusion and root for him. Another surprising element was that even though Sam was the love of his life, she was not written in the role of savior. That made me like this story even more because it made it so real. Just as in real life, for them to finally be happy Keith would have to find his own way out of addiction and do it for himself. The question was, did I want to read that story? Yes, I really did.

Sam also had a lot of growing up to do. Not quite in the same way as Keith, as she wasn’t fighting an addiction to drugs, but she was fighting insecurity, problems at home, and the sudden suicide of her older brother. Also serious subjects! The fact that they found each other and could see through their outer shells to the good people within was pretty amazing. Sam had a very strong moral compass despite her difficult upbringing and that was a strength Keith needed in his life. Did he always choose to follow the right path? Well, you need to read the book.

There are some really great characters in the Cake series. Obviously Jake and Casey are fan favorites but Keith and Sam have found a special place in my heart. If you haven’t read the previous novels don’t read Rogue Wave until you’ve at least read the first novel, Cake. You need the background story of Jake’s kidnapping even though you get Keith’s side of it in Rogue Wave. I just think the emotional impact is stronger if you’ve read at least that first novel. BUT, if you choose not to pick up Cake I think you’ll enjoy reading about Keith and Sam. If you have triggers for drugs, suicide, mental illness, or kidnappings of small children, avoid this one. It’s a pretty emotional journey, but a very good one. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️



About the Author

A professional stay-at-home-mom for twenty-one years, Jill started her writing career in 2016 after reading a really bad rockstar romance. Although she had no previous writing experience and no desire to become an author, Jill was convinced she could write a better story.

And so began Cake: A Love Story. She wrote the novel for fun and added every single thing she’d ever wanted to read in a romance. Embarrassed by her newfound hobby, Jill kept her writing a secret from her family.

When the story was complete, she turned to Amazon to get the feedback she desired. Not thinking the book would ever sell, Jill planned to pull Cake off Amazon once it got a review or two but that never happened because, within a week of its release, Cake began to soar up the bestseller charts. Not only was Jill shocked by Cake’s success but now she had a whole new burgeoning career on her hands…and some explaining to do. Needless to say, the news of Jill’s secret book bay came as a complete shock to her husband and three children.

Jill is now a full-time writer.