This sampler (12 separate recipes total) was a pre-order from May and it just arrived. In looking through for layout, ease of reading and following along before delving into the recipes to see what's in store, the first thing noticed is that there is no Table of Contents, clickable or not. The "Look Inside" feature doesn't show one either, so here's the lineup: Red Velvet Macaroons, Chocolate Hazelnut Cake, Bollywood Cupcakes (Vegan), Chewy Ginger-Molasses Cookies (Vegan), Chocolate Decadent Bites, All-American Pear Cranberry Pot Pie, Cranberry Apple Syrup (goes with the pie), Flaky Walnut Cookies, Buttermilk Blueberry Cobbler, Oatmeal Cream Pies, Black & White Cookies, and Sporty Sugar Cookies.
What makes the absence of a clickable TOC annoying is that there are almost an equal number of ads and non-recipe pages as there are pages devoted to recipes: A picture of the chef's book precedes each chef's offering, followed by a short (usually 1-page) narrative, then two recipes (most but not all with pictures), ends with another ad, then the next cookbook cover ad, then that narrative, then finally two more recipes. Because this is a "sampler," expecting oodles of recipes is not realistic but, in the absence of a clickable TOC, needing to scroll or flip through all of the ads did not endear me to this sampler book overall.
The value, however, is in cooking from scratch, clear instructions -- Buddy Valastro's section is particularly rich with how-to instructions (if you've had problems with or never made frosted cookies, this is the section to read) -- brief but helpful tips and tricks, and an e-book taste of hardcover/physical cookbook quality. The recipes themselves are inviting, doable, don't require unusual ingredients, and the e-book delivers what the title promises: A sampler. Additionally, although I'm not Vegan, I was impressed that a section comes from Vegan Chef Chloe Coscarelli. The one recipe that caught my eye was Carla Hall's "All-American Cranberry Pot Pie" (and her Cranberry Apple Syrup). She doesn't include a dough or pie crust recipe so you'll have to find your own, but the ingredients appear to be a nice combination that offers something different. Thanksgiving weekend pot pies here we come, and I'll add leftover turkey to make it a meal rather than a dessert.
I'm torn between 3-4 stars, especially because margarine and canola oil are called for in some recipes and there are no nutritional breakdowns with any, but opted for four stars based on variety, clarity, and overall appeal of the sampler recipes chosen. For free, as indicated in the publisher blurb, definitely. If the price or offering changes in the coming months, then recommendation is 99-cents, yes; $1.99, maybe; anything higher would depend upon how much one is willing to pay for a recipe or two that catches the eye.