Monday, August 4, 2014

Book Review: All's Fair in Love and Cupcakes by Betsy St. Amant

Every once in a while a book comes along that I just love.  All's Fair in Love and Cupcakes was one of those books.  I was first introduced to Betsy St. Amant's writing in the book A February Bride. As much as I loved that novella, I loved this book even more.
Kat Varland lives in the small town of Bayou Bend, Louisiana.  She works at her aunt's cupcake shop, Sweetie Pies, but she dreams of so much more.  Since she's only allowed to bake chocolate, strawberry and vanilla cupcakes at the shop, Kat spends her evenings creating new, creative cupcake recipes.  She has no self-confidence in her abilities, and no support from her family.  The only person who believes in her is her best friend, Lucas Brannen.  Kat is in love with Lucas, but she's afraid she'll ruin their friendship if she tells him.
Lucas is the local high school football coach.  He makes a trip to Sweetie Pies every Saturday to buy strawberry cupcakes for his team.  But his favorite moments come in the evenings after the shop is closed and Kat bakes her unique cupcakes just for him.  He's in love with Kat, but he wants her to realize her talents and make her dreams come true before he proposes to her.  He is trying to buy a house just outside of Bayou Bend with ten acres of land, and he dreams of the day he can live there with Kat and their kids.  To help her achieve her dreams, he secretly applies for a place for Kat in a cupcake competition television show called Cupcake Combat.  He and Kat travel together to Los Angeles for a week of baking, and maybe a little romance.  Sparks fly between them--both good and bad--and they each have to come to terms with what it means to give up your dream for someone you love.
This book was incredible.  When I was approved to read it, it instantly jumped to the top of my "reading" list and I finished it in less than a day.  The characters are well-developed and totally relatable.  Most people have experienced some lack of self-confidence in their lives, like Kat.  And most of us know someone who is incredible and doesn't know it no matter how often we try to tell them, like Lucas.  The dialogue isn't cheesy.  (Even though the book is set in the deep south, there wasn't a "sugah" to be found.  More about my beef with that here.) Somehow Ms. St. Amant blends Lucas' love of football and Kat's love of baking into a great mix.  I loved the bakery.  I loved the competition scenes.  I loved the conversations between Kat and Lucas.  I loved the football team.  I loved it all.  I wanted Kat's dream to come true, but I didn't want her leave Bayou Bend and Lucas.  I wanted Lucas to buy the house and land and propose to Kat, and for them to live happily ever after.  So many conflicts!  As a bonus to this already great read, you'll get Kat's recipe for Raspberry Lemonade Torte Cupcakes at the end of book.

So here are few reasons you should read All's Fair in Love and Cupcakes;
1.  You love cupcakes
2. You love fun, clean romance
3. You love men who love football
4. You love cooking competition shows
5. You hate cooking competition shows
6. You love books where you think you know what will happen, but you don't
7. All of the above

If you only read one fun romance this fall, make it All's Fair in Love and Cupcakes by Betsy St. Amant.  I can almost guarantee you'll love it!

Happy Reading, Ya'll!!

I was given a coy of this book in exchange for this review.  All opinions are my own.

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