Sunday, October 5, 2014

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

All's Fair in Love and Cupcakes
Author: Betsy St. Amant
Publication: September 2, 2014
By: Zondervan
Amazon | Goodreads

Kat inspected rows of the same old cupcakes. They seemed to blink back at her, as if they knew she was capable of so much more.

Kat Varland has had enough of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry.

At twenty-six years old, Kat is still living in the shadows of her family in Bayou Bend, Louisiana. Still working shifts at her Aunt Maggie s bakery. Still wondering what to do with her passion for baking and her business degree. And still single.

But when Lucas Brannen, Kat s best friend, signs her up for a reality TV bake-off on Cupcake Combat, everything Kat ever wanted is suddenly dangled in front of her: creative license as a baker, recognition as a visionary . . . and a job at a famous bakery in New York.

As the competition heats up, Lucas realizes he might have made a huge mistake. As much as he wants the best for Kat, the only thing he wants for himself her is suddenly in danger of slipping away.

The bright lights of reality cooking wars and the chance at a successful career dazzle Kat s senses and Lucas is faced with a difficult choice: help his friend achieve her dreams . . . or sabotage her chances to keep her in Louisiana."

*I received this eARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

What I Liked: I'll be honest, the cover and title are what originally drew me to this book because anyone who knows me IRL or online associates me with cupcakes. I am totally okay with that plan. 

AFiLaC was a light, fun read about best friends turned more. Eventually. They have to make it through several misunderstandings, a reality T.V. competition and an obscene amount of cupcakes first before they get their happy ending. 

The alternating POVs kept the pace moving and even though this was Christian Fiction, the charcters share the same struggles their mainstream coutnerparts do: faith (not just in themselves but a higher power), belief (that they're able to put their talenst to good use) and love. 

Speaking of love, AFiLaC may not have any sexytimes in it, but there is plenty of tension. And kissing. One of the things I REALLY enjoyed about this story was how author Betsy St. Amant didn't gloss over the attraction Kat and Lucas clearly feel for one another. It wasn't anything uncomfortable and didn't push any boundaries, but she also didn't do what I've seen a lot of Christian Fiction writers do, which is to go the, "Let's pretend these two healthy, attractive adults are oblivious to their desire" route. 

Instead, she has Kat and Lucas thinking about and considering the consequences of what could happen if they allowed themselves to cross those lines. Which I totally respected. 

What Left Me Wanting More: It felt like there was a lot more misunderstanding going on than was necessary. Towards the end, I found myself getting frustrated with both Kat AND Lucas. Again, these are two adults who are supposedly long time best friends. You'd think they would be able to discuss their feelings and not beat around the bush so much. 

Final Verdict: Light, fun and at times, sugary-sweet contemporary romance.

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