Rating of five cupcakes for Beth Ciotta's Anything But Love, a contemporary romance must read. A very good friend, whom I trust implicitly when it comes to book recommendations, told me I had to read Beth Ciotta's Cupcake Lovers novels as I'd fall in love with her writing and the town of Sugar Creek, Vermont. Well, when I heard that, I quickly started to devour the novels - and just like cupcakes, they're delicious, addictive, and absolutely perfect.
First of all, may I say if you haven't already, please, please get start reading the series as this is a fun, romantic, sexy, touching, and all together pleasurable romp. Ciotta is a master at making you laugh while you read, while at the same time you absolutely need to make sure that the Kleenex box is close at hand as tears sometimes fall.
Book three, Anything But Love, opens with major player and pub owner Luke Monroe trying to find out where his one-time waitress and the town's favorite pre-school aide Rachel Lacey disappeared to. His cousin Sam McCloud, who had been trying to woo Rachel for months, discovered Luke and Rae in a very hot tryst and panicked Rae just disappeared. Unlike Luke he worried, he fretted, and he didn't date. Finally, just before Christmas, his soon-to-be brother-in-law Jayce tracked Rachel down, but Rachel's actually Hollywood heiress Reagan Deveraux. And if Luke is to find any piece of mind and stop gorging on cupcakes, he needs to see her in person.
After tracking her down and finding out that perhaps her Hollywood life isn't quite as perfect as it might seem they find themselves in a very steamy encounter. But life goes on and Luke returns to Sugar Creek, with Rae unsure what to do. Can a player like Luke, who usually has three women on a string ever find himself happy with just one? Can Rae trust Luke and her heart? And what about that other small complication?
Ciotta's gift of humor and sensitivity to her characters inner life is evident throughout the book. One of the reasons I'd advise reading these not as stand alones (although you could) is she interweaves characters from each of her books in these and it's like coming in mid-movie, you really do want to know what's been going on. She usually also has a few romantic subplots available and the one, with Luke's cousin Sam McCloud and Hollywood pr specialist Harper Day, in Anything But Love is fascinating. This is a five cupcake book and you can bake them yourself with the recipes at the end submitted by devoted readers.
Cupcake Lovers is a series that combines an innocence of heart with some very steamy romance - as well as a zany crew of characters that you will fall in love with. You should definitely pick up her holiday novella, [b:Some Kind of Wonderful book 3.5 in the series and I've already marked my calendar for the 1 July 2014 release date of book In the Mood for Love], where we will find out what happens with Harper Day and Sam McCloud, who will now have the leading roles in the series.
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