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.
Warning: this sweet romance will give you a serious hankering for a cupcake with all its glorious descriptions of gourmet delicacies. Thankfully there are recipes of the most enticing cupcakes appended to the end.
Cupcake master and visionary Kat Varland has lived her life believing she is never good enough and stuck in a meaningless rut. Reinforcing that misconception is her critical family. Kat’s best friend and self-nominated knight in shining armour, Lucas Brannen, is determined to convey his love to her by giving her the confidence and opportunity to break out of their small town and seize her dreams. However, when he realizes that his grand gesture will threaten the future he has planned for himself and Kat, he begins to regret the folly of his impulsiveness.
The cupcake competition/reality show is clearly inspired by “Cupcake Wars” and acts as a familiar backdrop for Kat and Lucas’ romance. They established a predictable pattern of one step forward to three steps back on the next page as continual misunderstanding and poor communication fray at their friendship. Both are guilty of selfish and immature behaviour as they clumsily navigate through their evolving feelings and assumptions. Much of the competition is glossed over and the focus is placed instead on Kat and Lucas’ inner monologue lamenting the jeopardy of their respective dreams and goals for the future. Even during competition scenes, the action at hand is placed on a back burner (pun intended) as the characters read meaning in to every glance and command. That they will end up together is undeniable and easily discerned, as is how the resolution of conflict will play out.
The themes and message are impacting and resonate with anyone who has struggled with finding their path or has dreams that are at odds with their present situation. The premise of this fun and light-hearted read is cute, but it just fell short of a win for me based on character and plot development. If you are a foodie and chick-lit lover, this may be one for you!
**Disclosure: review copy provided by Litfuse Publicity**