Sugar Rush by Donna Kauffman

http://amzn.to/29aMOH8When baker extraordinaire Leilani Trusdale left the bustle of New York City for Georgia's sleepy Sugarberry Island, she didn't expect her past to follow. 

Yet suddenly, her former boss, Baxter Dunne, aka Chef Hot Cakes, the man who taught her everything pastry, wants to film his hit cooking show in her tiny cupcakery. The same Chef Hot Cakes whose molten chocolate brown eyes and sexy British accent made Lani's mouth water and her cheeks blush the colour of raspberry filling - stirring all kinds of kitchen gossip, much of which Lani wished was true. 

Lani's friends are convinced that this time around, Baxter is the missing ingredient in her recipe for happiness. But convincing Lani will be a job for Baxter himself. And he'll need more then black velvet frosting to sweeten the deal...


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This is the first book in The Cupcake Club series which combines the two wonderful worlds of cupcakes and romance which are the two reasons I felt drawn to this book.

I've not had much luck with romance books that have a backdrop of food or restaurants but this one does manage to work that well into the storyline. The descriptions of the cakes sounded amazing and I like the fact that you get a couple of recipes (with frostings) at the back of the book to try yourself.

Apart from that, unfortunately I wasn't overly keen on the characters. I could identify with, and didn't dislike, Leilani but she didn't have enough sparkle to really make me root for her. Baxter wasn't my cup of tea for two reasons: 1) because he was 'British' which paved the way for embarrassing attempts at Brit speak and accents, although thankfully not so often as to make the book unreadable. The second reason is that right at the beginning it was mentioned that Baxter was younger than Leilani. Although it probably doesn't bother most people, and it was only by three years, I just don't like that dynamic and it made me disappointed from the start. It turned out to never be mentioned again which made me wonder why it was mentioned in the first place. There were some supporting characters but a little too many to really care for them and none that stood out except for crazy Alva.

The plot also fell a little flat for me as I just didn't feel that much happened. If Leilani and Baxter weren't discussing one thing, they were talking about something else. Sometimes Leilani would discuss things with her father or her best friend and then sometimes other people would discuss other things that were happening. I'm all for conversation and banter between characters but not at the expense of moving the story forward or having something interesting happen.

My last point - which didn't affect my rating of the book but still has to be mentioned - was the cover. The cupcakes on the front are to die for and I enjoyed staring at them and wishing I could eat them right up. On the back, however, is a photo of a couple and I swear that if they are a day over 18 I'll eat my hat. Perhaps that's just me getting older but they made me cringe.

Anyway - I wasn't much of a fan of this book so sadly can't recommend it. It wasn't terrible, the writing was okay but it just didn't capture my attention despite the delicious cupcakes. 2 stars.


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336 pages



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