But before we get to the review, let's check out the book, yes?
For Jaclyn “Jack” Pace, sensing what sweets people crave is as easy as breathing. But it’s not enough to keep her cupcake bakery in the black.Sounds good, right? Now for the review....
So, when her estranged sister Harper comes back to town with an affinity for making art out of icing—and a past full of secrets—she reluctantly gives Harper a job and a place to crash.
As their sisterly relationship begins to thaw, the one with her business partner Graham starts to heat up. Given the legend that says Hollingsworth men will recognize their soul mates at first touch, Jack’s always been resigned to the fact that she’s not his.
But when she starts sensing desires that are decidedly not dessert-related, it’ll take all of her magic to set things right with customers and make her own desires come true.
Love and Cupcakes is a delightfully sweet and sensual romance from Susan Bishop Crispell.
**Thanks to my pretty prancy PA AKA Christina from The Book Hookup for letting me
Rating & First Reaction:
4 stars. I love the idea of a person who can sense what people want in flavors and cupcakes are a win-win in my book. Throw in a sort of BFF-to-more situation set in the south and I'm in.
Jaclyn: I really liked Jack. She's been in love with Graham pretty much her entire life, but hasn't really done anything about it. She's an every day type of person, aside from her magical ability [which only gets a vague description as to how it all started] and loves cupcakes. Her idea to start a business formed quickly and it has become quite a passion.
What really sold me on her, was the scene where she names an oven. I name pretty much all of my electronics and cars, so seeing her do something that I do all the time made me really relate to her. I also wanted to hug her a lot.
Graham: He's a baker. Do I need to say more? Okay...fine. He's been raised to believe that the men in his family will know their soul mate upon touching them for the first time, so he's hesitant to believe anything he feels. We don't really get a lot of details on this phenomenon of sorts and even though we do get some Graham POV, he seems to be just as confused about it as I was.
His attentiveness to Jack is adorable and their mounting attraction [and his struggle] was interesting to read. I absolutely loved the requisite big brother talk between Graham and Hutton, even though there were times I wanted to throw some punches myself.
There were swoons sprinkled about in the story, but I'll leave those for you to find. I will tell you that you should prepare yourself for an ungodly amount of UST, brief touches and across-the-room stares filled with longing.
Harper: The baby of the family, she sarcastic, headstrong and adds a lot of levity throughout. She's also hiding a few things herself. Harper's story is revealed to us in increments and I really liked it that way. I enjoyed reading into every nuance and dissecting conversations to see if I could figure it out.
Hutton: As Jack's and Harper's older brother, he provides a lot of the conflict in the book. I don't want to say too much about him because I don't want to spoil anything. I will say that he's exactly what I imagine a big brother would be like.
Townspeople: Being set in the south, you know there's going to be a lot of nosy, fun characters and this book didn't disappoint. I loved both Jack's and Graham's "mama" and the extra characters that I won't mention due to spoilers all made for a delicious assortment of personalities.
Plot & Pacing:
It was a bit of a slow burn for me. There was a lot of build up with the past relationships of everyone involved. And when we finally get the big reveal between Graham and Jack, the book is pretty much over. I would have liked to have had more of their HEA, instead of the seemingly abrupt ending we got, but all in all, it was hopeful and happy.
Also, a little more of a background on both Jack's and Graham's abilities would have been good. We got brief explanations of both, but there was a definite opportunity to make it something more. And of course, because I'm a greedy whore, an epilogue [or even one more chapter] would have been perfection.
Yes. If you're in the mood for a sweet, magical romance that's heavy on the sugar and cupcakes, this book is for you.
Huge thanks to Susan for the invitation and to Swoon Romance for providing the arc! Make sure you're following Susan on Twitter, liking her Facebook page, subscribing to her blog and adding Love & Cupcakes to your GoodReads shelf.