Rating: 2.5 Stars
Genre: New Adult Fiction
Published: September 2014
All’s Fair in Love and Cupcakes by Betsy St. Amant is about Kat, baker of cupcakes, who longs for something more than her life in a small Louisiana town and the ability to create all the decadent cupcakes she wants. She works at her aunt’s shop doomed to repeat the monotonous vanilla, chocolate, strawberry cupcakes that the bakery sells. Her best friend, Lucas, had he life figured out for a while. He know coaches the high school football team and his kids mean the world to him. Lucas knows Kat has more talent the town can help foster. Knowing she’s worth having her own shop some time and determined to prove how good she really is, Lucas signs her up to compete in a Cupcake competition in Los Angeles. What he didn’t know, what that instead of the usual monetary prize this year, it’s a one-year internship in NYC at a famous bakery. As feelings between Kat and Lucas start to build during the competition in L.A., they’re both unsure of what it would mean if Kat wins and leaves her home and Lucas.
It’s essentially a cute story involving cupcakes and best friends who are destined to fall in love. What I find improbable is the inherent ability that the football coach, Lucas, has to bake. I’m no good at making delicate designs out of icing and fondant and I’ve had YEARS of art classes. Yet somehow, this guy who only bakes when Kat is around to instruct, knows how to do just that.
I think at its heart, it’s a story that I would like and devour. I appreciate that the author is Christian, and it’s her prerogative to write that way, as well. However, I have read many other Christian authors without the same reaction I had while reading this book. Maybe it was the mood I was in while reading this book or maybe I was just hyper aware of how many times the author spoke about God. I’m not sure, but it didn’t sit well with me. Things like that usually don’t bother me. What bothers me is when a character will specifically not take action because they’re leaving it up to God to handle. It’s a bit of a “Jesus Take the Wheel” kind of thing. It has its place, but that place is not in the situations that were present in this book.
What I hated was that instead of doing something about their feelings, both characters, through their own POVs, just pined for each other and would not stop talking about it. It was so annoying! I did like that Kat was a baker and it was fun reading about a baking competition and the trials of reality TV.
I really liked the premise of this book and I’m sad that it didn’t live up to my expectations. But overall, there was too many things that angered me in this book for it to be something to recommend. I can tell that the author is a decent writer, she just needs to have her characters be more purposeful and have less inaction and indecision. I understand that the characters are going through something and are having a tough time coming to a decision about each other but at the same time, they really need to not think the same things over and over and over and over again.
I’d like to thank NetGalley and Zondervan Fiction for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.