FOOL FOR LOVE – Beth Ciotta
Cupcake Lovers, Book 1
Sugar Creek, Vermont – Present Day
After spending years muddling through one failed career after another, Chloe Madison decides to use her culinary degree and the breakup of her engagement to move to upper Vermont for a job as cook and companion for an elderly woman. Moving to a small town like Sugar Creek shouldn't be too bad, especially since Chloe's best friend Monica lives there. Her first night in town, Chloe runs into a hot, sexy guy in the grocery store aisle. Sparks fly between them, but they're soon dashed when she learns he is her employer's hard to please grandson, Devlin Monroe. Things only go downhill from there when Chloe's employer, Daisy, proves to be one determined lady who wants to live life on the edge, much to her grandson's dismay.
Devlin's been part of the family business since he was young, groomed to be in charge. But he's feeling the pressure of dealing with an impending Walmart coming to town and a need to always be in control. This includes making sure his grandmother doesn't get into any harebrained situations. Alas, Chloe doesn't help matters, such as inner tubing with Daisy down the river. It doesn't take long for Devlin to be in Chloe's face, warning her to keep a better eye on his grandmother. Of course, the closeness also has Devlin wanting to kiss her. But Chloe represents free spiritedness and not worrying about her future, which is definitely at odds with the uptight, always with a mission in mind Devlin.
Daisy tries to get Chloe to join the town's cupcake club, which meets to try cupcake recipes for a planned cookbook. Chloe, however, associates cakes with the night of her broken engagement and the cake she'd baked for a celebration that turned into a disaster when she discovered what a louse he turned out to be. The ladies (and the one guy) of the club are a lively group who are pitted again the self-appointed president, Tasha. Can they convince Chloe to help them in their plans?
After years in New York City, it's a big change for Chloe in FOOL FOR LOVE as she arrives in Sugar Creek, a town so small it doesn't have internet cafes or Starbucks. She's excited to start her job, even if it will be her first job as a professional cook. The last person she expects to run into (literally) is her employer's grandson, especially when everyone warns her about his no nonsense attitude. With Chloe, the past few years have been all about living for the moment. Daisy seems to have that attitude also, but Chloe finds herself running after the elderly lady to make sure she doesn't get hurt. Daisy wants to do dangerous stunts and thinks Chloe is her companion in the escapades. It's hard to convince Devlin that Chloe isn't really like that anymore. The sizzling attraction between Devlin and Chloe has them caught between a rock and a hard place. For Devlin, he doesn't think she is his type, especially after what happened with his previous marriage. For Chloe, she can't be interested in a workaholic who is amazingly much like her dad, from whom she's estranged. Yet, neither Chloe nor Devlin can soon deny the attraction, even if it turns out hard to find time alone, with Daisy almost always poking around. Even the backseat of a car in the middle of the night isn't a place to find some alone time.
The cast of supporting characters in FOOL FOR LOVE provides for some delightful fun. Besides Monica and Daisy, there is Devlin's sister Rocky; when his best buddy Jayce rolls into town, it brings up some unsettling memories for Rocky, especially when he decides to stay at her bed and breakfast. Sam, the only male member of the cupcake club, has unrequited love for fellow member Rachel. Can the lonely widower work up the nerve to ask Rachel to share more than his cupcake? Then there is Tasha…she's a bitch and really knows how to be manipulative. Will she get her comeuppance in FOOL FOR LOVE?
A tale that is funny, romantic, and a hoot to read, FOOL FOR LOVE will make you hungry for cupcakes while you read this tasty romance. A bonus is the several cupcake recipes in the back, but the real treat is sitting down with FOOL FOR LOVE and enjoying this delightful tale.