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Staff recommendations and reviews from the Plainfield Public Library

Cupcake Diaries (Books 1 & 2) by Darlene Panzera

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This bland set by Panzera (Bet You’ll Marry Me) centers on best friends in their small town of Astoria, OR.

In Sweet on You, Andi, Rachel, and Kim are celebrating a birthday but don’t have their customary cupcake to split. Fortunately, there is an attractive gentleman at the next table who has just the cupcake they desire, so Andi sweet talks him into sharing. Like her friends, Andi has financial woes and doesn’t know how she will make this month’s rent or support her daughter. She has always loved baking cupcakes—and eating them even more—so with the financial backing of Jake, the hunky man they sat next to in the bar, the three girls open their own shop, Creative Cupcakes. Jake shows he is interested in more than being just Andi’s business partner, but when she discovers a healthy-eating group sabotaging her business, she may not have the time or courage to take a chance on love.

In Recipe for Love, fiery redhead and Creative Cupcakes’ marketing
rep Rachel has enacted a strict two-date limit rule so a guy can never get a glimpse of her true self. Mike the Magnificent, a magician for a party hosted at the shop, sets Rachel’s heart aflutter, but she is afraid he won’t like her if he got to know her. Worried about finding the money to pay for her grandfather’s medical treatments, Rachel is determined to come up with the perfect plan to boost business and outsell their competition, a snooty French pastry shop around the corner. Mike has an idea that will help, but Rachel needs to keep him at a distance or risk breaking her two-date rule and, ultimately, her heart.

In addition to recycling the same plot, these series titles feature heroines who are lifeless and romantic elements that don’t display real emotion. “The Cupcake Diaries” trilogy has about as much substance as one of Creative Cupcakes’ sugary confections. The Cupcake Diaries: Taste of Romance (Kim’s story) will be released later this month.

Originally published in Library Journal Xpress Reviews: E-Originals | First Look at New Books, May 24, 2013

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