Monday, September 15, 2014

All's Fair in Love and Cupcakes by Betsy St.Amant (Review & Giveaway)

Sweet contemporary fiction

Kat Varland has had enough of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry.
At twenty-six years old, Kat is still living in the shadows of her family in Bayou Bend, Louisiana. Still working shifts at her Aunt Maggie's bakery. Still wondering what to do with her passion for baking and her business degree. And still single.
But when Lucas Brannen, Kat's best friend, signs her up for a reality TV bake-off on Cupcake Combat, everything Kat ever wanted is suddenly dangled in front of her: creative license as a baker, recognition as a visionary . . . and a job at a famous bakery in New York. 
As the competition heats up, Lucas realizes he might have made a huge mistake. As much as he wants the best for Kat, the only thing he wants for himself---her---is suddenly in danger of slipping away. 
The bright lights of reality cooking wars and the chance at a successful career dazzle Kat's senses and Lucas is faced with a difficult choice: help his friend achieve her dreams . . . or sabotage her chances to keep her in Louisiana.
My thoughts: When I agreed to review All’s Fair in Love and Cupcakes, I felt it would be a light, fluffy, saccharine sweet story. I wasn’t far wrong in my assumption. I dove into it ready for some fluff and relaxed reading. I found that from the very beginning the author used the muddling, confusing thoughts of the characters to flesh them out and give the reader insight into who they were what was going on – or what they the characters thought was going on – in their lives. This writing style can be used effectively, but this time the author simply lost this reader. However, I promised to read and review and so I continued to read. I’m glad I did.

While not a favorite of mine, the story has some really good elements to it. I like that Lucas was a good football coach and life-shaper for the boys on his team. I like that he loved Kat and wanted to help her become more secure in her feelings about her own adequacy in life’s design. She was virtually consumed with insecurity.

I like that while a sweet romance it remains very low on the passion scale which suits me fine. I like that they practice restraint even when tempted.

There were storyline issues such as the family not being supportive of Kat and critical of her. The resolution of this was kind of backhanded and understated. 

Simply stated, the book revolves around cupcakes and the baking of said cupcakes – hundreds of cupcakes. There was just so much cake eating and tasting – but then, the title alludes to that, doesn’t it.

GIVEAWAY:  Litfuse Publicity Group is providing a copy for one of Chat With Vera's readers to win for their very own. Just use the Rafflecopter entry form below. And may the best cupcake - oops! ..... forgot this wasn't the cupcake contest. Here's to fluff reading with lots of sweetness involved! Begins September 15 & ENDS October 8 @ 12:01 a.m. ET. Open to USA addresses only.
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Litfuse Publicity Group on behalf of the author and publisher, Zondervan, in exchange for my review. Opinions expressed are my own. I received no compensation for this review.


  1. Chocolate is my favorite anything flavor.

  2. This is not my recipe, but I would love to try it! Rocky Road ice cream is my favorite, so I'm sure these would be delish!
    Rocky Road Cupcakes

    Rocky Road Cupcakes

    Chocolate Cake:
    1 box Devil's Food Cake Mix
    3 eggs
    1/2 C. oil or melted butter
    3/4 C. milk
    1/2 C. sour cream
    2 tsp. vanilla extract
    1 C. mini chocolate chips
    Chocolate Almond Frosting:
    1 C. butter, softened
    2 tsp. vanilla extract
    1 1/2 tsp. almond extract, optional
    1/2 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
    3 Tbsp. milk or sour cream
    3-4 C. powdered sugar
    Chocolate Ganache:
    1 C. semi sweet chocolate chips
    1/2 C. heavy whipping cream
    Mini marshmallow and nutes (I used sliced almonds) for decoration

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line pans with cupcake liners.
    2. Sift cake mix into a small bowl and set aside.
    3. In a large bowl, combine eggs, oil, milk, sour cream and vanilla extract until smooth.
    4. Stir in cake mix and mini chocolate chips.
    5. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full and bake for 15-20 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean.
    6. Let cool.
    7. Chocolate Almond Frosting: Beat butter until smooth. Add vanilla extract, almond extract, cocoa powder and milk and beat again. Slowly add in powdered sugar until you reach your desired consistency. Add more milk if it becomes too thick!
    8. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes.
    9. Chocolate Ganache: Combine chocolate chips and cream and heat (on the stove or in the microwave) and stir until smooth.
    10. Spoon or pipe (using a small ziplock plastic bag and snipping off the corner) over piped cupcakes.
    11. Sprinkle on mini marshmallows and nuts!
    Copyright © YourCupofCake

    1. Oh my! I'm getting a hankering for one of these!

  3. Cherry Chip with marshmallow frosting & maraschino cherry on top! :)

  4. Definitely vanilla with sprinkles! So yummy! Thanks for sharing at Booknificent Thursday! :)

  5. I like vanilla with chocolate frosting.

  6. I am not a cake person at all. Sorry! But I think I'd enjoy the book! Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday! Always a pleasure to have you!

  7. Here's a link to a favorite, yummy cupcake via Taste of Home called Special Mocha Cupcakes.

  8. I love a good dark chocolate cupcake!

  9. I love red velvet flavor with cream cheese frosting.


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