Publisher's Note:  

Kat inspected rows of the same old cupcakes. They seemed to blink back at her, as if they knew she was capable of so much more.

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.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Zondervan

All's Fair in Love and Cupcakes

by Betsy St. Amant

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Overall Review:  

All's Fair in Love and Cupcakes or so it seems for the reality show in which Kat and her best friend Lucas are competing.  There are some great things about this book by Betsy St. Amant.  First, although the characters are in a competition, the book neither starts nor ends with the competition. Secondly, there is a recipe at the end.  If there were a few more, then things would be close to perfect.  The recipes for all of Kat's competition cupcakes would be nice.


The appeal in this story is partly the mouthwatering descriptions of delicious cupcakes. The other part is the emotional journey the main character takes.  The author does a great job of showing how changes in perspective can actually change a person.  As an added bonus, the romantic development of the story includes a likeable male, not some rude person turned nice.  The romantic tension almost has readers wanting to shout out loud to the characters.


Overall, the story is not super complex, but it certainly opens up the way for deeper thinking and introspection.  Those hoping for a quick read will find it here and those looking for more will also be pleased.  Readers can also look forward to a romance based on real emotions and not just physical passion.


Review was of an Advance Reader Copy

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:  None


Violence/Gore:  Character throws pillows at another; person in jest suggests another person might want to kill her; character hits another with fists; person shoves someone.


Sex/Nudity:  Non-married characters hold hands, embrace and kiss; characters wrestle on a bed, but no sexual implication; character makes unwanted advances on another, but it involves touching of hands and faces only; character asks another if he has slept with someone.

Mature Subject Matter:  

Terminal illness, dishonesty.

Alcohol / Drug Use:  

A character smokes cigarettes.

Reviewed By Susan
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