Fool for Love

Beth Ciotta
September 2012, Contemporary Romance
St. Martin's, $7.99, 368 pages, Amazon ASIN 1250001323
Part of a series

Grade: C
Sensuality: Warm

I like going into books blind, because then at least I haven’t (to the best of my abilities) pre-judged the book. And who wants to put their reading list into a pigeonhole, anyway? So, yeah, I didn’t know going in that the first book in Ms. Ciotta’s new Cupcake Lovers features small towns, cupcakes, and outrageous grandmas, and I don’t care, because it could have been good. And truly, I gave it my best. But I swear to god, what a tiresome book.

Is there a single cliché unmined here? I think not. Big city woman with man/career/family issues, or all three. Small town man with woman/career/family issues (or all three). Aforementioned outrageous grandma who’s just trying to live life to the fullest. Instantaneous attraction between Big City Woman and Small Town Man, as well as BCW and Outrageous Grandma (but attraction of a different sort, more like kindred spirits rather than bone-jumping – although truth to tell it would have been so much more interesting if had been the latter – but I digress).

There really isn’t anything I can say here that you can’t guess, unless your guesses run to man-eating tigers popping out of birthday cakes in Little Postcard Town of Vermont (or New Hampshire, or somewhere in New England where life semi-revolves around triple chocolate coconut cream cupcakes). Chloe resolves her daddy issues and commits. Devon gets a life and loosens up. Do I do the characters an injustice by reducing them to one-liners? Nope. It really is that simple, and simplistic.

And of course, there are the cupcakes. I will be fully honest and say I do not understand (underline, bold, italicize, size 20) the current cupcake craze, so the whole premise, although not overpowering in the story, did not endear me to the story.

I refuse to allow yet another totally average, totally hackneyed book to put me off taking risks in my reading. But dude: It took me 10 weeks - ten weeks - to finish this effing book. So pardon me if I don't respond more enthusiastically.

-- Jean Wan

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