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All of her life, Chloe Madison has flitted from one school or job to another, pursuing her various interests and never sticking with any one pursuit for long. That is, until now…she has just received her diploma from the Culinary Arts Institute, graduating with honors. She should be on cloud nine, but instead, she just discovered that her live-in boyfriend of two years, Ryan, has been cheating on her with a French woman. And now he is moving to France to be with her. To make matters worse, Chloe is estranged from her dad because she refused to break up with Ryan. As a result, her wealthy father cut her off without a cent. Her ex-boyfriend has paid up the rent on their apartment for the next three months, but she cannot stay there and be constantly reminded of him. So when her best friend Monica suggests that she start over by moving to Sugar Creek, where Monica lives, and use her diploma to work for Daisy, an eccentric elderly woman, she accepts. Her job is to be Daisy’s personal chef and chauffeur, although Chloe has not driven in fourteen years. But nothing ever prepared her for Daisy’s grandson.
Devlin Monroe, Daisy’s grandson, is a workaholic, trying to keep control of the various businesses that he and the rest of his family own in the small town of Sugar Creek. With a super Walmart being built not too far away, he is concerned about the future of his family’s department store and is trying to find a way to compete. However, his father has left for Florida on a semi-retirement and has supposedly left Devlin in charge, although he refuses to let go of the reins, making it hard for Devlin to put his plans into motion. Although Devlin occasionally dates, he avoids commitment, having been hurt in the past when his brief marriage of six months ended with his wife leaving him. His feisty grandmother is getting too old to live by herself. She has almost burnt her house down once before during a meeting of the Cupcake Lovers at her house. Fortunately, she had not been at home alone. As for driving, she is an accident waiting to happen. But when she hires a girl to cook and drive for her without his input, he is very upset. So he has his best friend, Jaycee, an investigator, check up on her. When he discovers her unstable background and the fact that she went from her rich daddy to a rich boyfriend, he figures she is a gold digger and doubts she will last the three month trial period that she and Daisy had agreed upon.
Stopping at the local grocery store before going home, Devlin is surprised to run into a gorgeous woman, one he has never seen before. Later, he stops in the restaurant that he and his brother own together and, noticing that his brother is distracted, discovers that the same girl is there. But when he stops to introduce himself, he is disgruntled to discover that she is Chloe, the girl his grandmother hired. However, this doesn’t stop him from trying to get to know her and spend time with her. One way to do this is by allowing the Cupcake Lovers, a club that has been in existence since the forties and frequently sends cupcakes to the soldiers abroad and other charitable activities, meet at his house. But with the club in turmoil and Chloe right in the middle of the trouble, Devlin must take action. Can the Cupcake Lovers club be saved? Will his feelings for Chloe be a repeat of his past disastrous relationship, or is this his chance at a happily ever after with the woman he loves?
A fun read, FOOL FOR LOVE, the first book in talented author Beth Ciotta’s CUPCAKE LOVERS series, is a witty, passionate, contemporary romance that is sure to delight readers. After the abrupt death of Chloe’s mother and the death of Daisy’s husband, the two women share a fear of death, never knowing when their number will be up, so they live life to the fullest. However, following this principle only lands these Soul Sisters in hot water time and again as their antics go awry. In addition, there is a secondary romantic triangle introduced in this story between Rocky, Devlin’s sister; Adam, her friend with benefits; and Jaycee, her first love who is also Devlin’s best friend. Although there are several issues going on in this story, it never gets confusing. Delightfully entertaining, FOOL FOR LOVE is packed with humor, madcap antics, interesting characters, family dynamics, passion, romance and plenty of love. It is sure to be a winner. I highly recommend this book and look forward to reading the next addition to this delightful series. Do not miss it! Included at the end of this book are several delicious cupcake recipes!
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