The Cupcake Diaries, book 3 - Taste of Romance
By Dottie
May 24, 2013 - 11:04:38 AM

Kim Burke is the co-owner of a bakery, Creative Cupcakes, with her sister Andi, their friend Rachel and Andi’s boyfriend Jake. Recently, even Rachel has found the love of her life and has gotten engaged, leaving Kim feeling lonely. It seemed like everyone has a partner but her. When Kim and Andi were young, they lost their mother to an airplane crash, leaving Kim afraid to fly. While in college, she had dated an Irish student named Gavin, but when he returned home, her fear of flying prevented her from going with him, although she longs to travel. An artist, Kim wants nothing more than to open her own gallery, but without the financial backing, she uses her talent to decorate cupcakes for the bakery. Since her father sold the house where she and Andi grew up, Kim is staying with Andi, but as her sister’s relationship heats up, Kim knows it is only a matter of time before she will have to find her own place. Unfortunately, the lease is about to run out on the bakery and, instead of renewing the lease, the owner has put the building up for sale, leaving Kim wondering if she will even have a job by month’s end. With so many problems on her mind, she needs an afternoon off. Leaving the bakery, she takes a path she has never traveled before, landing in a field of roses. Believing she is in the park, she wanders through, counting the rose bushes on her way, until she sees a gardener and discovers that the field is his private property. Once she realizes her mistake, she promptly leaves, but not before receiving a bouquet of roses from the gardener.

Swedish Nathaniel Sjolander owns Sjolander’s Garden Nursery along with his brother. Except for his brother and a few cousins, his family still resides in Sweden and if his mother has her way, Nicholas will be returning home to stay. Since his first meeting with Kim, he has been unable to forget her and has been sending her roses daily. He knows that her bakery will be supplying cupcakes for his brother’s wedding, but he is determined to see her again before then. So when she agrees to a date with him, he is overjoyed.

Kim and her partners have one month to come up with enough money to buy the building or they may be out of business. To complicate matters, there is a cupcake thief who is cutting into their profits. Working together to find out the identity of the cupcake thief, Nathaniel and Kim’s feelings for each other deepen. But he is due to return to Sweden. Will her fear of flying destroy any chance they have at a future together? Will they find the cupcake thief before he/she destroys the bakery?

A fun read, TASTE OF ROMANCE, the third novella in author Darlene Panzera's CUPCAKE DIARIES series, is an intriguing, witty contemporary novella. Kim is torn, not knowing whether to stay with her sister and friends or join a group of friends who are investing in a gallery. But before she can become involved in a gallery, she has to help her partners save the bakery. This series follows three women who find love after starting their own business. Packed with humor, a clever thief, a mistaken diagnosis, cupcakes, mystery, fears, healing and love, this story is a delight. I have thoroughly enjoyed each of the three novellas in this series and recommend that you read them in order, starting with SWEET ON YOU, followed by RECIPE FOR LOVE and finally, TASTE OF ROMANCE. I recommend this story to anyone who enjoys adventure, humor and romance, but a word of warning, it may leave you with a craving for cupcakes. Fortunately, Ms. Panzera provides you with a recipe for cupcakes at the end of the story.

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