The Icing on the Cupcake by Jennifer Ross? I mean, who wouldn't love this cover with the gorgeous cupcakes and the beautiful pink and green colouring?
Southern belle Ansley Waller has it all. A recent college grad, she's engaged to Parish, a man who will ensure her financial security and is gorgeous to boot. Ansley's busy planning her wedding, and mentally naming the children who will no doubt be a product of their union when Parish calls off the wedding and everything falls apart. Determined to leave Dallas with her head held high, Ansley makes contact with her estranged grandmother, Vivian, recently widowed and living in New York. Vivian permits Ansley to come out to stay, but provides her with an ultimatum- get a job within 8 weeks, or return to Dallas.
Ansley comes from a family who bakes when times are tough, so upon her arrival in New York, Ansley begins baking up a storm. While helping to correct some tax problems brought on by Vivian's late husband, and getting adjusted to a New York that is very different from Dallas, will Ansley be able to get a job and retain her dignity?
This was a cute coming-of-age story. The Ansley that we meet at the beginning of the book (over-confident and often mean) is very different from the Ansley that we are left with at the end. Throughout the book Ansley learns that being nasty does not necessarily pay, and that in fact it can have some dire consequences. The sub-plots throughout- Ansley's grandmother Vivian must come to terms with the fact that she abandoned her daughter at a young age, Vivian gets involved in a romance with an unlikely candidate- serve only to enhance the main story. I liked that the ending was not necessarily what I expected it to be. I'm not going to give it away here, but what I thought was going to happen was not what happened, which was a pleasant surprise.
There are recipes for cupcakes throughout the book at the end of every chapter, which will tickle the fancy of anyone who enjoys both reading and baking. These recipes include Margarita, Hold the Salt, Green With Envy Cupcakes, Black Bottom Heartache and more. My only complaint? Deep-fried Snickers cupcakes were mentioned a couple of times in the book, but there was no recipe! I swear, every time I read "deep fried Snickers" I salivated. It sounds like it could be difficult for the beginner baker to tackle, but man would I love to try that one!
The Icing on the Cupcake was a fun, light read, and with Mother's Day approaching I would recommend this one as a gift for the mom in your life who loves reading and baking. Thank-you to Jennifer Ross for sending me this copy for review!
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Recommended to: Chick lit lovers, anyone who enjoys baking cupcakes
Challenges: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge, New Author Challenge 2010, 2010 Chick Lit Challenge