Sunday, June 9, 2013

RECIPE FOR LOVE, Book Two in The Cupcake Diaries Series by Darlene Panzera, Reviewed by Nikki @Tastybooktours

The Cupcake Diaries
Recipe for Love #2

Avon Impulse

On-Sale May 14th, 2013

For fans of Debbie Macomber comes Recipe for Love, the second installment in the Cupcake Diaries series Relationships can be tricky, but will Mike the magician convince Rachel to break her two-date rule? Rachel Donovan believes first dates are fabulous, second dates are fun, but third dates? She never sees a guy three times in a row for fear he'll break her heart, but she's tempted to make an exception when her coworkers, Andi and Kim, hire Mike Palmer to drive their Cupcake Mobile.

Mike meets Rachel when he's wearing his black-masked magician costume at a Creative Cupcakes birthday party and then tries to saw her in half. He draws closer while helping Rachel devise promotion plans to outsmart the arrogant new French pastry chef threatening to put the shop out of business. When a rat runs through the middle of her glitzy promo party and the video is uploaded to YouTube, Rachel fears she won't be able to save the shop, help her mother pay for her grandfather's medical treatment, or win back the heart of the one guy she's come to love . . . or will she?


Recipe for Love, is the second book in The Cupcake Diaries. It picks up with Rachel, the party girl. Rachel is a firm believer of a two-date rule.  She has been hurt before and does not want to repeat it. Relationships are tricky. Especially for Rachel when a mysterious masked man tempts her, Mike the Magician.  He cuts her in half in a magic show in their expansion of Creative Cupcakes, when they first meet. Her friends and co-workers, Andi and Kim, encourage her to find love, when they hire Mike to drive their new Cupcake Mobile. Their business is still new and they are still trying to make the business a success. 
Rachel has alot riding on it.  Her grandfather is very ill. She needs to help her mother save her grandfather with expensive medical treatments.  She needs this business to be a success so she can make payments for an experimental medical procedures. To top it all off they have a new nemesis, an arrogant French pastry maker, who seems like he will do anything to close the doors of Creative Cupcakes forever.  They have a few regular groups of customers that help keep them afloat. One of them is the Saturday Cupcake Club.  They are a club of lonely women who have loved and lost.  The women of Creative Cupcakes refer to them as the Lonley Hearts Club. Rachel doesn’t understand them she does her best to avoid them. One of her fears is becoming a one of them.

Everything goes wrong for these girls.  Rachel the forever-party girl brainstorms a grand promotional party and has it broadcasted over You Tube.  Chaos does not even begin to describe it.  Will it still save the business and get her to move past her two-date rule and not become part of the Lonely Hearts Cupcake Club, one of their best customers?

…”And don’t forget to swing your hips as you serve the cupcakes,” Kim added.  “Maybe Magic Mike will wave his want and whisk you under his cape for a kiss.”


“I can hope.” Rachel said.  “I haven’t had a date in two weeks.”


 “Is that a new record?” Andi teased.




“Maybe if you kept one guy around long enough, you wouldn’t have to worry about finding a date.” Kim said …


”Oh, NO!” Rachel shook her head. “Rule number one. Never date the same man three times in a row.  First dates are fabulous, second dates are fun, but third dates? That’s when guys start to they freaking know you, and the relationship fails. Better to stick with the two dates and forget the rest.

Rachel ends up goings on the first date with Mike the Magnificent.  Her rule about dating is in danger of being broken.


…All she wanted to do at that moment was kiss him. As he builds a sand castle of the original Peer Iredale showing his expertise in creating precision models or movie sets, all she wanted to do was kiss him. And after they ate a picnic lunch on the same dunes, all she wanted to do was kiss him.

But darn it, all Mike did was continue to romance her with his sweet talk, sweeter smile and sweet yet disturbing way of looking right into her soul. He was so sweet, maybe she’s name a cupcake after him after she tasted his kiss. She only hoped the anticipation wouldn’t be followed by a letdown. She had more than enough of those on her plate.

But can she give up her partying ways to keep her heart safe or will she throw the rules away and let Mike see the real her?

Fixing her attention on the goal of promoting her party, she walked over to Caleb O’Neal, the camera tech. He worked with a local media crew, and they’d met when Jake had him install a security camera in the shop.

“Are we being recorded right now?” Rachel asked. “Yeah,” Caleb assured her, it’s on a timer, and I’ll upload to YouTube as soon as the party is over.”

“Make sure you film everyone having a great time,” Rachel told him.

…”Who was that Mike?" asked, nodding to Caleb.

…”Do I detect a hint of jealousy?” she teased

Mike grinned “I can’t ask you to marry me if you’re interested in someone else.”

Rachel rolled her eyes. “Be carefull how you joke with me Mike Palmer. One of these time when you ask me to marry you, I might be tempted to say yes.”

“Really?” Mike asked. “Then tell me, who is the techie?”

Rachel shrugged. “He’s just a friend.”

“Like Me?”

“Rachel has lots of friends,” a woman nearby interrupted. “She’s friends with everyone, she is the friendliest person on earth.”

“I think you have had too much to drink,” Rachel told her.

“There is never too much to drink.” The woman said asked the crowd around her. “Am I right?”

 “Right!” the people cheered.

In the old days Rachel would have been thrilled with herself. She managed to pull off the perfect party and it was being filmed. All destined to be on YouTube in just a few hours. Creative Cupcakes was a hit, but she wanted to do was kick them all out of her shop.

“You didn’t have to do this, “Mike said, his face grim. This isn’t you. This isn’t the Rachel I know.”

 “You’re right. This was a mistake.”

  Mike gave her a solemn look. “The party? Or me?”

…”I’ll catch up with you later,” Mike told her and backed away.

 “Wait, wait,” she called but it was too late.


Has she succeeded in saving Creative Cupcakes? Has she saved her heart? Or has she destroyed her relationship with Mike and will she end up a part of the Lonely Hearts Saturday Cupcake Club?

This was a lighthearted story about three friends banding together to achieve their dreams and finding true love, against all odds.  I enjoyed the French baker as the villain.  He was a nasty man, I found myself hoping he would fail miserable.  All the characters were well developed. The tattoed biker makes another appearance and is as wonderful as his first appearance.  Mike and Rachel are the love of the story. A sweet and kind love story that has your rooting for them all the way to the end.  The heart of the story is Andi, Rachel and Kim.  Their continuing struggle to hold on to their dream is inspiring.  I can’t wait for the third book.


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