When you sign up for BookBub e-mails, they ask you to provide a list of genres in which you’re interested. Then, when the e-mails start coming, if you’re anything like me 90% of the time they’re not books you would normally choose to read.
So when I see something pop up that I would buy if I found it on my own, I snap it right up. Such was the case with Don’t Call Me Cupcake, the debut novel from Tara Sheets. I could not be happier that I grabbed this when it was on sale – but I would’ve paid full price, and will for the sequel!
My current work-in-progress is a Christmas romance about a baker. So I’ve been trying to get my hands on similar books – romances with heroines who bake – to discover any tropes I might want to avoid or elements to definitely include. And while Don’t Call Me Cupcake was definitely traditional in the romance sense (girl meets boy, girl hates boy, girl is forced to associate with boy, girl realizes boy isn’t what she thought, girl falls in love with boy) it also had some elements that aren’t typically seen in contemporary romances. Namely magic.
Emma Holloway lives in a house that isn’t necessarily haunted or possessed, but has a personality of its own and isn’t afraid of making its desires known. It slams the door on her ex-boyfriend while opening wide to let in Hunter, the new guy in town. But Emma wants nothing to do with Hunter, whose fancy new restaurant threatens to derail Emma’s family’s bakery. Emma, who bakes wishes into her cupcakes so that the residents of her small island town can be happy and successful, teams up with her cousin Juliette to create a cupcake that will banish Hunter back to the big city from which he came. But of course, it doesn’t go to plan. Instead, Emma and Hunter are thrown together as they try to figure out if their attraction is due to the accidental exposure to Juliette’s love potion, or if it’s the real thing.
While I would hesitate to call this a paranormal romance, it’s definitely not your typical contemporary romance. But the magic, while unrealistic, is completely at home in this story. I thoroughly enjoyed it and will be reading the sequel next. It also looks like a so-far-untitled third book will be released sometime in 2019. I’ll be reading that one, too.