Tuesday, April 30, 2013

ARC Review: The Cupcake Diaries- Sweet on You by Darlene Panzera

The Cupcake Diaries: Sweet on You  by Darlene Panzera

Publisher: Avon Impulse
Pages: 100 Pages (ebook)
Genre: Romance
Release Date: May 7, 2013
For fans of Debbie Macomber comes Sweet On You, the first installment in the Cupcake Diaries series.

Everyone knows business and pleasure don’t mix … or do they?

Andi Burke has a dream—a kitchen big enough to dance in, regular income to support her daughter, and a chance to find true love. So when she enlists her sister Kim and their bubbly best friend Rachel to help open Creative Cupcakes, it all seems perfect.

Especially when hunky local reporter Jake Hartman offers to finance the store for them. Andi hasn't dated since her divorce, but the way Jake keeps looking at her might make her change her mind. After all, what could go wrong?

Plenty! There's a shady tattoo parlor behind their shop, a crowd of crazy Zumba dancers out front (chanting "Lose the fat, dance with Pat!"), and about the only thing going right is Andi's romance … until Jake’s media crew captures a story that could shut the two of them down forever.



So I had HIGH hopes for this one. The blurb sounds fun and cute - and while I am not a huge romance reader I do like a fun rom-com every now and then. Add food writing to the mix and it's irresistible for me.

AND there lies my biggest issue... because this was so not what I expected. I felt disappointed to say the least. Well let me explain....

The story line is totally full of cliches. Like go collect every romance novel cliche throw it all in full of cliches!

❊Insta-Love? - check ✓
❊evil adversary bitch? - check ✓
❊supportive parent? - check ✓
❊cool girl fiend? - check ✓
❊unlikely neighbor, that turns out to be a friend? - check ✓
❊heart wrenching back story? - check ✓
❊heroine that after much battered life finally steps up? - check ✓
❊HEA? - check ✓

OH yes it's all there. And frankly I wouldn't have mind it as much if there wouldn't be some key ingredients missing!

Well there was not much romance actually. Except the kind of insta-love thing that featured every now and then. I found the love interest not only really sudden but there was no chemistry. I am not a fan of insta-love, but this was ... well it wasn't. Supposedly Andi is a commitophobe.. and I really didn't get that

There was definitely no comedy. And I am not sure why I thought this would be funny. But well after reading the blurb I kinda assumed it. All the scenes of mishaps were so way over the top and so rushed, it was just unbelievable and made me role my eyes. Besides the non-humor factor though it was also way to predictable.
The entire novel goes from A to B to C. And it's clear where it will end and mostly how right from the start.
But worst of all it felt rushed, like going through the motions and suddenly all was solved and everybody was happy clappy. The end.

The character building was basically nonexistent. Every single character stayed in their cliche lines and I simply couldn't connect with them
The villain was so over the top and her motives so way out there, it was totally ridiculous!

There was no food writing- virtually. Well except the mentioning of what kind of cupcakes were made. And this would be my favorite part of food novels.. food talk. Hence this is hands-down my biggest disappointment!
I kept on expecting some kinda food writing to come up, but the novel finished and there was a recipe at the end.. and I never got my food talk.

The prose was way to simplistic, totally not my kinda thing.

Look I didn't expect something super deep and thoughtful- i wanted fun and fluff and cute. But this was way to rushed and just not well executed.
I still like the overall idea of the story. I loved the idea of the Cup Cake Diaries. This has huge potential- I just wish it would have been executed way better!
The only thing foodie about this was my need for a good cupcake and coffee to replace the evident disappointment left after reading it.

ARC was provided by Publishers through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

View all my reviews here

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