The Icing on the Cupcake by Jennifer Ross Our would-be heroine is Ansley, Dallas sorority girl and socialite. Her life has been perfect up until now, when she is dumped by her fiance in the middle of a fraternity party, for being mean. And, we discover, she is mean, the kind of popular girl whose status has always meant that she could do pretty much anything she wanted and have people smile at her. She decides that the only solution is a retreat masked as a deliberate life change: moving to New York City to live with her estranged grandmother. Despite the lack of any contact since Ansley’s mother was five, her grandmother welcomes her in, but tells her that she must find a job within two months if she wants to stay. Since Ansley had planned on never having a job outside of (nanny-supported) motherhood, this is a challenge. Instead, she turns to her real passion: cupcake baking. Well, yes, we will all figure out what Ansley’s new job will be before she does herself. The book is sweet and mostly predictable, as Ansley sweetens up and her fractured family reunites, except that the required romance involves the grandmother rather than Ansley, a nice twist. Every chapter concludes with a Waitress-like cupcake recipe: Hole in the Heart red chocolate cupcakes, for example. The recipes are very tasty looking, and seem like Ross is an experienced cupcake baker herself – these are not just regular cakes baked in a muffin tin, and have lots of fun flavors, like lime with ginger frosting or chocolate with chiles. This is a delightful summer read that will likely inspire you to take a trip to the kitchen or your local cupcake shop.
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