In the Mood for Love (Cupcake Lovers Series #4) [NOOK Book]

Overview




THE ONLY THING BETTER THAN A SURPRISE FLING…

Sugar Creek, Vermont, is a world away from Los Angeles for high-powered, media-obsessed Harper Day. When she took the job doing publicity for the Cupcake Lovers, she never expected to be won over by the town’s old-fashioned charms. But that was before ...
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In the Mood for Love (Cupcake Lovers Series #4)

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Overview




THE ONLY THING BETTER THAN A SURPRISE FLING…

Sugar Creek, Vermont, is a world away from Los Angeles for high-powered, media-obsessed Harper Day. When she took the job doing publicity for the Cupcake Lovers, she never expected to be won over by the town’s old-fashioned charms. But that was before she moved into the Victorian vacation home of her dreams and fell in with a man whose good looks and irresistible ways are anything but small-town…



IS FINDING TRUE AND LASTING LOVE. Sam McCloud is a widowed father of two. He and bossy, big-city Harper appear to have nothing in common… though the attraction they feel toward one another cannot be denied. But will their romance last longer than the day’s headlines? There’s more to Harper than meets the eye, and as it turns out, she needs to get married—fast. Little does Harper know that family-man Sam will do whatever it takes to keep her in Sugar Creek—even if that means taking matters into his own hands. And never letting her go…in the fourth novel in the Cupcake Lovers series, In the Mood For Love.
"Ciotta writes with style, wit, and heart. Can’t wait for the next one!" —Susan Andersen, New York Times bestselling author

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for the Cupcake Lovers series

 

Fool for Love

"Rich with emotional complexity and a cast of wonderfully rich characters, Fool for Love

is an absolute treat."—Kristan Higgins, New York Times bestselling author

"Ciotta writes with style, wit and heart. Can’t wait for the next one!"—Susan Andersen, New York Times bestselling author

 

"Ciotta is a master of the fun-to-read romance, and this outing is no exception"—RT Book Reviews (Hot! 4 stars)

The Trouble With Love

"A great storyline with lots of twists and turns that included heartache, happiness, sadness, love, romance, quite a few secrets, laughter, tears, the small town of Sugar Creek…some mystery and darkness and then wonderful closure."—Romance Junkie Reviews

 

"Hot romance, a little suspense, and a whole lot of charm."—RT Book Reviews (Hot! 4 stars)

Anything But Love

 "The core group of ladies that form the Cupcake Lovers Club all have a story to tell, and Anything But Love is one of the best so far...Readers can always count on Ciotta’s books to be sexy, fun, witty, and clever." —RT Book Reviews (4 stars)

Publishers Weekly
05/12/2014
Ciotta’s fourth Cupcake Lovers contemporary (after Anything but Love) complicates the lives of Vermont’s close-knit Monroe siblings (heroes of the previous books) by introducing their cousin, Sam McCloud. Sam has settled into singlehood three years after being widowed, and he often daydreams of the long-ago secret relationship he had with publicist Harper Day. Though she broke it off, Harper still lusts after him. When she’s fired from an L.A. PR firm, her visa is about to expire, and she fears being deported to Canada where she’ll be in danger from someone in her past. Naturally, Sam proposes marriage to help her stay in the U.S. Throw in the birth of a baby, romance between secondary characters, a detective looking into Harper’s history, and a rebel musician, and the town of Sugar Creek comes to life. Deep love of family and strong dialogue bolster a refreshing romance that focuses on the emotional rather than the physical. (July)
From the Publisher
Praise for the Cupcake Lovers series

 

Fool for Love

"Rich with emotional complexity and a cast of wonderfully rich characters, Fool for Love

is an absolute treat."—Kristan Higgins, New York Times bestselling author

"Ciotta writes with style, wit and heart. Can’t wait for the next one!"—Susan Andersen, New York Times bestselling author

 

"Ciotta is a master of the fun-to-read romance, and this outing is no exception"—RT Book Reviews (Hot! 4 stars)

The Trouble With Love

"A great storyline with lots of twists and turns that included heartache, happiness, sadness, love, romance, quite a few secrets, laughter, tears, the small town of Sugar Creek…some mystery and darkness and then wonderful closure."—Romance Junkie Reviews

 

"Hot romance, a little suspense, and a whole lot of charm."—RT Book Reviews (Hot! 4 stars)

Anything But Love

 

"The core group of ladies that form the Cupcake Lovers Club all have a story to tell, and Anything But Love is one of the best so far...Readers can always count on Ciotta’s books to be sexy, fun, witty, and clever." —RT Book Reviews (4 stars) "Beth Ciotta’s Cupcake Lovers series is sexy fun." —Reader To Reader

In the Mood for Love

"Deep love of family and strong dialogue bolster a refreshing romance that focuses on the emotional rather than the physical."—Publishers Weekly

"Readers will welcome this most recent addition to Ciotta's often humorous, always heartfelt Cupcake Lovers series."—Booklist "Sexy hijinks and a boatload of fun highlight IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE and make it one of my best reads for summer."—Romance Reviews Today "Heartwarming and sensual, hilarious and moving."—Fab Fantasy Fiction

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781466839465
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 7/1/2014
  • Series: Cupcake Lovers , #4
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 36,883
  • File size: 655 KB

Meet the Author


Storytelling comes naturally to award-winning author Beth Ciotta. Dubbed "fun and sexy" by Publisher's Weekly, Beth specializes in writing romantic fiction within various sub-genres. Her critically acclaimed small town contemporary series—The Cupcake Lovers—includes novels Fool For Love, The Trouble With Love, Anything But Love, and the holiday novella, Some Kind of Wonderful . . . with more cupcake love to come!  Beth lives in NJ with her husband, two zany dogs, and a crazy cat. A retired professional performer, Beth now pours her artistic passion into her writing.
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Read an Excerpt


ONE

Marriage is a dinner that begins with dessert.

 

—Toulouse-Lautrec

The Kelly twins.

Double your pleasure, double your fun.

The lyrics of a gum commercial ran through Sam McCloud’s head alongside several racy thoughts.

Two women at once.

Every man’s dream.

Sam could live out that fantasy. All he had to do was take Krissy up on the offer she’d whispered in his ear. Or was it Katie? He’d never been able to tell them apart. They were in their mid-twenties. Blond, spray-tanned Barbies who dressed alike, talked alike, and even wore their hair and makeup exactly the same. Which struck Sam as odd. Just one of the reasons he’d declined their tempting offer. They also giggled too much and were intellectual pinheads. Not that that had bothered Sam’s cousin Nash Bentley—who walked up to the bar just as Sam sent the girls away.

“You don’t know what you’re missing,” Krissy (or Katie) said to Sam.

“Tell him, Nash,” Katie (or Krissy) said with a wink and a giggle.

“Never kiss and tell,” Nash said as he perched on the stool next to Sam. But he did smile—the smile of a man who’d had the ride of his life. Considering Nash, a charter pilot and hot-air-balloon operator, drank thrills with his morning coffee, a tumble with the Kellys must’ve been a mind-bending rush.

Sam focused on his beer, not wanting to give the twins a reason to double back and double their efforts. If they were seriously on the prowl then pickings were slim. The Sugar Shack, owned by another cousin, Luke Monroe, was sparsely occupied. Not unusual given it was a weeknight and shoulder season for their small tourist town, but unlucky for Sam who wanted to be left alone. “Are they gone?”

“Slipped into the john.” Nash motioned to the new hire, Joelle Jenner—a personable, crackerjack bartender, who didn’t mind the late shift since Luke had mostly switched to days. Joey (as her nametag read) nodded and nabbed a chilled beer while sliding another customer a bowl of mixed nuts. Her counterpart, Decker, who pulled double duty as bouncer, hovered at the opposite end of the bar manning the TV remote and surfing stations. “Swear to God, the dude’s got ADD,” Nash said.

Sam was still thinking about the Kellys. “Don’t you think it’s strange that the twins do everything together?”

“Chicks always go to the head in packs.”

“Not that.”

“Oh.”

“It didn’t bother you?”

Nash grinned. “Oh, I was bothered.”

“I mean that they’re sisters.”

“Twins.”

“Which is—”

“Hot?”

“Inappropriate.”

“Like you’ve never fantasized.”

Sam didn’t answer.

Nash took a pull off his longneck then laughed when he caught Sam glancing toward the ladies’ facility. “Having second thoughts?”

“Smutty thoughts.”

“So much for being a monk.”

“Who said—”

“Laura Payne. Two dates and you didn’t kiss her once.”

“That makes me chaste?”

“You didn’t make a move on Alana Foster or Kady Bridges, either.”

Sam glanced at Joey who was mixing a drink and suppressing a smile while stealing looks over the thick black frames of her glasses. The twenty-something heartland transplant was also the newest member of the Cupcake Lovers, the town’s longtime social and baking club. A club devoted to supporting soldiers and various charities. Sam, who enjoyed baking as well as the camaraderie, was also a member of that club. He didn’t know Joey well enough to know if she was a gossip, but he wasn’t keen on this convo getting back to the CLs … or anyone else for that matter. He nabbed his mug then nudged Nash. “I see an empty table.”

There were lots of empty tables. Sam chose one by the cobblestone hearth, far from the action of pool sharks or barflies or bartending eavesdroppers. Sugar Creek, Vermont, thrived on gossip. As a widowed father of two young children, Sam flew under the radar as best he could. Another reason he’d turned down a dose of double delight. Like he needed that kind of news getting back to his kids. Explaining the meaning of threesome or ménage à trois to Ben and Mina was not on his agenda anytime soon. Never suited even better.

Toting three cold ones, Nash set a bottle in front of Sam then settled in with the other two. “Women talk, cuz.”

As someone who juggled female friends the way Sam juggled playdates for his daughter, Nash had no doubt gotten an earful from the eligible women Sam had crossed off his “wife” list. “What are they saying?”

“You don’t want to know.”

Sam countered with one of his death stares. Most people crumbled after five seconds. Nash broke after one sip.

“There’s a pool,” he said, while picking at the bottle’s label.

“A betting pool?” There’d been a lot of those lately. The biggest being based on the gender and birthdate of another cousin’s first baby.

Nash nodded.

“Go on.”

“When you ask a woman out she assumes you’re attracted. Sexually,” Nash emphasized as if Sam needed clarification. “Touching. Kissing. Trying to get in her pants. Granted, not every woman’s going to tweak your pole, but you’ve been out with how many women in the past month and a half?”

Thanks to Sam’s matchmaking family and friends, and especially the Cupcake Lovers, a lot.

“And how many have you seduced?” Nash asked even though Sam hadn’t answered his first question. His Casanova cousin curled his fingers in the shape of a zero. “At first Laura blamed herself, questioning her weight, but then she got talking to Kady, who’d already spoken to Alana, who’d overheard, well, you get the picture. I heard it from Viv Underwood.”

Sam’s most disastrous date.

“So now the general consensus is, it’s not them, it’s you.”

Sam couldn’t argue. He’d said as much when any of his mismatched dates had noted his distant manner.

“There’s speculation,” Nash said.

“Hence the betting pool.” Sam glanced at his watch. “Speed it up, flyboy. Only booked the sitter till eleven.”

Looking uncomfortable now, Nash leaned forward and lowered his voice. “For what it’s worth, no one thinks you’re gay. Given your history, the kids…” He cleared his throat. “Some of the girls are betting you can’t get it up. A war injury.”

Sam arched a brow.

“Others think you’re crippled emotionally because of Paula.”

Not long ago, that conjecture would have been dead on. Sam’s heart had iced over after losing his beloved wife to cancer, but then last year he’d met Rae, who was now Luke’s wife. Though Rae had never returned Sam’s tender regard, she had sparked his numb spirit back to life. A few months after, he’d met Harper Day, a self-absorbed celebrity publicist who’d torched his senses with a sporadic, kinky affair. No one knew about that affair, so of course everyone assumed Sam hadn’t been laid in close to three years. All Sam had to do was tell Nash about Harper and all bets would be off—his reputation as a sane, virile man intact.

But Sam didn’t screw and tell, either.

“You asked,” Nash said, mistaking Sam’s silence for anger.

Sam wasn’t pissed. He was restless.

Just then the Brody brothers—Adam and Kane—strolled in. Adam was a freelance sports instructor. Kane, a local logger. Both single. Both fixtures at the Shack. Instead of taking their usual seats at the bar, they joined Sam and Nash.

“Nothing against Joey and Decker,” Adam said as he dropped into a chair, “but they’re not Luke.”

Luke’s not Luke,” Kane said. “Not as we knew him. Not that I’m jealous of the time he spends with his wife—”

“Yes you are,” Adam said. “Rae gained a husband and the Shack lost its greatest host. Even when Luke’s here his mind is somewhere else.”

Adam and Kane, especially Adam, went way back with Luke. Sam didn’t take offense to their comments. But he did feel compelled to defend his younger cousin. Something he might not have done six months ago when they’d been at war regarding Rae. “Luke didn’t desert the Shack. He stepped up his game. New wife. Soon-to-be dad. Coaching the kids at Rae’s school.”

“As for the slump,” Nash put in, “business is down everywhere.”

“Luke’s late-night presence wouldn’t ensure bigger crowds,” Sam said.

“Yeah. But we’d have more fun,” Kane said. “Decker messes with our feng shui.”

“Don’t ask,” Adam said.

“Speaking of out of place,” Kane said. “Surprised to see you hanging at the Shack on a weeknight, McCloud.”

“Hanging” at any bar hadn’t meshed with Sam’s lifestyle in years. He spent most of his nights at home with the kids. That’s not to say he was a hermit. His carpentry work kept him out and about, and he spent plenty of time with the Cupcake Lovers. The club gathered every Thursday and participated in several annual events. They’d recently published a recipe book that had led to even more activity. Sam was tired of the growing attention and they had Harper to thank for the budding media frenzy. Not that Sam had seen the bicoastal publicist in weeks.

“Wait a minute,” Nash said. “Why are you here?” He angled his head, frowned. “Tell me you had a date tonight and blew her off.”

Sam shrugged. “We had dinner.”

“Who was the girl?” Kane asked.

Sam polished off his beer, bracing for the men’s reaction. After all, tonight’s match-up had been with one of Sugar Creek’s hottest and smartest women. “Jane Dunlap.”

Adam whistled low. “And you’re here drinking suds with Bentley instead of playing doctor with Nurse Dunlap?”

“If you think that’s something,” Nash said, “guess who else he shot down tonight? The Kelly twins.”

“Oh, man.” Adam dragged a hand down his face, stifling a laugh.

“Damn, McCloud,” Kane said, looking half shocked, half amused. “You do know they’re selective, right? And you passed? No wonder there’s a bet—”

Adam nudged his brother.

“Sam knows about the pool,” Nash said.

“Not that we’re part of it,” Kane said. “Although maybe the twins are.”

Adam shifted. “If you want my advice—”

“Pass.” Sam straightened as Willa, the only waitress on duty tonight, approached their table. She smiled. He tensed. He knew that look and he wasn’t interested. She was pretty and sweet, but he didn’t feel a flicker of heat. Instead, he had a vision of Harper, posing in a red silk bra and panties, seductively sucking cupcake icing from her thumb.

Damn.

Quick on the uptake, Willa flushed and turned her attention to Adam and Kane. “The usual?”

“As usual,” Adam said, returning the smile Sam had withheld.

“Do you miss Luke?” Kane asked, stealing Willa’s attention.

“I do. Then again, I mostly work nights and he mostly works days. He comes in awfully early,” she said, “and he pores over the books and inventory, plus tending bar and hosting happy hour. Luke may have cut back on his overall hours but he works even harder than before. All for his wife and baby.” Willa hugged her order pad to her chest and heaved a dreamy sigh. “Oh, to be in love.”

Everyone at the table liked Willa so they bit their tongues. Everyone at the table liked Rae and had been friends with Luke forever. Wisecracks were definitely out. Luke, the town’s former number one Romeo, was a lucky son of a bitch and they all knew it.

“Could we get an order of Nachos Grande with those beers?” Kane asked.

“Sure thing,” Willa said with a bright smile. “Four plates?”

“Not for me,” Sam said.

Nash flashed three fingers.

Willa peeled away and Kane leaned in. “What is it with this town lately? It’s like everyone’s been shot by cupid and bitten by the baby bug.”

Nash nodded. “Dev and Chloe, Luke and Rae, Jayce and Rocky … although Rocky isn’t pregnant. Yet.”

“Yeah, but Monica and Leo are having twins,” Kane said. “All I can say is, I’ll be doubling up on condoms.”

“That’s if you ever get laid again,” Adam said with a ribbing glance toward Sam. “Now that he’s back in the game, all the women have their sights set on McCloud.”

“And he’s casting them off like flies,” Kane said. “All I need to do is stick close and pick up the broken pieces of their pretty shattered hearts.”

Sam gave him the finger.

Nash laughed.

Adam glanced at the plasmas hanging over the bar. “If Luke were here, we’d be watching ESPN.”

“At least it’s not a shopping network,” Kane said. “Although what is it?”

“The Travel Channel. No, wait. He’s switching. The weather.” Nash finished one beer and started on the other. “We need to find a new hang. Not all the time, just once in a while. Something to shake up the monotony.”

“Have you checked out the new bowling alley?” Adam asked.

“Rock ’n’ Roll Lanes,” Kane said. “How cheesy can you get?”

“I don’t know,” Nash said. “Music, bowling, and beer. What’s not to like?”

“Took Ben and Mina on opening day,” Sam said, happy to talk about anything other than his train-wreck dating spree. “They’re especially kid friendly Saturday and Sunday afternoon. Nice atmosphere. Decent staff. Heard they cater mostly to adults after eight.”

“Come summer,” Adam said, “that place will be jammed with tourists.”

“So maybe we should feel it out now,” Nash said. “During slow season. Bowling night. Once a week. A couple of hours of sports and beer.”

“What the hell,” Kane said. “I’m in.”

“I’ll bite,” Adam said. “What about you, Sam?”

“At the rate you’re going,” Nash teased, “it’s not like you’re going to hook up with Mrs. Right any time soon.”

“We’ll try not to corrupt you,” Kane ribbed.

Someone beat you to it, Sam thought. If they only knew about his racy fling with Harper. But he wouldn’t tell. Hell, he was trying to forget. Maybe he needed to shake things up, hang with the guys. Between his five-year-old daughter’s obsession with tiaras, boas, and Miss Kitty, coupled with all the recent baby talk, matchmaking efforts, and additional baking tasks within the Cupcakes Lovers, Sam was OD’ing on women. And not in a good way. “Yeah, sure. Pick a night.”

“Any night but Thursday,” Nash said as Willa served up spicy nachos and cold brews. “That’s Sam’s night with the Cupcake Lovers.”

Whereas Sam used to take solace in the camaraderie of the club, lately he’d been feeling like a fifth wheel. Not to mention, even though Harper didn’t live in Sugar Creek full-time, she’d become the Cupcake Lovers’ official publicist. Even though they’d cooled their secret affair, Sam still burned for that irritating woman. Which had pretty much crippled his efforts to find new love and the best mother for his kids.

“Actually,” Sam said, suddenly desperate to escape all things cupcake, “Thursdays are perfect.”

 

Copyright © 2014 by Beth Ciotta


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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 18, 2014

    Sam McCloud is a widower, carpenter, father of two young kids an

    Sam McCloud is a widower, carpenter, father of two young kids and a fabulous baker of cupcakes, thus a member of the Sugar Creek Cupcake Lovers. He's looking for a new mate for himself who will love his kids.

    Harper Day is a "big-city"publicist who has purchased an old home in Sugar Creek with a "tragic yet romantic" history as a retreat. The home needed a lot of renovating and Sam was hired to do the work. The fireworks ensue and Sam and Harper have a very hot, very private affair.

    TIME LAPSE...

    Harper returns to Sugar Creek but has become very reclusive and the Cupcake Lovers notice and begin to worry. Harper doesn't show up at a meeting and Sam receives an SOS text from Harper and things really begin to heat up!

    I love Ciotta's Cupcake Lover's series. The stories keep you interested, the characters are delightful, and the situations feel real not forced. It's another winner for the CL series.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 17, 2014

    In the Mood for Love by Beth Ciotta is the 4th book in her Cupca

    In the Mood for Love by Beth Ciotta is the 4th book in her Cupcake Lovers series. Since I have not read the first three books, I can safely say that this book can be read as a standalone. But I will add that after reading this wonderful romance, I will be going back to read the other books in this series.

    This series takes place in a small town, Sugar Creek, Vermont. Of late, I have really been enjoying these romances that take place in small towns. We meet our hero, Sam McCloud early on, fraternizing with his friends, some of whom have found their loves from the earlier books; which does not matter when reading this. Sam is a widower, and his friends keep pushing him to start seriously dating again. However, what the town doesn’t know, is that Sam is sexually aroused by Harper Day, our heroine. The two of them are not interested in any commitment, but they can’t seem to control their lust for each other.

    Harper is a well-known publicist in L.A., but she also helps promote the Cupcake Lovers. She visits Sugar Creek often, when she is able, as the town and the friends she has made have become her salvation. Harper is beautiful, strong and personable on the outside, but underneath it all, she has some major issues. She has a stalker from Canada that she hides from, and she also suffers from anxiety attacks, which no one sees, until one day Sam does. Harper suddenly loses her job, and is at risk of having to leave the U.S. and be forced back home to Canada. Sam comes to the rescue, and what follows is a beautiful romance.

    This was a nicely done slow build up to their romance, with Sam being the first to realize that he was falling in love with Harper, and he begins to second guess his determination to meet a woman who knows how to handle children. I loved how Sam slowly built up Harper’s confidence, and knew when she was starting her anxiety attack. He knew just what to do to get her mind away from her fears. Sam was so perfect for Harper. Once she allows herself to open up and tell Sam all, Harper becomes more confident. With each passing day, she begins to see that she loves him too.

    In the midst of this wonderful romance, we spend time with the fabulous characters of Sugar Creek, including Sam’s kids. There is also the mystery about the stalker. I loved the premise of the Cupcake Lovers club, and at the end of the book there are a few cupcake recipes. Beth Ciotta has created a delightful story that also tugs on your emotions, as you see what Harper is going through, as well as the joy of watching this romance build. You truly do need to read this book, and if you can start with the first book, though this will read fine as a standalone.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 7, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Beth Ciotta¿s In the Mood for Love is a 5-star, addictive, joyfu

    Beth Ciotta’s In the Mood for Love is a 5-star, addictive, joyful, sensual, and calorie-free Cupcake Lovers treat




    There are certain authors that I treasure like gold. When their books are released, I do a happy dance, because I know that their words will sparkle with a lightness and sincerity, even when they deal with difficult topics. One author who embodies this is Beth Ciotta. The inhabitants of Sugar Creek, Vermont, where her Cupcake Lovers novels are based, have become some of my BBFFs (for those in the know, that’s best book friends forever). So it was with great pleasure that I found myself purchasing the fourth book in that series, In the Mood for Love when it was released last week.




    Today, I cracked the first page of In the Mood for Love: A Cupcake Lovers Novel by Beth Ciotta in my Kindle and didn’t stop reading till the entire story was told. No breaks, no discussion. All tech in the house was disabled (well, there was an electrical storm going on as well). I just curled up and read for a little over three hours, becoming totally enamored of the story of the protagonists, Harper and Sam. (You may recall their unexpected and steamy hookups from the previous book, Anything But Love).




    At the opening of In the Mood for Love, it’s apparent that widower Sam is still trying to find the woman who’ll be the second Mrs. Right for him, but it seems that all candidates should echo the calm personality of his late wife. However he’s not having much luck. It couldn’t be because he misses Harper, right? Where is she anyway? It seems like this B- and C-list Hollywood publicist pulled up stakes in Sugar Creek and headed back to LA. But we discover she’s actually back, however laying low, very low - under the radar low - in her semi-haunted, restored farmhouse.




    When she and Sam reencounter one another, actually when he rushes to her aid after receiving a desperate text, it quickly becomes apparent that it wasn’t just the thought of his deceased wife that kept him from moving on. He and Harper together generate enough electricity to power not only the farmhouse, but Sugar Creek. But is it only the physical side of things or could actual emotions be involved? 




    In my opinion, every woman should meet a man like Sam McCloud. Former military, furniture designer, craftsman, devoted husband, now single father of two - just someone who radiates kindness as well as hot sexuality. Yes, this is one man that no woman would want to say goodbye to. Why would you when Harper describes him favorably to Dylan McDermott, who she sees interviewed on a morning talk show. Yep, Sam is that hot!




    I fell more than a little in love with both of Harper and Sam when Sam shows Harper his children’s rooms, including in the passage below Harper's experience of seeing the painting he's created for his daughter. Is it possible that under the brittle celebrity focused publicist exterior that Harper may be disguising the heart of a romantic? Does Sam see this or just the hot babe who started his engine again? Well, Ciotta explains it much better in this passage, one of my favorites: 




    Just now, surrounded by castles and tiaras, Harper wanted something in between, something romantic. Instead of Rambo, she wanted a knight in shining armor. Her vision clouded and she swore she saw Sam in full body armor. Richard Gere as Sir Lancelot. No. Clive Owen as King Arthur. Wait. Worse. Sam McCloud as Harper Day’s champion. (p. 135)




    Wow, Dylan McDermott, Richard Gere, and Clive Owen! Anyone else want to hop in the car to travel to Sugar Creek and hang out in Moose-a-lotta, the happening coffee shop run by Chloe and Daisy?




    Seriously, Ciotta has a true gift of how to convey who her characters are until they practically take physical form in front of you. The gentle evolution of perpetually-in-motion, uber-connected, non-relationship driven Harper and gentle, quiet, patient, and strong Sam is just beautiful to read. Once you add in all the subplots (Adam & Peppy, Daisy & Vince) as well as childbirth, a cyber-stalker, and just loads of humor - well you have a book that I dare anyone to put down.




    While I would highly recommend reading ALL the Cupcake Lovers novels in sequence, In the Mood for Love could definitely be read as a stand-alone story. Yes, you might have questions about who these people are, but this story is fairly self-contained. But I’ll guarantee you that once that final page is turned, you’ll be looking for the rest of the series to devour. Yes, Beth Ciotta’s The Cupcake Lovers are as addictive as their namesake baked goods. Readers truly connect with Ciotta and you’ll find some cupcake recipes that they’ve submitted at the conclusion of each novel. Speaking of which, I think I’ll be trying out Mary Stella’s Key Lime Cupcakes with Coconut Buttercream Frosting. Don’t those sound delicious?




    So I urge you, if you want to read a book that is heartwarming and sensual, hilarious and moving, and really well written, pick up In the Mood for Love today. I’m awarding it five stars (or five cupcakes) and hoping that there will be more tales emanating from Sugar Creek soon.

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  • Posted July 5, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    I have really liked the Cupcake Lovers series and this newest bo

    I have really liked the Cupcake Lovers series and this newest book fits right in. Sam. the only man n the club and the person who has seemed to be the loneliest in the group, finally gets his girl. The fact that the girl is Harper, the somewhat crazed PR person from LA just makes the romance all the more interesting. Harper is running from two different scary things and in Sam she feels grounded and safe. When circumstances push a marriage between the two, it gets even more interesting.




    I am so happy that Ms. Ciotta had Harper act like an adult and tell Sam her secret before they got married and we didn't have any of the stupid " what if he finds out" drama. I liked that they were open with each other about what they wanted out of the marriage and what they would bring into it. The chemistry is there and there was a lot of spice in parts. I also liked the continuity of the series with the updates on past book characters. Oh, and the recipes in the back of the book sound to die for!




    I can't wait to read the next book in the series, assuming there is one!

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  • Posted July 3, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    NUMBER OF HEARTS: 4 REVIEW:  I am not sure that there could be t

    NUMBER OF HEARTS: 4
    REVIEW: 
    I am not sure that there could be two people more different than Sam & Harper, yet they work. So the saying that opposites attract hold true in this story. Sam the hometown hero and now single father after the passing of his wife. Harper is a big city girl that lives an extremely busy life. Yet the chemistry between these two is like gas and fire. So when Harper’s world comes crashing down on her the first person she turns to is Sam. And of course Sam is more than willing to help Harper. But could there be more to Harper then what she shows? And could there be more to their relationship than just sex? Guess you need to read to find out. 

    Awe Sam & Harper. In book 3 there was a lot of buildup for these two. And I am happy to report that In The Mood For Love was a great story. I am super excited about the next book in the Cupcake Lover’s series. : ) 

    Disclaimer: 
    I received a complimentary copy of the book from NetGalley & St. Martin's Press in exchange for an honest review. This review is my own opinion and not a paid review. 

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  • Posted July 1, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Widower Sam McCloud has lately been feeling alone even in the ho

    Widower Sam McCloud has lately been feeling alone even in the house he shares with his two kids.
     He has had great love and felt the loss of losing it but dang he needs some help with his own needs
     and to help be a mother to his children.  Harper Day is the best Public Relations agent in the business
    or was until a past trauma decided to burn his life down to the ashes and force her into hiding.  

    What Sam proposes to Harper does not seem like a normal idea to the rest of the world but these two
     are trying to break the always following a certain path mold.  If Sam and Harper were to marry they
    could be lovers, partners, and friends who are not the perfect fit but at the core a solid match.  There are
    always those in Destiny with an opinion about what icing goes with that type of cupcake, yet there are times
     you have to add some spice to the recipe and see how it tastes.  So just this once Harper is going for
     broke and decides to grab a hold of life with Sam and see if the great, big mix of family he brings with
    him will fill her heart as much tomorrow and it does today.

    So the question is if Sam and Harper know how good life can be with a strong partner beside
     you, is it possible they could fit the bill for one another?

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  • Posted July 1, 2014

    Enjoyed this book so much! The Cupcake Lovers are at it again an

    Enjoyed this book so much! The Cupcake Lovers are at it again and now they are headed to Vegas, is the world ready for Daisy in Vegas?? This entire series is fantastic and the author didn't let us down with this. Wonderful small town romance with great characters and a fantastic story. This is definitely one I would recommend to everyone.

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