πŸ§πŸ’— "Cupcakes and Crumbs" (Berry Lake Cupcake Posse #1) (2020) πŸ’—πŸ§ - Book Tour & Review #CCPrism


On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Cupcakes & Crumbs
(Berry Lake Cupcake Posse #1)
By Melissa McClone
Women's Fiction
Paperback & ebook, 237 Pages
November 17, 2020 by Cardinal Press, LLC

After life takes five women on different paths, a death brings them home. But friendship might not be enough to keep them together.

When Bria Landon and her estranged father each inherit fifty percent of a small-town cupcake shop, her dad hires her worst enemy, and first love, to turn the place into a soulless franchise or sell it.

To save her aunt's legacy, Bria needs the help of people who love the bakery as much as she does her old friends who worked there fifteen years ago. Except each woman is dealing with her own problem:

Juliet, who's trying to prove she's more than a trophy wife; Missy, a widow who fears losing the job she loves; Nell, who's meddling mother won't stop playing matchmaker; and Selena, a life coach who excels at fixing everyone else's lives...but hasn't a clue what's missing in her own.

Each woman wants to believe their friendship can overcome anything. But as the Berry Lake Cupcake Posse reunite to save their beloved cupcake shop, they soon discover the undertaking will bring more trouble than they expected.

(Affiliate links included.)

About the Author


USA TODAY bestselling author Melissa McClone writes heartwarming women's fiction and sweet contemporary romance novels for Cardinal Press, Tule Publishing Group, and Harlequin Books. When she's not writing relatable characters and sigh-worthy happy endings, she spends rainy Pacific Northwest reading from her Kindle's ever-growing TBR, napping, and decorating her Happy Planner. Melissa lives in Washington state with her husband, three children, a Norwegian Elkhound, and three cats who think they rule the house. They do!
 
Tour Schedule


Tour Giveaway


A Cupcakes & Crumbs Prize Pack, which includes:
A $10 Amazon gift card, cupcake makeup bag set, cupcake charm, cupcake socks, set of magnetic clips, lip gloss, key chain, sticker, swag pack, and bookmark (US only)

Ends November 25, 2020

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My Review


Thank you in advance to the author, Melissa McClone, for providing a complimentary review copy through Prism Book Tours. A positive review was not required, all thoughts and words are my own.

First off – HOW delicious and delectable is that cover? It looks just scrumptious! In addition, it also brought the book to life. So, you can see how much I really wanted to read this book. 

I also LOVED the premise of it. The idea of five friends reuniting after a death, along with saving the cupcake shop really appealed to me as there is always a story when people return home – at least in Nell and Selena’s case as they didn’t leave. 

While most first books of a series can be standalone reads; this is not true for this one. There are a few arcs that are not closed or ended by the end of the story so reading the second book is essential. This book sets up that story which is also heading into Juliet’s story arc. I would definitely be interested in reading that book as well as future ones in this series.

The five friends are very different, yet similar – Bria, Juliet, Missy, Nell, and Selena. Most of the story focused on Bria, Juliet, and Missy. There was very little of Selena, though due to her radio fame, she is mentioned throughout. I honestly detested Bria’s dad Brian, and this comes at no shock to myself and likely to the readers. There is NO redeeming quality about him. The next on the “most hated” list, and number one – Ezra, Juliet’s husband. 

Ezra is part of the “trigger” warnings for this book, Brian is the other part. 

There are some elements of verbal abuse in this, particularly the way Ezra speaks to Juliet. I will get more into that later. Brian’s mention of his daughter’s virginity, as well as ten sex are another set of trigger warnings. This is a clean read for the most part. There are no sex scenes and no foul language. 

There are multiple arcs here – Bria trying to keep the cupcake shop and her father looking for a fast buck; Nell trying to date; and Juliet trying to save her marriage. 

Bria is coping with loss and grief after her aunt dies of cancer and McClone really hits it close to the mark with how Bria is not coping so well; Missy is another picture of loss and grief with her husband Rob, though he has been gone for nine (9) years. 

Right off, after reading about Juliet’s issues with her husband I was almost screaming – DUMP HIM!! JUST DUMP HIM!! It was hard to watch her struggling to please him as I just KNEW nothing she did was going to be right. It is hard to be right with those types of men. Juliet has an early intuition about her husband and Remy Dwyer who works in the art studio. Selena has a feeling something is not right with Juliet. 

So, the ending is not a surprise at all when it comes to that marriage. 

A rare treat in this book comes with the mention of toilet paper!  I almost laughed out loud. This is because of a patient’s contact with poison oak. 

Nell has a sweet crush coming by every chance he can, a paramedic who is four (4) years ago. But, darn, from the description, he’s my type! 6’ 2”, brown hair, blue eyes (though blue-green aren’t too bad either). Still, he doesn’t interest Nell who has a nosey mother. 

Bria’s life hits a tailspin when she learns that while her aunt gave her 100% of her possessions, Elise gave Bria and her father each 50% of the cupcake shop. And, it’s definitely no surprise that Brian is looking for fast, easy money.

I first questioned this, but McClone soon clues the reader in – and, yup – it is Brian’s idea! And, his motives are exposed in chapter 17. 

It is no surprise then that Bria has to confront someone from her past that hurt her in an effort to save the shop. But, both of them have changed so there could be a second chance looming. Along the way each woman will find something she has been longing for or needing. 

Of course, while a sweet romance – there is also a suspense element when it comes to a devastating fire. This is another story arc that isn’t concluded by the end of the story. And, this is definitely one of the reasons I want to read the second book as I think I know who set the fire. 

McClone realistically weaves in elements of bullying (something I’ve personally experienced), fat-shaming (again, another story of my life), verbal abuse, absentee parents, grief, loss, poverty and its effects, as well as the struggle to fit in and be accepted by one’s peers. 

This is a beautiful story about friendship, strength, courage, and second chances. It is also a reminder that we cannot change our past, but we can change our future. This is something that is stated in the book, but it is also something that I hold dear, and have since I saw a movie with that theme over a decade ago. 

I would’ve liked to have seen a few more positive male role models in it as Brian and Ezra were just awful. McClone did a wonderful job with them. Though, I was wondering how it is NOBODY saw how truly awful Ezra was. Dare was a darling with the “I’ve got two arms” when it came to comforting not only his wife, but Bria as well. The only thing I really wanted – more background with Bria’s mom. 

I did love the mention of the Bee Gees and Andy Gibb in this story. I used to (and still do) love listening to their music. It reminds me of when I was a little girl. I also enjoyed the author mentioning that “actions speak louder than words” which is something my mother passed on to me growing up. 

I found this a sweet, charming, and quick little read. It didn’t hurt this was written in short chapters which made reading it quite the breeze as I kept moving along. McClone really kept the pacing going and didn’t “bog” down the story at any one point. I was over 100+ pages in the first sitting. So, it was difficult to put it down. I wanted to devour and yet savor this sweet read and that was about the only conflict I had with it.

Fans of the author and genre are sure to be delighted by this sweet story that has some elements of suspense to it. 


RATING:

4 ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Goodreads

4 ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Bookbub

4 ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Personal Rating (see rating explanation in this blog: https://readingexcursions.blogspot.com/2020/01/rating-system-2020-changes.html)


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