Blaire Calloway has planned every Instagram-worthy moment of her cupcake and cocktails shop launch down to the tiniest detail. What she didn’t plan on? Ronan Knight and his old-school sports bar next door opening on the very same day. He may be super swoony, but Blaire hasn’t spent years obsessing over buttercream and bourbon to have him ruin her chance at success.
From axe throwing (his place) to frosting contests (hers), Blaire and Ronan are constantly trying to one-up each other in a battle to win new customers. But with every clash, there’s also an undeniable chemistry. When an even bigger threat to their business comes to town, they’re forced to call a temporary time-out on their own war and work together. And the more time Blaire spends getting to know the real Ronan, the more she wonders if it’s possible to have her cupcake and eat it too.
This was a charming, slightly odd, and wonderfully entertaining book!
First, I want to talk about the two main characters, Blaire and Ronan, and their relationship. They had a wonderful enemies-to-lovers trope going on that was chock-full of good banter and great fun. Sometimes, I would find myself getting worked up for them! I would egg on their rivalry and encourage one to get the other back for their prank. I just loved the chemistry between these two from the beginning to the end.
It took me a minute to warm up to Blaire and her personality, but once I did, I was completely on her side. I think the change happened when I learned more about her backstory and family. While she had a lot of odd things happen in her past, it helped put her as a character more into perspective.
I liked learning about Ronan as well. I didn’t expect to get his POV sometimes as well so that was a nice surprise. It also helped to understand his motivation behind things and just made him more endearing in general.
Also, I was so happy that this was a slow burn romance for the most part. Although I am already partial to slow burns, I think it was particularly great for this story. As the reader, I needed time to learn more about the backstory behind the two main characters. As well, it was important that the two get some time to work towards their goals without being in a relationship.
Now, there were other parts that I didn’t like as much, but I’m still not sure how to categorize my dislike. I think it was just some awkward dialogue here or there or some odd moments that couldn’t quite be categorized as good or bad. Because I can’t quite put a finger on what I didn’t like, I’d say it was more a me problem a less a book problem.
One thing, though, that I feel pretty neutral about is the pace of the story. The first half of the book, the author seems to be establishing the characters and their relationship. While the second half really gets into the plot of the book. I feel very neutral about this because I wasn’t bored during either of the halves and pretty much enjoyed both equally. I think it was just a different way of establishing the story that I didn’t expect.
Overall, this book contained a great dynamic duo, a wonderful storyline, and true humor throughout the entire book. 3.5 stars from me.
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of PUCKED, Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She writes contemporary romance ranging from new adult angst to romantic sports comedy.