Monday, September 3, 2012
Fool For Love: Excerpt, Review, and giveaway!
SHE’S CRAVING A SWEET NEW LIFE…
Call her a fool, but chef-in-training Chloe Madison wants to have her cake and eat it too. So when her boyfriend dumps her for some French tart, she decides to start over from scratch—with a new life and job in Sugar Creek, Vermont. What could be sweeter than cooking for an eccentric lady who’s crazy for desserts? What could be more tempting than joining a club called the Cupcake Lovers? Just one thing: local business-hunk Devlin Monroe…
AND HE’S THE ICING ON THE CUPCAKE
Although he’s the grandson of Chloe’s fun-loving boss, Devlin Monroe is all work and no play. Micro-managing the family business, he doesn’t have time to indulge in life’s sweetest pleasures—until he meets Chloe. How can he resist such a vibrant, beautiful woman who brings so much passion to the table? But when old grudges and secrets threaten to destroy the Cupcake Lovers, Devlin must decide if his feelings for Chloe are a recipe for disaster—or a sinfully delicious ever-after…
Enjoy an excerpt from Beth Ciotta’s latest romantic adventure—FOOL FOR LOVE—and leave a comment for a chance to win a signed copy!
Manhattan, New York Upper East Side
“How many years do you think I’d get for death by Cuisin art?”
“I’m serious, Monica. I want to kill him.”
“With a hand mixer?”
“I don’t want it to be quick.”
“Or easy. How exactly would that work?”
Chloe didn’t know—exactly. She wasn’t thinking rationally. Her brain was choked with visions of Ryan licking vanilla-bean buttercream frosting from her beaters—frosting she’d prepared for a celebratory cake—right before announcing he was leaving her for a Parisian “tart.” (Chloe’s description of the other woman, not his.)
Heart full of equal parts grief and fury, Chloe squeezed back tears as she continued her long-distance tirade with her closest and oldest friend. “Maybe you’re right,” she said into her smartphone. “Maybe I should skewer his traitorous heart with my meat fork. Or pulverize him with my tenderizer.”
“That’s just grisly. And totally out of character. You’re a pacifist, hon. Zero tolerance for gore. You threw up when we accidently ran over that squirrel on Route Twenty-two. Remember?”
Senior year of high school. Driving home from a rehearsal for West Side Story. Monica had swerved, but not enough. Chloe had screamed when she’d felt the thud, then, looking out the rearview window and seeing the furry roadkill, had puked all over the backseat of Monica’s 1992 Camaro.
“Sort of,” she mumbled, letting out an aggrieved sigh. Monica was right. Violence and gore wouldn’t do. Just thinking about that squashed squirrel turned her stomach and soured her killer instincts. Once she was depleted of rage, Chloe’s knees buckled. She slumped onto the love seat she and Ryan used to cuddle on, misery pouring over her soul, slow and thick like the homemade maple syrup Monica had shipped from Vermont.
Two years. Chloe had invested two years of her life in this relationship—her longest serious liaison ever. She’d had a severe falling-out with her dad when she’d moved in with Ryan, and she’d lost touch with a contingent of her NYC friends when she’d given up partying for domestic bliss. She hadn’t expected a conventional union, what with Ryan frequently traveling oversees for his job, but she hadn’t expected this. She hadn’t suspected an affair, hadn’t felt Ryan’s affections straying. She’d thought they were a solid couple, destined for marriage. She felt like the biggest freaking idiot on the planet.
“Listen, Chloe. I know you’re crushed. The bastard cheated on you. That sucks. And he’s leaving you for her. Sucks worse. But . . .”
Monica blew out a breath. “Okay. Here comes some tough love, sweetie. You had a comfortable relationship, lived a comfortable life, but did you seriously want to spend the rest of your nights with a guy who couldn’t find your G-spot?”
Chloe flushed. “I had orgasms.”
“With the shower massager. Doesn’t count.”
“I shouldn’t have shared that with you.”
“Why not? I told you about the time I got off sitting on top of the crazed washing machine.”
“Are you trying to make me feel better? Because, news flash, you’re not.”
“I’m trying to tell you Ryan Levine isn’t worth twenty-five to life in the state penitentiary.”
“Don’t worry. The murderous urge passed.”
“Now I just want to curl up and die.”
Chloe burst into tears and poured out her heart. Maybe Ryan wasn’t worth a stretch in the clink, but he was sure worthy of a good cry. “He ruined the happiest day of my life, Monica. After all these years, all the botched courses and careers, I finally followed through, finally excelled at one of my passions. After four hundred and forty hours of in-class training and a two-hundred- and- ten-hour externship, I not only earned a diploma from the Culinary Arts Institute; I graduated with honors.”
“What? You’re kidding! I mean, that’s fantastic! Why didn’t you tell me?”
“I just found out today. About the honors part, anyway. The happiest day of my life—ruined! The affair’s been going on for months. He could’ve waited a day or two to dump me. Any day other than my proudest.”
“Or,” Monica growled, sounding like a provoked mother bear, “he could’ve broken off with you weeks ago, when the fling started.”
“He said he didn’t want to distract me from my studies.”
“Big of him.”
“Said he’d feel better leaving, knowing I was finally focused on a sensible career.”
“He’s coming back at the end of the month to pack up his things. He’s actually transferring to the company’s resort in France so he can live with her. Said our apartment’s paid up for the next three months. That gives me three months to find a roommate or to find a place I can afford on my own. Both prospects are daunting. Not to mention I’ll be job hunting at the same time.”
“Maybe you could ask your dad—”
“Right. Dumb suggestion. Okay, then. Come stay with me.”
Chloe blinked. “You live in Vermont.”
“So what? Put your things in storage and fly up for an extended visit. It doesn’t have to be forever. Just time enough to heal. To catch your breath and plan for your future. Who knows? Maybe you’ll fall in love with Sugar Creek like I did and want to stay.”
REVIEW RATING: 4 LIGHTNING BOLTS
REVIEW: A new start awaits, once she's ready to grab hold. Chloe leaves broken hearted, but determined to make things better for herself. Chloe meets the woman she'll be working for, and she'll be learning a few life lessons from this woman that's about to change her life! One of my favorite characters is Daisy. She's in her elderly years, but doesn't let that stop her from living, much to the dismay of her grandson, Devlin. And he's not that happy about Chloe just allowing his grandmother to be so frivolous.
Fool For Love is a wonderful small town, foodie romance. The characters have a way of creeping into your heart and staying there. I was rooting for Chloe from the start, from how she had to pick up the pieces and move on. Devlin could take a few lessons from his grandmother, as he's sometimes a stick in the mud. But Chloe changes him for the better.
All around, Fool For Love is a wonderful story. I loved Ms. Coitta's writing, and this new romance is another to add to the keeper's list.
Fool For Love on Barnes & Noble
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