Always Room for Cupcakes, Bethany Lopez
Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction.
I missed that this was such a short read – I just don’t find they work so well for me, and this was a perfect example. Its a fun read, I laughed ( and cried) with Lila, she’s like so many of us, going through life, bringing up kids, thinking life is good – until it isn’t and its all change.
I liked her humour, her way of picking herself up and shaking off problems, looking forward all the while as to how to keep things going for the twins. What didn’t work so well was that there was so much packed in to a short novel. It didn’t do the story justice IMO. There was the cheating ex, the family issues that arise from that, Lila’s new job as a PI, the suspense angle that comes from her latest job, where it gets pretty gruesome at one point, and the fledgling romance with Cade. So much going on but no time to really explore any of it in depth, get to know the problems and upsides, understand the characters. It just felt too surface based for me.
It was a fun read and I enjoyed it, but I prefer stories that go into more detail, let me really feel as if I’m there in the book and not just an onlooker. It was things like the way she picked up her new job, got to be a PI without any training, any equipment, just her trusty phone camera, the last job which was so dangerous and yet no-one seemed to realise the risks, it was all oversimplified, kept very surface based, superficial. Her friends were a great crew but we only met them for some brief interludes, the twins were only ten and yet her job worked so seamlessly around them, its tough in two parent families making that work, in a one parent one it’s even harder and yet everything falls into place, home life, job, even the ex dramas. The Shocker – I’d never heard of that, had to look it up * blush, can’t believe I’d never heard of that term* I’m amazed her ten year old knew about it! And as for that episode and what happened after – as a parent I’d be looking at putting some controls over what the kids were watching via the net not just pass it off to dad to deal with….
The romance with Cade developed quickly, again the book length makes that necessary, though it could have been more to the front if there hadn’t been so many other things going on. I was a bit concerned when we first met him that it was going to be a biker romance, an MC one, with all that male ego, stilted, grunting speech etc. I’ve read a few and enjoyed the first ones, but after a while to me they just feel the same and I don’t want to read more of them – others do and I’m pleased for them but just not me. Its not a big issue here though, Cade is part of an MC but that part of his life only occurs very briefly in the book. The MC novels I have read were Kristin Ashley ones, and Cade felt very much like one of the heroes from there – so I wasn’t surprised to read at the end of the book that she’s one of Bethany’s favourite authors.
Overall it was a read I liked but just felt rushed, with plots that were a bit too surface issue for me. The brevity meant every problem was solved/overcome so easily and life isn’t like that – not does everything work out quite so neatly for a PI!! If the book was another 100 pages it would have been a better read for me, but then there are many, many readers who want these shorter reads. I’ve a friend who wants books where – as she says – she wont have forgotten the beginning by the time she reaches the end, as she only reads a few pages a day. Horses for courses, and for those like her this is a perfect fun read.
Stars: Three, a fun read but a little too light for me
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers for review purposes