Kitchen Witchiness: DON’T CALL ME CUPCAKE



The Holloway Girls #1
by Tara Sheets
Narrated by Joell A. Jacob
Publication date Jul 31, 2018
Running time 9 hrs
in Print: April 2018 from Kensington Books

I voluntarily reviewed an advance readers copy of this book. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.

There’s a very special kind of sweetness to life on Pine Cove Island . . .

Most families have a favorite recipe or two, handed down through generations. The Holloway women are a little different. Emma Holloway, like her grandmother before her, bakes charms into her delicious cupcakes, granting the recipient comfort, sweet dreams, or any number of good things. It’s a strange gift, but it brings only happiness. Until gorgeous, smooth-talking newcomer Hunter Kane strolls into her shop, Fairy Cakes—and Emma makes the mistake of selling him not one, but three Sweet Success cupcakes.

Hunter, it turns out, is opening a fancy new restaurant and bakery right on the waterfront—Emma’s competition. To make matters worse, the town committee has decided to split the upcoming summer festival contract between the two, forcing Emma to work with her nemesis. But she can’t afford to split her profits. The solution: create a recipe that will make Hunter leave town permanently.

The Holloway charms are powerful. But there are other kinds of magic in the world—like red-hot first kisses, secret glances, and the feeling that comes with falling truly, madly, inconveniently in love . . .


My Take Oblong Shaped


This is a sweet romance, more pathos than sexy eros, more batter than frosting.  It’s a little too clean for me, but Emma and Hunter fall into their romance somewhat naturally, rivals who have to work together and then the inevitable falling in love. I think when you have to work with someone you learn a lot bout them and that will either cause you to be friends or, not.

There were areas I didn’t believe: Hunter’s business plan seems a little presumptuous, the town being believers but “Fairy Cakes” can’t make a go of it. Little stretches like that made it a fun read but not a great one. I didn’t like the way one character says “Didja know?” all the time. I did like the tension in the relationship between house and others.  The question is that if the house can make things happen why can it not self-repair? Then the plot to prevent a restaurant opening  through a darker form of magic is a little crazy and preordained to go badly.

I enjoyed the close friendships Emma, her cousin, and a couple of other women shared and the small town feeling.

My only real issue is the narration, her pacing and cadence was strange and distracting. Added to this were the voices given to all but one of the male characters, and I really disliked the narration of a neighbor lady.. Once in a while she gets it right, but it was definitely not my favorite book narration. Not everyone will be bothered by the narrator but I found it hard to listen to.

The book isn’t too long – good for a weekend trip or an afternoon on the hammock.


Links Blue Horizontal