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The Icing on the Cupcake: A Novel Paperback – April 6, 2010


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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Ansley thought her fiancé, Parish, loved her unconditionally until he dumps her. In order to escape the subsequent gossip and pity, she heads to New York City to visit her maternal grandmother, Vivian, whom she has never met. While Vivian is delighted to have the chance to reconnect with her family, she currently has problems of her own: her recently deceased husband’s creative tax shelters have brought down the wrath of the IRS, specifically agent 1432. As a way of coping, Ansley begins baking cupcakes, and as she mixes up batches of home-baked goodness, she realizes she may have stumbled on the answer to her and her grandmother’s problems. Striking the perfect balance between tart wit and sweet romance, Ross spoons up a thoughtful blend of chick lit and women’s fiction, complete with a tempting assortment of cupcake recipes, the icing on this irresistible culinary literary creation. For a list of culinary romance novels, see the Read-alikes column, Seasoned with Love on p.28. --John Charles

Review

"Striking the perfect balance between tart wit and sweet romance, Ross spoons up a thoughtful blend of chick lit and women’s fiction, complete with a tempting assortment of cupcake recipes, the icing on this irresistible culinary literary creation."—Booklist
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (April 6, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 034549296X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345492968
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,678,402 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Good read, highly recommend it, especially for the beach.
Eclaire
And now I can't wait to try some of the delectable recipes from the book, especially the red velvet creation aptly dubbed 'Shot Through the Heart."
Chick Lit Lover
The author went a little too far however with some of the convoluted plot twists.
M

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Sheila A. Dechantal on July 23, 2010
Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed the baking connecting to family in this book. The family cook book referred to in the book was started in 1853. The ancestor, Marille, who created the book filled it with 200 pages for family to add recipes. To do this there were rules:

1. The book was to be passed from mother to the daughter who cooked the most. I f there were no daughteres than the granddaughters
2. Three people must agree a recipe is fit to be in the book, usually a grandmother, mother, and daughter were the voting parties. if the daughter was too young, the cook waited until she was old enough to vote. If there was no daughter, another female relative could be substituted.
3. Never let anyone borrow the book.

This I really liked as well as the cupcake recipes that sprinkle throughout the pages with names that fit with what was happening in the book.

The story line itself wasn't a great fit for me. While Ansley does eventually turn into a likable character, things happen in the book that are kind of odd and hard to follow. While she is mean in the opening of the book, she moves and is never mean again throughout the rest of the read. The ending left me with many questions. I don't want to go into great explanation as I have seen many people have really enjoyed this book. For me, the recipes made the book one I will turn to again. I wished I would have had time to whip up a batch of a couple that really caught my eye, but another time.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Liz Fenton on April 11, 2010
Format: Paperback
Ansley Waller just had a really bad night. Dumped by her fiancé and humiliated in from of her sorority sisters, she decides to head to New York and move in with her wealthy grandmother Vivian, who's been estranged from the family since she abandoned Ansley's mother at the tender age of five. But regardless of her mother's opposition, Ansley needs a place to lick her wounds and determines that now is as good a time as ever to reconcile with a grandmother she never knew. Both apprehensive, the two women begin to bond over their shared love for baking. But Vivian's keeping some secrets of her own while dealing with an IRS investigation into her late husband's investments that could cost her everything.

When Vivian insists that Ansley get a job or be sent back home with her tail between her legs, she decides to play to her strengths and open her own cupcake shop. Determined to prove she can make it on her own, Ansley, using recipes from a book that's been passed down for generations in their family discovers that it just may hold the key to the secrets of Vivian's past.

THE ICING ON THE CUPCAKE is a charming story, thick with Texas charm and baking anecdotes. Ross does a beautiful job of developing her characters and creating suspense surrounding the mystery of how any mother could leave their five-year-old child. You'll root for Ansley as she struggles to figure out what to do with her life now that becoming a privileged housewife is not an option any longer and your mouth will water as she stress-bakes her way through her troubles. A lovely novel with a decadent recipe at the end of each chapter, I have a feeling you'll find THE ICING ON THE CUPCAKE as sweet as I did.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By C. Neblett on August 24, 2011
Format: Paperback
I picked this book up looking for a light, quick, chick-lit read with the added bonus of cupcake recipes. I expected it to be fairly predictable, but enjoyable, and it started it out that way- the beautiful, bitchy girl who gets her heart broken, but takes a chance to make a new life for herself, grow-up, and solve a family mystery to boot.
Overall it disappointed. Did the story play out the way I expected? Yes and no- those things happened, but HOW they happened was where it lost me. Ansley makes a such a sudden character change it is a bit jarring. After a lifetime of cutting people down, being mean and making cruel comments if other women gained weight, two months later, after gaining 10lb (or so) post break-up, she is sitting in a restaurant, patting her belly, feeling "sexy". (This is not a comment on hating weight gain, or only loving yourself and others if you are super thin- just a comment on how unrealistic it seemed for HER character). Opening a business without telling anyone and doing it as quickly, easily, etc. also produced some eye rolls. This also applies to the reunion and resolution between the grandmother and the mother. A lifetime of emotional pain and abandonment is wrapped up quickly and as neatly as can be. Does reading chick lit require some suspension of disbelief? You bet, but if it is too much, it takes you out of the story.
Which takes me to the ending- Really? It felt like the author was going along in one direction, suffered a head injury and swapped the ending out at the last minute. Not only is it SO ridiculous and maddening, but it also feels like it just- ended. Unsatisfying.
The cupcake recipes and baking tips were awesome though! Looking forward to trying at least one!
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Ruth Tyler on April 27, 2010
Format: Paperback
I am mother of two who works full-time. Other than the twenty minutes before I drop off, I rarely get to read. With this book, my twenty minutes turned into an hour. I plowed through the book in a few days. It was a wonderful, uplifting, fast read. Now, if only we could get a sequel, in which Ansley finds true love in NYC.
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The Icing on the Cupcake: A Novel
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