Category Romance, Contemporary Romance
Ebook $2.99 (158 pages, ENTANGLED/BLISS)
Dulcie Carter has been running her family’s homemade sweet shop, Candy Land Confections, on her own since her mom passed away. But business is slow and rent is high, so Dulcie knows if she wants to keep her mom’s dream alive, she’ll need a miracle. The annual Assembly of Chocolatiers competition might be just the thing, if she can bring herself to try creating something new for the first time in a long time. Then she meets Nick, a molten-hot guy with a sexy smirk and an attraction stronger than any sugar rush, whose family also happens to own the big-box candy shop in town—her strongest competition for first prize. Nick’s got his own reasons for needing the win, but then being around Dulcie is proving addictive. As their competition heats up, so do the sparks between them. Can they keep their sights on winning, when love might be the sweetest prize of all?
Author Site: rachelastor.net
Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice (5 stars)
Since her mother passed away, running Candy Land Confections, has been difficult for Dulcie Carter. Homemade sweets made from the family's original recipes was her mom's dream. But keeping the business afloat while getting a business degree with sales slow is proving more and more of a challenge on top of the fact Dulcie can't seem to find her inner chocolatiering mojo. When she's invited to compete in the annual Assembly of Chocolatiers competition the allure of the prize money is hard to pass up... if only she could tap into her mom' creative spirit and create something utterly original and wowing.
When Dulcie meets Nick, the gorgeous guy with whom she shares instant chemistry, she discovers there's one big problem to top all the others if they were to get involved—he's the son of the big-box candy maker that stands to be her strongest competition! The stakes are high for both, as the win could mean everything to their respective families. Can these dueling chocolatiers keep it professional or can a chance at love be the sweetest thing to come?
I am an absolute sucker for romances where the hero and heroine are put into a situation where they're competing with one another or have enemy families. It just adds a certain drama that makes the HEA ending all the sweeter. But I've never seen it done with such a great contemporary twist on a theme that is delicious on its own. I cannot praise Astor enough for creating Nick. He's a hero among heroes and one of my favorites I've ever read. In contrast Dulcie's lack of confidence makes her very real and I loved how they matched one another and just made a great pairing.
This is the read for fans of competition shows on Food Network like Cupcake Wars. The creative side keeps it interesting during the slower sections where Nick and Dulcie aren't directly interacting. There are some good surprises thrown in when I least expected them and when the story ended I had an embarrassingly huge grin on my face. There's even a recipe you can make in the back of the book! If you're in the mood for a read that will bring a lot of warm fuzzies with it I highly recommend SUGAR RUSH... just be sure and have a snack handy because all the talk about candy and cupcakes and spices and chocolate will have your sweet tooth rampaging. ;)
Passionate Book Diva
Notes: Review copy received via publisher.