Just give me a minute…
You know those moments in life when you want to press the pause button just to catch your breath? That was a rhetorical question, peeps. I’ve had three straight years of pause-button-pounding moments. I don’t know an adult out there that isn’t jamming that pause button like a toddler hopefully clicking an empty Pez dispenser. As a woman firmly positioned as the squish of the sandwich generation, my desire for a moment to just catch my breath spilled over into writing THE RUNAWAY CUPCAKE QUEEN. So if there’s a lot of wine drinking and hysterical laughter, you’ll know that’s hella authentic writing right there.
Sure, I may not be an ex-beauty-queen or reality dating show contestant, but the theme of “what if I had the opportunity to run away for a little while?” is central to THE RUNAWAY CUPCAKE QUEEN. Helen Walker finds herself fleeing paparazzi and hiding in the back of a car in a dimly-lit parking lot–definitely a “just give me a minute” moment–when she suddenly gets an opportunity to escape.
Spoiler alert: she grabs that chance with both hands and her unnaturally white teeth.
What follows, though, is a road trip of discovery as Helen and Jack find what’s missing in each other and what they’d buried in themselves. I adore this book, because it was my chance to breathe and laugh again despite the craziness of this life, and I hope it’s your chance to get away for a while, too. So, grab a cupcake and maybe a glass of your finest boxed wine, and escape to your happy place.
When life and love take a detour…
Helen Walker, aka the Alabama Cupcake Queen, is poised to be the next star of TV’s most popular dating show, Happily Ever After. But after being dumped on last season’s live finale, she’s not sure she can take any more humiliation. All she ever wanted was to escape small-town Alabama, the grief of losing her mother, and an engagement to the cookie-cutter southern boy everybody loves. It all holds as much appeal as vanilla buttercream on stale cake.
When a reality TV show turns Jack Adams’ hometown into a three-ring circus, he leaps at the chance to escape for a long weekend in Pennsylvania at his best friend’s wedding. A solo drive and time away are just what he needs to regroup and get his derailed life back on track.
Everything changes when Jack discovers an ex-beauty-queen hiding in the back of his car, fleeing responsibility, paparazzi, and her future. She convinces him to take her along, but how can he figure out his life when his new passenger is determined to avoid her own? Together they discover that a road trip of detours can sometimes be the journey home.
“If we’re going to be spending the next few days together,” he said, “we’re going to have to come up with some ground rules. Number one: stop overthinking everything.Number two: stop trying to fix me. I’m not broken. And number three…”
“I want it clear from the outset that if I kiss you, it won’t be because I’m trying to get back at Jenna or trying to distract you from talking. It’s because you’re hot, and I’m alive, and I want to.”
The air sucked out of her lungs with each word that passed over his lips, and she stood there, her feet glued to the pavement, winded and light-headed and incandescently hopeful.
“Oh?” she said, her body leaning toward his of its own accord.
His gaze dropped to her mouth which flooded with anticipation.
“Just so we’re clear,” he said.
“Got it.” Her mouth parted as the air grew light and fast in her lungs. “Are you gonna kiss me now?”
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Cheri Allan writes kissing books about love and other shenanigans from her charming fixer-upper in rural New Hampshire. She is often distracted by social media, reality television, and a menagerie of cats and dogs. If you find her whizzing down the slopes at the nearby mountain with her family or inadvertently killing perennials in her garden, bring her coffee. She will gratefully provide the conversation and chocolate.
Her ‘Betting on Romance’ novels have been nominated for both the Carolyn Readers Choice Award and the Golden Quill. Cheri Allan romance, because life is shot, love is funny, and laughter is everything.
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Peggy here. I lovedlovedloved this book sosos much. To prove that, here’s my review: TRCCQ