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The Icing on the Cupcake    by Jennifer Ross order for
Icing on the Cupcake
by Jennifer Ross
Order:  USA  Can
Ballantine, 2010 (2010)
Softcover, e-Book

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*   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Ansley Waller, the lovely young lead in Jennifer Ross's The Icing on the Cupcake is introduced to readers as a spoilt, mean, and thoroughly unlikeable Dallas debutante, who stopped making nice as soon as she landed her fiancÚ. But before the knot is tied, said fiancÚ, Parish, sees clearly what he's got himself into and publicly dumps Ansley in full view of her sorority sisters.

What can a Southern belle do? Ansley seeks refuge in New York with her estranged, and recently widowed, grandmother Vivian (who left her husband and Ansley's mother Hattie, when the latter was only five, to marry her Northern lover Charlie). Knowing what she's dealing with, Vivian - who has her own problems (and romantic opportunities) with an audit by IRS Agent #1432 - gives Ansley eight weeks to find a job.

Ansley does what Waller women have always done in times of stress - she bakes cupcakes, whose scrumptious looking recipes introduce each chapter, with thematic names like Seeing Red and Tasting Chocolate - Shot Through the Heart. Ansley also morphs - rather surprisingly and suddenly, and with help from her new friend Dot - from spoilt brat to daring and hardworking entrepeneur. But who is trying to sabotage her new enterprise and why?

Jennifer Ross's plot is as light and frothy as the batter of the cupcakes baked through the pages of her novel, and her over the top characters lack credibility. But if you're looking for a story that will make you salivate, then take a nibble from The Icing on the Cupcake.

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