IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE – Beth Ciotta
A Perfect 10
A Cupcake Lovers Novel , Book 4
St. Martin's Press
Sugar Creek, Vermont – Present Day
Sam McCloud is a widowed father of two children, and getting involved in the Cupcake Lovers club seems out of place for the former military man. He is now thinking of dropping out because several of the women in the group are pregnant, and talking about babies and families reminds Sam of how much he misses his late wife. A few months ago he had a fling with the club's PR person, Harper Day, but she has ended it. For Sam that is okay, except he can't forget about the hot sex—or Harper. But one night she cancels an appearance at the club meeting, and Sam senses something isn't right, so heads to her place.
Harper's world is crashing around her and she doesn't know what to do, so she is holed up in her home in Sugar Creek feeling paralyzed. When Sam arrives, at first she pushes him away, but finally admits the truth: she's been fired from her job and faces deportation back to Canada. Sam suggests a solution that could change both their lives…they get married. Sam gains a bed partner and mother for his children. Harper gets her green card. But getting married isn't that simple, especially as Harper hasn't revealed to Sam the real reason she doesn't want to return to Canada. Her sanity—and life—may be in danger
Readers who have read ANYTHING BUT LOVE will no doubt recognize Harper and Sam—and their hot fling—and IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE focuses on their tantalizing story. As the lone male in the cupcake lovers, Sam sticks out, which hasn't bothered him…until now, as the meetings turn to more about babies than baking a great cupcake. Besides, the less interaction he has with Harper is for the best, because all he wants to do is ravish her. But she is all wrong for him as she is a high-powered public relations expert who thrives on solving problems and dealing with eccentric celebs as she commutes back and forth between California and Vermont. All Sam wants is a down-to-earth mother for his children, plus someone he can enjoy a healthy sex life with. So why does he propose marriage—literally—to Harper when she should be the last person who would make his perfect wife? Could love have a lot to with it?
Harper isn't telling Sam everything, because she wants to control and manage things for herself. Yet, not telling him about her real fear could possibly jeopardize Sam and his children's lives. While Harper doesn't see herself as the mothering type, she must admit his kids are adorable, and there's no denying the sexual chemistry between Sam and her. But marriage? She finally agrees to his proposition of marriage for two years, then a clean break. Will the trip to the altar be an uneventful one?
I really enjoyed IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE because their offbeat chemistry just clicks. Sam is laid back and a devoted father. Harper prefers the bright lights (or so she tells herself) of Hollywood and high-powered activities. Spending time in Sugar Creek was all about relaxing and helping out the Cupcake Lovers club, not falling for Sam. Harper can be kind of pushy, but Sam isn't afraid to push her right back. He will do whatever it takes to protect her, even if he doesn't yet know what it is he's protecting her from. Harper didn't ask Sam to be her island, but she's soon ready to pitch a tent. Sam's honorable attributes make him a keeper for me and is a big reason I'm giving IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE a Perfect Ten from Romance Reviews Today.
As a side story, readers who have followed Daisy Monroe, the elderly grandmother who has appeared in all the books, will likely recall she was living in sin with a male friend. Their relationship deepens, but does it mean a trip to the altar? Will Daisy get her first great grandchild? These questions—and more—are answered while reading IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE.
Sexy hijinks and a boatload of fun highlight IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE and make it one of my best reads for summer. Grab a copy and find out for yourself.