Best friends Kat Varland and Lucas Brannen have secretly been in love with each other for a long time. Kat works in her aunt’s bakery but longs to branch out on her own. Lucas is the high-school football coach who wants to plant roots in Bayou Bend with Kat at his side. Lucas signs Kat up for a televised cupcake competition as a gesture of his feelings for her without realising this opportunity for Kat to chase her dream may mean the destruction of his.
Unlike most romance novels where the protagonists meet, get to know one another and then fall in love, Kat and Lucas have known each other for most of their lives but have not shared their feelings with one another. On many levels, I found this to be very frustrating because the lack of communication creates the “big misunderstanding” plot that I loathe. Fortunately, the author uses this plot device to build on the frustration Kat and Lucas are feeling, drawing their uncertainties and insecurities into the light, which really worked for me. I enjoy meeting characters that I can bond with and feel a deep connection to. Kat and Lucas come across as regular people trying to live good Christian lives while pursuing their dreams. They are both stubborn, trying to control the direction of their lives instead of putting it in God’s hands from the beginning.
I thought Lucas signing Kat up for the cupcake competition was a little controlling at first but enjoyed seeing his frustration when his plan didn’t play out the way he anticipated. It was a sweet gesture and he is full of sweet gestures throughout the entire story, but struggles with his feelings and his reluctance to tell Kat how he feels. Kat is very insecure about her ability to make her dream of running a cupcake business a reality. She feels trapped in her tiny hometown and without any support from her family feels isolated. Lucas is the only person who believes in her. Though she is initially angry and terrified of competing on the reality TV show, I enjoyed seeing Kat transform into someone who begins to believe in herself and her abilities.
This is an enjoyable story of two people struggling to maintain control of their lives and their struggle to make their dreams a reality. Recommended for fans of the chick-lit, contemporary romance and inspirational romance genres as well as anyone who enjoys a sweet story that will make you smile and cheer on these characters to their happy ending. (SH)