Anything But Love-Beth Ciotta

Anything But Love
Beth Ciotta
St. Martin’s, Oct 1 2013, $7.99
ISBN: 9781250001344

In Sugar Creek, Vermont, Luke Monroe loves his family and the women. However, the hound was attracted to enigmatic independent Rachel Lacey but allowed his cousin Sam to court the Sugar Tots teaching assistant and member of the Cupcake Lovers before she vanished last year. Luke muses that she was the only one who knew he suffered from dyslexia as he hid his reading problem from family and friends. He hired PI Jayce Bello to find her and he finally did. Jayce says Rachel goes by the name of Reagan Deveraux, an heiress living in Bel Air about to inherit a fortune; her photo is that of a hot woman instead of the mousy female she was when she resided here for a year.

Reagan misses her time in the Green Mountain State especially her Cupcake Lovers’ friends and mostly Luke. On Christmas Eve he comes to Bel Air to confront her. His arrival amuses her mom Olivia and angers affluent Geoffrey Stein. Acting like a judgmental jerk, Luke tries to force Rae to return to Vermont for Christmas, but she refuses. They have sex that satisfies neither and he angrily leaves for New England. Six weeks later, Rae flies to Sugar Creek with Sam’s assistance to tell hostile Luke she is pregnant.

The third Cupcake Lovers romance (see Fool For Love and The Trouble With Love) is an enjoyable second chance as betrayal occurs in a nanosecond if your entire life except for one brief interlude is a series of treacherous acts from those who allegedly love you. Although Olivia is too stereotypical Momma Dearest, Anything But Love is an engaging tale.

Harriet Klausner


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