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Cupcake Lovers #3

Anything But Love

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For Reagan Deveraux, Sugar Creek, Vermont, and the Cupcake Lovers are a dream come true: A cozy little town where family and friends come before everything else. She’s never experienced anything like it—especially not growing up with her mother, a fickle, fame-hungry heiress. But Rae’s plan to hide out in anonymity for a year until she can claim her inheritance—and her independence—changes with one kiss from gorgeous pub owner Luke Monroe.


Luke’s charm is legendary, but he’s never been a one-woman man. Until Rae captures his attention, that is, and then disappears. With a little help from a friend, Luke tracks her down—and unearths secrets almost too wild to be true, as well as the fact that Rae lied to him, and to all of Sugar Creek. Luke’s not sure if he can forgive her, but he definitely can’t forget her, and when she returns to save the Cupcake Lovers from disaster, he knows it’s his chance to get the truth—and get the girl, this time for good…

304 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published October 1, 2013

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About the author

Beth Ciotta

37 books469 followers
Storytelling comes naturally to award-winning author Beth Ciotta. Limiting herself to one sub-genre does not. Dubbed “fun and sexy” by Publisher’s Weekly, Beth specializes in writing Romantic Comedy with a Twist of Suspense and is published in contemporary, historical, and paranormal romantic fiction. “I can’t think of anything more fulfilling than writing stories where everyone (except the villain, of course) gets a happy ending!”

Beth lives in New Jersey with her husband, two zany dogs, and one crazy cat. Although writing takes up most of her time, she still performs occasionally as a singer, character actress, emcee, and storyteller. To support literacy, Beth also works at her local library.

To learn more about her chaotic life you can visit her Web site at www.bethciotta.com

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 76 reviews
Profile Image for Jacob Proffitt.
2,937 reviews1,548 followers
August 5, 2014
This was a lot of fun and just what I wanted from the next in the series. Like the previous, there's a good deal of moving around with multiple PoVs and storylines crammed in. Unlike the previous, it still felt like a cohesive narrative. That could be just that I expected it this time and thus didn't find it jarring. Or it could be that I wasn't quite as attached to Luke and Rae as I was Jayce and Rocky. At any rate, it didn't take me out of the story or break immersion—indeed, I had trouble putting the book down, today, as Melissa can attest.

And don't get the above wrong, I was plenty attached to Luke and Rae. I had some trouble with Luke up front as he pulled some crap on Rae that I'd have had trouble getting over in her place. She even notes that he assumed the worst about her and how that hurt her. Lucky for him, she's more forgiving that I probably could have been. At any rate, I was with Rae from the start and was happy to see her becoming the strong, courageous woman she ended up being (despite a late-novel lapse that at least had the virtue of not going on too long). And I really enjoyed Luke's maturation and growth as well. He's had it coming and Ciotta made me believe it in a way that cemented his relationship with Rae and made it powerful.

Plus, a benefit of the fractured PoVs was seeing Sam finally get taken down a bit in a fling of his own that has got to come back and bite him (hopefully in the next book).

So yeah, good plot, fun characters, Cupcake Lovers being less annoying (or me gaining some tolerance), and a solid love relationship, well-portrayed added up to a great read.

A note about Steamy: Higher than the rest in the series, though still only about mid-level. And that despite having way more explicit scenes. There were four, maybe five, but they were all pretty short (a page or less). One or two were a lot of fun, and they were all important to the emotional developments in the story so none felt superfluous.
Profile Image for Saly.
3,433 reviews512 followers
December 26, 2018
3.25 stars
Super secretive heroine falls for uber playboy hero who makes no apologies for playing the field. But somehow the hero has been knocked down from his usual women loving ways. Overall this wasn't bad and it took a plot device to give the h/H a genuine chance. Both of them had misconceptions about each other that get cleared along the way.
Profile Image for Heidi.
562 reviews1 follower
September 17, 2018
I had a hard time really liking the characters. They seemed so flat. The plot was a little lackluster too. Overall, it was an okay read but I didn't love it.
Profile Image for Diane ~Firefly~.
1,919 reviews69 followers
August 28, 2015
Not quite as good as the previous two books, but still enjoyable. I like the town and the people. Luke changed very quickly from being a playboy to being committed. I was glad to see the parents a bit more involved this time.

But Luke and Reagan just didn't click for me that much. She was so sheltered and secretive that it was annoying. And the conflict at the end was silly (her thoughts even admit there was no reason).
Profile Image for Christine (KizzieReads).
1,318 reviews91 followers
May 1, 2022
Still love all the characters and their dynamic. Family relationships showing through is so nice to see. They can be ticked off with each other, but show their love as well. Overcoming obstacles and keeping sane at the same time.
26 reviews
March 27, 2016
Another book, another day. So far I’ve read five books, which technically means that I’m ahead of schedule for the month of September. The reviews for the next books will be posted shortly. But today, I’m going to talk about Anything But Love by Beth Ciotta. This is the third book in The Cupcake Lovers Series. I heard about Ciotta’s books on an episode of NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour that they did at the beginning of the summer, dealing exclusively with romance novels.

Now many romance novels are part of a series. Sometimes they interconnect, other times, they can be read as a stand alone. I have read a few series (see: Tessa Dare, Penny Reid, Jaci Burton) but rarely do I actually read them in order. I figured that Ciotta’s books would follow suit. So I picked up #3 because the synopsis was most appealing to me.


From the synopsis, I figured I would entering this story from the beginning, basically from Reagan’s arrival in Sugar Creek. But no, that’s not how it played out. I felt like I came in the middle of a tv show or movie; the characters were already established, somehow I had missed the pivotal moment of Luke and Reagan’s kiss. The book opened with Luke finding out that Reagan was in Los Angeles, safe and alive. She had been gone for months and he had spent all this time looking for her because of one kiss. I was so confused.

Sadly, my confusion was not dealt with, as the chapters skipped around to different characters. Now, I am used to romance and fiction that tells the story from two or even three different viewpoints. Most romance is told from the perspectives of the heroine and the hero. In Anything But Love, there were characters who I would have deemed as secondary who got whole chapters devoted to their life and conflicts. The best example; Sam and Harper. Sam is a slightly relevant character, because he is set up at as a possible roadblock for Luke and Reagan’s happily ever after. He is in love with Reagan (or so he believes) and wants to date her. But the chapters dealing Sam quickly moved from him pining to him meeting and canoodling with Harper. It becomes apparent about halfway through that all this additional information about Sam and Harper is set up for the next book.

There are other characters too, ones who according to my research, come from the first two books in The Cupcake Lovers series. Their stories carrying over from those books into Anything But Love. Overall, I wish there could have been a warning or note to say that reading the previous books would be useful before just jumping in anywhere.

Getting back to Luke and Reagan now. I like both these characters, but they seemed under developed. Luke changes overnight from being a playboy and sporting two to three woman at a time to a devoted boyfriend to Reagan. You would think that the climax of the novel - where our protagonists fight and break up - would involve Luke cheating. But no, there is nothing of the kind. This makes no sense; there is no way that he could pull a one-eighty - it doesn’t fit with the character that Ciotta has set-up.

Reagan felt a little flat as well. For someone who was drawn to be untrusting and wary, she quickly let Luke into her life and tells him some deep secrets. It all seems rather quick for a character that reminds us throughout the book that she feels like she can’t trust the people around her. I would have expected more resistance on her part. Instead it felt like she kinda caved because a gorgeous man was standing in front of her.

My final issue with this book; Reagan’s unplanned pregnancy. The whole reason that Luke and Reagan even end up getting together is because she’s pregnant from their one night stand in L.A. If I had known about the pregnancy plot line, I wouldn’t have picked this book up. I don’t love romances where the characters are brought together because of an accidental pregnancy.

All in all this book didn’t feel whole; rather it was like some had ripped twenty chapters out of much longer book and handed it to me, without any explanation. I think I would have been more invested, more interested if I had read the previous books. I am tempted to read In The Mood For Love because it deals with Sam and Harper, whose relationship I am curious to learn more about. There were some sweet moments in Anything But Love, but overall I wasn’t impressed.
Profile Image for Ami.
5,809 reviews499 followers
July 31, 2014
In the previous book, the story of Luke and Reagan was foreshadowed with a love triangle, since Sam (Luke's cousin) also battling for Rae's heart, even if Rae said that she didn't have any feelings for Sam. One thing for sure, I'm glad that the whole love triangle was resolved early on, with the arrival of Harper Day (whom Sam ended up lusting). I knew that love triangle would not make me feel comfortable.

Anyway I loved this third book because of Luke, the Sugar Creek resident playboy. I knew that when he fell in love, it would be special. I thought Luke's determination to change her life because of Rae and the pregnancy was sweet. He knew he wanted to be better for Rae and the baby. I admired that. I did wish that Ms. Ciotta had more scenes of Luke and his dyslexia problem because I thought it was a very good background. As for Rae, she had a strong spine, despite having such poisonous Mom.

As always, there were updates from previous couples and teasers of Sam and Harper for the next book...
Profile Image for Sadie.
408 reviews25 followers
October 3, 2014

2.5 stars.

This book wrapped up too quickly, the big "black moment" (otherwise known as the slightly grey moment) was easy to read right over. I seriously had to go back and be like, WAIT? THEY'VE BEEN TORN APART?

They never handle what should have ACTUALLY been the black moment (Harper must be that good of a PR person. It just POOF. Went away.

The ending was a quick, silly wrap up. The bride definitely annoyed me in that scene.

Also, there was way too much going on. If you took everything else going on in this book, the h/H story probably only made up about 40%

But, my big complaint thru the entire book was how everyone viewed Luke. I was totally getting pissed off for him. NO ONE noticed that a guy who typically is dating 2 or 3 girls at once isn't dating anyone...for MONTHS?

Oh, wait, the DID notice and called him on it...then conveniently forgot that and kept talking about what a woman-user he was.

If Luke had packed up Rae and left town, part of me wouldn't have blamed him.
Profile Image for Charlie McKenzie.
47 reviews13 followers
October 4, 2017
Again another flawless book by Beth Ciotta.
This one i about Luke and Rae. Rae formally know as Rachel when she lived in sugar creek for a year, disappears after a cheeky kiss with Luke. After quitting her joke at the sugar shack and leaving her apartment Luke starts to worry so asks Jayce, his sisters boyfriend who was previously a PI to track her own and thats when this one starts off. Jayce has found Rachel, letting Luke know about her change of identity and whereabouts . Luke turns up at Rae's mums house and has a fiery encounter with her. Skip forward to that night when lust takes over, Rae pushes Luke away after feeling as though he regrets it. He doesn't. So begins their story of discovering they're love for each other and Raes crappy past with her mother and step father.
Definitely struggled to put this one down. I loved it from start to finish.
January 5, 2021
This romantic novel is truly amazing. From the captivating characters, to the alternating scenes, this was one of the first novels that truly showed me how independent someone can be and how much someone can overcome any obstacle. I do have to say that I wish the ending could have been expanded a little more, NO SPOILERS... but i still enjoyed it very much.

The “ adult scenes “ in the novel were just as enjoyable because they touched on a real life situation that can occur with any child in our day and age. From the family mishaps and issues to the romantic misunderstandings, this novel truly touched my heart and I can truly say that I found a new admiration for romantic novels again. For a while I had stopped enjoying them, but I’m glad I did not refrain myself from continuing to read them, because I truly enjoyed it.
Profile Image for Ruth Ellen.
1,439 reviews
April 29, 2019
Luke is celebrating Christmas Eve with family when his friend tells him where to find a woman who disappeared from Sugar Creek. Apparently, she is a heiress who turn 25 and inherits a fortune. He goes to California and confronts her. They end up in bed. Three months later,, she shows up to start a new daycare and tells Luke she is pregnant and it is his. Read and see 👀 how they work out all the issues they have in their personal lives.
It is a change of pace book for me. I liked it but wasn't that interested in the story. Wrong timing for me.
67 reviews
January 31, 2021
Could have dnf after page 100 but powered through to the end. It's not a bad book and even picking up on the third volume having not read the previous two it was easy to follow. This just wasn't the book for me.
Profile Image for Jessica.
1,656 reviews12 followers
January 17, 2019
The power to pick a book mid-series strikes here and quite happy to go back to the start.
An entertaining read.
Profile Image for L.L. Robinson.
Author 2 books
May 12, 2019
I enjoyed it. It kept me interested throughout the entire story. This was the first book I read from this author.
Profile Image for Amanda.
43 reviews
October 18, 2019
This was better than the last one. A quick and easy read. It ended really abruptly though. After all the drama I would have liked a little more than one sentence saying ‘done.’
33 reviews
March 8, 2021
I grabbed this book at random from the spindle at the local library, having committed myself to exploring new authors, I put my future as a reader in the random chaotic hands of fate.
It had an appealing enough cover, the blurb on the back did not immediately turn me off, so it joined the stack of other books in my arms and came home to rest on my nightstand. The first book on that stack disappointed me so much I had my first DNF ever and did the unthinkable, I gave a one star rating. Anything But Love was the next to find itself in my hands and it was like taking a bite of something crisp and refreshing to cleanse my pallet. The number of POVs was a bit much for me personally, but the characters all had voices unique enough that I never got tripped up over whose brain I was in. There were a few typos that it surprised me made it to print, but by no means the most glaringly obvious or numerous errors I've ever seen.

Sugar Creek and the merry cast of characters who live there became a haven for my mind to escape to. Balanced layers that were not bland, but also not too complex to be simply enjoyed for enjoyment's sake. Much like a cupcake, best when not too light or heavy. It has substance without being bogged down and is sweet without making you need to schedule an appointment with the dentist. On my next trip to the library, I grabbed the only other Cupcake Lovers story they had available, and will have to look out for the first two installments.
Profile Image for Emsy Van Wyck.
200 reviews3 followers
July 14, 2014
Rating of five cupcakes for Beth Ciotta's Anything But Love, a contemporary romance must read. A very good friend, whom I trust implicitly when it comes to book recommendations, told me I had to read Beth Ciotta's Cupcake Lovers novels as I'd fall in love with her writing and the town of Sugar Creek, Vermont. Well, when I heard that, I quickly started to devour the novels - and just like cupcakes, they're delicious, addictive, and absolutely perfect.

First of all, may I say if you haven't already, please, please get start reading the series as this is a fun, romantic, sexy, touching, and all together pleasurable romp. Ciotta is a master at making you laugh while you read, while at the same time you absolutely need to make sure that the Kleenex box is close at hand as tears sometimes fall.

Book three, Anything But Love, opens with major player and pub owner Luke Monroe trying to find out where his one-time waitress and the town's favorite pre-school aide Rachel Lacey disappeared to. His cousin Sam McCloud, who had been trying to woo Rachel for months, discovered Luke and Rae in a very hot tryst and panicked Rae just disappeared. Unlike Luke he worried, he fretted, and he didn't date. Finally, just before Christmas, his soon-to-be brother-in-law Jayce tracked Rachel down, but Rachel's actually Hollywood heiress Reagan Deveraux. And if Luke is to find any piece of mind and stop gorging on cupcakes, he needs to see her in person.

After tracking her down and finding out that perhaps her Hollywood life isn't quite as perfect as it might seem they find themselves in a very steamy encounter. But life goes on and Luke returns to Sugar Creek, with Rae unsure what to do. Can a player like Luke, who usually has three women on a string ever find himself happy with just one? Can Rae trust Luke and her heart? And what about that other small complication?

Ciotta's gift of humor and sensitivity to her characters inner life is evident throughout the book. One of the reasons I'd advise reading these not as stand alones (although you could) is she interweaves characters from each of her books in these and it's like coming in mid-movie, you really do want to know what's been going on. She usually also has a few romantic subplots available and the one, with Luke's cousin Sam McCloud and Hollywood pr specialist Harper Day, in Anything But Love is fascinating. This is a five cupcake book and you can bake them yourself with the recipes at the end submitted by devoted readers.

Cupcake Lovers is a series that combines an innocence of heart with some very steamy romance - as well as a zany crew of characters that you will fall in love with. You should definitely pick up her holiday novella, Some Kind of Wonderful book 3.5 in the series and I've already marked my calendar for the 1 July 2014 release date of book In the Mood for Love, where we will find out what happens with Harper Day and Sam McCloud, who will now have the leading roles in the series.

Fab Fantasy Fiction
Profile Image for Margaret.
316 reviews
October 16, 2013
Luke is the town player. He has always moved from girlfriend to girlfriend, he never thought about settling down because he thought he would always be happy just the way he is. That is until Rachael. The problem was that his cousin thought the same way too. So when Rachael left town, Luke did not go back to the way he was. He decided that he just wanted one woman to settle down with and he wanted Rachael to be that woman. He just never thought that the woman he was \n love with was a total lie. And finding out the truth from television news just made him want to find her and get the complete truth. He just never thought that the day he found her would change his life forever.
Rachael moved to a small town to hide from her family life. She did go back to California because he had to inherit her fortune and she thought that if she stayed in the town they would find out the truth about her. She just never thought that she would ever see anyone from that town again. So when Luke showed up at her door that day, she knew her life would never be the same. She just did not realize how much it would change.
When Rachael found out that she was pregnant she realized that she needed to tell Luke. She decided to move back to the small town so that Luke could be a part of his child’s life. When Luke finds out, he wanted to provide for Rachael and their child, even if she does not want him in her life he will make sure that he will be in his child’s life. He even bought his brother out of their business so that he would be able to do that.
One of Rachael’s major issue s her mother. Her mother always wanted to be in the spotlight and it didn’t matter what she did or who she hurt to get it. she even told a lot of lies to Luke about Rachael, which he believed. Rachael then decided that she did not want to be with Luke because of the doubt her mother put into his head. So she decided to end their relationship.
When Luke’s sister got married, Luke wrote her a valentine to prove how sorry he was about believing the rumors and that he will always love her and want their relationship to work.
I absolutely loved this book. I especially loved how the author did the wedding scene. I just wish that I knew what the letter actually said. I would love to know what was written.
The author has a way with her words. She made sure that the characters had every day experiences. It definitely made the book worth reading.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Romancing the Book.
4,420 reviews212 followers
October 4, 2014
Reviewed by JoAnne
Book provided by NetGalley for review
Review originally posted at Romancing the Book

What a wonderful continuation of the Cupcake Lovers series. Having read book two, The Trouble With Love, and the first two chapters of this book which was at the back I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. The book did not disappoint. I picked up right where I left off and there was new depth to both Luke and Reagan/Rae/Rachel and their story. Once Rae’s upbringing was revealed it was amazing to see how well she turned out and how nurturing and caring she is. There were so many side stories involving the other characters from Sugar Creek but especially the Cupcake Lovers and there were so many twists and turns to the story I didn’t want to put my e-reader down. It was fun to watch Harper give Sam a run for his money – he never knew which way was up with her and their chemistry was oh so steamy. There was a feel good feeling throughout even when some not so good things were happening. I could tell how much the characters meant to each other whether they were family, especially part of the Monroe clan, or friends. There was laughter, tears, happiness, sorrow, support, romance and love along with heartache, lots of wedding plans and babies to be. There were several happily ever afters and nice closure but I know I’ll be back in Vermont to catch up with the Cupcake Lovers especially since the cookbook hasn’t been published yet. The back of the book had a couple of recipes that I will definitely give a try.

Ciotta is an author I first found with The Trouble With Love, which I received to review. I still have to go back and read book one in the series, Fool for Love, but also can’t wait to go back and read some of the author’s other books.

Favorite Quote: Their eyes met and Luke’s heart jerked. They moved in at the same time and he lost himself in a kiss like no other he’d experienced. It was troubling. Thrilling. He’d never been into clingy, but there was something heady about the intensity of Rae’s embrace. Just like that first time they’d kissed. Something that made him want to cling too.
Profile Image for JoAnne.
2,604 reviews21 followers
October 4, 2020
My review originally posted on Romancing-the-Book.com is below:

What a wonderful continuation of the Cupcake Lovers series. Having read book two, The Trouble With Love, and the first two chapters of this book which was at the back I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. The book did not disappoint. I picked up right where I left off and there was new depth to both Luke and Reagan/Rae/Rachel and their story. Once Rae’s upbringing was revealed it was amazing to see how well she turned out and how nurturing and caring she is. There were so many side stories involving the other characters from Sugar Creek but especially the Cupcake Lovers and there were so many twists and turns to the story I didn’t want to put my e-reader down. It was fun to watch Harper give Sam a run for his money – he never knew which way was up with her and their chemistry was oh so steamy. There was a feel good feeling throughout even when some not so good things were happening. I could tell how much the characters meant to each other whether they were family, especially part of the Monroe clan, or friends. There was laughter, tears, happiness, sorrow, support, romance and love along with heartache, lots of wedding plans and babies to be. There were several happily ever afters and nice closure but I know I’ll be back in Vermont to catch up with the Cupcake Lovers especially since the cookbook hasn’t been published yet. The back of the book had a couple of recipes that I will definitely give a try.

Ciotta is an author I first found with The Trouble With Love, which I received to review. I still have to go back and read book one in the series, Fool for Love, but also can’t wait to go back and read some of the author’s other books.

Favorite Quote: Their eyes met and Luke’s heart jerked. They moved in at the same time and he lost himself in a kiss like no other he’d experienced. It was troubling. Thrilling. He’d never been into clingy, but there was something heady about the intensity of Rae’s embrace. Just like that first time they’d kissed. Something that made him want to cling too.
Profile Image for Gaele.
4,079 reviews80 followers
September 18, 2013
As my introduction to the series, Beth Ciotta has managed to catch new readers up without over presentation of old stories that would be distracting for those who have read the series. Regan, or Rae as she was known in the little Vermont town when she was off living a quiet life has much to atone for. In her retreat to Sugar Creek, she assumed a new name, and hid the realities of her life and fortune from the people she encountered and befriended. When confronted with her truths by Luke, despite her misgivings she returns to Vermont to make amends.

There was a familiarity in the characterizations and descriptions: people felt honest and real, the town has a solid sense of the small town Vermont aura that is omnipresent in little New England towns, and the everyone knows you, if not personally but by name and reputation was a solid thread running through the story.

Cupcake Lovers, as a group, are people with a sweet tooth yet that is not their only connection. Each character we meet is searching and seeking: whether it’s resolution or love, to hide or to make changes, this little group of misfit children find a place and acceptance in town. Each new character introduced has an easily accessible backstory, not leaving the reader questioning or at a loss for how one fits with another. While there is a romance budding with Luke and Rae, and several other side stories from flirtatious to newly matched couples, the plot is never overly complicated or hard to follow.

An utterly enjoyable read that plays with emotions and humor in equal measure and keeps the reader entertained through every page.

I received an eBook from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Profile Image for Kelly at.
1,136 reviews13 followers
September 20, 2013
Luke is the towns local playboy. Always juggling multiple women at a time. But when he hires the shy, quiet Rachel something changed for him. He really liked Rachel and after a mind blowing kiss everything changed. Luke can’t get Rachel out of his mind even if it means hurting his cousin. But when Rachel disappears from Sugar Creek everyone finds out she has been lying to them for over a year. Even knowing that Reagan (aka Rachel) lied to him Luke still can’t shake these feeling he has for her. What is a man to do?

Reagan is not happy to be home. She would rather be anywhere but home, she would really like to be back in Sugar Creek. The year she spent there was the best year of her life. But she had to come home, face reality and collect her inheritance so she can move on. The last person Reagan ever expected to see on her doorstep on Christmas eve was Luke.

Luke & Reagan both have a lot of secrets that they don’t want others to know. But if they would learn to share with each other they maybe able to face them together. But there is one secrets they are trying to keep from their family and friends. And like any secret the harder to try to keep it the greater the chance it get out.

Every trip to Sugar Creek, Vermont keeps getting sweeter and sweeter. I will say that I was super excited about “Anything But Love”, because Luke is my favorite character so far. I can’t wait to see what is next for the Cupcake Lovers group... Bring on Sam!!!

I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. This review is my own opinion and not a paid review.
Review will be posted at www.books-n-kisses.com .
Profile Image for Kimberly.
429 reviews259 followers
October 9, 2013

I think I might just have found a new series for me to enjoy. Lots of you know that I'm not a big contemporary romance fan but I've been reading more books in the genre over the past year and this was one of the ones I enjoyed every part of.

Anything But Love is the third installment in the Cupcake Lovers series by author Beth Ciotta, though this was my first time reading a book in the series it already felt like I was coming home to old friends. I would say over all that this book could be read as a stand alone. However from what I've read about from people who have reviewed the book preceding this one is that certain events happened in book #2 that lead up to the events in this one but it didn't bother me at all.

I loved Rae and Luke though his snark too a little getting used to I was able to get over it eventually and I loved how the two of them seemed to fit together so well. That being said there were some obvious issues between them but I enjoyed seeing them come together. Apart from Luke and Rae though I enjoyed all the characters and what a cast of characters they were.

This book served to remind me of why I love small town romances so much. There was drama, heartwarming moments, moments where I wanted to slap the main characters for being a too stubborn, but mostly I loved the cozy laugh out loud moments the book offered. It was a feel good read with a realistic romance and I'm glad I finally gave this author a try and I'm looking forward to reading the first two books in the series soon.

I would recommend this to fans of small town romances, contemporary romances and romances that will make you feel something. I can see fans of Robyn Carr's Virgin River would love this book.

Profile Image for Kelly Moran.
Author 43 books1,259 followers
May 12, 2014
Reagan Deveraux spent a year in hiding in Sugar Creek, Vermont--a cozy little town where family and friends come before everything--and the home of the Cupcake Lovers. She's never experienced anything like it, especially growing up with a fame-hungry, B list actress like her mother. So when she leaves Sugar Creek after receiving her inheritance, she feels lost. Now she's in a position to help the town restore the daycare center and aid the Cupcake Lovers in securing their book deal. But pub owner Luke Monroe--bachelor and seriously irresistible--has put a wrench in those plans. He's having a hard time getting past his attraction to Reagan and the fact that she lied to him, to everyone, for a whole year. More than the two of them are involved now. Can they forgive and forget for the sake of all involved?

I didn't have the pleasure of reading the other books in this series, but I'll be picking them up. As it appears, this is Book Four in the Cupcake Lovers series. There are a lot of characters in this book--a lot. At times it was hard to keep track, but Ciotta did a pretty great job of using subtle reminders. Ciotta also does a great job of hinting at the next book by being in those characters POV to tease at their beginning while working this story. I didn't feel like I needed to read the other books to understand this one, making it a stand alone. The setting was just lovely, as were the secondary characters. I love these small town romances because the setting and people make me wish they were real. The heat between Reagan and Luke was realistic, as was the way they handled…everything. Most impressive was the fact that I didn't question motives or actions or the ending. Recommended!
Profile Image for Pam.
916 reviews40 followers
October 9, 2013
Rae hid out for a year in Sugar Creek. She loved the town and people. Now she has went back home and came into her inheritance. She still dreams of the simple life in Sugar Creek. She also dreams of Luke the man she shared a kiss with. When Rae leaves town Luke isn't ready for her to disappear. When he can't get his mind off her he tracks her down. He goes to see why she lied to him and everyone else but things soon heat up. He returns home alone and still can't get her out of his mind. Rae returns to Sugar Creek ready to help the town and people she cares about. Trouble soon finds her and it may just destroy her happiness.

Rae is the type you would think would be spoiled and selfish do to being rich. She is anything but that. She has a drive to help people and very passionate about her dreams. She has had people use her for her money and it has left it's mark on her. Luke is the charming playboy no one sees every settling down. He is really quite different. You get to see he is a very caring person and he really shows his emotions in this book.

I really liked this book. The place, the characters, the plot and so much more to fall in love with this book. Both Rae and Luke try to keep secrets from each other and other people. They have to learn to open up and try to see if it's just a fling or more. Beside these two there is many other great characters you get to meet. I really enjoyed getting to meet them all. There is many trials and struggles these people go through that make you feel like you are right there with them. if you are looking for a great story with a town and people that will.feel like an extended family pick this book up.
Profile Image for Madison Warner Fairbanks.
2,236 reviews302 followers
September 28, 2014
Anything But Love by Beth Ciotta

A bud into a blooming beautiful flower. Magic. Tears. A wonderfully romantic story. 5 stars.

Rachel Lacey fled Sugar Creek thinking it best to get on with her life. She was hiding there posing as a shy, without opinion, wallflower. She's been that way all her life afraid that her feelings and opinions would get trampled and used as fodder for the tabloids. Her real name is Reagan Deveraux, daughter of an infamous actress, and she is now a millionaire thanks to an inheritance on her 25th birthday.
Luke Monroe has always been the playboy of Sugar Creek openly dating multiple women at the same time. Then one night he and Rachel shared a kiss that sparked something deep inside him. So when she disappeared from Sugar Creek, he had his P.I. Friend track her down.

I'm enamored with Sugar Creek and the Monroe family. Friends, family and community with strong values. This is the third in the Cupcake series and I'm happy to say that I eagerly await the next chapter. These characters are real in their struggles with everyday obstacles but it's fiction, so of course there are a few "only in Hollywood" moments that just made it more fun and touching. Fans of Robyn Carr and Emily March will love this series. I know I do.

I received a copy of this book from the author via a contest.
Profile Image for Lisa Filipe.
Author 5 books242 followers
October 1, 2013
Another winner for The Cupcake Lovers Series. Not only can you enjoy the main couple, but the secondary characters always bring some Wise Words and a Bit of Comic Relief to the story. I LOVE this town of Sugar Creek!

ANYTHING BUT LOVE is the story of Sexy, Charming Luke Monroe, who falls for and loses Rachel, a shy woman who was a new waitress at his bar. BUT, little does Luke know, Rachel is really Rae Deveraux, an heiress who escaped life for a while before she went on to become an heiress.

Rae comes back to Sugar Creek to make a few things right with the Town, the Cupcake lovers and Luke. Oh boy...this is where things get fun! I don't want to give anything away, but I will tell you that if you have enjoyed reading the Cupcake Lovers as much as I have, you will LOVE Luke and Rae's story, and you will be CHEERING the loudest for things to work out between them. Oh, and I am hoping cousin Sam is next on the list for romance, maybe with a certain PR person, named Harper Day....hummmmmmmmmm. I so enjoyed their sexy flirtation...Rambo...hahaha!

Get this New Release, and spend the weekend with the Cupcake Lovers! If you have NOT read the rest of the series, you have a chance to win BOTH Dev and Rocky's Romances below!
Profile Image for Mary Gramlich.
514 reviews37 followers
October 17, 2013
Reagan has led a privileged but complicated life and it is about to get even more crazy. She came from money and now has inherited her trust fund but what Rae really wants has nothing to do with shopping and everything to do with following her heart. Rae went undercover in Sugar Creek for a year to find her dream and in the end found that and love to boot. The problem is the object of her desire, Luke Monroe, has a reputation that Rae is not sure he can overcome.

Sugar Creek is a successful town and Luke runs a great business. He has stayed footloose with his affection and until he meets Rae that seemed a great course of action. However Rae has messed up something in his thought process because all he does is fantasize about growing old with her and waking up every morning with Rae by his side. She came to town and rocked his world and when she left Luke was not sure how he would survive. When reconnecting becomes a reproductive night of passion the twist and turn becomes more than just a temporary relationship.

Beth Ciotta puts a huge smile on every reader’s face as they read every wonderful word that is written. Ms. Ciotta’s ability to blend the main plot line with several background stories is a romantic gift from the heavens and I thank her for writing magic.
Profile Image for Jenelle.
378 reviews5 followers
October 4, 2013
Well, as always Beth Ciotta did not disappoint me. I love her books and I don't think she can do anything wrong. Although there weren't as much Cupcake Lovers as in the previous two books, which saddened me.. And not enough Daisy either. Haha, she's a hoot! I see a new one is coming in the spring.. Woohoo!!

Rachel disappeared and Luke is on a rant. He hires Jayce to find her.. And what does he find? An heiress, a millionaire.. and gone is the mousy lady that intrigued him with her intelligence.. He finds a total bombshell in her place. It can't be the same girl! Reagan, indeed, is the same girl. Rae went into hiding to escape pressures from her mother and stepfather who want her money on her 25th birthday.

Luke flies in to confront her, they have a passionate evening, then he goes home.

Six weeks later, Rae is in Sugar Creek again hoping to save Sugar tots, the daycare, and also the Cupcake Lovers recipe book that they are trying to get published.

K, thats all I am going to tell you. It was a wonderful book, although lacking in the much loved characters from the first two books, and had a very thrown together ending. Anyways, Read, Love, Wait!! lol
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