In this sequel to All's Fair in Love and Cupcakes, Betsy St Amant has created terribly flawed characters. Stella seems to be suffering from post-traumatic stress a year after her divorce. She's out of work and needs a job badly if she's going to keep her own place. Enter mother, Claire, who believes she has just the job for Stella--redesigning and decorating the Ninth Cameo Theater as part of a revitalization project. Stella agrees to take the job before she finds the fly is already in ointment--her ex-boyfriend, Chase Taylor. Stella encounters difficulty coming up with a design, a color scheme, and a whole lot more. With the extent of her dysfunction, I'm surprised she was able to complete the job.
Chase, on the other hand, spends half of his time crossing Stella's boundaries and half of his time being in love with her. When he kisses her, it's all roses and violins, but other times, he's mis-stepping or rescuing her from a dead faint.
On the surface, this book looks like it shouldhave a lot of comedy. Instead, there was needless drama, an out-of-character preacher's wife/pageant mother. While the story takes place in the south, Stella's mom is far too overbearing for her role.
I read the book completely through, but not with the joy I've had reading other books. The PTSD Stella exhibits seems way over the top to me. I have a daughter who was the victim of YEARS of emotional and verbal abuse and truly has PTSD. The two situations don't even compare. Maybe my opinion is so negative because of what my daughter has gone through. It's hard to say.
My thanks to Zondervan for allowing me to read and review this book.