Is it possible to have her cupcake and eat it too?
Blaire Calloway has planned every Instagram-worthy moment of her cupcake and cocktails shop launch down to the tiniest detail. What she didn’t plan on? Ronan Knight and his old-school sports bar next door opening on the very same day. He may be super swoony, but Blaire hasn’t spent years obsessing over buttercream and bourbon to have him ruin her chance at success.
From ax throwing (his place) to frosting contests (hers), Blaire and Ronan are constantly trying to one-up each other in a battle to win new customers. But with every clash, there’s also an undeniable chemistry. When an even bigger threat to their business comes to town, they’re forced to call a temporary time-out on their own war and work together. And the more time Blaire spends getting to know the real Ronan, the more she wonders if it’s possible to have her cupcake and eat it too.
I take a bite, not as big as I originally intended, because that’s probably what she expects and I want to prolong the agony of her anticipation as much as I humanly can. I intend to tell her it’s just okay, except the moment the flavors hit my tongue I groan. Loudly. “Oh my God,”I mumble, crumbs tumbling out of my mouth and sprinkling all over the counter. Which I realize is disgusting.
But Blaire doesn’t seem to care. She grins widely, satis- faction and triumph making her face even more stunning. I consider asking what this is, but decide I don’t care enough to stop eating it. There’s coffee in the icing, but it’s not overly sweet, it’s light and buttery and decadently creamy. The cake practically melts in my mouth, hints of . . . whiskey, cocoa and vanilla and with the next bite I get a hit of creamy custard with a gentle hint of . . . almond.
Blaire doesn’t seem to notice the mess I’m making. At all. She’s sucking on her bottom lip and bouncing on the balls of her feet. Her lip pops free, teeth marks still evident. “Enjoying yourself.”It’s not a question, more of an accusation.
I want to shove the rest of it in my face instead of answering, but I lift my hand to cover my mouth so I can ask a question instead of affirm what she clearly already knows. “What is it?”
A slow smirk spreads across her lips.
She doesn’t say anything right away, so I jam the rest of it in my mouth. Half of me wants to beg her for more, but I know if I do, then somehow I’ve managed to give her the upper hand. Which is ridiculous. It’s just a cupcake, and regardless of what she thinks, we’re not really competing with each other. For the YouTube thing sure, but I don’t see how she can win against me and my kickass cool bar and the axe throwing. And now the whole live bands idea and karaoke.
The cupcakes-and-cocktails theme is cute. But that’s about all it is.
I try to keep my groan in this time, but a sound of contentment slips out.
“So you like my screaming orgasms?” she asks.
Which is when I start coughing. I also try to inhale with food in my mouth and choke. And cough some more. Blaire takes a step back since I’m spraying the counter with half- chewed cupcake. It’s a travesty because I want that all in my belly and not on the counter.
“Are you okay?” she asks when I continue to cough for another solid fifteen seconds.
“Yeah.” Cough. “I just”—cough—“didn’t expect that.”
“It’s the name of the cupcake,” she informs me.
“I figured, since you didn’t scream even once.”
“I’m not a screamer.” Her eyes flare, as if she didn’t mean for that to slip out.
Now it’s my turn to smirk. “Is that right?”
She spins around, but I can see her face in the mirrored wall in front of her. Her ears have gone red and she mutters something to herself, nabbing the box from the bar behind her. She rolls her shoulders back and turns to face me again. Her cheeks are the same color as her ears. She drops the box unceremoniously on the counter. “I figured you’d want more than one.”
“Yes. Definitely.” I nod.
“Multiples really are the best.” Her cheek tics, and the tips of her ears look as if they’re going to light on fire and take all her hair with it. I wonder how much product she uses to keep it looking so perfect and if it’s soft to the touch or not.
“I love multiples.” Both the giving and the receiving. I leave that part out, because I would prefer to eat the cupcakes, not wear them, and I feel like we’re suddenly treading a very fine line. Either that or we’ve already jumped right over it. I shake my head to clear it. “Uh, what do I owe you?”
“Those are on the house. Enjoy your night.”
Blaire usually happily charges me full price for my cupcake addiction. Although she does tend to toss in an extra one for good measure. I’m tempted to ask if I’m going to end up hogtied in the trunk of a car if I eat the rest of these, but I figure that might be pushing it. “I can’t imagine anyone has ever said no to free multiple screaming orgasms.”
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About Helena Hunting
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of PUCKED, Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She writes contemporary romance ranging from new adult angst to romantic sports comedy.
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