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Publisher's Summary

Melanie and Angie are taking a gamble by opening their first franchise of the bakery, and where better to hit the jackpot than Vegas? Holly Hartzmark is a former showgirl who's looking to bring Mel and Angie's sweet treats to Sin City, but Mel isn't so sure she's ready to hand her recipes over to a complete stranger - especially one as brash as Holly. But after the potential bakery location gets blown up, Mel begins seeing another side to Holly. Determined to help a kindred spirit, Mel sets out to discover who is trying to keep the bakery from cashing in. But with a murderous mischief maker on the loose, the odds are stacking up against a happy ending for Mel and her friends.
©2016 Jenn McKinlay (P)2017 Dreamscape Media, LLC
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Victoria J. Mejia-Gewe on 08-19-17

Cupcakes meet a Vegas showgirl

In Vanilla Beaned by Jenn McKinley, Mel reluctantly goes with Angie and Tate to Las Vegas to make arrangements with a woman there to open a franchise of their Fairy Tale Cupcake shop. Unhappy with the idea of trusting her branding to the personal success of another person and her ability to bake cupcakes, Mel reacts negatively to Holly especially when she discovers that the prospective franchisee is a glamorous show girl. Chastised by their lawyer for her attitude, Mel agrees to examine the shopfront on sale while still waiting for Angie and Tate to show up from the detour they took to gamble. Then as the realtor opens the door and drops his cigarette, the whole place explodes, dangerously burning the realtor and causing a head injury to the lawyer.

The next day, the trio joins Holly at her mansion, where they are suitably impressed by Holly’s cupcakes. But even if they agree to allow the franchise, Holly’s intended location has been destroyed. But Angie’s oldest brother comes through with a cute place that impresses them all. And then a car comes crashing into the building, leaving the new realtor with a broken leg. The driver shakily gets out of the car and walks off, still wearing the crash helmet that had kept him safe.

Who is behind these attempts on their lives? Angie’s mind goes immediately to Olivia Puckett, their crazy bakery rival, but perhaps it’s Frank Tucci, the mob boss being prosecuted by Joe, Angie’s older brother and Mel’s former fiance. Tucci has a reputation for killing the loved ones of anyone who gets in his way. Or could it be the unknown person who has been stalking Holly?

This book was a very fun book, a great improvement on Dark Chocolate Demise, the previous book in the series, which I didn’t enjoy as much. But this book came back strong and enjoyable. The new character of Holly was a great addition to the book, and I hope we get to see more of her. I love the way that we see Holly through Mel’s eyes, first experiencing some prejudice towards this showgirl and then coming to appreciate her. As usual, the secondary characters of Marty and Oz provide fun comic relief.

I really enjoyed the narration of Susan Boyce, who continues to make this series really delightful to listen to. The books already are well written, and Boyce’s performance serves to add to the quality of the experience.

Vanilla Beaned comes as a great addition to the Cupcake Bakery Mystery series. It kept me guessing throughout and entertained me the whole way. I highly recommend this book. But if you want to have the best experience possible, you should start with the first book, Sprinkle with Murder. I give this book five stars!

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Kayla on 05-14-17

Why oh why?

I love Jenn McKinlay books no matter what pen name she uses. Very happy that I found the cozy mystery genre, I needed a little more calm than Eve Dallas for a while.

Though we can always expect a little twist somewhere, I was hoping for a different one for this book.

I'm about to start "Caramel Crushed" and looking forward to seeing where we are taken on this adventure!

Don't forget to check out the author's other series; Library Lovers, Bluff Point Romance, London Hat Shops Mysteries, and I'm looking forward to beginning her Good Buy Shop Girls Mysteries written under the name Josie Bell.

Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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