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Vanilla Beaned

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In the eighth in the New York Times bestselling series by the author of Dark Chocolate Demise, the Fairy Tale Cupcake crew goes double or nothing in Vegas...   Melanie Cooper and Angie DeLaura are taking a gamble by opening their first franchise of the Fairy Tale Cupcakes Bakery, so where better to hit the jackpot than in Vegas? Business manager Tate Harper has lined up a m In the eighth in the New York Times bestselling series by the author of Dark Chocolate Demise, the Fairy Tale Cupcake crew goes double or nothing in Vegas...   Melanie Cooper and Angie DeLaura are taking a gamble by opening their first franchise of the Fairy Tale Cupcakes Bakery, so where better to hit the jackpot than in Vegas? Business manager Tate Harper has lined up a meeting with Holly Hartzmark, 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—one that reminds her very much of herself. 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...


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In the eighth in the New York Times bestselling series by the author of Dark Chocolate Demise, the Fairy Tale Cupcake crew goes double or nothing in Vegas...   Melanie Cooper and Angie DeLaura are taking a gamble by opening their first franchise of the Fairy Tale Cupcakes Bakery, so where better to hit the jackpot than in Vegas? Business manager Tate Harper has lined up a m In the eighth in the New York Times bestselling series by the author of Dark Chocolate Demise, the Fairy Tale Cupcake crew goes double or nothing in Vegas...   Melanie Cooper and Angie DeLaura are taking a gamble by opening their first franchise of the Fairy Tale Cupcakes Bakery, so where better to hit the jackpot than in Vegas? Business manager Tate Harper has lined up a meeting with Holly Hartzmark, 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—one that reminds her very much of herself. 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...

30 review for Vanilla Beaned

  1. 5 out of 5

    James

    Vanilla Beaned, the 8th Cupcake Bakery Mystery written by Jenn McKinlay, takes us to Las Vegas, where the trio of besties seek to franchise their business. The potential new partner who will run the shop comes with some baggage, and when trips to future storefronts go awry, things heat up... especially when a realtor dies in the process. Is someone trying to stop the franchise, or has someone's past caught up with them? Is it a familiar person after Tate, Mel and Angie, or is the new partner bri Vanilla Beaned, the 8th Cupcake Bakery Mystery written by Jenn McKinlay, takes us to Las Vegas, where the trio of besties seek to franchise their business. The potential new partner who will run the shop comes with some baggage, and when trips to future storefronts go awry, things heat up... especially when a realtor dies in the process. Is someone trying to stop the franchise, or has someone's past caught up with them? Is it a familiar person after Tate, Mel and Angie, or is the new partner bringing in drama? Luckily, the supporting cast from Scottsdale makes the trek to help protect the bakery crew and keep readers entertained. Enjoyed this one, liked the change of scenery, and the new character, Holly, is pretty cool. I hope the franchise works out for future books.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Mayra Perez

    ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?! THAT IS SO NOT FAIR! NEED NEXT BOOK NOW.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Peggy R

    I can't believe how quickly I'm working my way through this series. It is such an entertaining read that when I sit down and open a book in the series I am transported to Arizona and don't want to put the book down. Vanilla Beaned was another fun installment. It's nice to see Mel growing and coming around to the franchise opportunity. This takes Mel, Angie and Tate to Vegas. I loved the Vegas setting and of course it didn't stop Mel from getting into trouble. Who know that owning a cupcake baker I can't believe how quickly I'm working my way through this series. It is such an entertaining read that when I sit down and open a book in the series I am transported to Arizona and don't want to put the book down. Vanilla Beaned was another fun installment. It's nice to see Mel growing and coming around to the franchise opportunity. This takes Mel, Angie and Tate to Vegas. I loved the Vegas setting and of course it didn't stop Mel from getting into trouble. Who know that owning a cupcake bakery could be such a hazardous profession. Even though the trio were in Vegas, we still go to see some of the regulars make an appearance. I liked this book because it resolved or moved along a couple of story lines in a direction that I think works. I was surprised that I figured out the identity of Holly's stalker but as I have said since I started the series, it is more about the strength of the characters and the mysteries often play a secondary role.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    Love, love, love this series! I love the characters, they’ve become my friends and I’d love to hang out with them. When will Mel and Joe ever catch a break! This one was fun being set in Las Vegas and I loved the new characters and the show girl setting. I’m on a roll figuring out the culprit too, so that’s been fun for me lately. Did I mention the yummy sounding cupcake recipes at the end of the book, I might even try some this time. #readforkimberly

  5. 5 out of 5

    Angel

    Eh. I think I'm getting a little tired of Mel. I'd like to see her get it together and stop all this sorry for herself/insecurity nonsense. C'mon already! Eh. I think I'm getting a little tired of Mel. I'd like to see her get it together and stop all this sorry for herself/insecurity nonsense. C'mon already!

  6. 4 out of 5

    beachbum bookworm

    for my thoughts on this book and other cozy mysteries subscribe to my YouTube channel @:https://t.co/Jx58B4KNW5?amp=1 for my thoughts on this book and other cozy mysteries subscribe to my YouTube channel @:https://t.co/Jx58B4KNW5?amp=1

  7. 4 out of 5

    Bridget Vollmer

    That ending! sigh....I'm not really digging the guy Mel chose but I'm here to see it play out. That ending! sigh....I'm not really digging the guy Mel chose but I'm here to see it play out.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Fred

    Vanilla Beaned is the eight book in the A Cupcake Bakery Mystery series. Angie, Mel and Tate are on their way o Las Vegas to sign papers with Holly Hartzmark, lead dancer at a casino, for the first franchise of Fairy Tale Cupcakes. As they are meeting with Holly, Mel still has her doubts about letting her purchase the francise. As they are looking at the outside of the possible location, the relator opens the door and there is a loud explosion. It's soon learned that the gas to an oven had been o Vanilla Beaned is the eight book in the A Cupcake Bakery Mystery series. Angie, Mel and Tate are on their way o Las Vegas to sign papers with Holly Hartzmark, lead dancer at a casino, for the first franchise of Fairy Tale Cupcakes. As they are meeting with Holly, Mel still has her doubts about letting her purchase the francise. As they are looking at the outside of the possible location, the relator opens the door and there is a loud explosion. It's soon learned that the gas to an oven had been on. Then a day or two later as they are visiting a second location, a car jumps a curb and hits the building. Mel, Angie, Tate and Holly all escape any injuries and driver flees the scene. At first Mel thinks that these attempts are directed at them, as Mel's boyfriend Joe DeLaura is prosecuting a mobster who threatened to kill those that Joe loves. But the more they talk with Holly it appears that these attempts are directed at her, but they're sure. So Mel and Angie end up going undercover in the dance review to catch the killer. Another great story, with some lighthearted moments in this delicious series. Delicious sounding recipes are included in the book. Looking forward to seeing what Mel and Angie will get into next.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mayda

    Mel is dragging her feet in franchising her bakery, but after an initial disastrous meeting with the showgirl who wants to a baker, she comes around. But somebody seems eager to stop the transaction, even to the point of destruction and murder. Narrowing the suspects means finding out who the real target is. The mystery is strong in this book, and the romance level between Angie and Tante has been cranked up a notch, even as Mel and Joe can’t seem to work out their differences. Well done with m Mel is dragging her feet in franchising her bakery, but after an initial disastrous meeting with the showgirl who wants to a baker, she comes around. But somebody seems eager to stop the transaction, even to the point of destruction and murder. Narrowing the suspects means finding out who the real target is. The mystery is strong in this book, and the romance level between Angie and Tante has been cranked up a notch, even as Mel and Joe can’t seem to work out their differences. Well done with more character development, this installment in the series will leave readers wanting more.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

    Registered on Bookcrossing: http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/1... Another fun ride with the Cupcake Bakery crew in Las Vegas. It has Elvis impersonators and show girls. It ends on a cliffhanger, not sure when the next book comes out. Registered on Bookcrossing: http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/1... Another fun ride with the Cupcake Bakery crew in Las Vegas. It has Elvis impersonators and show girls. It ends on a cliffhanger, not sure when the next book comes out.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Alexandra Pauley

    I think I'm going to have to go back to grownup books again- at least for a while. These cozies are ticking me off by being too predictable, and too cheesy. I think I'm going to have to go back to grownup books again- at least for a while. These cozies are ticking me off by being too predictable, and too cheesy.

  12. 4 out of 5

    QNPoohBear

    Melanie, Angie and Tate are headed to Las Vegas to meet with a potential franchise owner and view the location for the shop. Mel is grouchy because she feels like a third wheel with Angie and Tate, she misses Joe and she really really doesn't want to franchise her bakery. On the plus side, there's an Elvis convention at the hotel, with 3,000+ "Elvi" running around in costume. When she meets the potential new owner/baker, Holly Hartzmark, Mel knows there's no way she's trusting Fairy Tale Cupcake Melanie, Angie and Tate are headed to Las Vegas to meet with a potential franchise owner and view the location for the shop. Mel is grouchy because she feels like a third wheel with Angie and Tate, she misses Joe and she really really doesn't want to franchise her bakery. On the plus side, there's an Elvis convention at the hotel, with 3,000+ "Elvi" running around in costume. When she meets the potential new owner/baker, Holly Hartzmark, Mel knows there's no way she's trusting Fairy Tale Cupcakes to a showgirl! Holly proves to be more than good looks and when they are nearly killed while scouting bakery locations, Mel and Holly bond. Tate worries Tucci is involved and targeting Angie and Mel, but Holly fears the threats come from a deranged stalker. All she wants to do is quit show biz and bake cupcakes so she can be home more often for her young daughter. Mel, Angie and Tate refuse to leave Holly's side until the situation is resolved. Once again, this is a well-written and difficult to solve mystery. I figured it out before Mel did but I wasn't positive until Mel laid everything out and analyzed the clues with Holly. It was a little sad and I kind of felt sorry for the villain. I wasn't super enthused about Tate and Angie finally being together. The idea of them together in that way feels kind of wrong somehow since they grew up together. Any bedroom activity is confined to the speculation of Mel and the reader. This story concentrates more on Holly than on Mel and co. I liked learning all the tricks that go into making a Vegas showgirl look glamorous. That was fun. I also liked the shout out to Mim's Whims from Jenn McKinlay's Hat Shop Mysteries. The ending seemed perfect until the final scene! The plot didn't wrap up nice and neat so I hope there's more stories in store for this series. Boy can I relate to Mel! I could see and hear myself easily saying some of the things she said and digging my heels in about something I don't want to do. I can also relate to her feelings about the mean girls in school and how that affects her feelings towards beautiful women like Holly. Unlike me, Mel is big enough to apologize and quickly discovers a kindred spirit in Holly. Plus Holly's overly precocious daughter Sydney helps Mel overcome her prejudice. The only major new character here is Holly. At first I made the same snap judgement as Mel. I grew to like her a lot once her true nature is revealed. She truly is the heart of the show and the heart of this novel as well. She's trying hard to be a good mother and to get out from under the control of her horrible manager. I don't blame her for wanting a different life but how would a bakery would allow a single mother to spend more time with her daughter? Mel works from before sunrise to late at night on her cupcakes. She barely has time for a social life, let alone a family. Wouldn't Holly also have to work long hours at the bakery? That confused me a lot but I wanted Holly to succeed. Holly's daughter Syndey plays an important role in the story. I found her cute but she sounded more like 7 than just 5. She's a little overly precocious for a 5 year old but manages to win over everyone she meets. Oddly, unlike most of the previous mysteries, the victim only appears very very briefly on page and no one looks into his life so we don't really know anything about him. There's also the lawyer, who doesn't get much page time either, but is also a victim. Holly's ex Brian and his new wife Lisa seem nice and caring parents. I was apprehensive about Lisa being the wicked stepmother at first. The showgirls all seem nice too, except for their stage mother whose bark is worse than her bite, apparently. Marty and Oz take a back seat here. Marty appears in the beginning, with an amusing scene and towards the end to advance the plot. His story doesn't get wrapped up neatly yet but I don't think he's interested in commitment. The recipes look good. I want to try the Snickerdoodle cupcake.

  13. 4 out of 5

    LORI CASWELL

    Dollycas’s Thoughts Fairy Tale Bakery is expanding! opening a franchise store is Las Vegas! Tate and Angie are ready to gamble on showgirl Holly Hartzmark, to be their first franchisee but Mel still isn’t ready to throw the dice just yet. The threesome travel to Vegas to meet with Holly and their visit just happens to coincide with an Elvis Presley impersonator convention. Mel tries to give Holly the brushoff but agrees to at least scout out the proposed location for the shop. When the store gets Dollycas’s Thoughts Fairy Tale Bakery is expanding! opening a franchise store is Las Vegas! Tate and Angie are ready to gamble on showgirl Holly Hartzmark, to be their first franchisee but Mel still isn’t ready to throw the dice just yet. The threesome travel to Vegas to meet with Holly and their visit just happens to coincide with an Elvis Presley impersonator convention. Mel tries to give Holly the brushoff but agrees to at least scout out the proposed location for the shop. When the store gets blown up in front of their eyes and leaves a lawyer dead Mel finds that Holly is very much like herself. She also realizes the showgirl may be in danger. The Fairy Tale bakers need to band together before everything is “All Shook Up” and one of them has their fairy tail come to an end. These are some of the best characters in the cozy genre. Over the years we have watched them grow and evolve in so many ways. Tate and Angie are now engaged and no, they are not eloping in Las Vegas, her family would be heartbroken. Mel and Joe are still on the outs and she and Manny still have that flirty thing going on. Manny, Marty and Oz all show up in Vegas when they think Mel may be the real target due to case Joe has been working on. But Holly has a stalker so she could be the target too. The setting of this story was very interesting. I have never been to Las Vegas but hope to someday. I am sure I couldn’t afford the rooms that Tate provided but it sure would be fun. One place we were taken was behind the scenes at a Las Vegas show. The whole set up is very unique and not the best or easiest place to catch a killer. Jenn McKinlay has written a wonderful mystery with twists and turns liberally sprinkled through the entire book. She keeps us readers on our toes and we nibble our way through the clues. I started to catch on just a little before the characters but there was so much happening I never slowed down. I was so excited coming into the last pages and McKinlay twisted things again. I can’t wait for the next book in this series. I always recommend reading the books in a series in order but this one would read very well as a stand alone too. I bet you will go back to read them all. Even in Vegas that bet would have great odds. Don’t forget all the cupcake recipes. Of course there is a Vanilla Bean cupcake recipe but there are also recipes for Snickerdoodle cupcakes, an Elvis cupcake, and Cherry Cola cupcakes. Bake up a batch of your favorites and escape right into this tasty mystery.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Denise Zendel

    Melanie Cooper is struggling with franchising her “baby,” the Fairy Tale Cupcakes Bakery. She’s kind of a control freak anyway, and the first franchisee is a former Las Vegas showgirl, so Melanie is worried about the stability and success of the franchise. Mel and her bffs and partners, Angie DeLaura and Tate Harper, travel to Las Vegas to meet with the franchisee. Things go downhill quickly when the suggested location gets blown up and someone drives a car into the second location. Mel takes a Melanie Cooper is struggling with franchising her “baby,” the Fairy Tale Cupcakes Bakery. She’s kind of a control freak anyway, and the first franchisee is a former Las Vegas showgirl, so Melanie is worried about the stability and success of the franchise. Mel and her bffs and partners, Angie DeLaura and Tate Harper, travel to Las Vegas to meet with the franchisee. Things go downhill quickly when the suggested location gets blown up and someone drives a car into the second location. Mel takes a shine to the showgirl and does her best trying to figure out who’s trying to take them out of the cupcake game. Book no. 8 in this series is just as good as the previous seven. The plot is interesting, the relationships between the characters continue to grow, the dialogue is witty (love the game Mel, Angie and Tate play with movie quotes), the setting is well-described, there’s a nice touch of romance for several of the characters, and I can just smell the cupcakes baking. Even the secondary characters are fully-drawn and entertaining. Reading this series is like hanging out with old friends. Each mystery builds upon the previous one, so I recommend reading them in order to increase enjoyment. I look forward to the continued adventures of Mel, Angie, and Tate. This is a series I will want to re-read.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mark Baker

    Mel, Angie, and Tate are in Vegas to meet with their first potential franchise partner. After the first bakery location blows up when they go to visit it, the trio begin to suspect that someone is out to sabotage the franchise. But are they after our trio or the potential new owner? While the book is set in Vegas, we still get plenty of time with the series regulars and movement on several key on going stories. The mystery is focused a bit more on the why of the sabotage instead of the who done i Mel, Angie, and Tate are in Vegas to meet with their first potential franchise partner. After the first bakery location blows up when they go to visit it, the trio begin to suspect that someone is out to sabotage the franchise. But are they after our trio or the potential new owner? While the book is set in Vegas, we still get plenty of time with the series regulars and movement on several key on going stories. The mystery is focused a bit more on the why of the sabotage instead of the who done it, and I liked that change of pace in the plot. The pages turned all too quickly, and it’s going to be a long wait until I can visit these friends again. NOTE: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. Read my full review at Carstairs Considers.

  16. 5 out of 5

    FangirlNation

    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 shop 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. Read the rest of this review at http://fangirlnation.com/2017/08/21/v...

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Morin

    Another exciting adventure This is already one of my favorite series, and Vanilla Beaned is an excellent addition to the genre. Angie and Mel cannot seem to avoid getting caught in murder investigations, so it's no surprise when a trip to Vegas sets them on another whirlwind adventure. Another exciting adventure This is already one of my favorite series, and Vanilla Beaned is an excellent addition to the genre. Angie and Mel cannot seem to avoid getting caught in murder investigations, so it's no surprise when a trip to Vegas sets them on another whirlwind adventure.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly

    I have enjoyed reading the Cupcake Bakery Mystery for several years now. It felt so good to catch up with these characters in book #8 and reminded me why this series is so easy to love. During this story, Mel, Angie and Tate travel to Las Vegas to interview and scope out some potentials for franchising their cupcake bakery. Mel is definitely leery of the idea and even more so when the first location they visit blows up and the second one involves a car crashing into the site. Those events weren’ I have enjoyed reading the Cupcake Bakery Mystery for several years now. It felt so good to catch up with these characters in book #8 and reminded me why this series is so easy to love. During this story, Mel, Angie and Tate travel to Las Vegas to interview and scope out some potentials for franchising their cupcake bakery. Mel is definitely leery of the idea and even more so when the first location they visit blows up and the second one involves a car crashing into the site. Those events weren’t coincidental, but our favorite sleuths will have to try and figure out just who the real target is. Goodness, I love these characters. The camaraderie between the trio has always been fantastic, but it was extra fun seeing them in a totally new location and watching them work through their differences. Their responses and actions always feel so genuine. Vegas was a great setting for some comic relief and fun scenes. I loved the Elvis convention, behind the scenes with the showgirls and excitement over the idea of eloping to a wedding chapel. I ended up really liking the new character, Holly. Her story and sweet relationship with her daughter won me over pretty quickly. The mystery threw me off for a few chapters, especially with some red herrings on who the attacks were intended for. However, I had a pretty good hunch who the culprit was based on some big clues and it became obvious as the story continued. After the Mystery was solved, I was pleasantly shocked by a huge surprise at the end. I totally didn’t see it coming and I was so giddy watching it unfold. In true McKinlay form, she ended it perfectly with humor and a great cliff hanger. I look forward to reading the next book, Caramel Crush, very soon!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Oh man was I annoyed by this ending! (view spoiler)[ After watching Mel and Joe's relationship go up and down and back and forth for so long I was ECSTATIC that they were finally going to jump in a get married. I waned to see a lasting commitment after all this drama and we were so close! Another ending where someone almost gets married and now I'm sure they will push it off until later like Angie and Tate. (hide spoiler)] I was glad that there was some action about the franchising situation aft Oh man was I annoyed by this ending! (view spoiler)[ After watching Mel and Joe's relationship go up and down and back and forth for so long I was ECSTATIC that they were finally going to jump in a get married. I waned to see a lasting commitment after all this drama and we were so close! Another ending where someone almost gets married and now I'm sure they will push it off until later like Angie and Tate. (hide spoiler)] I was glad that there was some action about the franchising situation after all the talk, even though nothing seemed to go according to plan. I really like Holly and hope that somehow we see more of her in the future. The Vegas setting was very fun and I enjoyed the change of scene from the bakery. The mystery was interesting because there were so many possible suspects. The ending was dramatic and I only half suspected the actual culprit (and it made more sense once explained). Also Mims Whims (love cameos). I am finally caught up with this series and I don't want to have to wait for the next one!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Diane ~Firefly~

    The love triangle is finally dead!!! Mel, Angie and Tate head to Vegas to sell their first franchise but keep running into trouble at the locations. They aren't sure if the trouble is aimed at Mel (because of Joe's case) or their new franchisee, Holly who is a showgirl with a stalker. But true to form, they bond with Holly and do their best to find out the cause, joined by most of the gang - Manny, Marty and Oz. I knew who the villain was when they were introduced (view spoiler)[something about Li The love triangle is finally dead!!! Mel, Angie and Tate head to Vegas to sell their first franchise but keep running into trouble at the locations. They aren't sure if the trouble is aimed at Mel (because of Joe's case) or their new franchisee, Holly who is a showgirl with a stalker. But true to form, they bond with Holly and do their best to find out the cause, joined by most of the gang - Manny, Marty and Oz. I knew who the villain was when they were introduced (view spoiler)[something about Lisa didn't sit right immediately and much later when it was brought up she was pregnant (and wasn't letting Billy come to appointments), well you just knew she was faking. (hide spoiler)] but it was still a good story and with the love triangle dying I was happy! (view spoiler)[The last minute save by Joe was so sweet and the failed elopement was so surprising, but not really (hide spoiler)]

  21. 5 out of 5

    Julie_ian_curtis

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. wow how disappointing. i really used to love this series, it has been on steady decline but this did nothing for me. i felt no connection to the new character 'in peril' and the motive had to be one of the most wtf ? out of left field motives ever. i felt no interest as the story went along i did like how Melanie told Joe to take a hike and i also loved how Melanie's emotions were described as she watches Tate and Angie, her worries that things will change and that she will be the 3rd wheel. the en wow how disappointing. i really used to love this series, it has been on steady decline but this did nothing for me. i felt no connection to the new character 'in peril' and the motive had to be one of the most wtf ? out of left field motives ever. i felt no interest as the story went along i did like how Melanie told Joe to take a hike and i also loved how Melanie's emotions were described as she watches Tate and Angie, her worries that things will change and that she will be the 3rd wheel. the ending was of course absolutely ridiculous and cringe worthy. i think i'm done with this series - its a shame i used to really enjoy it.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Micky Cox

    The Cupcake Girls and Tate are headed to Vegas to see about getting their first franchise up and running, but what does a Vegas showgirl know about cupcakes and why is someone determined to see that she doesn't open a bakery!?! If you enjoy a good cozy mystery with great character development and a good plot with a twist or two, then you will love the Cupcake Mysteries! I really enjoyed this book, but honestly don't limit yourself to just this one. Do yourself a favor and start with the first bo The Cupcake Girls and Tate are headed to Vegas to see about getting their first franchise up and running, but what does a Vegas showgirl know about cupcakes and why is someone determined to see that she doesn't open a bakery!?! If you enjoy a good cozy mystery with great character development and a good plot with a twist or two, then you will love the Cupcake Mysteries! I really enjoyed this book, but honestly don't limit yourself to just this one. Do yourself a favor and start with the first book in the series and read them all! You will definitely be entertained!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Viva Fairy Tale Cupcakes! This is definitely the best book in the series so far. I absolutely loved Mel, Angie and Tate taking a road trip to Las Vegas and watching the action involving franchising unfold. Mel is not a perfect protagonist, and that is something I appreciate about her. Watching her grow, and learn about herself, makes each book fun. I can't wait to see where Jenn McKinlay takes our cupcake baking trio next. Viva Fairy Tale Cupcakes! This is definitely the best book in the series so far. I absolutely loved Mel, Angie and Tate taking a road trip to Las Vegas and watching the action involving franchising unfold. Mel is not a perfect protagonist, and that is something I appreciate about her. Watching her grow, and learn about herself, makes each book fun. I can't wait to see where Jenn McKinlay takes our cupcake baking trio next.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jenna

    3.5 stars a trip to Vegas... a franchising offer... the plot thickens... I liked Holly & her adorable daughter. I hope they'll be recurring supporting characters. And talk about cliffhanger endings...seriously...why???? I was able to figure it out early on but the surprises towards the end were suspenseful. 3.5 stars a trip to Vegas... a franchising offer... the plot thickens... I liked Holly & her adorable daughter. I hope they'll be recurring supporting characters. And talk about cliffhanger endings...seriously...why???? I was able to figure it out early on but the surprises towards the end were suspenseful.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    Gawd!!! I have to wait a year for the next one??? A totally fun read!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Regan

    Loved the move to Vegas and the whole Elvis thing.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jess

    They're going to get married! I don't care about anything else. They're going to get married! I don't care about anything else.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Mary Ann

    Vanilla Beaned (#8) This is the 8th book in the Cupcake Series. I divide time on this to get the book "read" by reading when I am not driving and listening when I am in my car driving somewhere. When the audio is playing the girls enjoy listening to the book. They enjoy several of the moments that just make you laugh.    The Mel, Angie, and Tate are headed to Las Vegas, on the Elvis competition weekend (unknowingly) and they are there to meet the first person who wants to buy into their franchise Vanilla Beaned (#8) This is the 8th book in the Cupcake Series. I divide time on this to get the book "read" by reading when I am not driving and listening when I am in my car driving somewhere. When the audio is playing the girls enjoy listening to the book. They enjoy several of the moments that just make you laugh.    The Mel, Angie, and Tate are headed to Las Vegas, on the Elvis competition weekend (unknowingly) and they are there to meet the first person who wants to buy into their franchise of Fairy Tale Cupcakes. When they get to the hotel, they find out that this is the weekend that all the impersonators come to Las Vegas and so the hotel is filled with impersonators. Angie and Tate run out to explore and when it is time for the meeting with Stewart (the lawyer), Scott (the realtor) and Holly (the woman who wants to buy in), they are MIA and Mel is furious. She didn't want to franchise and when she sees Holly, who is drop dead gorgeous, she becomes mean and takes her anger out on Holly. They go to the location and finally, Holly has had enough and runs away crying. Stewart tells Mel that he knew she didn't want this, but that he didn't know she was going to be this mean. When she realizes that is exactly what she has been, she goes and talks with Holly and discovers that she does like her a little. When the location she wants to use blows up, injuring Scott severely and Stewart, she finds that she likes her even more. They eventually end up at Holly's home and learn some of the things that she hadn't told, her daughter and how she wants to have her more than just on Monday's (her off day). She is also being stalked and threatened and she is scared that her stalker is doing these accidents to her. The whole group comes together (even Marty and Oz and Manny come to town to help keep the girls safe).    I laughed so hard at the very end of this book as something that happened in the book was also part of my life. I loved this book and can't wait to try some of these recipes.   

  29. 4 out of 5

    Dawn

    When people ask me which cozy mystery series I recommend, this one always makes the short list. And this installment of the Cupcake Bakery mysteries did not threaten its position on said list. What I liked about Vanilla Beaned: The latest character addition - I wasn't sure at first but (view spoiler)[as we got to know Holly, she grew on me, just as she grew on Mel. I am excited for her to join the Cupcake family and I hope that, despite the distance, we get to spend more time with her, because (hi When people ask me which cozy mystery series I recommend, this one always makes the short list. And this installment of the Cupcake Bakery mysteries did not threaten its position on said list. What I liked about Vanilla Beaned: The latest character addition - I wasn't sure at first but (view spoiler)[as we got to know Holly, she grew on me, just as she grew on Mel. I am excited for her to join the Cupcake family and I hope that, despite the distance, we get to spend more time with her, because (hide spoiler)] now I think the addition is a great fit. The very real reactions of our group - Despite the necessary suspension of disbelief required for a cozy mystery, I find the character reactions to be very relatable and genuine. The progression of the ongoing story arcs - The forward-motion pace of the personal lives feels organic and keeps me interested. I loved the directions they went in Vanilla Beaned. The mystery - I zeroed in on my suspect about halfway through. It was very satisfying to pick up on the clues and have my instinct prove true. That ending! - This series does a mic drop with its use of chapter-ending suspense (so hard to not dive right into the next chapter when Jenn does that!) but WHAT ABOUT THAT FINAL CLIFFHANGER?? What I didn't care for: The setting - Not a dealbreaker for me, but I'm just not much of a Vegas girl, so I had a slightly more difficult time engaging with the setting. I'm not sure why it had to be *there* but so be it. I am buddy-reading this series with the friend who recommended it to me, now that we're in the same place in the series, so I can't just dive right into the next book, but I am already looking forward to finding out what happens next!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Oberth

    I keep going back and forth between a three-star and a four-star rating. Almost all of the book is a solid four stars. But the last couple/few chapters makes me want to knock a whole star off because it was so juvenile and badly done! I can't get into it without major spoilers so I won't. But the book is worth reading - and it's set in Vegas which is extra awesome - and it pretty much made up for the previous book and will keep me reading at least the next one. I know a lot of people said they were d I keep going back and forth between a three-star and a four-star rating. Almost all of the book is a solid four stars. But the last couple/few chapters makes me want to knock a whole star off because it was so juvenile and badly done! I can't get into it without major spoilers so I won't. But the book is worth reading - and it's set in Vegas which is extra awesome - and it pretty much made up for the previous book and will keep me reading at least the next one. I know a lot of people said they were done with this series with the last book or would give one more chance with this book. If you're one of those people, I can recommend this installment. It was the regular fun we've come to expect from Mel and Angie (including some over-the-top stuff but it works for them) and humor and great side characters that I just adored. So maybe I should settle on 3.5 stars. They're all random ratings anyway - but for Goodreads, 3 stars is "I liked it" where 4 stars is "I really liked it" so I really liked almost all the book. But you know how you can forgive a "bad" beginning or middle but not a "bad" end? Yeah. The end was just not realistic and ridiculous (but in all the bad ways of ridiculous) and I'm rolling my eyes and was totally knocked out of the story. My two favorite parts of the book: 1.) The little girl's belief about where babies come from 2.) "He didn't release her hands but instead took her other hand in his so that they stood facing each other." I read it four times before realizing, this is not me. It's amazing how much one little misplaced letter can change a visual. I laughed hard at this visual including how holding two of her hands means he's not facing her - clearly you need to hold three hands to be facing one another. This was unintentionally hilarious and provided a good laugh!

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