A Tiara Under the Tree opens with Waverly, a disgraced former Miss Georgia contestant, eating her weight in cupcakes. As she is eating her feelings and thinking about how she got kicked out of a regional pageant for telling a crude reporter to f-off, she returns to the counter for the last Southern Comfort Peach Cobbler Cupcake, looks up and sees the most gorgeous man she's ever seen. He has come to the Cupcakery specifically for the same cupcake - and there's only one left.
Needless to say, I was sold.
And it only gets better from there, a fast read that reminded me of a holiday TV movie. (I mean this as a compliment!) Waverly and Dominic are both likable, realistic characters who made some of the same dumb-ass choices real people make, like not telling each other certain secrets. Dominic is trying to establish his business, but he can't stop thinking about her, while Waverly's lifelong dream has been to become Miss America, and she can't let something like a sexy guy get in the way when there's a "morality clause" in place that could get her booted. AND! The town Mayor is also after her as well. It's a small-town romance with a great big heart. This was my first read by Ms. Hector, and I enjoyed her wit and writing style so it won't be my last - as now I have to go back and read the rest of the Once Upon a Tiara series. *Adds books to TBR pile. It topples!*
And if I haven't sold you already, let me close by saying A Tiara Under the Tree also features a tutu-wearing teacup pic named Hamilton. :)
Pairs well with --
If you think for a second I didn't immediately decide on Peach Cobbler, you're nuts. I'd never made it before, but the second the book started and Waverly was downing cupcakes it became something I had to do. I used an easy peach cobbler recipe from Life in the Lofthouse, and my husband and son declared it awesome, so I'll be making it again. <3