The Icing on the Cake by Janice Thompson

Icing on the Cake, The Book ArtAbout the Book:
Author: Janice Thompson
Publisher: Revell
Publication Date: 2013
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Series: Weddings by Design – Book 2
Genre: Fiction; Contemporary Fiction, Romance
Rating: 4 out of 5

Review: Being able to start her business on the upscale end of downtown Galveston is all Scarlet Lindsey has ever wanted. Aligning herself with Galveston’s most prominent businesswoman, Bella Neeley seemed like a good idea at the time only now Scarlet begins to wonder if she’s up to the task. When Bella’s wild brother, Armando Rossi breezes into town, Scarlet finds herself being thrown together with him for the betterment of various projects – everything from bringing up to code outdated soundboards for a church program to a baking contest – which ever so slowly reveals that there may be more to Armando than parties and wanderlust. Much as she loves creating the perfect confectionary delight at her business Let Them Eat Cake along with her trusty assistant, Kenny mounting pressure from her aunt – who has funded Scarlet’s venture, and the impending nuptials of her best friend, Scarlet soon finds herself battling her own dreams at the cost of a love that may be right in front of her… and her health.

As a “sidekick” character, Scarlet was a fun presence. As a leading character, she’s one of the most memorable women to grace the pages of this genre. Instead of the typical leading lady – one that sometimes falls into a paper doll punch out stereotype, Scarlet is her own person; in fears and dreams, we discover who the real Scarlet Lindsay is and it’s a young woman who will resonate with some part of all of us. Not only is the girl spunky, something that undeniably endears her but she also suffers from something we all have – maintaining a healthy weight. Instead of focusing on balancing a healthy lifestyle with eating habits, like anyone, Scarlet is her own worst critic and uses extreme methods to attempt to feel better about herself. Thompson writes this with delicacy with exception to the relationship and reaction of Aunt Willy whose opinion of Scarlet is far from complimentary and seems to wear the story down.

This then leads me to my next point of contention: the familial relationships. Don’t get me wrong, I do adore all the crazy-ness and closeness of all the people who surround the first-person narrative, it’s just that in ‘Icing,’ the eighth book in which familiar characters routinely pop up (first in the Weddings by Bella series then her “Hollywood” trilogy), it seems like too much of the events or character personas are falling into the trap of being exactly the same as previous books. For example though she evolved in a different situation, while reading this novel, I was constantly brought back to Hannah’s story (Picture Perfect); I found myself making many comparisons of Scarlet’s story to Hannah’s or even Bella’s. Everything from the term of endearment these Southern girls call their mother’s to the dozens of family members or almost-family (think the Splendora Sisters) that crop up within the pages. I think were their more individuality and exclusion, there’d be room for growth while still preserving the integrity and charm of beloved characters.

Particularly interesting to the outline of this book was what the author’s note revealed; Armando playing a significant role was an afterthought for the outline of the story. Reading through the book and getting a different, better perspective on Armando made me glad that he did find a spot in the concept. Janice doesn’t just write an excellent study in the ideal contemporary woman, she also writes a humorous behind-the-scenes look at what goes on in wedding planning – and she is no stranger to the realism of wedding planning having planned weddings and decorated multiple wedding cakes. Putting all her first-hand knowledge to good use puts a unique spin on The Icing on the Cake. The book has everything a good romantic-comedy should; hilarity, memorable personalities and of course, a smoldering hero. With all that, it’s not difficult to understand having one’s cake and eating it too. ♥

Synopsis: Scarlet Lindsey’s aunt Wilhelmina may be Texas’s most popular cake baker extraordinaire, but she’s also getting on in years. When Scarlet decides to take on the role of cake decorator at her cranky aunt’s bidding, it’s just the beginning of a series of misunderstandings and mishaps that will lead her to compete in a cake challenge on national television-and might even lead her to finding true love.

Book - The Dream DressComing Next from Janice Thompson: A seamstress at a swanky bridal boutique, Gabi Delgado dreams of doing more than ripping out seams and fitting dresses to doe-eyed brides. She wants to see her own dress designs gracing the young women of Texas. When Jordan Spencer, the editor of Texas Bride magazine visits the shop to do a feature, Gabi is devastated to lose her job in his very influential presence. Convinced she’ll never get her dreams off the ground now, Gabi needs lots of encouragement–especially from her friend Bella Neeley–to take a chance and start her business. And as she gets to know Jordan, she discovers that she may have to take a chance on love as well. Could it be that she’ll have to design her own wedding dress soon? – February 2014

Available August 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Sincere thanks to the publisher for providing a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of reviewing this book honestly. 


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