Janice Thompson never fails to pen a charming romance, full of sweetness, humour, and quirky characters. The second instalment of her Weddings by Design series, readers will love reaquainting themselves with the Rossi clan, the Splendora sisters, and Scarlet and Armando who take centre stage. Identity, purpose, and self worth are themes Janice explores through Scarlet, whose choice of career has not helped her waistline, and Armando, with his bad boy reputation and a penchant for avoiding commitment. While some moments that a little too saccharine for my taste, and an overuse of "sticky buns", readers will delight with Scarlet and Armando as they discover purpose, belonging, and love. Despite my quibbles, I always enjoy Janice's sense of family, faith, and fun, and The Icing on the Cake is no exception.
Janice Thompson is by far one of my favorite Christian authors to read. She has the ability to make you really care about and love her characters. They are so of the wall funny and I love how she incorporate some music or movie icon. In Icing on the Cake it's Lucille Ball! Just ask yourself what would Lucy do?
Scarlet is a baker and she really loves what she does. She has the ability to make the most delicious cakes, brownies and cookies. So when her aunt decided to fun her first bakery shop she is thrilled, that is until her aunt Willy seems to want to take over her baking life. Her aunt is really intimidating and Scarlet is always feeling inadequate when it comes to her aunt. It doesn't help that Scarlet isn't a little tiny supermodel, she is a few pounds overweight. To Scarlet she feels larger than life and doesn't seem to see herself the way others do. Scarlet is one of my favorite characters because I think she is very easy to relate too as she is not a skinny girl.
If you have read the Weddings by Bella or the first Weddings by Design books then you have already met Armando. Armando is Bella's younger brother and he is known for being a troublemaker and a bit of a bad boy. He has never been one of my favorite characters and I wasn't sure how I felt about him being paired with Scarlet. In this book though you get to learn a lot more about Armando and see a side of him that you don't get to see in the other books. He has grown up a lot in this book and he grew on me as the book progressed.
Scarlet has her plate full with not only opening her bakery, but she gets roped into a baking competition, and she is trying to organize a talent competition for a church fundraiser. She is dealing with not having the feelings she thinks she should have for her faithful friend and kitchen help, Kenny. Then in steps Armando to help her with her churches soundboard and he is so hot and sexy that she has a hard time concentrating. She keeps thinking about everything she has heard about him, but learns that she needs to make her own decision about him based on what he is doing now and not his past. Armando comes to her rescue more than once and has proved himself faithful and doesn't see her as being anything but a woman with a hearty appetite! He is the Ricky to her Lucy!
If you haven't read the Weddings by Bella series then I highly recommend you start there first, though any of these could be read alone you just really need the whole feel of the books. Then grab the Wedding by Design series which is where The Icing on the Cake comes in. These books are great fun and wonderful light-hearted romantic reads. If you don't laugh then something is wrong! :o)
I love Janice's wedding books, especially when characters we already love are pulled into the story.
You're going to be a witness to a surprise wedding as well as lots of bakery antics. You'll even be gifted with a "secret" family cake recipe if you're good.
As usual, I'm never disappointed with Ms Thompson's books, but I did miss the songs. You'll know what I mean if you've read all her books. If not, it's time you should be reading them if you want to find out this secret. I won't tell you which books to read, because you should read them all. Every single book is a winner. I can hardly wait until the next one.
Please keep writing, Janice. I'll follow you to Galveston, Splendora or wherever you take us.
***A special thank you to Lanette Haskins for providing a review copy.***
What do you get when you pit an overweight baker who specializes in wedding cakes against her man-hating great aunt and a hunky Italian who mayâ€”or may notâ€”be trying to shake his bad-boy image?
Scarlet Lindsey is determined to do Aunt Willy proud, even if it kills her. And when she's offered a spot in a Food Network showdown and decides to crash diet so she'll look better on camera, it nearly does. Thankfully Armando is there to save the day, not caring a whit about Scarlet's weight or the disaster created onstage.
Armando Rossi's sister Bella is a wedding coordinator on Galveston Island, Texas, and we've met both characters in previous books (Weddings by Bella series and now Weddings by Design). Armando, always shown as a rebel until now, comes into his own as the hero of this book as the author provides insight into what makes him tick.
And tick he does. All the way into Scarlet's life and bakery, in a lightly humorous romp typical of Janice Thompson's tales.
I was given a copy of this book from Graf-Martin Communications and Revell for the purposes of review. Opinions are mine alone.
Weddings by Design is a series of novels that focus on relationships, first with the Lord before looking elsewhere for fulfillment. I read the first novel, Picture Perfect, and thoroughly enjoyed the various heritages the characters brought to the story. Now in the sequel, The Icing on the Cake, Janice Thompson continues where Hannah's story wasn't quite complete in the first novel one. The story continues with Hannah's adventure while expanding on several of the other players' story lines.
Scarlet is the daughter of a pastor and an only child, which is why Hannah is her BFF. While preparing for events, Scarlet begins to feel uncomfortable with herself and who she is, doubting she can be loved for who she is and her looks. Armando comes from a large Italian family, who feels as if he never got the right amount of attention; therefore, he was making decisions based on what he felt, which led him away from the family. Now, he has returned to the island to help his family and then go wherever the winds might blow, at least that was his plan.
Sometimes when we aren't looking for Who we really need or want God brings the pieces together to draw us to Him. In the story, many characters are looking for or avoiding God for a variety of reasons. Some even refuse to interact with people based on past experiences. Now, in the tale, the tiny church, which isn't modern by any means, is going to have a talent show to raise funds for a mission trip. There are also plans to have a sale at the bakery Scarlet owns and runs. Faced with her past and wondering about the future leads her down a road of opportunities.
The tale has many themes running throughout the pages such as nicknames that build up and others that cause pain for a long time. There is forgiveness, choosing how to live now for a healthier future, as well as being gently led out of one's comfort zone. Each chapter highlights a little saying that adds spice to the novel some of which will cause you to really laugh out loud! Some of the personality traits in the players I would venture to say are ones we can relate to in ourselves or someone we know. Most of the quirks in these fictional families will crack you up or at least make you smile.
So grab a sweet ice tea, a comfy chair and enjoy book 2, The Icing on the Cake!