Today, we’re continuing our inaugural Author Spotlight Week celebrating Karla Doyle with a review of one of my favourite books, Icing on the Cake. It’s the second book in Karla’s Close to Home series, and while there are elements that are continued on from Cup of Sugar, it’s all very well fleshed-out and you can read Icing on the Cake as a standalone book. Having said that, Cup of Sugar is fantastic and I definitely recommend getting your hands on it if you haven’t already!
Nia and Conn’s wedding will be fairytale perfect…if their siblings can get along.
Free-spirited, anti-establishment Sara has always been on the outside of her family’s fairytale mold. Now she’s being forced smack into the middle of it at her sister Nia’s wedding. Alongside the cocky and annoyingly sexy best man—Conn’s cop brother.
Curtis doesn’t buy in to organized romance and fairytales. But for his brother, he’ll throw on a tux and fake it for a few hours. His flak vest would have been a better choice around the maid of honor. He should have brought his handcuffs too, because somebody needs to restrain the dark-haired spitfire—and he’s just the man for the job.
One night to indulge the spark between them, then goodbye—that was the agreement. Curtis isn’t looking for a relationship and he sure doesn’t want a troublemaker for a girlfriend. The last thing Sara needs in her daily life is a cop looking over her shoulder, no matter how hot he is.
But giving in to their chemistry is much more fun than giving it up…
I loved the first book in this series, but I’m a firm believer that icing is the best part of any cake and that is definitely true of this book too. It’s sinfully delicious, achingly sweet and so very naughty! But it’s also deeply emotional and deals with some pretty heavy themes in a very loving way. I’ve read it more times than I can count and each time I fall more and more in love with it.
Generally speaking, my favourite character of any book is going to be the Hero, especially if he’s a tattooed, bossy alpha male because…well, that’s just all kinds of yummy! But I have to say, Sara blew me away. I hated her in Cup of Sugar, she was so nasty to Nia, but the more you learn about her, the more her actions make sense and the more you fall in love with her. By the end of page 2, I was hooked! Sara is sassy, she’s snarky, she’s all kinds of prickly but she feels so, so deeply. She has a vulnerability that is endearing and makes you want to give her a big hug. She cares for everyone in her orbit and she loves so deeply. As I found out more about her back-story, I fell more in love with her. She’s someone I would love to be friends with. She’s loyal, hilarious and kind of a badass. I loved that her sass is an integral part of who she is, that it’s not something that just disappeared once she dealt with her issues and found her happy place. It made her such an interesting and realistic character.
Now, the hero of the story, Curtis is so many kinds of yummy it’ll be difficult to list them all here. He’s a badass, he’s got attitude and it’s clear that he’s not the kind of many who wants to settle down. He’s big, he’s got tattoos, and he’s bossy and a little bit cocky. Oh, and he’s a cop! I loved the dynamic that created between Sara and Curtis. I also loved that he’s a little bit kinky, and the sex scenes between the two are highly erotic, leaning a little towards the kink side of things (but still classy and delicious rather than tacky or silly). Curtis has an edge to him that is so tantalising and sexy that it also makes you overlook those times where he does silly male things that make you want to slap him upside the head. He cares deeply, his relationship with his brother is adorable and really sweet and I love the way he wants to take care of Sara. I love the way he supports her for who she is and doesn’t try to change her. Even when he makes some bad calls about her work (oh, the arrogance!) it’s really more about wanting her to have the goodness she deserves and for her to be safe, than trying to control or change her. He just lets her be her and it’s a beautiful thing to read.
The dynamic between Sara and Curtis evolves so naturally, it’s like watching a real-life relationship unfold from between the pages. It’s organic and very real, but also deliciously erotic and oftentimes, super frustrating. They both make mistakes that will make you want to sit them down and give them a stern talking to. They fit so beautifully together, something that you wouldn’t expect but it just works so well.
The dialogue in Icing on the Cake is my favourite of any of Karla’s books. It’s sassy and witty and so realistic. Sara has a biting, snarky wit that will make you laugh out loud and Curtis is so masculine, you can practically hear his voice jumping out at you from the pages. I rolled my eyes at him more than a couple of times!
The book is emotional, and deals with some really dark themes but it’s also so funny and fun, and that balance is perfect! It’s sexy and enjoyable and you won’t be able to put it down.
I can’t recommend Icing on the Cake enough. It’s a book I’ve read many times and never, ever get sick of. The plot is realistic and flows so organically, you’ll find yourself hooked by the end of the first page. The characters are incredibly well crafted and so realistic and relatable. The dialogue is spot on, sassy and fun and delicious. And the sex scenes…well, let’s just say you should keep a very large, cold drink next to you while you’re reading Icing on the Cake. It’s deeply sensual, erotic and sexy.
Crossing the Line is available in both eBook and paperback form from a variety of retailers, so you’re bound to find one that tickles your fancy!
The purchase information and a delicious excerpt can be found here: http://www.karladoyle.com/books/icing-on-the-cake/
If you'd prefer to read the first book in the series, Cup of Sugar, first, you can find it here:
Where to Find Out More:
Karla Doyle has an awesome back-catalogue of books, and a very exciting list of upcoming books, so if you’re curious about her work or want to get your hands on one of her books (which I totally recommend), there are a bunch of different ways to keep up to date on any news.
Karla’s Website: www.karladoyle.com