Friday, 9 February 2018

New Release Spotlight & Review: Icing On The Cake by Ann Marie Walker

Notting Hill meets The Prince & Me in Icing on the Cake, the second standalone laugh-out-loud romance in Ann Marie Walker’s Wild Wedding series.

Cassandra Miller doesn’t have time for men. She’s far too busy trying to open a cupcake shop with her silent partner and best friend, not to mention catering her brother’s wedding. And let’s face it, it’s not like Prince Charming is going to stroll into the bakery and sweep her off her feet.

Henry has been a prince his entire life but for one wild wedding he wants to be nothing more than an “Average Joe”, or in this instance, “Average Hank”. However, when a case of mistaken identity and a batch of burned cupcakes ends in a night of passion, Cassie and Hank must decide if theirs is a recipe for disaster or the makings of true romance.

Barnes & Noble:

Who can't resist a romance at a wedding when a member of the British Royal Family is attending?

Prince Henry's reputation with the ladies has given the tabloid press far too many stories to print over the years. The playboy acknowledges his life and privileged background interests people around the world but sometimes he wishes his every exploit wasn't a headline in a newspaper. When his friend from university invites him to celebrate his wedding, Henry is keen to attend without alerting the paparazzi, so he hatches a plan, calls himself Hank and hopes he can attend without drawing attention away from the bride and groom.

Cassie Miller doesn't have time for men and romance because she has spent all her adult life chasing her dreams. After becoming an accountant, she decides to give it up and become a pastry chef and open her own bakery. She loves what she does, but working sixteen hours a day leaves no time for fun or an occasional fling, a situation she hopes to change after she finishes baking the cake for her brother's wedding.

The dialogue between the protagonists and the secondary characters is fun, and sexy, although sometimes it's a bit excessive, childish and repetitive. As a British Prince, I didn't find his persona convincing and found him immature when I expected him to act with a little more decorum and grace. Those character traits did eventually show, but we had to wait until near the end of the novel to get a hint of the man born to be king. As Hank, his role as average American didn't convince me either, so I was totally unimpressed by him. Apart from his need to bed women, there wasn't much about him that was endearing.

The banter between Cassie and her best friend Olivia is typical girl talk; amusing observations about men and sex. Like Henry, I didn't feel I got to know who Cassie really is throughout the storyline. The concept of the narrative is fun and enjoyable but it lacked character development to make the hero and heroine's relationship convincing.

I really enjoyed Black Tie Optional, the first book in the Wild wedding series and it was nice we can catch-up with Cole and Olivia, the protagonists in Icing On The Cake. What I found difficult in this novel was how different it read from the previous one. Even the dialogue between Cole and Olivia seemed childish and overly sexual. The same for Hank (Henry) Considering he's supposed to be royal, his thoughts and actions didn't fit his persona, even though he was incognito.

Overall, its a fun read even though I prefer the first book in the series because the feel of this one is so different. However, if Ms Walker writes more in this series, I'm likely to pick up and read them when they're released.

***arc generously received courtesy of Swerve via NetGalley***

He lifted his head and when his gaze met hers, he smiled. Shy and sexy all at once, Cassie knew without question it was the sort of smile that meant nothing but trouble. The kind that got him whatever he wanted. The kind that was absolutely irresistible.

And as if that wasn’t enough, he had the whole sexy accent thing going for him.

The stranger leaned closer, close enough for her to smell the faint scent of his soap. It was clean and yet a little spicy and made her want to lick his neck. Because yeah, that was something a perfectly sane woman would do.

The energy between them crackled with anticipation. Then again, maybe it was all in her head. Maybe she’d finally read one too many romance novels and her brain was permanently rewired to think every handsome stranger had the potential to be Mr. Right. Or at the very least, Mr. Right Now.

A beat of silence ticked between them offering her the perfect opportunity to play it safe, to explain what she actually meant and end the whole matter with an awkward laugh. But this handsome stranger had awakened something deep inside her and for once in her life Cassandra Miller didn’t feel like playing it safe. Instead she felt wild and reckless, and the last thing she wanted was to end the moment in any way at all. In fact, she wanted to prolong it, to suspend it in time like something from The Matrix. Then maybe she could even step back and watch from all angles because holy hell, this gorgeous stranger was going to kiss her. Right there. In the shop. With her hair up in a messy bun and flour and dough all over her hands. And what’s more, she was going to let him. So instead of playing it safe, Cassie lifted her chin just as he dipped his head and then . . . .

Ann Marie Walker writes steamy books about sexy boys. She’s a fan of fancy cocktails, anything chocolate, and 80s rom-coms. Her super power is connecting any situation to an episode of Friends and she thinks all coffee cups should be the size of a bowl. If it’s December she can be found watching Love Actually but the rest of the year you can find her at where she would be happy to talk to you about alpha males, lemon drop martinis or supermodel David Gandy. Ann Marie attended the University of Notre Dame and currently lives in Chicago.


Enter to #win a Royal Romance Prize Pack + $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Book Blogger Hop: 9th-15th February 2018

Question:  What authors have you met and where?

Answer: Unfortunately because I live in Norway, I haven't had a chance to meet any authors yet. I had planned and bought a ticket to attend #RARE18 in Rome in June, but due to the date clashing with the beginning of the Summer holidays here, I am unable to get neither an affordable flight or one using airline reward points. So for now, my unsigned books will remain on my bookshelf and hopefully someday in the future, they get personalised.