Romance Book Review: The Icing on the Cake

Author: Alison Kent
ISBN: 978-0757315350
Genre: Contemporary Romance/ True Story Romance
Publisher: Health Communications, Inc.

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When I first picked up Alison Kent's new book The Icing on the Cake I was definitely intrigued by the cover and I'm not just talking about the two models used to highlight the romance. I'm talking about the line above the title: "The First Reality-Based Romance".

Now-a-days reality based television is a hot ticket. The shows that seem to intrigue audiences the most are the everyday lives of rich bachelors trying to find the perfect woman and everyday overweight people trying to slim down. So why not a reality-based romance? At first I have to admit I thought about it hard before I picked up the book and started reading. I mean isn't the reason why I read romance books in the first place to get away from reality.

Who wants to read a book about falling in love and the reality that 50 percent of all those who do fall in love will end up in divorce court. And anyway, I've been married for 22 years, I know what it is like for ordinary people, like myself, to fall in love with that special someone and commit to marriage with them.

No, the reason for reading romance for me is to get away from the "realities" of everyday life and jump into a world where it is okay if the hero turns hairy and gets all alpha. Where the handsome man sweeps the woman off her feet and she doesn't have to work a day in her life because he has a great job that will pay for everything.

Then I thought again and said to myself "This is Alison Kent...the Blaze (Harlequin) author...the one who brought up No Limits, Deep Breath and With Extreme Pleasure." So in the end I decided to open the book and read on.

The Icing on the Cake is a little different from what one might be used to in reading the steaming, sizzling pages of other Alison Kent books, but reality doesn't mean she left the steam at the door.

The idea of Reality-Based Romance is to pick a real life couple and follow their romance from start to finish. In The Icing on the Cake, Alison Kent tells the story of Michelle Snow and Todd Bracken. The two first meet through Match.com, an Internet dating service. The book depicts their life from the day Michelle decides to take the plunge through her friends' coaxing to try online dating, following through to Todd answering her first e-mail requesting they get to know each other, through their months of courtship and finally their wedding day.

Just like in regular fiction romance novels the two have hopes and dreams and live through real life situations, just not the larger the life scenarios one might read in a fiction novel. This is the real thing. Proof that love at first sight happens and can be real. Alison Kent has made their story interesting and brought the characters to life.

In the beginning I thought I wouldn't be interested in reading any more of this series, but by the time I hit the last page of The Icing on the Cake I was interested in taking a peek on what the rest of the books in the HCI series "True Vows" has to offer.

Description:
Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match . . . dot com!  An on-line dating service is not Michelle Snow’s idea of how to find love but when the Big 3-0 hits, Michelle decides she has nothing to lose since she hasn’t brought a date home in ten years, she’s professionally burned out, and her climb up the corporate ladder has come at the expense of abandoning her sweet dream: to own a boutique cupcakery.

Todd Bracken, early 30s and a successful technology consultant, isn’t exactly a player after being off the market for ten years, and pours himself into his dual passions of martial arts and home-sweet-home renovations. Only there’s no one to come home to so he decides to give Match.com a try. Todd isn’t so sure the Internet dating scene is his thing—until a message pops up in the wee hours on a weekend night: “I like your smile.” Todd likes—a lot—the whole package that glides into a French bistro in Washington, D.C.

It’s serious mojo-at-first-sight but there’s a glitch: Todd and Michelle live in different cities. Will love find its way in the digital age with a You’ve Got Mail courtship when video cam kisses just aren’t enough? And when Todd challenges Michelle to not only go for her dream but let him share it, will they be able to make it happen together despite obstacles more plentiful than a shower of rainbow sprinkles?

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