My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for an honest review at The Romance Evangelist.
ICING ON THE CAKE is the second story in Karla Doyle’s Close To Home series, and picks up a few months after the first book, CUP OF SUGAR, where we are now about to see Conn and Nia walk down the aisle. After all the shenanigans Nia’s sister, Sara, had pulled in book one, I was curious to see who could possibly her love match. When Conn’s love ‘em and leave ‘em brother, Curtis, appeared to take an interest in Sara, I knew I would be in for a rollercoaster ride until the very end. What I didn’t expect was how ICING ON THE CAKE would manage to show the hidden sides of both Curtis and Sara, and how she wasn’t the only one who needed that perfectly matched someone to care and understand.
Even though we got a fairly decent explanation of why Sara behaves as she does, and why Nia’s family continues to support her no matter what, it’s in ICING ON THE CAKE that we see exactly what her past actions and present stubbornness have brought her. Nia and her parents still have no idea how Sara really lives, and only by virtue of his desire for her does Curtis manage to wedge his way into her existence and ultimately her heart.
Curtis may be less self-destructive than Sara, but he’s still a badass, and just as resistant to romantic relationships as she is. His police job puts in him danger every day and women are just a off-duty distraction. Any time one of them gets close, it’s all over, and he’s on to the next one. But even Curtis knows that as much as he wants Sara in his bed, he still needs to be especially careful with her heart. If only he was looking after his own as closely.
As much as I loved Nia and Conn’s sweet and passionate romance in CUP OF SUGAR, I was even more taken by the rough and tumble path to love for Sara and Curtis in ICING ON THE CAKE. So much of what keeps them apart is a lack of trust, but you have to give trust to get it, and that’s one thing neither Sara nor Curtis seems to be particular good at. Thank goodness that their mutual sexual attraction is so incredible that it keeps bringing them back together even as they resist acknowledging their deeper feelings for each other. By the time Curtis and Sara stop denying the obvious, each has finally stopped putting on the front they keep for everyone else and the result is a happy ending that is not only satisfying but realistic for both characters. ICING ON THE CAKE is a lovely continuation of the Close To Home series, and I quite enjoyed it.