New & Noteworthy
I’m not ashamed to admit that my number one guilty pleasure is romance novels. Practically every Friday night of my tween and teen years, I went to the grocery store and bought every Harlequin novel they had stocked. By the end of the day Sunday, I’d finished them all.
As I’ve gotten older, I haven’t had the time to devote to finishing novels that quickly, and I’ve also discovered that they just don’t keep my attention like they used to. However, yesterday I picked up and finished The Icing on the Cake by Alison Kent, one of the first releases in the new series True Vows, a reality-based romance series. Every novel in the series is a real-life couple’s true love story, and I’ve got to say that in this case, reality is definitely better than fiction.
Michelle Snow was completely happy with her life—she had a great family, great friends, a great job, and a dream to one day open her own cupcakery, a la Sprinkles. She knew she didn’t need a man to complete her, but always wondered if there was someone out there with whom she could share her life. Her friends suggested she create a Match.com profile. At first she was against it, but after another Friday night at home, she decided to browse through and see what was out there.
Todd Bracken had been off the market for years and spent most of his time at the office, working on his fixer-upper home, and studying Krav Maga. One night after working out at the gym, he came home to find an e-mail that said “I like your smile.”
Their romance was practically designed to be a featured love story. They felt immediate chemistry on their first date, and ten days later when Todd was leaving for Germany, they were both so ensconced with each other that they had a hard time being apart for a week. He pushed her harder than anybody to realize her dream of opening her own cupcakery, and she had to realize that having somebody share the burdens of life didn’t make you any less independent. They stood by each other through the loss of a parent and the loss of a job, and by the time he proposed to her (after completing a marathon together, one of their many shared pastimes), their love was already solidified.
I picked up this book first because my husband and I met on Match.com and I enjoy reading stories of other couples who took advantage of new digital technology to find their life partner. I didn’t realize that once I started it, I wouldn’t be able to put it down. I felt like I’d known Michelle and Todd my whole life, and couldn’t remove the goofy grin off my face as they fell more in love with each page I turned. Kent does a wonderful job bringing their story to life. If you’re anything like me, once you finish this book, you’ll have to stop yourself from running to Washington, D.C. to visit them in their cupcakery (called Frostings) and meet this amazing couple in person.
Today I’m going to be starting Hard to Hold by Julie Leto, the story of Michael Davoli and Anne Miller who have to overcome the complications of him having a neurological disorder to be together. If it’s even half as good as The Icing on the Cake, I’m sure I’ll be starting the third one, Meet me in Manhattan, tomorrow, enjoying the love story of Ted Skala and Erika Fredell, high school sweethearts who got a second chance with one another.
If you haven’t yet put these books on your shelves, I highly recommend you order copies right now. Fans of romance novels will be so excited to know that the men, women, and scenarios created in purely fictional romances actually can exist in real life.