Love At The Icicle Cafe by Denise Wheatley

Love At the Icicle Cafe by Denise Wheatley

Releases 29 December 2020

Tule Publishing

About: Mina Richards is a California lawyer who grew up loving to bake and helping her Mom out in the family co-owned cafe in small town Gosberg, Germany. Her parents let her know that they, along with the other couple they own the cafe (the Icicle Cafe) back in Germany with, want to sale it so they can fully enjoy their retirement. Mina’s Dad winds up having an accident and physically can’t fly to Germany so they ask Mina to do. Once back in Germany, she meets up with Scott, the co-owner’s son and the chef who has been holding down the cafe. Scott is unenthusiastic about selling. The more the two spend time together, romance ensues.

Love At the Icicle Cafe was my first Denise Wheatley but definitely won’t be my last! This book was an unexpected surprise. I went into it expecting a really sweet holiday read because the cover just screams cozy Christmas vibes; and while it was that, it was so much more. This book isn’t just atmospheric, dreamy winter descriptions and mouthwatering scenes of baking desserts; it’s also heavy and intense from beginning to end.

Mina is in the run for partner at her law firm. Obviously, traveling to Germany physically removes her from her day to day and allows the guy she’s up against to perform his snake in the grass tactics but sometimes I think we have to physically remove ourselves from our day to day to look at our situation and decide if it’s truly what we want. When reading from Mina’s perspective, you understand that she has worked very hard to get where she is but it’s also very obvious that she’s working in an environment that she may find herself continuously in this cycle of maybe next time. Though she is on an entirely different continent, for most of the book, Mina still prioritizes work until things happen and she doesn’t. What I like specifically with Mina’s character is that the author makes nothing easy on her. Even with her romance with Scott; we know it is going to come at a price. Mina finds herself teetering between two worlds; the one she worked very hard to build but wasn’t at her happiest and this new one full of possibilities but is very far away.

Scott and Mina dated briefly in high school so I loved the second chance/childhood sweet hearts aspect to their romance. I loved the close proximity with Mina stepping in for her parents and taking an active role in the cafe. I loved that the cafe symbolizes a place that has come to mean so much to the community and that small town determination to hold onto the small businesses rather than allow structures to be taken over by big corporations.

Overall, this is a quick, really well written holiday romance starring two people of color. I can’t recommend it enough!

#Blogmas Her Naughty Holiday by Tiffany Reisz

Her Naughty Holiday

by Tiffany Reisz

#2 in the Men At Work series

Goodreads Rating: 4.08 Stars

Plot:

Clover Greene would sooner crawl into her oven than host family for Thanksgiving dinner. Yet another annual ritual of too much food, served with a side of criticism over “Clover’s Bad Life Choices.” This year, she needs to distract them all—with a handsome fake boyfriend. And she has the perfect guy in mind.

Contractor Erick Fields is the poster boy for sexy single dads, and Clover has been secretly crushing on him for ages. She certainly wasn’t expecting Erick to agree to her insane charade…or to add lots of hot, wicked sex to the deal. If they can pull it off, the worst Thanksgiving ever might give them something to be really thankful for!

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Why Read This Book:

Her Naughty Holiday was a funny as hell, super sexy, fake dating holiday romance. This is my first Tiffany Reisz romance and will definitely not be my last. I really enjoyed that the heroine and the hero were a tad bit older. Erick is actually the Dad of Ruthie, who works for Clover, our heroine. Ruthie is a total force herself to be reckoned with. I adored her. She is this total 17 year old feminist and I couldn’t get enough of her scenes.

The entire beginning and middle half of this book is build up for Thanksgiving day where Clover and Erick prepare for Thanksgiving dinner with Clover’s terrible, so terrible, family. Clover and Erick agree to ‘fake date,’ so that there is a possibility that Clover’s family will back off and give her a break about being single. These people are hilariously terrible people. They give Clover a hard time about being a college drop out, despite the fact that she is still a successful business woman. They want her to settle down and have kids, but not with Erick who is the father of a 17 year old daughter because “step kids are second best.”

I was expecting a very passive scene that I see in a lot of books where the heroine is “the bigger person,” and doesn’t say anything but oh boy, was I wrong and a total Stan for it. This book had one of the best stick up for yourself scenes I’ve read in a book and it didn’t stop there. After Clover is done with everyone’s crap, she kicks THEM ALL OUT, even Erick. Her family is stunned and stubborn and doesn’t seem to get the point, so Erick has to help them understand why Clover is so pissed.

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I loved his scene alone with Clover’s family just as much, if not more than I did hers.  It was great, and in true romance fashion, she heard it all while standing in the background on the stairs unnoticed.

You have to add this holiday gem to your tbr. If you can snag a copy of the audiobook, I can’t recommend it enough. Erick is very sarcastic and uses a lot of jokes, and it just translates so well via audio.

I hope you read it and I hope you love it.

xo.

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