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The Icing on the Cake

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It started with a cake. A rather innocent-looking cake, too, but that cake would open the door to opportunity - and disaster - for sweet-toothed, bargain-savvy Annabelle Pleasanton. In fact, between a promotion at work, her best friend's engagement, and her discovery of handsome photographer Isaac Matthews, that little cake has managed to turn Annabelle's world upside down.

Things go from complicated to downright crazy as Annabelle discovers that handling her new writing assignment and plotting her friend's surprise bridal shower isn't going as easy as she'd hoped. Okay, okay - and appearing as a graceful, charming woman in the presence of Isaac is turning out to be, well, more than just a bit of a catastrophe. Not that Rona, a gorgeous boyfriend-snatching flirt, is helping things in the slightest. And just when things couldn't get any worse, smarmy womanizer Patrique worms his way into her life. Managing her life with the two of them in the picture may be more than she can handle.

Then, when a misunderstanding threatens to destroy her job, her most cherished friendship, and her relationship with Isaac, Annabelle's courage and integrity are put to the test. Will she give in to pressure and do what is easy or will she do what she knows is right?In this hilarious yet inspiring novel, The Icing on the Cake offers comical predicaments, surprising twists, and tender moments that will delight readers of all ages.

295 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2007

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About the author

Elodia Strain

5 books359 followers
I was born in Alaska and grew up in California. I guess that explains why my ideal day would start with playing in the snow and end with playing in the water.

I love jogging on the treadmill, dancing in the living room, and playing Scrabble pretty much anywhere.

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5 stars
406 (32%)
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434 (34%)
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298 (23%)
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96 (7%)
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34 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 235 reviews
Profile Image for Beth Given.
1,210 reviews31 followers
February 15, 2017
Almost five years later, I reread this book -- and I stand by my original review! This is a fun read, perfect for indulging in on a lazy afternoon.


I was so anxious to read this book, written by a friend from my BYU ward, that I opened it right away. And then — I didn’t want to put it down. (I DID put it down occasionally when I really was reading in the middle of the night and my newborn had finished nursing. I do value my sleep.)

What a fun read! I felt like I was gabbing with a girlfriend as the pages flew by. The tone was conversational and light (a nice pick-me-up from my last novel). The situations and phrasing (oh, I just loved the casual, hilarious phrasing!) were laugh-out-loud funny. This was never meant to be a deep book, but it still had some nice, gospel-centered messages to it: look for the good in other people and be true to what you know is right.

This book really is like icing on the cake — deliciously sweet, and completely fun!
Profile Image for Amy.
104 reviews11 followers
April 1, 2009
Annabelle Pleasanton (sorry, but I'm not digging her name) has just been given a writing assignment from her boss. She really has to give this one her all after her previous failure as a writer on Central Coast Living. The only problem is, every time she attempts to make an impression every thing seems to go wrong. The same can be said for her new love interest, Isaac. Every time Annabelle thinks she's making headway with Isaac, her boyfriend-snatching enemy, Rona, shows up to ruin things. On top of all that she is trying to successfully put together the menu for her best friend's surprise bridal shower. Will she be able to get it all together or will everything fall apart?

This book was seriously funny. It had a lot of embarrassing moments and funny twists and turns. I found the main character's interaction with the reader to be quite hilarious as well. Annabelle's inner voice is so saucy.
I highly recommend this book, and I know there is a sequel too title Previously Engaged. I will definitely be reading it.

A few quotes from the book:
"Enchante," Patrique said, kissing me on my hand. It kind of shocked me, and when he removed his lips from the top of my hand, there was a blob of saliva just sitting there. He looked at me as if he had left it there as some sort of treat for me.
I tried to hide my disgust as I wiped my hand on my pants. I almost felt sorry for them. I mean, they were nice pants. But it was either me or them.

My mind began to race with ideas for how to get the ring off my finger. I went over the options in my mind.
Option one: Find some string and tie it to a doorknob and then slam the door shut.
No. That's for loose teeth not tight rings.
Option Two: Ask Lisa to give the ring a tug.
No. I don't think tat will go over too well.
Option Three: Use the slippery hand lotion in my bag to coat my finger, then tug and hope for the best.
Okay. I'll give that one a try.
Profile Image for Heather .
571 reviews100 followers
July 28, 2010
This is hands down THE funniest book I have ever read. I found my self laughing out lout so many times my husband finally asked me to go in the other room. I had tears in my eyes. This gem is full of humor and funny scenes that will brighten up your outlook on life. I picked it up at our local thrift store browsing titles and it will make it to the top ten ever read list. The first pages drew me in because they are set in the San Joaquin Valley where I graduated from High School. The rest takes place in Monterrey Carmel area of California which I adore. The setting is beautiful in real life and in fiction. Elodia Strain pulls off a witty, funny tale of love and chaos. Just when you think things couldn't get more interesting they always do! There were a few times when she gives the reader a few more hints than necessary... but really, I have not read something so hilarious in the LDS fiction genre. The main heroine Annabelle takes journal entries or "pink notes" through out the book which teach seeking the best in others and is reminiscent of The Cinderella Society by Kay Cassidy. Overall theme is to do the very best you can then leave things in the Lord's hands. Things will work out for good. Never did I feel the book was preachy or strained. The characters are lovable, the story line fast moving and it's a page flipper. The Icing on the Cake is good clean fun which I will gladly recommend to anyone and everyone! 5 stars to one of my favorite books read thus far. To learn more about the author and enter to win her books visit http://www.elodiastrain.com/ *I'm off to order her next title...
Profile Image for Jennie.
299 reviews
March 16, 2010
Many complaints:

It seemed as though every time Annabelle changed clothes, we had to know that she got it on sale somewhere. I don't really care. Sure, mention it once so we know she's a thrifty shopper, if that's important to the story, but all the time and it's just annoying.

For a girl who is supposed to be "totally into food" - she sure has little to say about anything other than junk food. We get a one line description of a Krispy Kreme donut, but when she has an amazing dinner in a Portuguese restaurant, niente.

And I've got news for the author. Restaurants, especially fancy French ones, DO NOT caramelize the sugar on the creme brulee at 9:00 in the morning. They don't do it ahead. Why? Because you have to put them back in the refrigerator and that does not do nice things to that crunchy layer of sugar. And they certainly don't use those cute little torches you can buy at Williams Sonoma. Details.

And that's my last complaint. Random details that served no purpose. Annabelle gets hit in the mouth with a tennis ball and goes into the bathroom. We then get a description of the bathroom. What?! Seriously? Completely useless writing. I hear my writing teachers voice in my head saying "Why is this here?" Telling detail, not random, pointless detail.

I honestly cannot recommend this book. The annoyances were too much and I couldn't finish it. I didn't care enough about these characters to want to know what happened to them.
Profile Image for Deborah.
624 reviews39 followers
December 29, 2013
This was just a cute read. I pretty much fell in love with both Isaac and Annabelle right away. I thought that Annabelle was real. She loved her family, friends and religion. That is pretty much my life and I think there is something extra wonderful about it. I will confess that I am extra hormonal right now but the scene where Annabelle goes to Isaac's house and he is shooting basketball and tells her "good bye," I seriously had tears in my eyes. Again, hormones. Over-all it was just a sweet, funny read that at times I was laughing out loud. Loved it!! Great Birthday gift!!
Profile Image for Tiffany.
321 reviews
August 31, 2014
First reading in 2009: Hilarious!

Second reading in 2014: I decided that the only thing that would make this book better was if it was edible. I mean actually edible. Cause really, the whole time I was reading it I felt like I was devouring something ridiculously delicious. You know the deliciousness I'm talking about, the kind that makes you feel all giddy inside cause it's so yummy. And it wasn't the adventurous love story (which don't get me wrong was pretty tasty), it was the laugh out loud humor that just made me happy. And every time I would burst out laughing and would get strange looks from the people around me, I wanted to say, "You've gotta try some of this. It's fantastic!" And I'd want to give them a slice of a particularly humorous passage of text, but restrained myself cause we all know it's never quite as funny to the other person. What was also pretty appetizing about this book was that the food that was consumed by the characters was described in delightful detail. There are far too many books these days where people just don't eat! But the author is a woman after my own heart where breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and everything in between are experiences to be celebrated in literary splendor. But she balanced it all out with some amusing scenes at the gym on the treadmill and stair stepper so I didn’t feel all weighed down and bloated. Not to mention the great ab workout I got from laughing so hard.

So all in all it was a delightfully humorous book that was pleasantly satiating. A barrel full of laughs. Good for the soul.
Profile Image for Debbie Barr.
346 reviews29 followers
April 2, 2008
This book was so cute! I've never been a fan of LDS romantic comedies, since they tend to be a little, well, bland. However, The Icing on The Cake did not disappoint! It was a sweet and funny story, filled with suspense, adorable moments, and plenty of humor. I'd recommend it to anyone who wants a fun, light read with a good message.
Profile Image for LeMira.
170 reviews
February 22, 2008
This is a fast, fun read. I literally laughed out loud on some parts. I love how Elodia focuses on Annabelle's personality and relationship with Isaac rather than on the gospel aspect. The LDS overtones are very subdued. I much prefer that than the LDS fiction books where the issue focuses on dramatic life-altering, gospel-related decisions; and I have to decide if I agree with the protagonist's decisions.
Profile Image for Katie (Hiding in the Pages).
2,868 reviews209 followers
July 19, 2009
This was a very cute romantic comedy. Annabelle (the main character) was very likable and got herself into some crazy situations. Some of the things that came out of her mouth made me cringe with embarrassment--for her, of course. I really felt a connection with her. Was it an amazingly well-written book? No. Was it an amazing, life-altering story? No. It was a light, hilarious, easy read and I loved every minute of the story--didn't want it to end.
Profile Image for Lisa E.
167 reviews
April 19, 2008
This book was definitely a quick read, but very cheesy. I thought it was predictable, the word "cute" was used too many times, and almost everything that happened to the character does not happen to people in real life. Overall, it was a light, fun read, and the author has a fun style of writing, and while I would suggest it to others for a quick read, it's not one I'll be re-reading.
81 reviews
August 27, 2017
This was sweet, fun and clean. It felt fresh. You know how romances can seem forced in places. I didn't feel like that reading this. I recommend it if you like Mormon romances.
Profile Image for Vanina Jepperson.
226 reviews
August 8, 2020
This book was a solid 3 stars for me for the first half-ish. Cutesy, funny LDS chick lit. Then the 2nd half happened. The story being what it is, is pretty predictable, yet somehow I couldn't put the book down and there were parts that had me laughing so hard I had tears in my eyes. I had to bump it up a star for both of those reasons! Such a fun, enjoyable read!
Profile Image for AnnaMay.
287 reviews
April 16, 2010
What a witty, fun read! The main character's voice and personality reminded me so much of a few of my mission companions/roommates. It took me right back to those good old days, single, 21-ish, singles wards, etc.

It was funny to read this book and contrast it with all of the 'marriage and dating' articles in the April 2010 Ensign magazine. I can see how some YSAs develop an unrealistic idea of how they'll know the person they're dating is or isn't "the one." This book didn't contribute much to the misnomer of there being 'a one', but focused on how two people can compliment one another and work through mishaps, misunderstandings, and differences. I appreciated that.

I had to laugh at how much Annabelle (the main character) focused on treats and good food. She's a woman after my own heart. I'm slowly shifting away from that line of thinking, but I've always been very much a gal of the mindset 'what food is going to be there?' vs. 'what will we do?' or 'who will be there?' It's good Strain made the main character in her 20s, because that mindset doesn't work so well after a person hits 30. She DID have Annabelle going to the gym everyday, so that was a good shot of realism.

Some of the treats mentioned: chocolate-covered gummy bears, caramel apples, big puffy warm pretzels from a vendor on the beach, choc.-covered strawberries, 'The Mouthwaterer' pizza, deep-fried artichoke hearts, breaded shrimp, classic white cake with buttercream frosting, portuguese spongecake, double choc. moouse cake with raspberry garnish, a great turkey sandwich, white choc. fudge, BBQ ribs, cheesecake, homemade chicken noodle soup, beef stew with homemade rolls; red vines, Milk Duds, Junior Mints, smoothies, In-N-Out bugers, fries and shake; ...you get the idea.

I found myself chuckling and enjoying the silly humor throughout. Strain definitely accomplished her goal of getting her readers to laugh at themselves and have fun.
Profile Image for The Sweet Bookshelf.
238 reviews71 followers
December 27, 2012
Now I want cake. I can't stop thinking about cake and buttercream frosting. This was a really fun book you guys. Super cute and sweet. It had all the makings of a great love story without being cheesy. You are actually being told the story by the main character. I liked this. It felt like we had a connection. She was telling me what I wanted to know.

Annabelle feels like me. Or every girl out there. A bit disheveled and just trying to make her mark on the world. I like her. A lot. She's fun and crazy at the same time. I really like Issac too. He's the guy next door type. Yet, there were a few times I wanted to smack him upside the head. Come on Issac. Seriously?! Chill out. Just chill. Not every girl is the same as your ex.

Annabelle writes these "pink notes" about influential people she has met and why they are important to the world. I loved this. I want to do this! They aren't people like the president but your everyday hero's who take the time to love and serve their fellow men. Really touching.

The Icing on the Cake is a totally fun LDS read. I just want to go back and read it all over again! Good thing there is another book to enjoy! Previously Engaged was even better!
Profile Image for Ashley.
258 reviews
October 29, 2010
I liked this a lot more the second time around. I may actually buy it. :0) And I look forward to the time when I can turn on PBS to distract ALL of my children so I can read...
295 pages; 2010 total: 15580

I love 'love'. I really do. This was a cute book with a cute little love story. The style of writing was a little different- more like the character is actually talking to you and telling you the story (saying things like "so, dear reader" and such) and that threw me off a little. The characters are LDS and there were some Christian themes, but not a lot of "strictly LDS" ideas. Annabelle's thoughts sometimes seemed a little extreme- I don't remember thinking like that when I was dating- but they were funny! There were quite a few funny conclusions she jumped to and daydreams she had that made me laugh out loud. I really started to wonder towards the end if things would work out. I picked this up at 1:30 and finished it by 5:30 (my poor neglected kids took naps and then watched some PBS). A cute, clean, first-love romantic book.
Profile Image for Kathy.
2,046 reviews573 followers
November 13, 2014
I've seen this book around for awhile now and finally had the opportunity to pick up a copy while I was home visiting family over the weekend. I ended up really enjoying the story and characters. I liked Annabelle; she is easy to relate to, funny, and a really good person. Annabelle ends up in a few embarrassing situations, but she handles them well. I liked our leading man Isaac, and was rooting for him throughout the story. There were a few misunderstandings along the way, and I thought the author did a good job showing that not everything is as it appears, and we should be careful before we jump to conclusions. I really enjoyed the story and look forward to reading the second book, Previously Engaged. I would totally recommend this to anyone who enjoys a fun romantic story.

Bookworm Rating: 4.5
Profile Image for Mandi Ellsworth.
Author 7 books30 followers
May 2, 2013
The cover of this book is really well done. Isn't it cute? I have to admit, that I picked it up because of the cover. Judging again.

I was happily surprised by the quality of this book. I wasn't expecting it to be as good as it was, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I love to be wrong like that. There were some truly funny moments, and the narrator is entertaining.

In order to get a writing assignment for the magazine she works for, Annabelle buys a special cake for her boss. It works! She gets the assignment, but so many things happen in the 10 days she has to write it that it becomes a debacle. Not least important is meeting Isaac. And Isaac is everywhere, especially in her thoughts.

Cute, LDS fiction.
1,233 reviews19 followers
October 1, 2008
i loved this book. It was refreshing to see the character annabelle go through her days in trying to find her knight in shining armor. And like life the best things come when you least expect them. Annabelle is real in a character that gets jelous just like any girl would after having a date snatching experience. Isaac is also real in his barrior of mistrust he has after having a fiance break off their engagement 3 weeks before the wedding and say she has been seeing her ex for 2 months. ouch! It is a great story that basically teaches to be the real you and do what you know to be right and the lord will bless you.
11 reviews3 followers
May 29, 2010
This book was so much deeper than I expected. It was one that has already made me think a lot. I loved that it was an LDS book that was open to things like getting married in the temple, church services, and standards. It went along the lines that I think and act on. It was hilarious, yet insightful. I have reviewed my life by means of morals, family relations, friendships, my religion (in so many aspects), purpose, and the small things in life--I want to have little pink notes! Noticing the difference people around you make, the little things, is something I need to do better and I love how the author captured the importance of it. Great book!
Profile Image for Zarina.
908 reviews131 followers
April 29, 2012
On the one hand this was a cute chick-lit with a likeable character getting into all sorts of comical situations, on the other the writing and the situations the main character got in are very YA and didn't quite suit 24 year old Annabelle which made the novel feel slightly off.

Only about midway through did I realise this is a LDS chick-lit which I suppose explains the fact that it's written very clean and young (and certainly explains the mentions of "temple", "singles ward", etc. which up until that point were confusing to me). Still, a quick and fluffy read, but much more YA than anything else.
Profile Image for Patricia.
2,909 reviews13 followers
April 17, 2014
I really have difficulty reading and enjoying a story where the protagonist is ...
well ... stupid or goofy or frequently klutzy or not smart or "aw shucks." Had I not purchased this book, I would have stopped reading this early on. However, my "investment" kept me persevering. There were several times even then that I debated about giving it up. I guess I am glad I did not give it up because the last part of the book kind of redeemed it somewhat and I mean the very last pages as the whole story came together. That is saying something to move from a solid 2 stars to 3 stars in only a few pages.
Profile Image for Tausha.
254 reviews
March 16, 2016
4.5 I'm not sure why I hadn't marked this as read....this was actually my second time through this book and I enjoyed it just as much the second time. :) Poor Annabelle...I'm not sure how many more embarrassing moments one girl can handle. She had one disaster after another but I LOVED her attitude about it all. I found myself shaking my head and laughing when she got herself in yet another crazy situation! Isaac was the best! I loved how he looked past the craziness and saw Annabelle for who she was. He made me mad towards the end but happily they worked through it. Fun, simple, humorous, clean read!
Profile Image for Tanis.
66 reviews
February 18, 2009
Here's what I really liked about the book:
The plot was really fun and very creative. I also loved the humor. This book made me laugh out loud several times.
Here's what I didn't like about the book:
The guy was a total jerk to her almost the entire book and she still moons over him the entire time!! Just because he comes on all romantic and sweet at the end she takes him right back! She should have made him fight harder for her. This guy had it way too easy. GRRRR!
I should stop reading romance novels. They make me angry. I don't know why.
7 reviews
April 13, 2009
This book was relatively cute - it's young adult LDS fiction - typical love story mixed with typical humor. Once I got past the thought, "this is so unrealistic" and just enjoyed the book for entertainment value, it turned out to be surprisingly enjoyable. ;) There are some cute moments that are more "realistic" when you get to the main character's "pink notes" that are included throughout the book. It was worth the read (especially if you have long plane rides and need something to keep you occupied).
Profile Image for Danielle.
218 reviews1 follower
July 25, 2011
This book was hilarious! I loved it. I don't know if I was just in a better mood by the end of the book or I just started to really feel like I was there, but by the end, I was laughing so hard while reading it. I fell in love with the characters (especially Isaac, but don't tell Mike!) and I can't wait to read more from this author.

If anyone local wants to borrow it, let me know. It's a good one! I finished it all in one night.

I can't wait to read the next one - as soon as the price goes a bit lower on Amazon, it's MINE! :)
Profile Image for Tara Carpenter.
989 reviews5 followers
July 14, 2010
This is the first LDS chick-lit I've read in a long time. And there are good things and bad things about this genre. This book had both. The bad: the simpleness & predictability of the plot, the cheesiness, the cliche characters. The good: clean fun, some funny situations, a happy ending.

In the end, I'm glad I spent a few hours reading this. Best part: tearing up over the drama of early-twenties romance angst. Because as ridiculous as it sounds reading about it, I remember feeling EXACTLY the same way about things back then.
Profile Image for Brittany Lentz.
41 reviews11 followers
February 17, 2012
I loved that the author has a similar thought process as me. From needing to give something to DI, to what a great deal she got on a pair of pants she put on, to the kind of guy she wanted to marry. It is an LDS fiction book, and it is a nice change from some of the other books I have read lately. It's in a similar (LDS-version) voice as Becky Bloomwood (Confessions of a Shopaholic). Definitely has some cringe worthy moments, and I laughed out loud a lot. Definitely worth a read--friends near me if you want to borrow it you are welcome to! I just ordered the sequel.
Profile Image for Melissa.
123 reviews
October 28, 2013
I liked this book, but only gave it 3 stars because I had a hard time connecting with the author's humor. It was a clean book with a happy ending. At times I thought a little too much was happening and with all the chaos in my own life I sorta felt burdened to continue reading someone else's problems. However, I did like it and would recommend it to others who like Sophie Kinsella's books. Similar writing style without all the swearing. Sophie Kinsella's books are funnier, but Elodia Strain is a clean LDS writer.
May 6, 2008
This is another one of those books I would give 3 1/2 stars although I liked it more than not. It was, as the title suggests, sweet and fluffy! -- easy to pick up and put down. I liked that she involved the "LDS" aspect in the story, but did not let it take over. There were some pretty funny moments with this girl's quirky personality (I laughed out loud a few times). Overall, cute and fairly predictable, and a quick, fun read.
Profile Image for Susan.
937 reviews16 followers
April 21, 2010
Annabelle is bound and determined to become the best writer for "Coastal Coast Living" magazine. When that opportuninty drops in her lap, her focus gets blurred as disaster after disaster hinders her attempts for the anticipated interview with Jean-Pierre, sumo chef of La Bonne Violette. After Isaac breaks the relationship, Annabelle "wakes up" to what's been in front of her the whole time. She's also an amazing bargain shopper.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 235 reviews

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