Callie Clark’s ice cream shack on Chocolate Lake is finally up and ready for business, but a murder and an ominous warning throws her into a decades-old treasure hunt with the brooding groundskeeper who can’t seem to keep his hands to himself.
Dean Lowry can’t stand Callie’s spoiled superiority complex, but that doesn’t stop him from admiring her outrageous bikinis from afar. When the promise of a killer’s return threatens the woman he loves to hate, the tug of war between heart and mind begins.
Can they put their differences aside, or will status and small-town secrets tear them apart?
|Orange Cream Dreams and Murderous Schemes
|One Scoop or Two (Book 26)
|Category / Genre(s):
|Enemies to Lovers
Small Town Romance
|Point of View:
|Third Person, Past Tense, Multi-viewpoint
|23rd June, 2021
Short, enjoyable tale with murder, romance and ice-cream
Every now and then I like to dip my toe into the world of romantic suspense and this book seemed perfect as it’s a nice short read and has the added bonus of being ice-cream themed.
Despite being written in third person, past tense, you really get into the minds of our main characters – mostly Callie and to a lesser extent, Dean. Both our couple are 24 and from different backgrounds. Callie is the daughter of the owner of the lake where she’s running her ice-cream shack dream, while Dean is the lake’s groundskeeper from the ‘wrong side of the tracks’.
Callie is probably a marmite character and while yes, she was spoiled and probably felt herself superior to many, she had a good heart and she was at least trying to do better. It took a while but I grew to really like her and she even made me laugh on occasion as she embraced her quirks and just went with it!
Dean was the kind of hero I love – the strong, gruff, slightly rough type who can’t help but feel fascinated by the shiny rich girl. He doesn’t want to like her, is very often irritated by her – but ultimately doesn’t feel worthy of her in the long run.
I always like a couple who are slightly antagonistic towards each other and Callie and Dean definitely rubbed each other the wrong way in the beginning. That leads to some fantastically tense situations that blaze over into angry kisses – definitely the best. I felt that there was a part missing in between them fighting and then taking the step in their relationship towards something more – I would have liked a bit more detail.
The door is closed to us during our pair’s first sexual encounter but opened thereafter – so we get to hang around for the good stuff. There’s also a smattering of sweary words but never gratuitously.
And then, of course, we have the murderous mystery element of the story. That part is woven in with the romance and always leaves us guessing. While there aren’t many characters in the story, even if you correctly guess who the culprit or culprits may be, it’s not until the final showdown that we find out all the ins and outs and whys. It wasn’t too scary (thankfully, as I’m a massive wimp!) but it held my interest and I always wanted to keep reading to find out more.
The writing style of Ms Grant is very fast and lively. As I mentioned, she gets right into the thoughts and minds of our characters which can feel quite hectic when we’re focussing on Callie but as you get to know and like her it gets easier. And as I said, it kept and held my interest and it was never a chore to pick up and continue reading this book.
This was a fun, enjoyable, short read (at 98 pages) with a good blend of romance and murder. I would happily recommend this story and I’ll be looking out for future stories from D.M. Grant in the future. 4 stars.
D. M. Grant is a coffee-addicted author who moonlights as a stay-at-home mom and full-time college student. She enjoys spending time with her husband, daughter, and two big, fluffy dogs who steal her side of the bed. She lives in the middle of nowhere and likes it that way.