*May Contain Spoilers*
Mandy Baggot shares the story of an unexpected romance between a previously reckless celebrity and an increasingly careful young woman in her novel, Breaking the Ice. As both main characters falter over their personal struggles, they find a sense of peace and hope for the future in each other resulting in a book where opposites do much more than just attract.
Samantha was a difficult character to like at first. She's very routine and sometimes that can come across as boring. Samantha likes everything in order -- emphasis on the everything. She has a job which she enjoys, shares a flat with her sister, and does not date on account of her very picky nature. Yet, as the book continues, readers will get a better sense of who she is when she isn't comparing herself to her wild sister, Cleo. Samantha evolves into a more assertive version of herself who is willing to fight for what she wants, even though her panic attacks threaten to send her to the hospital every time something doesn't go her way. Her cautious nature and high anxiety help make Samantha a more down to earth person, giving her faults and hurdles that she must overcome if she wants to make it to 'happily ever after.' I think readers will find her growth entertaining as well as heartfelt, as Jimmy helps her come out of her shell.
Jimmy Lloyd is a famous ice skater who has had previous trouble with alcoholism. After his time in rehab, he was given a second chance in the show premiering at Samantha's theater in England. Jimmy, though troublesome in the past, has become a very patient, kind, and caring man. He is very polite and accommodating with Samantha, as he helps her overcome her fears. As a celebrity, Samantha believes that there is no way he could be interested in her romantically, yet finds herself falling for him. When Jimmy admits to his own feelings, sparks start to shine as their relationship unfolds. Readers will admire Jimmy's struggle to overcome his alcohol addiction and respect his honesty and perseverance. Plus, he plays the hero to shy Samantha, and that's endearing all on its own.
The plot of the novel revolves around Samantha's career as she learns that the theater in which she works may be shut down. This pushes Samantha to fight for what she wants and really overcome her fears. With Jimmy by her side, and her sister adding humor and hilarity to the book, Samantha tries to achieve her goals. Though her predicament isn't the only interesting story line as Jimmy also finds himself in a bit of trouble regarding his reputation and alcoholism. Yet, as Mandy Baggot's books always finish with a happy ending, it wasn't hard to figure out what was going to happen. However, it's always a nice feeling to get exactly what you want as a reader, even if the path is twisted and, sometimes, gloomy. For readers who enjoy love stories and character growth, as well as detailed relationship development and a slightly slower pace, I would happily suggest this book.
Rating: 2.5/5 Cups