Wednesday, October 23, 2013

[Review]: "Sweet"

Sweet by Erin McCarthy

Publisher: InterMix (October 15, 2013) 
Series: True Believers, 2
Genre: New Adult Contemporary

Jessica Sweet thought going away to college would finally make her free of her parents’ constant judgments and insistence she play chastity club role model for their church events, but if anything, the freedom has made her realize she can’t go home and be a hypocrite anymore. Tired of dodging their questions, she stays at school over the summer and lands in an unexpected crash pad: Riley Mann’s house. 

Sarcastic, cocky, and full of opinions, Riley is also sexy personified with tattoos and biceps earned from working as a roofer all day. Not the right guy for her even if Jessica was looking for a relationship, which she is definitely not. But Jessica knows that Riley hides the burden of having to raise his younger brothers behind that grin and as she helps him get his house in order for a custody hearing, they begin to fall hard for each other, and she is forced to question what she’s hiding herself. 

Jessica has never had a problem getting naked with a guy, but when it comes to showing Riley how she truly feels inside, her fear of rejection may just ruin the best thing—the best guy—to ever happen to her…

Where to Buy*:
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My Review:

I wasn't sure how to rate this book. On one hand, I found Sweet to be funny, and I liked the brothers and how they interacted with each other. There was plenty of sexiness involved, and a surprising dose of sweet moments as well. On the other hand, the heroine annoyed me, and I spent 95% of the book ready to slap her...perhaps closer to 98%, really.

Erin McCarthy does have a way of writing humor into her books, no matter the genre, and she proves this yet again. I can't say I out-right laughed, but I definitely chuckled more than a few times, which is always a good sign. For example, this passage came after Riley made a joke about Jessica's, ahem, reputation.

He didn't precisely answer the question, which was a point for him. Instead of threatening me, he simply said, "I'm not backing down until you talk to me."

"What?" I asked, cupping my hand to my ear. "I can't hear you over the flapping sound of my loose vagina."

The corner of his mouth lifted, and he almost laughed. "Is that what that noise is?" he asked. "I thought it was the air conditioner."

Jessica's character was very difficult for me to relate to, on any level. I hated her actions and choices during much of the book, especially when she decided to get sh*tfaced drunk and go to a frat party. She admits she wasn't having fun at this party, yet she still went just to put her “buzz” to good use. I was tempted to throw the book down at this point, though it is hard for me to fully explain why exactly. Simply put, she pissed me off.

I liked Riley's character, he wasn't perfect, but he was trying his hardest to hold his family together, to be there for his brothers. Sure, he had his jerkish moments at the beginning of the novel, but he improved. Plus, as I didn't really like Jessica, I wasn't as concerned about some of the things he said to her; although to be fair, he was joking. Like with any good romance hero, I fell for him. Now if only he would stop smoking!

"It's not just about last night. You don't ever try to . . . you know." I was having a hard time extracting words from my sluggish brain.

"What? Stick it in you after zero effort on my part? Bend you over the couch after five minutes of dating? No. I don't try to do that. Because I care about you. I want to take some time and get to know each other and each other's bodies, together." He shifted closer to me, his brown eyes earnest. "I want to explore you and your body, not use it."

"Oh." I wasn't sure what to say to that, it was so totally foreign to me. "But I want to have sex with you. Don't make me feel bad for that."

"I'm not trying to. I think it's awesome that you want to get naked with me." He raised his eyebrows up and down. "Trust me, I'm looking forward to it. But it's like cramming a whole ice-cream cone in my mouth and swallowing it whole. What good is that? It's over and done in a second. I want to really taste it, to lick it slowly. I want to savor the ice cream, you know what I'm saying?"

I really enjoyed the fact that Riley wanted to savor their relationship, rather than jumping straight to the sex (which confused Jessica, by the way, because sex is all she really understands about relationships...). It lead to some great sexual tension, and that was one part of the book that stuck with me. It would have been so easy to throw them in bed early on—but because the author waited, the story, and the couple's relationship, was that much better.

And while this is totally random, it was never explained why Jessica refuses to give oral sex. I know, I know, it's not a big deal. But she mentions it in the book (not in conversation of course) that she's never went down on any of the guys she has slept with, and she hopes to distract Riley from asking it of her. Why? I mean, if it's simply that she doesn't like that particular act, fine with me, but it was never explained or brought up again. And it bugged me. I kept waiting for her to spill some secret about how she was forced to do that to some man when she was younger, and now she can't stand the act. My mind went in twenty different directions, trying to figure it out....only there was never an answer to my question. But perhaps this was just something that I picked up on and I'm making a bigger deal out of it than what is needed. Maybe it was explained somehow and I just missed it. I'm honestly not sure.

All in all, I truly did like Sweet, despite the heroine and a few minor flaws. At times, I was very happy while reading this, but at other parts I was extremely frustrated with Jessica. I'm not sure if I will read the other books in this series. It's highly possible at some point, as I am a bit curious to read Tyler's story. Funny and very sexy, Sweet is a good NA romance to pass the time with; I read it in a day, annoying heroine and all. ;)

3 1/2 STARS! 

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I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for my honest opinion. 

*Note: The quotes used belong to Erin McCarthy; TBQ's Book Palace does not claim them.

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This is, I believe, on my second time reading this author. I recall liking the last book I read of hers, and I know I have many of her books on my GR list. Even if I do not read this series again, I will still read some of her other books. 

Aha, finally found which book it was that I read... My Immortal, the first in her Seven Deadly Sins series. Wow, that was like 5 years ago! Anyway....

Have you read Erin McCarthy before? Do you have a favorite book or series from her?


Until Next Time,


  *TBQ's Book Palace is a member of both the Amazon and Barnes and Nobles affiliates program. By using the links provided to buy products from either website, I receive a very small percentage of the order. To read my full disclosure on the matter, please see this post!


Lover Of Romance said...

I just loved the quotes!! :) Nice review hun! I do hate it when the heroines never match up to the hero, it always put a downer on the story.

The_Book_Queen said...

It seems like readers are often harsher on the heroine than the hero. I know I am! But, still, I did like this book and I do not regret reading it one bit!

Anna@herding cats said...

She really does do a great job of including humor in all of her books. I liked Jessica quite a bit. Didn't love all the things she did but could understand how/why certain things happened now that she was finally breaking loose of such strict parents. Really liked that he wanted to wait too. It's a nice change to see :)