Release Date: October 15, 2013
Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
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…
I've come to realize something about this genre and it's readers. Everyone has a different thing they look for when it comes to romance novels. Some of us live for hot sex scenes, some of us require action in the plots, some of us go for damaged heroes, some of us like kink, some of us want it to be sappy, and some of us specifically seek out guys in kilts. And then there's that whole group that likes to read about having sex with swamp monsters n' stuff.
Hey! Not judging...just pointing out that Romance readers are a fairly diverse group.
Anyway, my point is that we all gravitate toward different things.
Me? I like humor.
Maybe because falling in love is awkward, nerve-wracking, and well, quite hilarious at times.
Remember the first time you accidentally farted in front of the man of your dreams? Oh yeah. Good times..
And in my personal opinion, no one does humor better than Erin McCarthy. It's not over-the-top Three Stooges kind of funny. Which honestly, I don't find funny at all. No, it's more that her characters have a running inner monologue that resonates with my experiences, and makes me giggle. A lot.
There's another thing that makes Sweet a perfect fit for my personality, and that's the fact that Jessica comes from an extremely religious family. Believe it or not, I come from a family of Southern Baptist preachers and missionaries.
I know, right? I bet you're wondering how I turned out to be such a well-adjusted person, but that a story for another day.
So. While some of what Jessica says and does might seem strange, I don't think McCarthy's portrayal of a preacher's daughter was weird at all. This isn't an anti-God book, but Jessica's character is trying to straddle the fence between pleasing her parents and being herself. Instead of just telling her parents that she's not who they want her to be, she lies to them. She knows that the minute they find out that she's not acting like a good girl, they're going to pull the plug on her finances. Not to mention, they'll probably emotionally disown her as their daughter. Now, it's not like she really wants to spend great gobs of time with her mom and dad, but the idea that your parents will totally turn your backs on you is a scary thought for anyone. She wasn't exactly raised to be Miss Independent, so No Money + No Family = Bad Idea in her mind.
And then there's Riley. He's such an ass, but you can't help but love him. In the last book, True, we met Riley's brother, Tyler Mann. And where Tyler is a sweetheart, Riley is...not. Well, he is once you get to know him, but he hides his warm fuzzy side under layers and layers of douchebaggery. Fortunately, Jessica is not really much of a sweetheart either, and she enjoys handing him nuts on a plate when he gets out of line.
So what happens when you stick two snarky people from entirely different backgrounds under the same roof for a week?
Pure magic, that's what!
Because while it seems like these two are destined to work each other's last nerve, their personalities actually compliment each other really well. Mostly because underneath it all, Riley is actually a good guy, and as it turns out a really good friend to Jessica. But can these guys get over the damage of their pasts and make room for each other in their futures?
Hmmm. If you think I'd give a story with a sad ending four and a half stars, then you don't know me very well, do you?
As a side note, if you're one of the readers who's looking for a book that features sex with Bigfoot, then you may not enjoy this as much as I did. Sasquatch does not make an appearance in Sweet.
Oh well, there's always next time...