Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Review & Giveaway: How Sweet It Is by Sophie Gunn

Title: How Sweet It Is
Series: Enemy Club #1
Author: Sophie Gunn
Available: Now
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Reading Level: Adult

3 out of 5 Stars

Description from Goodreads:

Single mom Lizzie Bea Carpenter learned long ago that no white knight was coming to save her. A hardworking waitress at the local diner, she's raising her daughter to be like the independent women in her "Enemy Club"—high school rivals turned best friends, promising to always tell each other the whole truth and nothing but!

Yet part of Lizzie wishes she did have a man's help, just for small stuff, like fixing up the house. Her fairy godmother must have been listening, because Dante "Tay" Giovanni soon appears. He's sexy, kind, and offering assistance—no strings attached.

Slowly, steadily, Lizzie's heart opens. But the grip of the past is fierce, and nothing in life is ever really free. Tay has his own tragedies to overcome, but if he can, he'll fix more than Lizzie's home. He'll show her just how sweet it is to be loved by him.

My thoughts:

Lizzie is a single mom working at the same diner she worked at in high school. Her closest friends have formed what they call the “enemy club”. Former enemies from high school who are now “best enemies forever”.  When Lizzie receives a letter from the boy who knocked her up and ran in high school claiming he wants to meet their daughter, she asks the enemies for advice. This leads to a discussion where Lizzie says she wishes for a man that will show up, help fix her run down house, and leave. 

Tay Giovanni is at the diner when Lizzie makes her wish. He has arranged to meet Candy who is the daughter of the woman killed when he ran a red light. He hopes she’ll accept a bag of cash so she can stay in college. Tay also hopes this will help him heal from the anxiety that he suffers as a result of the accident. Candy refuses the cash, but Tay leaves it anyway. Later he sees Candy who informs him she tossed the money in a gorge. Tay decides he’ll have to stick around to search for the money. His insomnia keeps him awake at night, so he takes to wandering the streets doing chores for people hoping to ease his guilt. Lizzie is one of those people. There is a spark between the two from first confrontation, but Tay finds it impossible to move past the guilt and Lizzie is determined to never rely on a man for anything. 

After seeing the adorable cover for this one I had to read it. I was also totally intrigued by the concept of being best friends with the girls who were your enemies in high school. I liked main character Lizzie, but Tay didn’t really do it for me. He did it for Lizzie though so I guess that is all that matters. He isn’t a bad love interest, but I tend to like my book men a little more alpha and aggressive. Not sure what that says about me ;) Tay was dealing with a lot of guilt, and kind of had the Eeyore thing going on for him. He’s a good guy, but watching him wallow in anxiety and guilt through a large chunk of the book bothered me.

The author also branched off with a second storyline involving Lizzie’s sister and brother-in-law. Her sister, Annie, was supposed to be suffering from the “baby blues”, but she came off as borderline crazy. It all eventually came together, but I felt like there was too much going on. I would have liked to see the plot focus more on the interaction between not only Tay and Lizzie, but also the members of the “enemy club”. I did really enjoy the moments shared between Lizzie and her teenage daughter, Paige. I found those to be the highlights of the novel for me. I also liked the two furry cast members, especially White the stray cat. I would have loved to see a smaller cast of characters and a little less hijinks, and possibly more character development when it came to the primary cast. 

I did appreciate the humorous dialogue in How Sweet It Is. Lizzie and Paige are both very sarcastic, and had plenty of clever one-liners that made me giggle. The author’s voice is enough to make me want to pick up the next book in this series when it is releases later this year. It also had the small town setting I always love to accompany a contemporary romance. I really feel this series has loads of potential, and I look forward to seeing where the author takes it next. 

Sophie Gunn on the web:

Giveaway Time!

I also have 3 copies of How Sweet It Is up for grabs courtesy of Hachette Book Group.

Open to residents of the US & Canada
No P.O Boxes please
Winners are subject to the one copy per household rule
Ends 2/20
Please fill out the form to enter. Comments are always appreciated, but will not count as an entry.

Source: Publisher