Review by: Kaede
Release Date: October 15th, 2013
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…
Sweet by Erin McCarthy was, for the most part, an all round fun experience. It isn't perfect, but you will enjoy New Adult, you'll most likely love this series. I have my issues with Sweet, but I don't regret choosing to continue with this series at all.
If you are somebody for funny banter, there is definitely quite a bit in Sweet. Jessica and Riley's interactions were often witty and sometimes at each other's throat, and you will probably get a good laugh out of it.
Beyond our main characters getting together and solving Riley and Jessica's personal problems, there really isn't much else that happens in Sweet. However, I didn't pick up a New Adult book looking for gory deaths and exploding action scenes, and Sweet provided what I was looking for to read at the time. Personally, I think liking the characters in this book is essential to enjoying the story. If you've read True and liked it enough to consider reading Sweet, you should have no problem enjoying it. Riley, the oldest brother of his family, has the responsibility of making sure all his younger brothers have food on the table and a roof over their head. Because of that, Riley has sense of maturity and understanding that he can't go out and get drunk every night if he wants to keep his brothers under his care.
Jessica is the opposite of Riley - she loves parties and is slightly immature. But in a different way, she also worries about her family. She has a terrible older brother and a family who does nothing but judge others, and she can't take any of that anymore. Both Riley and Jessica make stupid mistakes, but they do feel like real characters. You will always meet that one person, who like Jessica, is self-centered and needs somebody to tell her off sometimes. Riley certainly isn't afraid to be that person, and while he treats Jessica almost like a little kid at first, he realizes that there is so much potential in her to be a bright and strong person.
"I won't leave you. Trust me, that is the last thing in the world I want."
There is definite chemistry between Jessica and Riley, and their relationship is one that develops with time and it's fun to watch them discover their feelings. The first quarter of the book I had no problem rating 4 and a half stars, because it was engaging and I genuinely wanted to see how our main couple would get together. A little while after they did though, I started losing a bit of interest and I ended up reading other books until I finally finished Sweet recently. Now I've done this before with other books, usually ones I find I'm not in the mood for, and I generally have no problem with remembering what happened before. Sweet is a cute romance, but there really isn't anything exceptional about it that makes it stand out. I can tell that after some time, this is a story where the details of why you liked it will fade away.
Sweet isn't fluffy innocent romance, despite being cute. On top of winning Jessica over, Riley needs to figure out a way to keep his younger brothers with him. To do that, he needs Jessica's help to make his place basically more...female. I liked how willing Jessica was to lend her assistance, and you can really see how hard she's trying to help Riley. Jessica undergoes development throughout the entire novel, becoming somebody who is ready to fight for what she believes in while still retaining the personality of liking to be in charge and for lack of better way to put it, have everything be about her in Riley's house since she is the only female living there constantly. Instead of being annoyed though, I accepted it as part of Jessica's character, almost in the way that Jessica has to realize that she needs to show her parents who she really is and tell them, "This is who I am. You can accept me or not, but I will always love you."
There are many sides to Riley beyond his easygoing nature. He can be serious, sweet (this is me trying to not so cleverly reference the title), rational, but also prone to jealousy that can sometimes be ridiculous. But what I loved about Riley is that he has a strong sense of family. You don't mess with any of his brothers, and you can feel without a doubt that Riley will give up anything to protect them.
So by now, most people can probably guess how much I look for family relationships in books, and how important they are to me. They don't have to be happy, nobody needs to break down years of misunderstanding and finally become best friends with your sibling that has hated you for basically your entire life, but I would like a reason why they hated your guts and would rather pretend you didn't exist. Had Jessica's relationship with her older brother been explored further, I probably would have loved Sweet all the more. But the "reason" why Jessica's older brother hated her we got was basically, and I kid not, that she was a bitch.
THIS IS ME GIVING YOU A DISAPPROVING LOOK FOR YOUR STUPID REASON FOR HATING YOUR SISTER.
*smiles innocently* But on a brighter note, I will be reading the rest of the series. The writing style is engaging and flows well, the characters fairly likable, and I want to see where these characters are by the end of the last book. I really liked Rory and Tyler's appearance in Sweet and the hopeless romantic in me wants somebody to get married or at least engaged, because that is how I roll. Sweet isn't the best New Adult out there, but on a day where you are in the mood for one and you don't know what to read, this series will most likely satisfy you because they are good fun reads, despite some of it's issues.
3 and ½ coffee cups!
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Let's Discuss: In the comments, tell me if you are a fan of New Adult. If so, what are some of your favorites? If you are, do you think this a series you are interested in?