TITLE: How Sweet It Is
AUTHOR: Sophie Gunn
INFO: Paperback, Fiction, 387 pages
PUBLISHED: Forever Books, 2011
HOW I GOT IT: Received from Publisher for Review
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 TAKE: This is one of those books that I have mixed feelings about. I liked it, but I had some issues with it. It is the first of a series of four connected stories that should be fun to read though.
I think the plot and overall series has a lot going for it. I like the "Enemy Club" and the fact that these women have grown up and got over the high school drama that so many still cling to. It is an amazing fact of life that girls who wanted to kill each other really can mature into women who will support each other through anything. This thread alone has a lot of potential for the future stories.
The characters in this particular story are probably where most of my ambiguous feelings stem from. I couldn't make myself like Lizzie. Frankly, she annoyed me and I really didn't connect with or care about her. She declares out loud that she wants a man to come help her fix up the house that is falling down around her ears. When Tay overhears her and takes it upon himself to aid her, she is a complete ingrate ~ going to the extreme of calling the cops on him. While he IS trying to work through and deal with his own issues, he IS also trying to be a good Samaritan and help her out. Lizzie's issues and interactions with Ethan, the father of her daughter are also a bit much and tended to grate on me.
I did like Tay, but he didn't always do overly smart things either. Why on Earth would he just dump $200,000 in cash on a troubled young girl? Accidents are just that, accidents. I applaud his desire to assist her, but impoverishing himself (and his dog) was a bit too much of the self-sacrifice. I did enjoy his growth through the story though. It was too bad Lizzie took a page from his book and put herself deeply into debt out of guilt too.
This said, I am looking forward to reading the next installment in this series. I think the author has come up with an interesting overall story for the books. It will be fun to see how the other members of the Enemy Club fare in their own tales.
Good luck and