Author: Erin McCarthy
Genre: NA Contemporary
Series: True Believers (Book 2)
Publication Date: October 15, 2013
Format: eBook, 249 Pages
ISBN-10: 0425275515 (Intermix/Penguin)
ISBN-13: 978-1101623169 (Intermix/Penguin)
Reviewed by: Bridget
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…
Quick & Dirty: Fun story full of steamy romance and entertaining banter. But I had a hard time connecting with the characters.
Opening Sentence: I couldn’t go home for the summer
Jessica Sweet is the perfect daughter of a minster, or at least her parents think so. She was raised in a very strict atmosphere so going away to college was suppose to bring freedom, but she still relies on her parents for financial help. It’s not like she is a bad girl, but she doesn’t mind partying and having occasional hookup’s with guys. If her parents ever found out they would disown her and she would have no way to pay for college. She dreads going home for the summer so she comes up with an elaborate lie so she doesn’t have to. Only one problem, she has to find somewhere to stay for a week before she can move into the apartment she is renting. She gets an unexpected offer to stay at the Mann’s house, and she can’t turn down a place to stay.
Riley Mann is one of the hottest guys Jessica has ever met, and he is in no way modest about it. With a gorgeous body and an even hotter face he is easy on the eyes, but whenever he opens his mouth something sarcastic seems to always come out. Jessica is no stranger to sarcasm, she uses it plenty herself, but it’s just a front to hide how she really feels. Jessica hasn’t been in a relationship since high school and she’s not looking to start one anytime soon. But seeing Riley in his home and the how hard he works to take care of his younger brothers; tugs at emotions Jessica has never felt before. Can she get past her fear of rejection and let love enter her heart, or will she freeze him out like she has everyone else?
The story was told from Jessica’s POV and for the most part, I really liked her. She is funny, caring, and strong. As a character she really grew throughout the book and she learned a lot about herself. She has normal insecurities like a lot of other girls, which made her feel more realistic and easier to connect with. I just wish I could have understood her on a deeper level. I realize she came from a strict home, but I didn’t really get why she was so afraid of love and relationships. Overall, I thought she was a great character and I enjoyed her story.
Riley Mann is a very yummy man. With his cocky attitude and adorable dimples, he has a lot of sex appeal. He comes from a rough childhood and now has temporary custody of his younger brothers. He works hard and does everything he can to take care of the people he loves. He teases Jessica relentlessly, which was fun and endearing. They have unbelievable chemistry and the pages are full of sexual tension. But Riley tends to overact to everything and it got annoying pretty fast. It made it hard for me to really love his character, which made me sad because I liked everything else about him.
Even with its flaws, Sweet was still a good read for me. The witty dialog and interesting premise made it a fast enjoyable story. While I didn’t connect with the characters as much as I would have liked, they were still engaging and fun to get to know. The romance was laced with steam and tension, which made it easy to love. This is my first book by McCarthy and I have to say that her writing is very captivating. There is going to be another book in the series and I am excited to see which story we get to read next. If you like new adult contemporary, I would recommend that you give this series a try. I think you will find it enjoyable.
“I admire that you’re willing to pitch in and pull up nasty carpet to help me keep my brother.”
“It’s no big deal.” But it was a big deal. All of it. All of this.
His lips barely brushed mine in the most innocent kiss I’d shared since middle school. It made me shiver again.
“Now you can tell me what you like about me,” he prompted, while I stood there struck silent.
It was hard to think with his arms engulfing me like they were, his mouth so close to mine. I wanted to run my fingers through the stubble of his beard and bite his bottom lip. But I managed to focus long enough to say, “You are definitely an asshole, but what I like is that you are so responsible, you take care of your brothers, you do what you have to do, and yet you still laugh. You have a sense of humor, and you don’t take yourself too seriously.”
“I guess we’re pretty fucking awesome, aren’t me?” he asked.
Then, without any clear signal from each other, we both went for the kiss, and it was a hot collision of mouth and teeth. It was hot and wet and perfect. Wow. And then wow some more. His stubble was rough on my skin, his hands gripping me tightly, and his mouth fought to dominate mine. It was a sexy, skilled kiss, and I was breathing hard and wanting more when we paused.
True Believers Series:
3. Believe (January 21, 2014)
FTC Advisory: Intermix/Penguin provided me with a copy of Sweet. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.