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I Belong

Review: The Sweetheart Bargain by Shirley Jump

The Sweetheart BargainTitleThe Sweetheart Bargain

AuthorShirley Jump

GenreContemporary Romance

SeriesSweetheart Sisters (Book 1)

Publication Date: September 3, 2013

Format: Paperback, 304 Pages

ISBN-10: 0425264505 (Berkley/Penguin)

ISBN-13978-0425264508 (Berkley/Penguin)

Reviewed by: Bridget


You can’t teach an old dog new tricks—unless you’re a Sweetheart Sister? 

The Sweetheart Sisters, a trio of sassy, well-meaning grannies (who aren’t against a sip of bourbon with breakfast) are ready to dispense advice and help create happy endings with a little of what they do best—meddling.

Animal therapist Olivia Linscott is the Sweetheart Sisters’ first target. Running from a bad marriage and a lousy job, Olivia is determined to save the dog shelter she inherited from the mother she never knew and, above all, to protect her broken heart. The Sisters want to tie the spirited young do-gooder to wounded helicopter pilot Luke Winslow, but the intended pair keeps slipping the leash.

Luke’s dreams were shattered by a career-ending eye injury. Adrift and bitter, the last thing he wants is romantic involvement. But when a golden retriever in worse shape than he is scratches on the door, the dog brings in a whole lot more than puppy love.

Quick & Dirty: This was a heartbreaking story about love, loss, and the ability to move on.  It is filled with charming characters, steamy romance, and a beautiful message.

Opening Sentence: Olivia Linscott made the most insane decision of her life in less time than it took to microwave a burrito.

Excerpt: No

The Review:

Olivia Linscott has just done the most sporadic thing in her whole life.  After a failed marriage and a bunch of dead end jobs Olivia decides that it is time to start over.  Her birth mother, whom she has never met, gives her the perfect opportunity by leaving Olivia her property in Rescue Bay, Florida. Olivia has always wondered about her birth mother and now she might finally be able to get some answers. Heartbreak has followed Olivia around for most of her life so she has decided that love just isn’t for her. Then she meets her devastatingly gorgeous neighbor, Luke Winslow.

Luke is a former coastguard pilot that recently got injured in a terrible accident.  The injuries he suffered have left him partially blind which ended his flying career for good.  Now all Luke wants is to be left alone, but his meddling grandmother has other plans for him.  He can’t help but notice how attractive his new neighbor is, but Luke knows he is not the relationship type.  But staying away from Olivia is extremely more difficult than he could ever imagine.

The story is told from multiple POV’s but mainly you switch between Olivia and Luke.  Olivia is a really sweet girl that has been a little naïve in her life.  She has had her heart broken too many times to count and she feels like a failure.  But she is determined to start over and do things right this time. She went back to school and works as an animal therapist. She is very passionate about her job and is actually really happy in her new home.  I enjoyed Olivia’s character she was fun and easy to connect with.

Luke is bitter and lost, but man is he easy on the eyes.  Reading Luke’s story was really heartbreaking and made me very appreciative of the people that risk their lives to help others.  Everything he ever cared about was taken from him in the blink of an eye, and to be honest if that happened to me I would be bitter too.  As he starts to heal on the outside he realizes that he has to let people in if he ever expects to heal on the inside.  Even though he could be really frustrating at times I still loved Luke and thought he was a wonderful character.

The Sweetheart Bargain is an adorable book that I really enjoyed.  The cast of characters are charming and easy to love.  I loved the grandma’s, they were probably my favorite characters. There is just something about meddling old women that I find endearing.  I think it’s that I see myself becoming one someday. I’m already a hopeless romantic and I think sweet old ladies are just adorable. The romance was steamy and full of emotion.  There were a few times that the pacing dragged a little bit. I think the reason it didn’t flow perfectly was because there were too many POV’s. It made it feel like too much was going on outside of the main plotline. I believe the author did it to set up the stage for the sequel, but it just didn’t quite work for me.  With that being said, I still really enjoyed this book and I am really looking forward to reading the next installment.  I would recommend this to anyone that is looking for a cute romance novel.

Notable Scene:

She straightened—and almost collided with a six? foot? tall wall of a man.

“What the hell are you doing?” he said.

Her mouth opened, closed. Not a single word came out. Her gaze roamed over him, and she had to remind herself to breathe. Damn. Hot, handsome, sexy. She swallowed hard and tried not to stare.

Too much.

Blue jeans hugged his thighs, and a black T?shirt sporting a Harley? Davidson logo outlined a defined, hard chest, muscled biceps. The man had short cropped deep brown hair, a chiseled jaw shadowed with rough stubble. Dark sun?glasses hid his eyes, despite the setting sun behind him. On one side of his face, a jagged scar peeked out from under the sunglasses, which only added to the air of mystery. He looked—


Not in the hack? you? into? tiny? pieces? and? bury? you?in?a?landfill kind of way, but in a mysterious, sensual way that said tangling with him would be unforgettable. That he was the kind of guy who could kiss her and leave her . . . reeling. Breathless. The kind her friends called a Mindless Man because one night with him would make a girl lose her mind— in a very, very good way

Sweetheart Sisters Series:

1. The Sweetheart Bargain

2. The Sweetheart Rules (April 1, 2014)


FTC Advisory: Berkley/Penguin provided me with a copy of The Sweetheart Bargain. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.


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