Received from NetGalley
From the BLURB:
John Murphy is tormented by nightmares. A bestselling young-adult author, he writes the ultimate fantasy: stories where good always triumphs. He knows better. His past has shown him the worst in people—and in himself. When he moves next door to the sexy, vibrant Livvy—a woman completely unlike his usual one-night stands—he's driven to explore every curve of her delicious body.
Pastry chef Livvy knows that giving in to the temptation that is John Murphy won't lead to anything permanent, but she deserves a passionate summer fling. John discovers she's as sweet as the confections she bakes while Livvy slowly unravels his secrets. But what will happen when she uncovers them all?
What do you do when a hunky bit of temptation moves in next door? Most people would jump and pant at the opportunity . . . but pastry-chef, Livvy, knows a dangerous thing when she sees it. And John Murphy is trouble encased in ass-hugging jeans. She’s tempted by his wicked smile and flirtatious words . . . but John is clearly not the sort of boy you bring home to mother. He’s a one-night-stand dream-boat and a heartbreak waiting to happen for Livvy – because she wants the minivan, white picket fence and a bun in the oven. Livvy wants what her sister Andrea has, a devoted fiancée and a march down the aisle.
But John is more than just a cock-sure grin. He makes Livvy laugh. He’s the young adult author of a new series about lovable monsters that is taking American by storm. He is a protective big brother to his little sister, and the coolest uncle to his nephews . . . and all of this means that Livvy is sure to lose her heart to the one man who is guaranteed to break it.
Because John doesn’t believe in love. He rejects hope and distrusts affection. He spent his childhood years cowered and beaten, and now as a grown man he still hasn’t gotten over the lessons that were crushed into him. John doesn’t just write about monsters, he lives with them.
‘Sweet as Sin’ is a new Erotic Contemporary Romance from Inez Kelley . . . and it’s incredible.
I want to start out by saying that ‘Sweet as Sin’ has hidden depths. The cover and blurb don’t accurately reveal just how complicated and compelling this book is. Yes, there is hot sex and a tender romance . . . but I found myself primarily drawn into the characters and their complicated pasts.
Livvy is living on a shoe-string budget as she tries to get her pastry business off the ground and profitable. She’s also hearing a ticking clock that’s only getting louder when her younger sister starts living the dream of kids, marriage and stability. Livvy wants to start settling into life and contentment – but nothing is really going according to plan . . . least of all, her love life. When John Murphy moves in next door Livvy is almost repulsed by her desire for him. Because she knows he’s a good time and nothing more; the most she could hope for is a one-night-stand and amicable neighbourly fallout when their dalliance inevitably ends. Livvy promised herself that she wouldn’t fall for such a clear womanizer – her mother did it and struggled with the heartbreak of a cheating spouse for the rest of her life.
“The big deal is he lives next door. What if things end badly? Then what?”“Then you put up a privacy fence and we egg his house. Just because you’re in the market for a minivan doesn’t mean you can’t test drive a hotrod.” Andrea stopped with her hand on the door handle. “And if the engine purrs the right way, take several trips around the block.”
Livvy struggles and rails against her feelings for John. Regardless, something grows amidst her denial and Livvy discovers John’s hidden depths and faded scars. John is not your typical Erotic Romance hero. He’s tall, dark, handsome and could tempt a nun to sin. But Kelley has written a lustrous character in John Murphy – he’s a man as complicated as he is devilishly delicious.
John had a horrendous childhood. Ghosts are still plaguing him well into adulthood and it’s only by opening up to Livvy that John is able to recognize how raw his old wounds still are. Now, I loved the romance between John and Livvy – it was playful, tender and sizzling. But more than anything else, I loved how complicated it was.
‘Sweet as Sin’ is not your typical fairy-floss erotica read. This is not a story that you can read for a bit of fun and erotic frivolity. Kelley digs deep and serves up a romance that is at once romantic and darkly complex – as Livvy tries to find her way through John’s murky past and help him battle his inner monsters.
The novel isn’t all doom and gloom. I found myself smiling and laughing out loud a number of times, and I was oddly surprised by how erotic Kelley makes pastry;
“Remind me to bring you a Chocolate Orgasm.”His fork halted in front of his mouth. “Chocolate orgasm? They come in flavours now? Damn, I didn’t think it had been that long since I got laid.”
But the real show-stopper of ‘Sweet as Sin’ is John and his tumultuous past. I found myself equal-parts flabbergasted, horrified and angered by John’s revelations – the shocks about his past are as much a rollercoaster as his and Livvy’s romance and it made ‘Sweet as Sin’ a far fuller and fulfilling read.
Inez Kelly has written a heartbreaking and scorching contemporary erotic romance in ‘Sweet as Sin’. Enjoy the sex and romance, but read it for the disturbing and enthralling journey that Kelley has written for one of the most endearing characters you will ever encounter.