Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Book Review and Giveaway: The Sweet Spot

By Melissa Amster

**Giveaway is now closed**

Earlier this year, I enjoyed Big Girl Panties by Stephanie Evanovich (see my review). So I was thrilled when I found out she was publishing a novel featuring another couple from the novel, Chase and Amanda Walker. This is more like a prequel, as we find out how they met before Logan and Holly's story even took place.

When pro baseball player Chase Walker first meets Amanda at her restaurant, it’s love at first sight. While Amanda can’t help noticing the superstar with the Greek-god-build, he doesn’t have a chance of getting to first—or any other—base with her. A successful entrepreneur who’s built her business from scratch, Amanda doesn’t need a Prince Charming to sweep her off her feet. And a curvy girl who likes to cook and eat isn’t interested in being around the catty, stick-thin herd of females chasing Chase and his teammates.

But Chase isn’t about to strike out. A man who isn’t interested in playing the field, he’s a monogamist who wants an independent woman like Amanda. His hopes rally when she discovers that squeaky-clean Chase has a few sexy and very secret pre-game rituals that turn the smart, headstrong businesswoman on—and into his number one fan.

Then a tabloid discovers the truth and turns their spanking good fun into a late- night punchline. Is Amanda ready to let loose and swing for the fences? Or will the pressure of Chase’s stardom force them to call it quits? (Synopsis courtesy of Amazon.)

The Sweet Spot grabbed my attention as soon as it began, talking about Amanda's bad day that involved being dumped upon in a rather literal sense. And then it just took off running, full "steam" ahead. The dialogue is intriguing and keeps the story going strong from start to finish. While there were times I got frustrated by Amanda not giving Chase a chance for quite a while, I also admired her headstrong independence. And even when she and Chase finally got on the same page, her feistiness kept the story fresh and exciting. The fairy tale aspect of the story was enticing and made me think of Pretty Woman in some ways. I mean, can you just imagine having this hot celebrity completely vying for your affections?!?

I have to warn everyone not to read this book in a public setting. It is definitely blush-worthy and you might get strange looks from people if your face is turning completely red. Or maybe that's just me? I am all for a good steamy scene (or two...or three...) in a novel and Stephanie delivers on this front. Some of it gets risque, but I would still put it at an R rating. It doesn't reach the "Fifty Shades" level. It might get close at times, but it still backs down enough to stay considered chick lit. I did know what was coming, thanks to Big Girl Panties. However, I didn't get the full extent from that novel and there were still other surprises in store.

One of my concerns with Big Girl Panties came up again in The Sweet Spot. Stephanie still starts a section of the book with one character's perspective and then completely shifts to the other character within that same section, instead of setting a section break first. It still gets confusing. Aside from this, the conversations sometimes tended to go around in circles and not gain any grounding. It was like watching an argument go in an infinite loop. However, I still enjoyed the story.

I want to mention that there was a poignant line that really stood out to me. It was about how people who can't figure out what to cook for dinner seem to think they know everything about what they see in social media and turn things into a witch hunt. The timing of this line went really well with everything that was happening in the news this summer and how people were taking sides without knowing the full story. It was compounded when celebrities did the exact same thing, which was rather disturbing in itself.

When I read Big Girl Panties, I was convinced that Chase and Amanda were in their early 40s. However, I don't think that much time passed since the events of the prequel took place, and they were in their 20s. Therefore, I decided to make some casting changes.
Amanda: Odette Annable or Jessica Lowndes
Chase: Chris Hemsworth

Thanks to HarperCollins for the book in exchange for an honest review. Since I got a copy of my own at BEA, they ended up sending me another one and I want to share it with a lucky US reader. And as a bonus, I'm also going to include a copy of Big Girl Panties!

How to win:
Please tell us the celebrity scandal you found most interesting.

One entry per person.

Entries without contact information (e-mail address, Twitter account, Facebook page, etc.) will NOT be counted (and we do NOT count "Google +" as contact information).

US only. Giveaway ends October 14th at midnight EST.

36 comments:

Bonnie Franks said...

Well, this is about timing also. This is an oldie but goodie and I just read about it a few days ago, probably on facebook. I do not remember it making headlines when it happened, but I'm sure it must have. Prince Charles and Barbara Streisand???? It showed a picture of them way back then and he was not bad I have to say. I find it hard to believe I forgot about it, but I must have known........


bonlyn55 at yahoo dot com

Janine said...

Not to name any names, but the ones who take naked pictures of themselves or make sex movies really annoy me when they get upset when someone else gets ahold of it. I mean really, what were they thinking? If you're in the public eye, act professional and don't do stupid stuff. If you do, don't get upset when it gets in the wrong hands.

kinini01@hotmail.com

Rhonda G said...

Rhondajgothier@yahoo.com

Anything with the royal family. Seems there are good and bad instances of things going on!

OnDBookshelf said...

I find the imploding of some of the Disney stars (Lindsay Lohan, Miley Cyrus, etc) to be interesting. I don't know why they can't keep it together once they grow up, and seem to revolt in such a huge way.

Sharon said...

Celebrity Scandals? Ugh, I'm no good at this. How about the talk show scandals where all you have to do is say one wrong thing, the world attacks you for it and then you get fired.
sharn3960[AT]comcast[DOT]net

susieqlaw said...

Sendsusanmail at gmail dot com
I followed the death of Princess Diana closely. It really surprised me.

traveler said...

The young who are famous before they can handle fame. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Bridget Taylor said...

Zac Efron's rehab. He seemed to be a nice, normal kid.

Bridget Taylor said...

Sorry. I Forgot email. iambtinrb@aol.com

Kellie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kellie said...

I am captivated by the recent nude picture scandal because of all of the moral/ethical questions it brings up and what do people's answers say about us as a society? Who is at fault? Are these celebs victims? It's really interesting to me


Chalicek2000@yahoo.com

Lisamarie said...

I found the whole Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore & Bruce Willis relationship quite interesting. Then Kutcher leaving Moore for Mila.

Lisamarie said...

Forgot my email...

tropicalsunlover05(at)yahoo (dot)com

Annette Herbst said...

I have been following the Teresa Giudice (sp?) fraud case. Yes I am a closet fan of Bravo tv but dont tell anyone!

Auntnetto6@yahoo.com

Bonnie K. said...

Well, I don't find it interesting but I remember the scandal with Hugh Grant engaging in um---you probably know--when he was in America. I was disappointed in him--such a cute and lovable guy on screen.

bluedawn95864 at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

I like to read the magazines but most of the stuff isn't all that interesting beyond the superficial. I find it interesting that they get engaged almost immediately, especially if they get pregnant. Doesn't mean there will be a wedding. And, two dates is a relationship.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Allison Smith said...

Always and forever the biggest scandal for me us Brangelina! I even had a Team Jen t-shirt:)!!!

Jennifer said...

I really don't pay too much attention to celebrity scandals. Now sports scandals is a different story. So, probably the Tigef Wood's scandal was the craziest. Love that these books have a professional baseball player in them.

Jhuelsebusch@sbcglobal.net

raven said...

Brad and Jen and Angelina. What a story .I think it is still going on.
Raven7932@gmail.com

Amber @ A Little Pink in the Cornfields said...

I was definitely most fascinated by the Brad-Angelina-Jen triangle! Team Jen!

Missamberljohnson@gmail.com

Summer Grinstead said...

I was most fascinated by the Tiger Woods drama. Not in a good way however. Gross.

sumsum085@aol.com

Pip's Mom said...

Right now this whole thing with Stephen Collins. It's so hard to think about Rev. Camden being a pediphile. Ugh!
tiger_lilly386(at)yahoo(dot)com

Kristen said...

There are so many! How do you choose just one??? I don't think anyone has mentioned Miley yet...

kly(dot)327(at)gmail.com

TiredMom2Four said...

Most interesting "scandals" are the tidbits on Page Six of the NY Post.

Melissa Seng said...

I wouldn't say, "most interesting," but biggest train wreck that I couldn't take my eyes off for quite a while, was Lindsay Lohan. She's been pretty under the radar lately...waiting for the other shoe to drop, so to speak.

bn100 said...

maybe the Hugh Grant one

bn100candg at hotmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Sandra Bullock and Jesse James. She gushed about him during her Academy Award speech and a few days later found out he was cheating on her. It never made sense why she married such a jerk.

SuzyQ4PR(at)aol(dot)com

Bridget O'Neill said...

Probably the recent nude photo leaks. They were private photos and should have remained so, regardless of who they are!

Bjoneill@hotmail.com

rubynreba said...

I still think about the President Clinton and Monica scandal! That was the President of the USA - unbelievable!
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

Meg Munson said...

I hate to admit that I love watching the final episodes of the Bachelor and the Bacherlorette series. I was blown away by the Juan Pablo season and Andi Dorfman season. I can't believe that still do that show with all the crazy stuff that happens, but hey...I guess I am still watching it!

meg munson at me dot com

Laurice McClung said...

The last one I actually paid attention to was the OK Simpson murder trial. reeskarae@yahoo.com

Sandie W said...

I try not to party attention to any of it, but the saddest to me right now is Amanda Bynes...she's such a train-wreck...so sad!

sandie.white@live.com

Kristy Zuverino said...

I don't know about interesting but the first one that came to mind was Amanda Bynes. She was so innocent and cute, what happened!?!

Kristy Zuverino said...

Oops email is zuverino@hotmail.com

rhonda said...

The Brad Jenn Angie mess ket ot me riveted.
Lomazowr@gmail.com

Melissa said...

Thanks to everyone for participating and telling us about the celebrity scandals that interest you the most. Next month is Celebrities Month here at CLC, so be prepared for more entertaining questions like this!

Random.org chose one winner from all entries with contact info (one entry per person).

Congrats to Linda Kish!