Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Book Review and Giveaway: The Sweet Spot
**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.