Series: True Believers #2
Publisher: InterMix on October 15, 2013
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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…
“That isn’t science. Though arguably, we were following evolution and both sought out a partner we perceived was a strong candidate, who could protect us.’”
“‘Holy crap!’ Horror rushed over me. I had been okay with thinking it was a weird werewolf or a monster from a video game or a comic. But the devil? The Big S? The ultimate demon of all demons? ‘How am I supposed to cuddle on your chest knowing my head is resting on Lucifer?’”
Favorite Character: Riley.
“I couldn’t go home for the summer.”
My Musings: Sweet is the companion novel to True, and follows Rory’s friend Jessica Sweet during holiday break. See, Jessica refused to go home to her judgmental, over-the-top Christian family, and instead told them that she would be building houses in Appalachia. Instead, Jessica really stays in Cincinnati in a sublet apartment. The problem is, she has a week between leaving the dorms and getting her apartment. However, when Tyler Mann offers her a place at their house, Jessica takes up on his offer–even though she’ll have to stay with Tyler’s older brother Riley, who Jessica can’t stand.
“He looked up and studied me, very serious. ‘Jessica?’ ‘Yes?’ ‘I mustache you a question.’ My lip twitched. ‘Let me mullet over.’”
Sweet was a fantastic and funny novel. Jessica and Riley are too alike of characters to get along. That means a lot of funny bantering and arguing! It was probably my favorite part of the story. They were both really independent characters who refused to let one another in. However, when they finally did, we still got our banter! I’m glad that by the two of them getting together, it didn’t change their personalities at all. They were still both snarky and argumentative as ever.
“I couldn’t please everyone, there was no way to do that. But I could please myself. That was my conclusion, and I knew what pleased me. Having the freedom to make my own mistakes, to learn, to grow, to become a better person.”
Jessica was a hilarious character. She wasn’t the brightest bulb in the box. She was actually pretty ditsy–but she was independent and didn’t take crap from anyone, and that strengthened her character.She really grew over the course of the novel, and she became even more independent than she was to begin with, even though she because more dependent on someone who made her happy. I could always look to Jessica for some witty banter, someone who wasn’t afraid to say what they had to say.
“‘I’m just being honest. Because you are bratty, even you have to admit that, but I also find you intelligent, sexy as hell, and strong. I like that you’ll take the public bus even though you have no clue what you’re doing and you’re scared. I like that you’re staying in this dump when you could probably call up Daddy and get money for a hotel, even if he doesn’t know where you really are.’”
Riley was similar to Jessica. He was a bit on the cocky side, but he had a sweeter and softer side to him as well. He really put himself out there for Jessica and his family. He took care of his little brothers, and for the duration of this novel, struggled with a custody case over his littlest brother Easton. Riley was really admirable in that he would fight to the death for his family and those who he loved. We saw tht same intensity when he fought for Jessica. Sure, he said some crappy things at times that made me and Jessica want to strangle him, but he did care a lot about her.
“‘So what do you think? The princess and the prick…we could work. Or at least we could give it a shot.’”
The two of them together were fantastic. The two of them were so alike yet complemented each other so well. I also loved that Riley made them move slow. There was build up in their relationship, and it allowed the emotional part of their relationship to grow before he introduced the physical, even though Jessica strugged with that fact.They were just perfect for one another. I have to admit, I still liked the Tyler and Rory pairing slightly better, but Jessica and Riley were definitely up there.
Sweet was another fantastically written New Adult contemporary from Erin McCarthy. As always, it had deep and well-written characters, intense romance, and a great sup-plot. It’s definitely one that I would recommend to any and all contemporary lovers, especially if you loved True or novels like Lost and Found by Nicole Williams!