Sweet As Sin by Inez Kelley
January 31, 2011
Reviewed by Mandi
Favorite Quote: “Love him hard. And when he pushes you away – and he will – love him harder.”
Livvy has a new neighbor – a very sexy new neighbor. John is an author writing a very popular young adult fantasy series that he also illustrates. But he has been having writer’s block for the past month. Once he meets Livvy, the words start to flow. John grew up with an extremely abusive step-father and has many, many demons. He uses his writing and illustrating as an outlet. When he meets Livvy, their attraction is very immediate. They find this love together, but the demons do not always let the love smile upon them.
Livvy owns a bakery and when she meets John she decides it is time for her to have a passionate summer love affair. But she soon learns, that there is nothing easy going about John and her heart falls hard and fast.
I wish I could portray the amount of emotions I went through when reading Sweet As Sin. The depth of John really amazed me in this book. When you first read it – John is this really sexy neighbor who finds Livvy’s bra in his backyard (it blew off the clothesline) and I thought I totally had the book figured out – sexy neighbors will jump in bed together the end. Boy was I wrong. Because a few chapters later I was riveted to my Kindle and couldn’t believe what a complex character John turns out to be.
He has very dark demons. He is a very, very tormented man. He writes young adult adventure books, with furry little monsters, yet those little monsters are actually his dark, scary childhood rearing its ugly head. His demons present themselves in a variety of ways. From lashing out at Livvy, or at himself, or at his beloved sister. To closing down and not letting anyone near him. Cowering at an unexpected slight touch. There are points where he is SO brutal to Livvy. Yet, he can compartmentalize, pushing those demons to the back and can be a charming, loving human being. Livvy recognizes this from the start (maybe even a little too understanding) and decides she wants to be there for him..through bad and good. Livvy for the most part is an extremely understanding woman. She has a father who had numerous affairs, so her jealousy does come into play, but for a man who she comes to love quite quickly, she is extremely patient when his dark side comes out.
Even when John admits to being in love with Livvy, things are not magically better. Love does not cure the demons – his torture is still present, and it is just another reason why I think John is so well written. Bottom line is – John is not always an easy hero to like. But I believed in his pain, I believed in his demons. Therefore, I believed in his actions.
I wish the ending resolution would have played out just a little longer. John crosses some big lines, and Livvy trusts him very quickly again. I believe in their love for each other, I just would have wanted a little bit more time for them to evolve back into a serious couple. We also get a glimpse into the wonderful world John writes – it mirrors what is happening in his real life and I really think it adds so much to this story.
Sweet as Sin really blew me away. I loved it and I hope it finds its way to you.