Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “Hope you brought your A-game, Whitney.”
10 years ago, the love of Saylor Rodgers’s life left without so much as a goodbye. A year ago she broke her engagement because once again she wasn’t what someone wanted. Now she sits staring at an invitation to her ex fiance’s wedding. In her curiosity, she RSVPs. Now she is stuck attending a wedding she doesn’t want to attend and no one to attend it with. That is until her first love sweeps through the door of her bakery.
Hayes Whitley, mega movie star and heart-throb to millions, knew he broke Saylor’s heart when he left town after graduation to pursue his dreams. When her brother emails him, reminding him of a debt he owns, Hayes drops everything to come home to help Saylor. But Saylor isn’t the starry-eyed girl he left behind. Saylor doesn’t want his help. In fact, she doesn’t want him at all.
Saylor agrees to let Hayes escort her to the wedding and spend the week with him; taking a much-needed break from her business. But what starts out as a friend helping a friend turns into more as old feelings resurface and this couple has to decide if they can build on what they started so long ago…or finally let each other go.
Sweet Cheeks by K. Bromberg is a stand-alone second chance romance that delights the reader with it’s cheeky humorous narrative, engaging protagonists, and simmering sexual tension. I’m a huge fan of second chance romances that start out on an antagonistic base. There is something infinitely appealing watching a couple revisit the history of their failed relationship and discover what went wrong as their emotional tinted glasses fall to the wayside. The well plotted storyline flows at a steady pace; interjecting humor and bittersweet moments as two high school sweethearts are reluctantly reunited after ten years.
Our story opens with Saylor Rodgers who owns a cupcake bakery called Sweet Cheeks. She is struggling due to the bad press her business has received after she broke off her engagement with the town’s most eligible and influential bachelor. When she receives an invitation to her ex fiance’s wedding, she’s shocked and yes, hurt, that everything from the paper the invitation is printed on to the wedding destination is exactly what she had planned. In a moment of anger, she RSVP’s and plus ones and places it aside, never thinking her assistant would actually mail it.
“It’s one thing to envision Mitch panicking. It’s another to find out the RSVP was actually mailed.”
When her ex-boyfriend, Hollywood hottie Hayes Whitley walks into her bakery, Saylor is an epic mess of emotions. She correctly guesses her brother contacted Hayes to ask him to help her out of this mess and she lets loose ten years of anger, pain, and sorrow. Hayes thinks fast on his feet, claiming ignorance of her predicament while struggling to accept that he may not be able to charm his way back into her life.
I loved Hayes and Saylor. Their romance was sweet, snarky, sexy, and heartbreaking. Strong chemistry and steamy panty dropping passion saturated the story, assuring readers that no matter what happened in the past, this couple aren’t over one another.
“My pace, Saylor. Not yours. I’m in control now. You may own pieces of me you never even knew, but right now, I’m going to own you. Every single part of you.”
The slow journey towards discovery, forgiveness, and ultimately love controls a large portion of the storyline. Bromberg builds the story, effectively commuting to readers how these two have suffered. Saylor was grievously hurt by Hayes walking away and completely cutting off all contact though she didn’t let it overtake her life. She moved on, building a life and business for herself.
“Hayes Whitney was a part of my past. Is part of my past. […] Haynes Whitney became so much more than my big brother’s best friend. He became my first crush. Then later my first love. And later my first heartbreak.”
Hayes expects the same girl he left behind and is surprised and turned on by the strong, sarcastic, independent woman she has become. Though he comes off as the villain, in the beginning, our opinions change as Hayes slowly opens up to Saylor and explains the reasons behind for why he left the way he did. He’s not proud of how he handled it and doesn’t ask forgiveness but at the time it was the only way he could do.
“I knew we were young. Knew I did the right thing in chasing my dream since she was only seventeen and I was nineteen. But how selfish was I to leave without an explanation or a goodbye? Ass. Hole. And for that I deserved her understandable caution, every bit of her wrath, and every ounce of her hatred.”
Saylor has secretly been following Hayes’ life through the tabloids and has issues reconciling her best friend and the rumors she’s heard. She silently sits, waiting for him to cut and run again. There is no instant forgiveness on Saylors part. Even after his confession, Saylor has her doubts.
A strong main conflict and various subplots intertwine with the romance. This couple has to reacquaint themselves with the people they have grown into. It doesn’t help that Saylor and Hayes have external factors attempting to hinder their reconciliation. Saylor deals with hers at the wedding but Hayes’ issues are a little more difficult to settle. While I did feel Hayes situation was a bit melodramatic, Bromberg creates an effective back story to help ease its way into the storyline and maintain an air of realism.
The HEA is predictable though the journey itself is hilarious and fun to follow along with. Saylor learns how to ask for help and turns a negative situation into a fruitful opportunity. Hayes finally takes control of his life and paves the way for his and Saylor’s future.