Dec 21, 2011

Posted by in Reviews | 5 Comments

Review: Sweet Inspiration by Penny Watson (Klaus Brothers #1)

Contemporary (Paranormal ?) Romance
December 2 2009
209 pages
The Wild Rose Press

Yummy Man – Nicholas Klaus
Kick Ass Chick – Lucy Anne Brewster

From Goodreads –
What if the legend of Santa Claus is in fact, true? What if Santa has five big strapping sons who help him run his empire? Five single, sexy sons looking for romance…

Nicholas Klaus is a master pastry chef, a strict disciplinarian, and the eldest son of the legendary Santa Claus. One look at café owner Lucy Brewster sends him into an unexpected tailspin of lusty desires. When Lucy is injured, Nicholas makes a decision that catapults both of their lives into turmoil ….

Lucy Brewster, the free-spirited proprietor of Sweet Inspiration, has a flair for concocting sugary confections but no time for adventure. She gets more than she bargained for when she awakens in the North Pole…rambunctious elves, a fitness-obsessed Santa, and the man of her dreams. Does she have what it takes to become the next Mrs. Klaus?


Sweet Inspiration is the first book in Penny Watson’s Klaus Brothers series.  I’m going to be doing one of my point form reviews for this book because no matter how hard I try, I keep making this book sound worst than it is.  Yes, I didn’t rate it particularly high, but there are reasons for that.  It does not mean that this was a terrible book.  So I figure the point form way of reviewing will work best with this title.  Let’s start with a quick recap of events:

Nicholas is a master baker.  He loves to cook and adores to bake.  He has been told that a little bakery in a small town in New York makes really yummy sugar cookies and decides to go see for himself.  Once he arrives, he is immediately taken by the owner of the shop, Lucy.  Oh, and by the way, Nicholas happens to be Santa’s eldest son.  After a terrible accident, Nicholas brings Lucy to the North Pole even though he’s really not supposed to.

What I disliked about this book:  (I thought I would start with this list)

Nicholas.  I could place parts of him in both lists because I can’t say I completely disliked him, but he really wasn’t my most favorite person most of the time.  He really was all over the map in this book.  One moment he is an anal retentive jerk and the next he is showing a bit of a softer side.  I didn’t love either personality completely though.  I liked his loyalty and how he is apparently very supportive of his brothers and his family (and I say apparently because we hear about this but don’t really get to see it).  But overall I did not click with him.

Lucy.  I could place parts of her in both lists too.  I enjoyed her warmth.  She really is someone you just want to go and give a hug to because she’s just so darned cute!  But she cried.  A lot.  And her emotions were a little too out there.  And she fell for Nicholas even though he’s a big snotty jerk a lot of the time and she fell in record time claiming he was the man of her dreams and all that jazz.  Hmm…really?

The emotion.  I just mentioned that Lucy’s emotions were a bit much, but it wasn’t only her.  I found pretty much every character to be a little too much when it came to expressing their feelings.  Now this one ties in with the next thing on my list…

The dialogue.  Whether internal or spoken aloud, I found the dialogue to be too much.  It was too sappy or too desperate or too sweet.   I found it was difficult to find a nice sweet line without wanting to roll my eyes a little bit.  This book was written like an old-school romance novel where everything is just a little too over the top.

The dude has a beard.  Actually, all the dudes have beards.  This is just a little thing and it’s totally a ME thing.  I am not big into men who have a full beard.  I’m just not drawn to them.  Nicholas has a thick, full beard.  Now, if there is a physical trait about a character that I’m just not into, I usually just ignore it and imagine him or her looking more like someone who would suit my preferences.  But it was hard to ignore the beard when it was mentioned over.  And over.  And over.  Again, this is just a me thing.  It has nothing to do with the story.  It’s just me.

I found parts of the story to flow really well and others to be almost choppy.  And that’s all I really have to say about that.

What I liked about this book:

I could really feel the passion that the two main characters have for their craft.  They are both bakers and both adore what they do.  It was easy to feel excited right alongside them when they would bake something that turned out well.

I liked how the story ended up not quite as predictable as you would think.  Seeing that Nicholas is Santa’s eldest son, he is to take over when dad is ready to retire.  He would rather not but he will because he must.  So these questions come up:  Will he take over?  If yes, how will he do?  If no, who will?  How will they do?  That part was really well done.

I LOVED the imagination behind this world and this story.  Santa is NOTHING like you imagined and neither is Mrs. Klaus/Claus.  How they came about and how they live with the elves, the magic, the sleighs…everything about this world is really neat.

The other Klaus boys.  They seem more approachable than Nicholas.  And for that very reason, I will be reading the second book in this series probably next Christmas.  I am assuming that by then, the third book, Sweet Adventure, will be out too.

I have heard that in the next book, Sweet Magik, the author’s voice has matured a bit and that it’s less sickly-sweet.  That is good because I really do want to read it.   Especially because it’s Oskar’s book, the baby of the family!  I liked him a whole bunch and want to know about who steals his heart.

All in all, I had trouble getting past the over-done emotion in this book but the world and the brothers kept me going.  I am anxious to see this author bloom as a writer and to see how her wholly imaginative world develops.

2.5 stars

  1. I’m not so sure about this book… Beards… not thank you, actually with that completely waxed chest cover I can imagine a guy with a beard…
    Great and honest review.

  2. Not just a YOU thing, because I totally agree with the whole beard thing. ICK! LOL… That alone would be enough to turn me off to this book, but add in everything else you mentioned & I will definitely be skipping this title. Thanks for the review!!

  3. I’m kind of sad you didn’t like this book more. Maybe the next in the series will be more your cup of tea.

  4. Sickly-sweet, hm…well I guess I gotta try and see for myself since I do got this one

  5. Hmm, I also dislike men with beards, especially those full ones. A very short, stubbly one can be sexy. And the over the top emotions and dialogue, well that is not my favourite thing either. Don’t know if I would have finished this one.

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