Review: Sweet as Sin by Inez Kelley
January 31 2011
Received from NetGalley
Yummy Man – John Murphy
Kick Ass Chick – Livvy Andrews
“John Murphy is tormented by nightmares. A bestselling young-adult author, he writes the ultimate fantasy: stories where good always triumphs. He knows better. His past has shown him the worst in people—and in himself. When he moves next door to the sexy, vibrant Livvy—a woman completely unlike his usual one-night stands—he’s driven to explore every curve of her delicious body.
Pastry chef Livvy knows that giving in to the temptation that is John Murphy won’t lead to anything permanent, but she deserves a passionate summer fling. John discovers she’s as sweet as the confections she bakes while Livvy slowly unravels his secrets. But what will happen when she uncovers them all?”
I have read a couple of Inez Kelley’s books before. Both were erotica titles. Both were hot and steamy stories filled with characters I enjoyed. I found Inez’s writing voice to be lovely. So I had a good feeling about Sweet as Sin. I knew I’d enjoy it. But I was wrong about enjoying this book. Inez managed to totally blow me away with this one. I didn’t just enjoy it, I loved it.
The story starts with John finding a red bra on the lawn of the house he just purchased. Looking up, he realizes that this lacy little number has escaped from the clothesline next door. Picking it up, he decides to go and introduce himself to his new neighbour. Honestly, when I read that, I assumed that this book was going to be like the other books by Inez Kelley that I have read. I was queuing up the ‘baow chicka wow wow’ music in my head. But I quickly put that record away. There was so much more to this story than steamy lovin’. There was a depth of character I was not expecting and a charm that took me by surprise.
I want to start by talking about John. John Murphy. *sigh* I really don’t know where to start. He has had a shit life. There is no other way to describe it. But he loves fiercely. His sister is his life. That is until he meets Livvy, his new neighbour. He’s completely torn between what his head tells him and what his heart tells him and what his gut tells him. Really, he’s a mess. But when he lets himself go, even just a little, that fierceness transforms itself to something softer and he becomes such a lovely man. I completely fell in love with John. He is such a complex man and every side of him intrigued me and pulled me in.
One side to John that particularly drew me was his writer side. John writes pre-teen books. They are filled with monsters and magic. These books are the biggest thing since Harry Potter. Occasionally while you’re reading Sweet as Sin, the story takes you to John’s writing and you find yourself reading parts of his latest manuscript. You suddenly realize that the monsters in his books represent different parts of himself and you find that his stories intertwine with his real life. It fascinating how Inez has done this and it adds yet another level to the story that made me love it all the more.
Now on to Livvy. She is one of the strongest women I’ve read in a contemporary romance book ever. She could very easily say ‘screw you John’. She could easily think that her life should be light and easy. But you don’t choose who you love and you sometimes have to stand up and fight for it. Ooze so much love and strength of character that the other person just can’t ignore it anymore. She is one hell of a gal. Patient and kind, smart and adorable. Livvy is a perfect match for John’s tortured soul.
Inez’s writing in this book was beautiful. That is the only word that seems to work. Her words painted such lovely pictures. The feelings these wonderful characters were dealing with and the situations they encountered just jumped off the page. Their emotions full of life.
Sweet as Sin totally surprised me. I must admit that I had not read the blurb before reading this. I saw Inez’s name on it and that was enough for me. I was pretty much expecting a light steamy read. But instead I got a heart wrenching but heart warming story about a lovely and tortured man, his monsters and the amazing woman who dared love him. As I mentioned at the beginning of this review, this book blew me away. It left me with tears in my eyes that threatened to pour out many times but also left me with a huge smile on my face. This story is beautiful. If you enjoy a real story with rich characters and writing that sings on the page, this is a must read.
Giggle worthy quotes
“She poked him in the ribs. ‘Stop. Go change. Where do you want to go for dinner?’
‘Anywhere you want. You pick. This is on me.’
‘Let’s order Chinese and stay in.’
Livvy deflated. ‘You are such a hermit.’
‘No, I’m horny.’
“The lid snapped shut sharply and he dropped his head back. ‘Shit.’
‘You said another bad word.’
He fixed his nephew with a sarcastic look. ‘Yes, PJ, I said another bad word.’
‘That’s okay. Mommy says that one.’
‘I probably thought it to her.’”
Swoon worthy quote
“I’ve never asked You for a damn thing but I’m asking now. Let me keep this.”