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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Book Review and Three Copies Giveaway: How Sweet It Is by Sophie Gunn

There are some unusual conflicts in this sweet story.
How Sweet It is by Sophie Gunn
  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Forever; Original edition (January 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446561991
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446561990
     Price:  Paperback $7.99; Kindle $7.99
     Genre: Contemporary  Romance
     My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0

Product Description
Single mom Lizzie Bea Carpenter learned long ago that no white knight was coming to save her. A hardworking waitress at the local diner, she's raising her daughter to be like the independent women in her "Enemy Club"--high school rivals turned best friends, promising to always tell each other the whole truth and nothing but!

Yet part of Lizzie wishes she did have a man's help, just for small stuff, like fixing up the house. Her fairy godmother must have been listening, because Dante "Tay" Giovanni soon appears. He's sexy, kind, and offering assistance--no strings attached.

Slowly, steadily, Lizzie's heart opens. But the grip of the past is fierce, and nothing in life is ever really free. Tay has his own tragedies to overcome, but if he can, he'll fix more than Lizzie's home. He'll show her just how sweet it is to be loved by him.

This is a “sweet” story filled with likable characters and surprise twists to the end.

Lizzie is a likable character although stubbornly independent. Living in a small town she has had to bear the stigma as an unwed mother since being left pregnant her senior year of high school. She is fortunate to have inherited her small family home but she has been unable to afford to properly maintain the property so it has become a bit ramshackled.  But 14 year old Paige wants the house fixed up to impress her father who is coming to meet her at Christmas.

Tay happens to be in the diner and overhears Lizzie’s wish for a handyman when she announces it to her three friends in the “enemy club.” Tay came to town to deliver money to the daughter of the woman he killed in a car accident.  The daughter wants nothing to do with him and claims she will throw the money into the gorges the town is known for. Tay tries to find the money during his insomniac nights walking the streets. While the lost money creates its own set of  problems, Tay begins to work on Lizzie’s house as a way to use his time and ease his conscience.

Lizzie insists she is being independent and not relying on a man.  Yet she consistently calls on her brother-in-law, Tommy, which creates friction with her own sister, Annie. Annie is suffering from postpartum depression and there is an added conflict involving Annie's jealousy of Lizzie. 

Lizzie doesn’t want to accept charity from Tay but she is unexpectedly attracted to his muscles as he fixes her gate and fence. Lizzie and Tay are drawn to each other and I like the dialogue especially with the pensive Tay. But can Lizzie overcome her stand of accepting no help and can Tay overcome his guilt to be able to consider a future?

Tay is a difficult character because of his depression and guilt. However his underlying strength and kindness seep through.  I also liked the secondary characters in the “enemy club.”

I’m not sure the blurb really prepared me for this read.  I expected it to be light and perhaps funny. It is light and has warm humor but it is not really funny.  It raises two very serious questions:
1. What would you do if you caused a car accident that killed someone and how would you overcome the guilt from that event?
2. What would you do if you found a duffel bag full of two Hundred Thousand dollars?

The author has done a good job of creating good characters and weaving a warm and interesting story around these two issues. I enjoyed the forgiveness struggles and the second chances presented. I would enjoy reading more from Ms. Gunn and recommend this book as an entertaining and quick read.

Thank you to Hachette for this book to read and for providing three copies for giveaway.
1. Visit the Author's website or check out Five Fun Facts and tell me something you found interesting;
One of these is required for entry.  If you do both it will count as two entries.
Make sure you leave your e-mail address!

2.  For another entry comment on the Author's Guest Post.

3.  For another entry answer the Question: What would you do if you found $200,000.00?

4.  For an extra entry, become a follower or tell me if you are already a follower.

5. For two entries, blog, facebook, tweet (any of those networks!) about this giveaway and tell me where you did.

It isn't necessary to use separate entries unless you want them in different chronological order.
(Seven total entries possible.) MAKE SURE YOU LEAVE YOUR E-MAIL!

* This contest is only open to residents of US and Canada.
* No P.O. Boxes Please - for shipping reasons.
* Limit one win per household.
* This contest will close 10 PM (Central) on February 18, 2011.
The winners will be randomly selected from all entries.

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