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BOOK REVIEW ~ SWEET BY TAMMARA WEBBER

He’s the love of her life, but he doesn’t know it.
She’s his one moment of sacrifice in a lifetime of survival.

He was damaged and wild, but resilient.
She’s always been obedient. Now she’s restless.

Home for the summer between college and med school, Pearl Torres Frank knows two things: Boyce Wynn is the embodiment of everything she should run from, and everything she wants to run to. Rebellious and loud. Unconcerned with society’s opinion of him. Passionate. Strong. Dangerous.

And one more trait he hides from everyone but her:
Sweet.

Ever since I read Easy and then Breakable a few weeks ago, I’ve been eagerly anticipating Boyce and Pearl’s story. From the moment they were introduced, they were characters that needed a book, not just because they were important side characters and a big part of Lucas Maxfield’s (hero from Easy + Breakable) life, but because behind their tough attitudes there were hidden secrets dying to claw their way to the surface and a story demanding to be told. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and while I did run into a few things I wasn’t too fond of, it was a winner for me. I’ve always been a fan of this author’s writing and it’s fantastic as usual, the story flow was great, and the romance was heartmelting. It’s definitely one of the better NA books I’ve read this year!

One of the reasons this book worked for me was because of the heroine Pearl. Even though she was in Breakable, I still didn’t get to know much about her and wasn’t too sure of her as the heroine. But my fears about Pearl quickly disappeared because while I loved Boyce, I loved her even more. I’m in the same age group as her and could relate to her personally as I am going through the exact same self-discovery process. The obstacles she faced with her family and the pressure she shouldered, along with struggling with what she wanted to do career-wise are all troubles that resonated with me deeply, and I feel like the author has really captured and portrayed that inner turmoil well.

As for Boyce, there wasn’t anything about him I didn’t love! With an alcoholic, abusive father, an absent mother, and a dead brother, Boyce learned the hard way that the only person he can count on is himself. It was so sad to read how he struggled in school and all the taunts he got, and little Boyce ignited a maternal instinct in me I didn’t even know I had. Even though he acted like a trouble-loving bad boy, it was evident that deep down he was a good guy, and his feelings for Pearl drove that point home.

I think the romance aspect of the book is what made me love the story even more, but also made me feel like some things were missing and I needed more depth in certain areas. Pearl and Boyce have a very special but complicated relationship. They knew each other since they were little kids and didn’t really cross paths until one fateful day Boyce pulls a drowning Pearl from the water and in that crucial moment, an understanding and connection is born. They operate in totally different social circles but there’s this silent agreement between them that they’d always watch out for each other. The way the author shows these scenes made my heart melt and the little romantic in me couldn’t wait for them to get older and finally get together 😉 Perhaps that’s why I was a little discouraged that the second half of the book didn’t have that much of a romance focus so there was a disconnect. However, it didn’t bother me too much because while the romance went behind the stage, the self-discovery process for Boyce and Pearl individually was developed well and I was a big fan of that. Nowadays, I read too many NA books that just throw sex and insta-love at me with no real story plot or depth to it so I appreciated and savored the scenes where Boyce and Pearl were maturing as individuals while at the same time, letting their longtime dormant feelings for each other awaken.

As mentioned before, I love this author’s writing! She writes in a descriptive and detailed way that’s never flowery or overwhelming and in this book, she breathes life into Boyce and Pearl’s sleepy little hometown. When she describes the beach and Boyce and Pearl’s special spot, I know it. I can smell the ocean air and feel the sand cushioning my feet. I love it when authors can transport me into the world of their stories and it’s what this author does for me. I recommend this book for those that are fans of slow-burn romances and don’t mind the kind of deep, heartwarming character self-discovery processes that happen along the way

Sweet is a NA romance standalone. While it’s connected to Easy and Breakable, you do not have to read either of those to read this book. Do I recommend reading them though? Sure! I love that I started this book already feeling a connection with the main characters because of the background knowledge I got beforehand but I promise you’ll be okay if you don’t read them