Sweet (True Believers #2)Jessica Sweet thought going away to college would finally make her free of her parents’ constant judgments and insistence she play chastity club role model for their church events, but if anything, the freedom has made her realize she can’t go home and be a hypocrite anymore. Tired of dodging their questions, she stays at school over the summer and lands in an unexpected crash pad: Riley Mann’s house.
by Erin McCarthy
Published: October 15, 2013
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
Sarcastic, cocky, and full of opinions, Riley is also sexy personified with tattoos and biceps earned from working as a roofer all day. Not the right guy for her even if Jessica was looking for a relationship, which she is definitely not. But Jessica knows that Riley hides the burden of having to raise his younger brothers behind that grin and as she helps him get his house in order for a custody hearing, they begin to fall hard for each other, and she is forced to question what she’s hiding herself.
Jessica has never had a problem getting naked with a guy, but when it comes to showing Riley how she truly feels inside, her fear of rejection may just ruin the best thing—the best guy—to ever happen to her…
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Author Erin McCarthy
Thanks for having me!
Where did you get your idea for the True Believers series, and do you know yet how many books are planned in the series?
Honestly, that is the hardest question for me, because I never have an answer. I don’t know where my ideas come from… they just gradually develop. Which is so lame to read, but it is the truth. ;) There are four books planned for the series. BELIEVE will be out in January and the fourth in June 2014.
Can Sweet be read as a stand alone?
Definitely. I’m sure it’s more fun to see TRUE first but you won’t be lost without reading it. Everything about their history is explained.
Do you have a favorite scene or quote from Sweet that you can share with us?
I actually love when Riley goes and checks the house for the intruder and/or demon Jessica thinks is in the house. A good man gets out of his warm bed and checks whether he wants to or not, and I think Jess starts to realize behind the snark he is a good guy.
You’ve written a lot of books. Can you tell us which character in your books has been your favorite to write, and what character has been your most challenging?
I don’t think I have a hand’s down winner favorite character that I’ve written but I am pretty damn fond of Elec Monroe from Flat Out Sexy, Danny Tucker from Heiress for Hire, and Tyler Mann from TRUE. They are all those solid and reliable guys, very loyal. Writing Tuesday from SLOW RIDE was hard for me, because those feelings of loss over her father to cancer were my feelings. I didn’t end up drinking, but it was very difficult to lose my father and I revisited all of that in writing Tuesday.
Who is your favorite book couple?
Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett. I will always swoon over Mr. Darcy, no matter how many freaking times I read Pride and Prejudice.
Balancing you time between writing, family, and fun must be difficult. How do you manage?
My kids are older, so it’s way easier for me these days. My daughter is studying abroad in Ireland and my son is a senior in high school with a driver’s license and an active social life. So I work what averages out to about 40 hours a week, then my time is mine for the most part.
What is something that people would be surprised to know about you?
I’m allergic to chocolate. Don’t worry, I don’t feel like I’m missing anything. Otherwise, I’m sure I’m not much of a surprise. What you see if what you get.
This or That:
E-books or print copies? Both. I prefer to read fiction in print and nonfiction in e-book.
Facebook or Twitter?
Both. I interact more with readers on FB and more with authors on Twitter.
Beach or Mountains?
Beach, hands down. Mountains make me feel claustrophobic.
Talk or Text?
Who am I communicating with? Lol. I do both. Mom always gets a phone call but I text with my kids and friends.
Thanks so much for stopping by today Erin. It was great talking with you.
Erin McCarthy is the USA Today bestselling author of more than 40 novels and novellas in the paranormal, contemporary romance, and young adult genres. The author is a RITA award finalist and an American Library Association winner of the Reluctant Young Reader award. She lives in Ohio.
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My Thoughts: It's summer break and Jessica Sweet finds herself wanting to do anything but go home. Her dad is a minister and her parents want to force her into a life of their choosing, making her into their image of the perfect girl and future minister's wife. This is so not Jessica, so she concocts a scheme to stay for the summer, convincing her parents that she is going on a mission trip to build houses for the poor. Now she just has to find a place to stay for a week or so until she can move into her apartment. Jessica is snarky, likes to party, likes guys, and doesn't do relationships. Riley Mann is the older brother of Jessica's friend Tyler. He is hot, tattooed, cocky, and is pretty much the male version of Jessica, and they really don't get along. Tyler offers to let Jessica stay at their house while he and his younger brothers are gone for a week. There's one catch, Riley is the one who lives there and who Jessica will be staying with.
"Your sarcasm is annoying..."
"Why? Because it reminds you of yourself?"
"That's entirely possible..."
Needless to say, the stage is set for a very interesting and entertaining time. Being so much alike, they totally get each other and can dish it out as well as take it. They even found that they enjoyed being around each other. I loved Riley. He is the oldest of the Mann brothers, and has taken responsibility for them since his mother died, actually a lot longer than that. Riley doesn't do relationships either and isn't looking for one. As the week progresses, Jessica finds herself having feelings for Riley they go beyond just physical attraction. Meanwhile, Riley is having the same feelings. Being they neither one really know how to do relationships, it is quite entertaining to see how things play out between them.
“I guess we’re both f***ed, huh?” “Looks that way.” “Then I guess it’s a damn good thing we found each other.” It was.
One of the things I enjoyed most about this book was the banter that went on between Jessica and Riley.
For a long minute he studied me, his eyes dark in the harsh light of the kitchen, and I held my breath, wondering what he was thinking, wanting him to say something…important. “Maybe.” His gaze dropped. “I never realized how big your tits are. Damn, all this yellow is really distracting.”
Yeah. That wasn’t it.
Riley lived in a run down house in a bad neighborhood. He worked hard to get by and he and his brothers didn't have much money. Jessica, on the other hand, was raised wealthy, never wanting for anything, so it really surprised Riley when she didn't act like the princess he thought she was. The sexual tension between the two is almost palpable. Jessica is ready to get down and dirty, while Riley wants to take things slow, which also made for some entertaining and tense moments. The book had lots of humor, but also some serious moments. Riley and Jessica had plenty of issues and didn't always deal with things in the best way. They had more than their share of challenges relationship-wise, yet they were so good for each other and totally supported each other. That isn't to say they didn't have their fights, because they did. Sweet is a really great contemporary romance that captured my attention from beginning to end. While Jessica might not seem like a likable character to some, I totally got her and liked her, and I loved Riley. Play With Me is a great contemporary romance that isn't overly dramatic, but has just the right amount of angst and humor that keeps you hooked. I really enjoyed it and most definitely recommend it.
More Quotes I Liked:
Damn it. Why couldn't he be an idiot? It would be much easier to manipulate him that way.
"What the hell are you doing? Are you going to eat that or just pick it to death?"
"I'm not really hungry," I lied. He shook his head. "I can hear your stomach growling. Are you worried about gaining weight? Christ, you girls drive me crazy."
"Easy for you to say, but we all know everyone hates the fat chick."
"You're hot. Stop worrying about it.....You have a great body."
I wasn't sure how to react to that. He didn't sound at all like he was flirting with me. He sounded more like a best friend, like Kylie or Rory..........my gay friend Devin just flat out told me that I could become a heifer if I wasn't careful, that it was in my genes. I carried the predisposed heifer DNA strand apparently.
Hell, if this was dating, I could do this, no problem. It wasn't much different than how we had been two days ago. I felt a weightiness of the word "relationship." Obviously, it mean different things depending on the people involved, and Riley and I were not moony-eyed, let's carve each other's names with knives on our forearms kind of people. Nor did we need to be constantly petting and grooming each other like Tyler and Rory, or using smoochie-woochie, fakie-wakie words like Kylie and Nathan.
...There was a pause where I could tell he was lighting a cigarette because there was a muffled rustling as his shoulder connected with the phone I wondered when his birthday was, because I wanted to buy him a nicotine patch.
So this was a townie bar. it was dark, with a full display of liquor bottles behind the bar, the chairs cracked vinyl. It was nothing like the dance clubs we always went to, but more like what you see in movies, where hairy loggers are grabbing a beer before the zombie apocalypse.
When Rory Macintosh’s roommates find out that their studious and shy friend has never been with a guy, they decide that, as an act of kindness they’ll help her lose her virginity by hiring confident, tattooed bad boy Tyler Mann to do the job…unbeknownst to Rory.
Tyler knows he’s not good enough for Rory. She’s smart, doctor smart, while he’s barely scraping by at his EMT program, hoping to pull his younger brothers out of the hell their druggy mother has left them in. But he can’t resist taking up her roommates on an opportunity to get to know her better. There’s something about her honesty that keeps him coming back when he knows he shouldn’t…
Torn between common sense and desire, the two find themselves caught up in a passionate relationship. But when Tyler’s broken family threatens to destroy his future, and hers, Rory will need to decide whether to cut her ties to his risky world or follow her heart, no matter what the cost…