Published by: Amazon Digital Services
Format: Kindle ARC
Genre: New Adult Fiction
Reviewed by: Judith
Every time I crack open a new Tammara Webber novel, my internal monologue runs a little something like this: “HOLY $(&#$@$*#&$^! How can someone write this well? I mean, it shouldn’t be possible. Seriously, now, no one can write this well. Can they? Maaaaaaaaaan. She is killing this one with all these amazing words and feelings and…I really should go to sleep but…just one more chapter? Yeah, you convinced me. One more…okay, two. Two more. Aww, man, it’s 3 am?! And my book is done???”
Even if you end this review here, please remember: Tammara Webber’s Sweet? There’s no question. Get it, devour it, and thank me later.
Plot: 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.
Review: Now it’s no secret that I am a long time devotee of Tammara Webber. I have been reading her books for years, starting way back when she was first self publishing poignant YA/NA about teenage movie stars behaving badly. Her writing has always been lushly romantic and stunningly nuanced, enough so to make other writers look laughable. She has a rich turn of phrase that just clicks with me; her book mojo is legendary chez moi. With that in mind, I didn’t think it was possible to build upon greatness but Sweet is hands down Tammara Webber’s best work to date. The characters are remarkably vivid and real with a focus on the most compelling parts of New Adult – owning up to your own decisions, choosing a partner based on your own wants and desires not your family’s, and learning to accept who you are. It is breathtaking and sweeping and such a lovely, lovely read.
Boyce and Pearl have paths that have meshed and intertwined since they were children. Even though they were raised on opposite sides of the tracks, after saving Pearl from nearly drowning, Boyce sees himself as her protector and confidant; Pearl sees him as something inexplicably more. Their story is told from alternating points of view and from different times in their lives. The flashbacks allow us to see their relationship develop and grow in real time while the point of view shifts give a satisfying glimpse into both of their desires and motivations. When Pearl decides to give up her dream of becoming a doctor, one that she realizes early on is actually her mother’s, we see the strong woman she is and will become; when Boyce supports this decision and stands with her against her mother, he is the hero we all wish we could meet and keep in our lives.
The best part of this novel for me? Pearl is not a character who needs saving. Too often in NA I get a girl in need of a man. He’s there to help take on whatever burden she’s dealing with, give her an amazing time in bed, and basically save her from an awful life. Let’s get this straight: Pearl is not that kind of heroine. Far from it. She needs a real partner who is willing to accept who she is and who she’s becoming. Someone who sees her as an equal and is willing to love her. It is a thrilling ride to adulthood for Pearl and one Boyce is more than happy to tag along for.
This is a book well worth: 9/10. This is top-notch writing featuring a realistic and nuanced couple battling for a future. I have not read New Adult this spot on in ages.
Based on the following criteria:
How much did I like the hero: 10. Boyce is the quintessential NA hero. He is the protector who allows the heroine to live her own life and fight her own battles. He is sexy and demanding but not off putting. He works hard and while he doesn’t know what he wants from life, he knows he wants Pearl in it and he’ll do whatever he can to get her to stay.
How believable is the plot: 10. This is a tale as old as time – childhood friends grow up and finally turn into sweethearts. Tammara makes it sexy and believable and honest to god, we have all been there, hoping that some blast from our past would become more. This is 100% realistic.
How much did I like the writing style/editing/etc: 10. Tammara Webber pushes all my literary buttons. She has the vocabulary and turn of phrase to wow me; the lush world building to hook and keep me there. I don’t know how she does it but with one simple sentence she knows how to gut me thoroughly. She deserves highest praise for the writing alone.
How much did I want to keep reading: 8. A bulk of the story is the shared past of Boyce and Pearl while I wanted a bit more of their present. This made for a lot of eager page turning and frantic Kindle hitting. On the whole, it is a lovely read that will leave you wanting more.
Final Score: 9/10. Tammara Webber is the queen of fantastically written and beautifully crafted New Adult Fiction. She writes about topics and characters that deserve to be the focal point but are rarely touched upon by mainstream writers. She gives us diverse characters (among others, Pearl is Latina) and focuses on subjects far beyond the usual “why won’t he love me back?!” or “where is my alpha male?!”. It is a breath of fresh air and I, for one, cannot recommend Sweet highly enough. GET IT!