by Susan Mallery

August 2008
ISBN: 978-0-373-77314-5
Reviewer Graphic Button HQN
Mass Market Paperback

Ever since Nicole Keyes found her husband in bed with her younger sister, Jesse, Nicole has been leading a very lonely and angry life. Jesse’s absence from her life is a constant ache but is also a deep source of anger and insecurity for Nicole. But as much as she would like to wallow in those feelings, Nicole knows she has to keep going. Besides, she is darn sick of everyone looking at her with pity. That is why she has decided to show a certain man just what she is made of.

Former NFL football player Eric “Hawk” Hawkins has been eyeing up Nicole since the first time they met. The tension and sexual spark between them is definitely hot but Nicole has been rebuffing his advances, even as she becomes closer to Hawk and one of his football players. Nicole has decided it is time to take Hawk up on the sexy looks he has been offering her. A fake relationship is the perfect ruse to get her twin sister off her back about being lonely and sad, and if Nicole can get a few hot kisses, or more, from Hawk in the meantime, what is the harm?

Nicole has no plans to lose her heart. Hawk has no plans to settle down again. He has lived and loved once. But love has a funny way of changing even the most obstinate of minds.

Sweet Spot is the second story in Susan Mallery’s Bakery Sisters series. Nicole has been through a very tough time. She lost her sister and her husband in one fell swoop and though she is livid, Nicole is trying to move forward. Hiding behind that tough façade is a very broken heart, not so much over the loss of her marriage and husband, but over the bond and trust with her sister, Jesse. Hawk is a man who has led the good life in a lot of respects, but he has not always had it easy, thus he is able to identify with the rough patch Nicole is going through. Their connection grows throughout the story, from snappy comebacks, to shy flirting, to much more intimate encounters. Along the way, Nicole makes a few new friends to fill up some of the loneliness in her life.

What I like most about Susan Mallery books is that she tackles some difficult topics in a way that is real to life. Nicole has a lot of issues revolving around her sister Jesse and even at story’s end, those issues are not resolved. Nor is Hawk and Nicole’s romance perfect. There is anger, hurt, jealousy, but also a growing bond that shows these two can rely on each other even when some stupid choices are made.

Sweet Spot is a nice mix of sweet, tart, and bitter flavors. I enjoyed this story even more than the first. Nicole really emerged as a full-bodied character. Sweet Spot is spot on!

Reviewed in July 2008 by Sarah.

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