5 out of 5 Chocolate Orgasms to SWEET AS SIN

Posted Oct 20 2011, 8:00 am in , , , , , , , , ,

This month, Book Hungry reviewed my pick, a contemporary romance called Sweet As Sin, written by Inez Kelley.

I’d first read (and posted a review of) this book last winter.  I love this story so much, I conned the rest of my Book Hungry sisters into making it this month’s pick AND invited Ms. Kelley to join us during our book discussion. She is a charming woman who intrigued us with glimpses into her writing process and shared her inspirations for the many components of this engaging story.

Here is the review I originally posted:

I ordered this book after visiting a blog where the recipe for Chocolate Orgasm Brownies was posted, believing the book to be like dessert – full of empty calories.

Not even close. Don’t let the title fool you; this story is NOT mind candy. SWEET AS SIN is a story about Livvy Andrews and John Murphy, neighbors who figure they’ll have a nice, no-strings-attached, summer fling. Livvy is a pastry chef and John is a writer of a best-selling young adult fantasy series about monsters. In the opening scene, John finds a scarlet red bra in his driveway and returns it to the owner of the house next door. There’s more than enough heat and double-entendre in this scene to convince you – “Yep, mind candy.”

Keep reading.

A few scenes later, John is quoting Bible passages and Livvy is trying hard not to see the pain in his eyes. This is a pair of deeply-layered characters, one more flawed than the other. Then, there are the sisters. Gina, John’s sister, and Andrea, Livvy’s sister. Both serve more than walk-on roles in the story that turns out to be more SIN than SWEET. Through Gina, we see John as protector and through Andrea, we see Livvy as best friend.

Without divulging many spoilers, I’ll say this – Livvy takes one look at her sexy new neighbor and immediately understands John is not a guy who’s interested in a commitment but decides to take him on anyway. She falls hard for him and he falls hard for her, but fights just as hard to deny it.

It’s the “why fight it” part of the story that holds the most sweetness. John is a deeply traumatized man. The stories he writes let us get glimpses into a mind so full of agony, your heart will ache for him even though he’s not real. While Livvy also bears scars of her own, hers do not induce anxiety attacks or flashbacks, as John’s do. He’s a complicated man who jealously and zealously protects those he loves. That Gina is a well-adjusted adult with a family of her own is a testament to how well John protects.

Those sound like wonderful traits but believe me, John manages to take both to extremes and nearly loses Livvy for them.

The love story in this book is written with equal parts sugar and spice – hot, hot spice. There is also a great deal of humor in it, so don’t be surprised to reach for a Kleenex a page before you’re giggling again. John’s latest story is also baked into the book and the scenes he writes always seem to reinforce the scene’s Kelley writes. Finally, there are various questions and little sub-texts sprinkled throughout that many authors fail to resolve. Kelley DOES and to great satisfaction.

This was a wonderfully complex story that reads like dessert but fills like a whole meal. Bon appetit!

There you have it. As much as I LOVED this book, not everyone in Book Hungry agreed with me. Read the rest of our reviews to get the flip side. But there was one thing we ALL agreed on: chatting with Inez Kelley was like getting to lick the bowl :)

Inez, thanks so much for joining us. I’m looking forward to reading Turn it Up!




4 responses to “5 out of 5 Chocolate Orgasms to SWEET AS SIN”

  1. abby says:

    though my personal opinion differs from yours, i really enjoyed your review, especially that last line. it’s true that this book is NOT the typical romance novel. thanks for picking a book that sparked such intense discussion amongst us!

  2. Kelly B says:

    I’m with Abby on this one. This book definitely got the book club talking. Plus I am totally making the brownies. Soon.

  3. yes! talking with Inez was great. she really made me feel like the characters were actual flesh and blood people that she just happened to be peeking at one summer

  4. When someone feels as passionately about a book as you obviously do, it always makes me want to at least take a look at it.