Published by Montlake on 9th March 2021
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Life for Emma isn’t good. The world knows her as Princess Anya on Dark Castle, but then her character gets the axe—literally. The cherry on top is finding her boyfriend in bed with another woman. She needs a break, and sanctuary comes in the form of Rosemont, a gorgeous estate in California promising rest and relaxation.
Then she meets the owner’s equally gorgeous grandson, ex–hockey player and current recluse Lucian Osmond, and she sees her own pain and yearning reflected in his eyes.
He’s charming when he wants to be but also secretive and gruff, with protective walls as thick as Emma’s own. Despite a growing attraction, they avoid each other.
But then there’s an impromptu nighttime skinny-dip, and Lucian’s luscious homemade tarts and cream cakes start arriving at Emma’s door, tempting her to taste life again…
In trying to stay apart, they only grow closer—and their broken pieces just might fit together and make them whole.
I didn’t quite know that “Make it Sweet” was a tangential sequel to “Dear Enemy” which I liked a lot…all the better when the familiar names started coming back. In this case, the link to the first book is Macon Saint’s co-star Emma Maron who’s been booted out from the show unceremoniously and is now licking her wounds in a private estate where no one can find her. Except that there’s also someone else famous there who’s in hiding: Lucian Osmond, a famous ex-hockey player who’s recuperating and licking his own wounds in private.
And that is what carries the entire plot for a time. And it was one that made me a little disconnected from it reading about the fictional lives of two famous characters who live the high life yet are unhappy about their own…and in many ways, behave like teens trying to navigate their way around growing up.
Kristen Callihan piles on the sexual attraction hot and heavy from the very start—along with detailed descriptions of each protagonist’s inability to breathe because of the other’s attractiveness ad nauseam—which laid the direction in which I thought the book was going to go: mostly one where Emma and Lucian fantasise about each other’s hot bodies and getting flustered as a result even as they try avoiding each other (we all know how that’s going to go, obviously).
‘Make It Sweet’ definitely took a bit of a different turn than I thought it would despite the blurb. For a chapter that started with the sweaty, heart-pounding scene of competitive sport being played, it was soon replaced by a sweet-ish lull that concentrated on an ex-hockey player who kept on baking and showing off his delicious treats to Emma (in secret, of course) which made this feel more like a lush, erotic travel-romance-and-a-fling with some food porn thrown in sort of tale. Callihan does manage to make it mostly engaging, though with a journey that’s so mellow, it’s not that much of a stand-out.