Print copy published by William Morrow on July 8th, 2014
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Last summer readers were captivated by Stephanie Evanovich’s highly-anticipated New York Times bestselling debut novel, Big Girl Panties. This summer, Evanovich is back with THE SWEET SPOT, the sizzling story of two of readers’ favorite characters from Big Girl Panties: Chase Walker, the hunky professional baseball player, and his beautiful, curvy, and exceptionally sassy wife Amanda.
Amanda is a successful, levelheaded woman who built her restaurant from scratch. She’s certainly not looking for a prince charming to sweep her off her feet. So when Chase, baseball’s golden boy, begins to pursue her, she barely gives him the time of day. Her heart-shaped face and big blue eyes stop him dead in his tracks and her lush, plus-size curves don’t hurt either. And while Amanda’s used to celebrities and politicians dining at the Cold Creek Grille, she just can’t stop staring at Chase—he’s hotness personified.
At heart, Chase is a monogamist who likes strong women, despite his playboy image. Amanda is exactly the type he’s been looking to settle down with, but she won’t say yes easily. From daily visits to the restaurant to extravagant flower arrangements, Chase will stop at nothing to persuade her to go out with him—and he finally succeeds!
For Amanda their romance is all too good to be true, and something has got to give. Can Chase really be this perfect? And then she discovers that squeaky-clean Chase Walker has a spicy little kink. While readers of Big Girl Panties will remember it quite well, Chase’s fans have no idea that off the field, he likes to indulge in a little passionate spanking from time to time.
To her surprise, Amanda discovers a naughty side she never knew she had. But then, thanks to a tabloid, their secret comes to light and becomes the nation’s favorite water-cooler gossip. Will Amanda give up a little bit of her single-girl freedom for true love with a twist? Or will the pressure of Chase’s stardom spell doom for this sexy couple?
THE SWEET SPOT is an incredibly sexy and charming story filled with wit, fun, and extra-spicy romance. This is the perfect follow-up to Big Girl Panties and undoubtedly a great choice for summer reading.
*This was an ARC provided to me for free in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and comments are my own.*
The Sweet Spot by Stephanie Evanonich is one of those books you take to the beach, lay back and enjoy. The story is a prequel to Big Girl Panties which I have not read. However, I’m kind of curious after reading The Sweet Spot. I liked the story well enough, but there were things I could have done without. The beginning of the book is charming and sweet, the middle takes somewhat of a dark turn and kind of fell a bit flat for me, but the author redeemed herself with the ending — though I felt that part was a bit rushed and the struggles that go the couple to that ending didn’t sit with me as a necessary struggle. There is a lot I want to say, but I’m struggling with how best to word it without giving away much of the story, though if you’ve read Big Girl Panties it’s safe to assume you know the outcome.
The story is about professional baseball player Chase Walker and business owner Amanda Cole. Chase is instantly smitten, but Amanda takes some convincing before she agrees to a date. This date leads to a series of dates and a seemingly perfect relationship. Amanda came off as someone that self sabotages and although there were things that got in this couples way some didn’t make much sense to me. The courtship has sweet and witty moments, but I wasn’t impressed with Chase and his antics. He is definitely an alpha male, but his behavior throughout the book both annoyed and turned me off. Amanda is a character you will either love or hate. She frustrated me and added unnecessary drama to what could have been a fairly stable and exciting relationship, but she was also a woman I admired in a way. She ran a successful business and her independence was important to her, but there is a fine line with this for me and some things seemed a bit too old fashioned for my liking.
The author sets the reader up for expectations that were not delivered as well as I hoped. The book is entertaining, there are funny moments and playful banter between the couple, but I wasn’t on the edge of my seat. I just felt disconnected at certain points and the book felt rushed in many ways. The erotic aspect of this book never made me feel as though it were a good thing for these two in fact it felt wrong in some ways due to Amanda’s reactions. What should have been something that brought this couple together actually managed to pull them apart and I’m not convinced the reasons were major enough to cause the turn of events that occurred.
This read was ok for me. I won’t lie to you though, I was a bit disappointed. Their relationship left much to be desired as things progressed quickly. Chase remained sweet and loving in many ways but the alpha male side wasn’t the typical dominating sexy male I’ve come to love in other books. This was different and I think maybe that’s why I gave it a chance and still feel it’s worth a read. Other than Chase working hard to get Amanda’s attention, I felt the story could’ve been developed a bit better. The erotic moments weren’t as fun and playful as expected.
OVERALL I’d give this book a 3 star rating and recommend it to anyone who is a fan of Big Girl Panties and a sweet romance with a bit cleaner erotic moments thrown in.
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Stephanie Evanovich is a full-fledged Jersey girl from Asbury Park who began writing fiction while waiting for her cues during countless community theater projects. She attended New York Conservatory for the Dramatic Arts and acted in several improvisational troupes and a few small-budget movies, all in preparation for the greatest job she ever had, raising her two sons. Now a full-time writer, she’s an avid sports fan who holds a black belt in tae kwon do.