Judith’s review of Anything But Sweet by Candis Terry

HE’S STUBBORN AND THOROUGHLY MALE . . .

If Charlotte Brooks thinks she and her TV makeover show can turn Reno Wilder’s hometown upside down, he’ll be happy to prove her wrong. The x-Marine has seen too much turmoil and he likes Sweet, Texas, just the way it is. Traditional. Familiar. A little dull. Everything Charli isn’t. But instead of backing off from his scowls like everyone else, Charli digs in her skyscraper heels.

SHE’S TENACIOUS AND WICKEDLY TEMPTING . . .

Reno Wilder is a one-man unwelcoming committee, but Charli isn’t budging. It’s clear the gorgeous cowboy needs an overhaul just as much as Sweet. Someone needs to break him out of that gruff shell and show him how fun and rewarding a little change can be.

THEY’RE ABOUT TO FIND THAT LOVE IS ANYTHING BUT PREDICTABLE.

Change is never easy and even though most of us like to think of ourselves as open to change in some degree, when presented with the fact, that is something altogether different.  So it was with the hero in this really wonderful contemporary romance novel.  A man deeply hurt, grieving over the loss of special people in his life, trying so hard to keep his emotional balance by making sure everything stays exactly as it has always been, believing that if the externals change he will lose the connection he has with those he has lost.  Add in the fact that his military service has left him with scars.  He is most definitely NOT happy when Charli comes to town with her TV reality make-over show.  Yet this intrepid TV producer/designer keeps on pushing him, his buttons, his boundaries, along with his willingness to let her into his personal life and his bed.

This is a delightful story about people of all kinds, but mostly about two people who are trying to get through life without anymore hurt.  Charli has lost her faith in herself when it comes to men.  She has had enough of shattered feelings and that sense of never being good enough.  Reno is hanging on for dear life to his dead fiance, his dad, and all that represents these people for him.  He just can’t take the chance of moving on.  Yet he doesn’t really know what to do with this woman who has blown into his life like a tornado and who never leaves him in peace.  It’s another compelling look at the inner workings of the human heart and brought to us by an author who has written about contemporary American and its citizens in ways that so many of us really love.  Once again she has crafted a story that is thoughtful, populated by characters who are one of a kind, kept reader interest steady with twists and turns and some really hot loving.  One can’t really figure out where these two lovers are going as they seem to be headed in different directions.  And most of all, Charli is working toward her dream, wanting to find a place to call home and stop being a wanderer.  On the other hand Reno is so so stuck, wallowing in his fears and grief, resisting anything and anyone who want him to let go of all that is in the past and letting the past define his present.  (I know some people like that.)

So I highly recommend that anyone who wants to read a warm and wonderful love story between lovers who don’t know what to do with each other emotionally read this novel.  It’s one that I have decided is on my “read again in the near future” list.  It’s just that good.  I think you’ll like it as well.

I give it a rating of 4.25 out of 5.

You can read more from Judith at Dr J’s Book Place.

This book is available from Avon. You can buy it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher for an honest review.