ARC Review: Anything But Sweet by Candis Terry
Anything But Sweet
by: Candis Terry
Publication Date: June 25, 2013
Publisher: Avon Books
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: Adult
Source: e-ARC provided by Edelweiss and the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Page Count: 384 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 4/5 stars
I'm really glad I got a copy of this off Edelweiss. It was a cute, light-hearted, read. I really enjoy books set in small towns that have the everyone knows everyone else and is all up in your business dynamic. I guess it's the Gilmore Girls fan in me of thinking how cool it would be to live somewhere to have a 'place' to go and have everyone know you. (Those of you that live in those types of towns are probably laughing at me right now to be real. That's ok. LOL.) I also love books about cowboys. Did I mention that Reno's a cowboy? Oh yeah.
This book alternates between both Reno and Charli's POV's, so we really get to see both sides, which I adore. As the synopsis states, Reno likes things the way they are. He doesn't like change. He lives by the motto, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." He's a former Marine, so he definitely is not a weak man at all. He has principles and expectations and doesn't want them to be impeded on. He has counted on stability and everything running like a well-oiled machine for years. Charli bursts onto the scene and all of that goes POOF!
Charli is such a fun character. Her job is to give towns a makeover to improve the state of things by doing renovations so they can bring in more revenue, etc. One of those places includes Reno's hardware store that has been passed down to him by his father. It has great sentimental value to him, which is why he is so irritated with her to start. Reno's first impression of her is that yes, she's attractive, but she's well-polished with her heels, clothing, and her prissy little dog. He sees that Hollywood persona and wants nothing to do with her. She however, also notices the rugged, handsome guy with the scowl on his face.
I loved the dynamic between these two. Watching Charli break down Reno's walls is worth reading in itself. There's a reason he doesn't like change and is so guarded and we find out those reasons a bit later in the book. There is definitely some serious sexual tension between these two. So naturally, the steam factor is quite high!
Charli and Reno both come from less than perfect family situations. Charli lost her mom at a young age and was forced to grow up with her strict military father. She found it to be quite lonely, never quite meeting her father's expectations. All her life she's been moved around, so it's no surprise that she longs for a place to settle down and call her own. Reno had a very difficult childhood in the beginning. However, it did get a lot better, due in part to his family now. I won't say much more because I definitely don't want to spoil anything for you. However, he is still haunted by his past and doesn't recognize his own self-worth. After getting over his initial dislike of 'Fancy Pants' (as he calls Charli), he begins to really fall for her, but keeps himself at arm's length because he thinks, "Nobody wanted-or needed- damaged goods."
We have a lot of fun side characters too. I loved Reno's mom, Jana, and her relationship with Charli. They get along so naturally and I think it's nice for Charli to have another female to spend time with besides her assistant, Sarah. Reno's brothers are also a lot of fun. They love to tease each other and you can tell just how close the brothers are. They are a close knit family and I loved watching them together.
Once the two finally give in to each other---- SIGH. I was swooning like crazy! However, with Charli only staying in town for a few more weeks- what does that mean for the pair?
Overall, this was a really enjoyable, cute read that I couldn't put down! The story did start off a little slow, and I did get a little bogged down by details, but it quickly righted itself to where I didn't have any problems continuing!
This is a great book about how change is inevitable but shows how it doesn't always have to turn out to be such a bad thing...