I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Harper Collins on September 29th, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Romance
Buy on Amazon, B&N, iBooks, Kobo, BAM
The amazing Stephanie Evanovich returns with The Sweet Spot, the sizzling story of everyone’s favorite couple from her New York Times bestseller Big Girl Panties: hunky professional baseball player Chase Walker and his sassy wife Amanda
When pro baseball player Chase Walker first meets Amanda at her restaurant, it’s love at first sight. While Amanda can’t help noticing the superstar with the Greek-god-build, he doesn’t have a chance of getting to first—or any other—base with her. A successful entrepreneur who’s built her business from scratch, Amanda doesn’t need a Prince Charming to sweep her off her feet. And a curvy girl who likes to cook and eat isn’t interested in being around the catty, stick-thin herd of females chasing Chase and his teammates. But Chase isn’t about to strike out. A man who isn’t interested in playing the field, he’s a monogamist who wants an independent woman like Amanda. His hopes rally when she
discovers that squeaky-clean Chase has a few sexy and very secret pre-game rituals that turn the smart, headstrong businesswoman on—and into his number one fan.Then a tabloid discovers the truth and turns their spanking good fun into a late- night punch-line.
Is Amanda ready to let loose and swing for the fences? Or will the pressure of Chase’s stardom force them to call it quits?
Warning: Spanking fetish and light BDSM elements
I went in expecting a cute story about a ball player who meets a hard working girl, falls in love, works through the struggles of fame and lives happily ever after. I was wrong. Looking back on the synopsis I can tell there’s a few hints to the nature of Chase’s “pre-game rituals”, but I honestly didn’t clue into what the real plot of this book was about until it just, well, happened..
I definitely am not the intended audience, so keeping that in mind..
Chase Walker, base ball-er extraordinaire, meets Amanda, restaurant owner extraordinaire, and immediately Chase knows he must have her. Amanda can’t believe someone as rich, famous and talented as Chase would want her double sized body, but slowly she learns to trust that Chase is in it for the long haul. In time Amanda begins to fall hard for the handsome base ball player against her better judgement. Unfortunately, Chase is hiding a secret fetish which could be Amanda’s liberation or her greatest nightmare.
I’m a huge believer that whatever happens in the bedrooms of others is none of my business. I mean, as long as everyone in the sexual relationship is aware and consensual to a specific proclivity/fetish/desire it’s a healthy relationship. I think that the light BDSM relationship in this novel, if you can call it that, needed to be a more prominent feature in the synopsis so that readers can ascertain whats really on the table before delving into Stephanie’s world. The whole thing kind of just happens and you’re left thinking: “Woah, where did this come from?!” I probably wouldn’t have read this book if I’d known that dominance romance was part of the equation. I don’t have issues with that sort of lifestyle, it just damages the romance for a vanilla like me.
I gave this novel 3 stars based on:
- The fact that the novel is a rather sweet story about a man who realizes he’s met the right girl and goes about making himself a nuisance in her life to get her attention. He spends every moment at her restaurant, befriends her staff and finally, the exasperated girl agrees to go on one date with him. The deal is if she doesn’t feel the same by the end of the first date he will leave her alone, but we all know how the story goes. It’s sweet and rather amusing. It’s endearing.
- This book was decently done for readers who enjoy these sorts of novels and is a extremely light version of Fifty Shades of Grey. Its great to see other authors enriching this genre and I can support that.
So, three stars for being interesting and doing a decent job at catering to Fifty’s market.
So, once I got over the fact that my cute romance story wasn’t as expected and I adjusted to the new reality The Sweet Spot became okay. It’s a book catered to a different market, but it has all the things to be a decent summer read for people who enjoy light spanking romance and dominant/submissive elements. My recommendation is if you enjoy dominance related romance or Fifty Shades of Grey for its “rich man with secret sexual interests falls for normal girl” theme I say go for it, otherwise The Sweet Spot probably isn’t for you.
This book will appeal to readers who enjoy light dominance romance, alternative narration styles and sports related romance. I would suggest this book to Fifty Shades of Grey lovers and people looking for new types of romantic relationships, but do not recommend to mainstream romance readers as it is not the intended audience.
“Cold Creek Grill. How may I help you?” She answered the phone as if her day was right as rain. She was a business woman, first and foremost.
“I need a reservation for tonight,” a gravelly voice barked into the phone. The caller was either on a cell phone with a bad connection or had a mouth full of marbles.
“Of course sir, what time are you looking for?”
“Seven,” he said impatiently and Amanda pictured him running to catch a subway.
“Let me make sure I have that available,” she told him, trying to buy time while she booted up the computer at the podium a few feet away. She moved the phone to the other side of her head, forgetting it was a war zone and her hair crackled near her ear.
“Trust me, sweetheart, you have a table available.”
“Sir?” She didn’t know what to be more offended by, his use of the word sweetheart or the underlying threat that she better be able to seat him. And she determined he was just some arrogant blowhard who was sitting with his feet up on his desk overlooking the water and a fat stogy in his mouth.
“A superstar is having dinner at your restaurant; you don’t want to make him wait.”
“All of our guests at the Cold Creek are VIPs Mr…?”
“Maybe I should speak to the owner?” he cut her off and she thought she heard more spit squish out of the end of his cigar.
“I am the owner. My name is Amanda Cole. To whom do I have the pleasure of speaking?”
“Don’t seat us someplace high traffic like near the front. He’s not there to be an advertisement. You’ll get your photo op.”
It sounded so scathing, like she was some sort of a bistro whore looking to make a buck, as if she would be interested in taking a picture with him in the first place. Supreme Court justices and past presidents dined at the Cold Creek without incident. “Mr. What-ever-your-name-is, I’m not only concerned for the comfort of our guests, but the safety of my staff. And we have had some high profile guests in the past. Several are regulars.”
“Yeah, yeah, I heard that. That’s why I’m calling. But lady, you never had anyone this big,” he said with an air of superiority that was nothing short of skin crawling. At least he had upgraded her to lady.
If he wasn’t being such a total jack-ass, she might have taken him more seriously. “Would you like to tell me who he is, so that I might inform security?” she said with overt sarcasm. He could either take being spoken to in kind, or he would start to ream her out and she would hang up on him and he could dine elsewhere, bad business or not.
There was a pause and she thought he may have hung up on her first. But then he said, “No. Better you don’t know till he gets there. Someone tips off TMZ and the night’s a bust. And he brings his own security”
“Will they be joining you for dinner?”
His laugh was particularly smarmy. “They’re not paid to eat.”
So he wasn’t only rude, he was also a tyrant. “That’s fine, sir, they can stand guard with mine.” Only hers were imaginary. She no longer cared if the computer was ready. It was a Weds, they were rarely fully booked, and this man and his famous guest seemed intent on dining there. He was probably going to be more aggravation than anything else, even if he was only half as self-important as his representative. “You’re all set, dinner for two at seven. Would you like to leave me a name or is there a code word or what?”
There was another pause, and once again Amanda was given the false hope that he may have hung up and saved her from a night of inconvenient distractions at the very least. But then she heard him on the other end, it sounded like a snort.
“You’re spunky, kid,” he told her. “Name under Alan Shaw. I’ll be there at 6:50. I don’t like to wait either. And make sure there are good steaks on hand, he’s a meat-eater.”