TITLE: Make It Sweet
AUTHOR: Kristen Callihan
GENRE: Contemporary romance
PUBLICATION DATE: February 23, 2021
Told in dual POVs, Make it sweet is an authentic and endearing love story about healing and learning to trust someone else with the broken pieces of yourself. It highlights a valuable lesson that a single aspect of yourself doesn’t define your whole identity and to always be prepared to change course if life decides to take you in another direction.
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.
The witty banter between both MCs was hilarious and had me smiling so many times. Listening to how they challenged and kept each other on their toes was entertaining. What makes Lucian and Emma’s love story so endearing is how it started as simple companionship – two broken souls learning to heal in their own way but with the help of each other. There were no ulterior motives that initiated their friendship, and this allowed them to be completely themselves.
Their romance isn’t smooth, but you can’t miss their chemistry and the longing they have to get to know each other better. They helped each other to let their guard down in such a beautiful way that you can’t help but root for their happily ever after.
Emma is sassy, sharp, and full of heart. She stands up for herself when she needs to but is also not afraid to be vulnerable.
Lucian is an ex-athlete with a passion for baking. He fortifies his emotions behind a steel wall after losing everything to a sports-related injury. The author did a great job of showing the thought process of someone whose dreams were ripped from their hands and the struggle to accept a new unknown future. I liked that he wasn’t the stereotypical athlete allowing the baking to show a softer side to him. Despite being the grumpy one, he was never rude or disrespectful (which is a pet peeve of mine when it comes to grumpy/sunshine tropes).
My favorite side character is Lucian’s meddling GRANDMOTHER. She doles out wisdom throughout the book and keeps everyone well-behaved without ever lifting a finger. She’s such a charming character that it’s hard to finish the book without her leaving a lasting impression on you.
The story progressed smoothly as the MCs learned to trust each other. It is a slow burn, but there were instances when it was really slow, and I got a bit bored. But the build of sexual tension between the MCs made for an entertaining read and was worth the wait when they finally gave in.
The ending, though predictable, was not done in an obvious way. And Lucian’s character development was done superbly. The author had him figure things out on his own without the pressure and influence of the other characters, which made the conflict resolution that much more satisfying.
The detailed descriptions of the pastries in this book made me hungry so many times. And as someone who watches many baking shows, I could recognize most of the desserts they were talking about, which made for a great immersive experience. Even if you’re not someone who enjoys or knows a lot about pastries, this book may just convert you into a pastry lover.
Make it sweet is an emotional, heartwarming story with as much sweetness as the pastries mentioned. If you have a sweet tooth for delicious French pastries and love real and honest characters, then Make It Sweet by Kristen Callihan is for you.
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