Desire So Sweet

Tonya Brooks
Desire So Sweet
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Release Date
September 2015
Book 1 of The Bad Baker Boys
Contemporary Romance

He thought he was a monster...
Jed Baker was a man who had lived through hell and had the internal scars to prove it. Then he met an innocent girl who gave his troubled soul peace, but he couldn't bear to taint her sweetness with the demons that drove him.

She knew he was a hero...
Ginny Lawson lived under the control of an abusive father who used her gentle nature and tender heart against her. She longed for someone to love her enough to save her, and when Jed rolled into town she knew that her hero had come.

Book Review by Victoria Lane (reviewer)
Feb 15, 2016   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
159 people found the following review helpful
DESIRE SO SWEET by Tonya Brooks tells a sweet and straightforward tale of how a hardened and damaged soul can be soothed by a sweet and caring one. I give it 3 stars, though I'd give it 3.5 if I could.

In the novel, Jed Baker returns from war with Survivor's Syndrome only to find that the peace he sought on his family mountain has died with his grandfather, Will, who raised him, and that Aunt Daisy, an aunt he's never met, has also died and left him an aged and decaying mansion named Breezeway. He arrives at Breezeway angry and on the verge of another breakdown only to be distracted by Ginny Lawson, whose sweet and cheery disposition is unaffected by his rude and callous behavior.

Aunt Daisy rescued four year-old Ginny from an angry and abusive father by acting as the mother Ginny never had, spending the days with her, and allowing her a childhood. Apparently, Aunt Daisy kept in touch with Will and shared all of Jed's military accomplishments with Ginny, causing hero-worship to the nth degree, and virtually guaranteeing Ginny that Jed would fall in love with her if she loved him and was patient with him. Aunt Daisy's wisdom was prophetic, and Ginny's sweet and sunny disposition eased Jed's mind and soul. When Ginny and Jed become close, Ginny's father throws a wrench in the plan, resulting in many grand revelations.

Overall, I enjoyed the novel. It was not a difficult read, and it also was not filled with overly narrated angst-ridden ruminations about how one person wasn't good enough for the other (such a pet peeve of mine in the romance genre). Conversations with Joe, Jed's last remaining teammate, reveal more of Jed's personality, character and thoughts about Ginny and life in general, which gives Joe the authority to step in and save his brother-in-arms when he needs it. All very nicely done without any contrivances. I liked the summary of Jed's history in the beginning. It was concise and provided excellent context for his actions and reactions throughout the rest of the novel.

The issues in the book that many might have issues with is the ten-year age gap between Jed and Ginny. Ginny is correct when she says that when Jed is 60 years old and she's 50, no one will notice, but at 27 and 17, there is a cognitive developmental difference between these two people. Yes, women mature quicker than men and she's only 2 months shy of her 18th birthday, but personally, I felt like Jed did in the beginning – that this was riding the line of pervy.

This novel is categorized as Young Adult. I would stress that the sexual content of the novel makes it appropriate to mature young adults, as in those who can watch R-rated movies without a parent or guardian present. In my opinion, the category should have been left at Contemporary Romance since the "Young Adult" category seems geared towards high school students. That's my understanding of the genre, anyway.

My last comment is about the time frame of the novel. At one point Ginny comments, "This was the eighties, after all." I may have missed it, but nowhere else in the novel did I get any indication as to what decade this novel is set in. So Ginny's comment gave me a bit of whiplash. This information could have easily been provided in the lovely background illustrating Jed's life growing up and clarified a few other minor aspects of the setting later in the novel.

Overall though, I enjoyed the novel and would recommend it for any adult looking for an uncomplicated and easy to read contemporary romance.
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