Sweet Cheeks by K. Bromberg, Narrated by Andi Arendt and Sebastian York

Sweet Cheeks by K. Bromberg, Narrated by Andi Arendt and Sebastian YorkSweet Cheeks by K. Bromberg

Narrator: Andi Arendt, Sebastian York
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Small Publisher on November 14, 2016
Length: 10 hours 44 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible
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three-half-stars      four-flames

An invitation to an ex-fiancé’s destination wedding and a whimsical decision to fill out the invite with a check in the plus-one box leads to a passionate and sassy second chance at romance.

Saylor ended a six-year relationship right before her wedding and can’t really give a solid reason why- that is, beyond the obvious that she doesn’t love him.  She has focused on her bakery and tried to keep her head down after the fall-out of ditching a man from one of the most powerful, wealthy families in town.  Now, she has an invitation- an invitation that she picked out- for a wedding she planned, but her name is not in the bride’s spot.

One impulsive move later brings her around to actually attending the wedding with her first love and now box office favorite Hayes Whitley pretending to be her boyfriend.  Her brother pushed her to go to save her reputation and her business.  She is going for closure, but it is Hayes’ reasons that have her all stirred up after all this time.  He said he loved her and then he walked away without a backward glance to pursue his dreams.  Now he wants to do this fake boyfriend role as a belated apology and to resurrect their friendship.

But once the event is over, Saylor knows the score.  Hayes will go back to Hollywood, she’ll return to her bakery, and life must go forward without him.  She doesn’t dare let him close or accept him back, but he’s Hayes and her heart might not give her a choice.

Alright, this one started out quite amusing.  Saylor impulsively fills out the invitation and her bakery assistant mails it by mistake.  I couldn’t believe the audacity and venom that would have someone from the wedding party of her ex-fiancé sending her the invitation.  Add to that, a man who walked away from love for his career and a woman with a terrible, impulsive temper coming together to fake a relationship at the wedding and it was fixing up to be something interesting.

This was my first encounter with the author and that, too, played a part in me wanting to read this one since I’ve heard wonderful things about her books.

So anticipation was strong and maybe it was too strong.  I didn’t get far into this one before I was no longer excited, but having to adjust expectation.  The story had a lot of fluff with the substance.  It bogged down the pace and obscured the plot to a certain extent.  Mostly this was Saylor’s monologues that covered the same ground or took a long time to arrive at a point.  I also struggled with Saylor’s temper.  I suppose it was meant to make her look sassy, but most of the time, she unleashed it without cause and it caused extra drama.  I thought it was ironic that she deliberated so long in her head, but still managed to go off half-cocked and uninformed.

But beyond my issues with the pacing and Saylor, this was still an enjoyable, passionate romance full of sweetness and spice.  I appreciate it especially when a writer tackles a second chance romance and shows that the romance needed time to season and grow.  Saylor and Hayes were high school sweethearts.  They were truly in love at the time, but were young and not as ready as Saylor wanted to believe.  Hayes made the decision to go after his dream of acting, but he wasn’t old enough to handle it right with Saylor.  She took longer to pursue her dream of owning her own bakery.  By the time of this story, they have both figured out who they are and what they want.  Their personalities are so different, but they meshed well.  Hayes got Saylor like few people could and appreciated all her qualities including her temper while at the same time Saylor saw beyond the fame and the roles to the simple guy that was Hayes.

This was only my second opportunity to listen to dual narrators and my first time for Andi Arendt and Sebastian York.  I have had both recommended as audio book storytellers and now I can see why.  They did a fantastic job with this story and I had no trouble picturing the characters and scenes in my mind.  I would definitely listen to more of their work.

In summary, once I toned down my expectation, I ended up enjoying the story and rooting for Saylor and Hayes to have their second chance and deal with her ex (and his, for that matter).  I hope her brother gets his story at some point because he was a favorite.  I think readers who love the fake relationships and second chances should pick this up and give it a go- but fair warning, you will crave cupcakes like nobody’s business.

My thanks to Audible for the opportunity to listen to this book in exchange for an honest review.

Challenges Met:

Romance Roundabout #385 CR
New to Me #146 author
Audio #54

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.
  • that’s nice, many things there! I like a good romance like that and I didn’t know about this one. Thanks for the review!

    • Glad to introduce you to it, Melliane. 🙂

  • The premise of this book sounds awful. Getting invited to your ex-fiance’s wedding? No thank you. I would never go. o_o I know everyone gets closure in different ways, so I’m glad the protagonist did what was best for her. And it worked out, it looks like. 😀 I’m glad you were able to enjoy the story overall.

    Great review, Sophia!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    • Truly appalling! I think that’s what captured my interest. I had to see what happens after she accepts the invitation. Thanks, Alyssa!

  • I love this pair of narrators! They are both awesome and somehow they just fit well together. I know exactly what you mean about having to adjust expectations but it sounds like this one ended up working well for you in the end.

    • It was my first time with them and I really enjoyed their narration.

      Yes, there was a lot of mulling over things from the heroine, but I eventually got adjusted. That happens once and a while where I have to adjust to an author’s writing style.

  • I bought this audio for the narrators! I love them both. Can’t wait to listen to i.

    • Yes, I finally had the chance to see what everyone was buzzing about. Hope you enjoy this one, Jennifer. It ended up being fun one.

  • Oh that’s too bad it wasn’t quite what you hoped. I’ve read her series with Berkley and really enjoyed those. I don’t think they have as much fluff as these sound like. I’ve not done dual narration yet either. Maybe in 2017! I think it could make things very interesting.

    • Yeah, I’d heard good things about her books and this one showed why people love her stuff, but I think it was the fact that I got this heroine in audio. When a character gets stuck in their head and deliberates a lot of the monologuey stuff, it’s not as noticeable in print as audio b/c with the print you can skim.

      The dual narration is an adjustment because they narrate the same characters just from the hero or from the heroine’s narration point. You end up getting two different voices for each speaker. I did love both narrators so I hope to catch them both again.

  • Whoa, so at first I totally thought all of the snow falling in your page was made into the book cover when I first saw it. So I was like, wow, they really put some effects into this book cover but then I just realized that, ha , nope. It’s your page! I’m glad you liked this one girl! I too don’t really care for those characters that seem to be kind of… over the top sassy. (I mean, pfft, we get the point, she can stand up for herself. Move ON already.

    • Haha! Yes, the festive snowflakes and lights at the top are great fun. That would be neat if they someday have moving effects in electronic book covers.

      Yeah, sass is okay, but I don’t need a temper tantrum every few pages. In the last half, she seemed to settle more.

  • oh man, I’m sorry it wasn’t what you expected. It is such a good story though.

    • Yes, I did have to change my expectations, but it ended up being a passionate and engaging story. Thanks, Verushka!

  • That does sound like an interesting set-up for a story how they attend her ex his weeding together. And how fun she works at a bakery! I had a few books like this as well where I had to adjust my expectations, but it does seem you enjoyed it after that. Second chance romances are one of my favorite tropes and like you i like it when the author shows the relationship still needs time to grow. Great review!

    • Yes, that set up really grabbed my attention, too.

      I was so hungry for cupcakes reading her bakery scenes. 🙂