And you though small towns were boring… Welcome to Sugartown.
Whoa!! This small town was most definitely NOT boring!!
I really enjoyed (even loved) a large part of this book (what a roller coaster!!) but there was one scene that I hated so much that I’m having trouble looking past it. That being said, since the rest of the book was really good and it’s been receiving great ratings, who knows, maybe it’s just me? I figure, I’ll just tell you the things I liked and didn’t like and let you decide for yourselves 🙂
I have to admit, when I first heard about this book and that the hero was a sexy, Aussie tattooed biker sex god, I was already excited to meet this guy! Then, when I heard that he heard a dark secret from his past, I was SOLD!! And this book really took me surprise (mostly in a good way) – while the first half was lighthearted and downright hilarious in places, the second half took a decidedly dark turn filled with all sorts of secrets, dangers and heartache really giving the reader a little bit of everything overall.
The story takes place in Sugartown, a tiny speck on the map smack in the middle of nowhere, where 19-year-old Ana is bored out of her mind. With nothing to do and no where to go, her life basically consists of baking pies day in and day out for her family diner… and. she. wants. more.
It’s at this point that Elijah Cade rides into town on his bike. Dressed in black and leather, covered in tattoos and wielding a heart stopping set of dimples, this is the kind of guy Ana knows she should avoid. But neither one of them can ignore the sparks that fly between them and neither one wants to stay away 😉
The beginning of this story was just hilarious!! Between Ana’s overprotective dad, trampy step mom, adorable little brother and loud mouthed best friend, they kept me laughing out loud and chucking to myself for the whole first part of the book.
Here are a few gems…. the first is from her dad and Elijah (this one is more sweet than funny):
“You hurt my little girl and I’ll put you to ground quicker than you can fucking blink. Are we clear, Cade?”
“I’m not gonna hurt her, Sir. Ana’s about the best thing to happen to me in the last ten year…”
“Just make sure you’re the best thing to happen to her too.”
… and from her little brother with his adorable lisp (omg that kid made me LAUGH):
“Daddy, why ith Ana thucking on Elijath’s face?”
and this too:
“Are you gonna kith my thirster again, cauth dude, thath tho grossth.”
… and from her overly inquisitive best friend who was desperate for the skinny on Elijah:
“I wonder what kind of orgasm face he makes?… Come on. You have to give me more details that ‘it was nice’. I mean, why the hell haven’t you strapped him to the bed and impaled yourself on his enormous cock yet?” …
“I didn’t say it was big.”
“Honey, you didn’t have to. Have you seen the guy? He’s a freaking giant!… If he’s not big, then there really is no god.”
… and from Elijah himself in all his swooniness:
“Hey, you’re safe with me. You know that right?”
So really, I loved the beginning of this book. Totally loved it!! Then, the second half got all kinds of crazy as Elijah’s secrets began to come out and the book took a very dark and dangerous turn (kinda think along the lines of bikers, revenge and more!) but I still found it exciting and was happy to just ‘go with it’.
Now, I need to address the one thing I hated because I really feel strongly about it and am having a hard time getting past it… there is (in my opinion) cheating in this book which is one of my ‘hard limits’. They weren’t officially “together” when it happened but, given the circumstances, they also weren’t broken up enough for me to justify it and I was really not okay with what happened to the point where I came this close to putting the book down for good when I read the scene. I’ll try to explain it with as few details as I can… the situation is where Elijah has kept his past a complete secret from Ana even though they’ve been going out but one night it all catches up to him in a serious way and sweeps her up in it too leading to a nightmare situation where she’s forced face-to-face with the dangers of his life and made to witness some truly gruesome things that he was forced to do. Needless to say, this really shakes her and she needs space and so she basically pushes him away and then they go three weeks without much interaction until she comes across him fucking the brains out of the town slut in the bathroom of the local bar. She catches him in the act, he goes after her and it’s at this point that he decides it’s a good time to tell her he loves her. *sigh* I can’t tell you how not okay I was with that whole scene. It just made me sick to my stomach and I honestly I just didn’t understand why it was in the story to begin with for several reasons — 1) I guess I maybe would have at least understood it’s purpose more if the author needed it to create drama and angst (?) but this was not the case. This story had a whole ton of drama and angst without this scene so I genuinely didn’t understand what the value of it in the story was. 2) It felt totally out of character for Elijah (in my opinion). Seriously. If you’d given me the whole book to read minus this one scene and then asked me if he was the type of guy to go bang some random chick while he was falling for another (even if she was pushing him away) instead of spending his time trying to win his girl back, I would say ‘hell no’. It just didn’t seem like the type of thing he’d do and I guess I just felt that it seriously weakened his character to the point of almost making me lose all respect for him. At least in my opinion, Ana’s reasons for pushing him away were understandable, and I really felt like given those reasons, he should have been more supportive and understanding and focused his efforts more on winning her back than wallowing in misery and fucking some whore (‘scuse my language, I’m a little bitter here). I just had a really hard time looking past it.
But…. I’m a softie at heart and the truth is this was really the only time Elijah did anything that bothered me. He was an awesome character and apart from this scene, I fell for him so, especially given his admission of “I fucked up, baby girl”, I really just tried to look past that scene and go on to rest of the book cuz apart from that one element, I really was enjoying it and it just seems rather tragic to ‘throw out’ a whole book because of one scene, y’know? Especially with this kind of swoon going on…
“With all the shit I’ve done, the hurt I’ve caused people… for all the worthless hours I’ve spend wandering through this mess I call a life, looking at this girl before me – who is so perfect and innocent, and downright trusting in every way – I know that, somewhere along the line, I must have done something right for her to want to let me in.”
… and this too:
“I know I don’t deserve Ana, I could work on redemption my entire life over and the next one, too, and I’d still never be enough for her. But I love her.”
*sigh* Yeah… I have to say I really did love Elijah (minus that one scene) and he did win me over.
While I liked the ending of the book, I also found it a little too abrupt. It was happy for sure — no cliffhanger — but I wanted maybe another chapter or a mini-epilogue set just like a month or two into the future or… something. I just wanted to see them talk through their issues more and deal with the problem that had been the focus of the book.
Overall though, I have to say I really enjoyed many parts of the book. It was a little extreme in places and a little rough around the edges but parts of it were just plain awesome and I totally admit to swooning hard over Elijah and liking all the rest of the main characters. So, it’s like on one hand, a part of me wants to be like “Yup! I loved it!!” and another part of me is still sitting here going ‘hmmm’.
I think the bottom line is it’s a fun ride with some hilarious moments and also several dark, angsty twists. If you’re okay with the things I’ve mentioned, then you’ll probably love it. I personally did love parts of it for sure and I’ll definitely check out the next book (which will follow side characters) when it’s released.
Rating: 4 stars (but just because of “that” scene, I was strongly tempted to drop my rating to 3 stars… the only reason I didn’t was because that was my only major ‘issue’ with the book and, like I said, I feel bad dropping the whole rating because of one scene so….. 4 stars it is because there were definitely parts of the book that even climbed up into 4.5 star territory for me so I feel like 4 stars is a fair balance)