Review: “Sweet Reckoning” by Wendy Higgins

Sweet ReckoningSweet Reckoning (The Sweet Trilogy #3) by Wendy Higgins

Goodreads | Amazon

It’s time. 

Evil is running rampant and sweet Anna Whitt is its target. Nobody knows when or how the Dukes will strike, but Anna and her Nephilim allies will do anything necessary to rid the earth of the demons and their oppressive ways.

The stakes are higher than ever, and Anna is determined that the love she feels will be her strength, not a liability. But trying to protect the ones she loves while running for her life and battling demonic forces proves to be perilous—especially as faces are changing and trust is fleeting. When the Duke of Lust sends Anna’s great love, Kaidan Rowe, to work against her, Anna must decide how much she’s prepared to risk.

In the most sensual and fast-paced installment yet, Sweet Reckoning brings all the beloved Neph together one last time to fight for their freedom.

3 1/2 stars

Warning! This review WILL have spoilers for Sweet Evil (#1) and Sweet Peril (#2)!

In my review of the first book, I moaned about the character of Anna being blah and swooned over the sexiness of Kaidan. My basic feel was that it wasn’t worth the hype it was getting. In my review of the second book, Anna was still blah and Kaidan was still swoon-worthy. However, despite it’s “middle book syndrome” I declared that this series was a guilty pleasure I just couldn’t quit, despite questionable plot choices.

Quite frankly, this book is exactly the same.

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Review: “Sweet Peril” by Wendy Higgins

Sweet PerilSweet Peril (The Sweet Trilogy #2) by Wendy Higgins

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Anna Whitt, the daughter of a guardian angel and a demon, promised herself she’d never do the work of her father—polluting souls. She’d been naive to make such a vow. She’d been naive about a lot of things. 

Haunted by demon whisperers, Anna does whatever she can to survive, even if it means embracing her dark side and earning an unwanted reputation as her school’s party girl. Her life has never looked more bleak. And all the while there’s Kaidan Rowe, son of the Duke of Lust, plaguing her heart and mind.

When an unexpected lost message from the angels surfaces, Anna finds herself traveling the globe with Kopano, son of Wrath, in an attempt to gain support of fellow Nephilim and give them hope for the first time. It soon becomes clear that whatever freedoms Anna and the rest of the Neph are hoping to win will not be gained without a fight. Until then, Anna and Kaidan must put aside the issues between them, overcome the steamiest of temptations yet, and face the ultimate question: is loving someone worth risking their life?

3 1/2 stars

WARNING: This review WILL have spoilers for the first book. Read my review of Sweet Evil if you’re interested!

Full disclosure: I was up until 2 AM reading this book because I have finally accepted that this is a guilty pleasure I’m just going to have to live with. I have also realized that the only reason I’m still reading this book is because of Kaidan.

Sweet Peril starts off at a party. Anna is working like a boss. She hasn’t talked to any of her friends since the summit, because she’s kinda still in trouble. She’s moody because Kaidan has moved to L. A. and basically fallen off the face of the planet. She gets the chance to see him at a record store signing, but he blows her off hardcore and goes off with a much older woman. When Anna shows up at home all depressed, Patti tries to have a movie night until the spirit of Sister Ruth, who died in the first book, comes to visit Anna and tell her of a prophecy of a Neph who could set everything right with the fallen angels and the Neph. That’s Anna, and that’s what the sword is for.

The whole premise of this book is iffy to begin with. Anna’s dad seems to think that Anna needs an army, and the best way to get one is to … travel around the world once every season to get one person at a time? This book covers a HUGE span of time, given that. Her first stops aren’t even to her friends either, but rather to some alcoholic daughter of Hate in Israel. Despite the huge span of time taken in the book, besides Kai, Blake, Marna, Ginger and Kope, Anna makes only two other friends. Um. That’s not an army.

The whole love triangle thing with Kope also turned me sour on Anna and Kope’s characters. It is so freaking clear that Anna is still in love with Kaidan, and she knows it. But I guess Kope’s just … there? I mean, I get that she’s hurting and everything but Anna KNOWS she loves Kaidan and Kope KNOWS Kaidan loves her and Anna does pretty much guesses that Kaidan isn’t over her. Nothing that happens between Anna and Kope makes any sense at all.

But Kaidan. Oh God Kaidan. When he was first introduced in Sweet Evil, I thought he was the epitome of the bad boy stereotype/cliche. But by this book, I’m completely buying him as a person. He’s scared and he’s trying and he’s sweet and under all that cliche there is an actual person. Though he is absent for much of the first part of the book, when he is there he redeems every part of the book for me. I don’t completely buy Anna as a character, but Kaidan? I admit it, I’m in love.

All in all, I’d say that this book is once again a victim of “middle book syndrome.” A lot of it felt like filler and character development. I zoomed through it simply to find Kai. I will say, however, that the ending certainly raised the stakes quadruple the amount they ever were in this book. Because of Kai, I put this at about par with the first one. I’m really excited for the second one for sure, though. That’s more than I ever thought this series would hook me after Sweet Evil.

Review: “Sweet Evil” by Wendy Higgins

Sweet Evil (The Sweet Trilogy #1) by Wendy Higgins

Goodreads | Amazon

Embrace the Forbidden

What if there were teens whose lives literally depended on being bad influences?

This is the reality for sons and daughters of fallen angels.

Tenderhearted Southern girl Anna Whitt was born with the sixth sense to see and feel emotions of other people. She’s aware of a struggle within herself, an inexplicable pull toward danger, but Anna, the ultimate good girl, has always had the advantage of her angel side to balance the darkness within. It isn’t until she turns sixteen and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying heritage and her willpower is put to the test. He’s the boy your daddy warned you about. If only someone had warned Anna.

Forced to face her destiny, will Anna embrace her halo or her horns?

3 1/2 stars

There are some books that you hear so many amazing things about that just entirely disappoint you. For me, Sweet Evil was one of those.

That’s not to say I didn’t like this book. Three and a half stars is somewhere between I liked it and I loved it. That’s not a bad rating. But the thing is that–after all the hype I heard about this book–I expected it to be absolutely amazing. For me, it never really hit that point.

The character of Anna is okay. I never really like her, I never really hate her. She, like many other female YA protagonists, is mediocre as far as characterization goes. Her insta-love with Kaiden was, of course, her first strike against her for me. It was less grating then some other instances I’ve seen, but there’s still no denying what it was. She also seemed too quick to bend to her father’s will, when he basically told her to change everything about herself to become more demonic. While I understand the why somewhat, her utter lack of resistance made her feel very weak.

The character of her adoptive mother also got on my nerves. She is way too accepting of everything that goes on. Anna just dumps ALL the information about the angels and demons on Patti and Patti is just like, “Yeah, I still love you and I totally accept all of this!” At least a little bit of conflict would have been nice to see there. I, at least, wouldn’t have just accepted all that craziness without screaming and waving my arms around like a demented chicken for a while.

Speaking of information, there was a LOT of it in this book. The mythology was extremely interesting and unique, and I absolutely loved the premise. However, there was far too much infodumping everywhere, especially under the guise of Anna not knowing everything and characters have to explain every facet of life to her. You guys may have heard that I attended a writing workshop back in July, and this was a big topic of discussion of something not to do that much. Having all throughout the book bothered my editor senses to no end.

Now, let’s talk about Kaiden. Oh good lord of all things sexy. …that’s basically Kaiden, actually. I was promised all of the sexy, and I got ALL OF THE SEXY. He got more round as the book went on, actually, but he didn’t start out that way. He’s certainly the usual I AM THE BROODIEST kind of guy, but I forgive him because HELLO! (…by the way, this book comes with a PG-13 rating. For definite.)

But then, of course, because we can’t leave out a cliché, there’s a love triangle. Well, at least, I think it’s a love triangle. They bring in Kope about halfway or further into the book, and all of a sudden he’s awkwardly into Anna. And Anna is sort of into him, even though she’s still mooning over Kaiden. (I think.) This was one of the most awkwardly written love triangle introductions ever.

I know this sounds overly critical (again), but that’s just how I roll. Overall, from what I expected from this book, I was fairly disappointed. It was a fun way to pass a few hours, but it didn’t blow me away.  I had a lot of issues with the characterization, mostly, because I’m a very character focused person. I adored the concept, but the infodumping had me skimming in places. It was an enjoyable ride, but certainly not what I expected.

12 Debut Authors I’m Looking Forward to in 2012

So, after my December post about books I was looking forward to in 2012–which ended up needing a part two–I realized that I only had one debut author on there. Clearly, something needed to be fixed. You have to have somewhere to go when those series have ended, right? So here are some of my picks for 2012! (In no particular order) In order to fit them all into one post, I have linked to all the blurbs–all of which lead to the book’s Goodread’s page. I have included some genre keywords so you can get a sense whether or not the book would be up your alley! Please note that all release dates are for the US and subject to change.

Author: Jodi Meadows

Book: Incarnate

Release Date: January 31

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal/Supernatural, Dystopian, Romance

Read the blurb here

Author: Brodi Ashton

Book: Everneath

Release Date: January 24

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Greek Mythology, Romance

Read the blurb here.

Author: Veronica Rossi

Book: Under the Never Sky

Release Date: January 3

Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Romance

Read the blurb here.

Author: Robin Bridges

Book: The Gathering Storm

Release Date: January 10

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance, 19th Century

Read the blurb here.

Author: Susan Dennard

Book: Something Strange and Deadly

Release Date: July 24

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Zombies, Historical

Read the blurb here.

Author: Wendy Higgins

Book: Sweet Evil

Release Date: May 1

Genre: Young Adult, Angels, Demons, Romance

Read the blurb here.

Author: Tricia Wolfe

Book: Destiny’s Fire

Release Date: January 10

Genre: Young Adult, Steampunk, Paranormal

Read the blurb here.

Author: Jessica Shirvington

Book: Embrace

Release Date: March 6

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Angels, Romance

Read the blurb here.

Author: Corrine Jackson

Book: If I Lie

Release Date: August 28

Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Military

Read the blurb here.

Author: Katherine Longshore

Book: Gilt

Release Date: May 15

Genre: Young Adult, Historical, Romance, Tudor

Read the blurb here.

Author: Michele Vail

Book: Undeadly

Release Date: February 28

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Necromancy

Read the blurb here.

Author: Kathleen Peacock

Book: Hemlock

Release Date: May 8

Genre: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Werewolves

Read the blurb here.