I really wish that I enjoyed this one more than I did, but… it’s kind of a hot mess. While I was drawn in by the playful cover and the promising blurb, there were issues that prevented me from connecting to what should’ve been a fun rom com. I can’t say that I loved the writing style, with its confusing perspective changes from one paragraph to the next or its strange times jumps. I also can’t say that I loved the plot, with a push/pull relationship that becomes frustrating and an ending that I found all kinds of problematic. So, unfortunately, this one just wasn’t for me.
The story follows Aubrey, a baker, and Landon, a food critic. They share one steamy night together that leaves both of them with a touch of regret that their fun couldn’t continue. But a bad review brings them back into each other’s lives, and it’s not long before they’re fighting the chemistry between them. Insecurities and work conflicts prevent them from jumping into something real, but that doesn’t stop the attraction.
There was the potential for something good here, but I just couldn’t get into the writing style. I did read an ARC so it’s possible that some of that was fixed after another round of editing, but the issues I had would’ve required extensive revisions to fix. While I do love that the book was dual perspective – that was definitely needed here – it would jump from one character to the next without any notice (among other problems). There’s also the matter of the ending, which… I really had a problem with. The choice of conflict was not to my taste AT ALL, and I don’t love the reason they got back together. I won’t spoil the storyline, but I can say that the final act is the reason why my rating is so low. All in all, this should’ve been right up my alley but ultimately didn’t work for me, and I’m kind of bummed about it. I appreciated receiving an ARC (and am voluntarily leaving a review), but I’m not able to give this one a wholehearted recommendation.
Release Date: July 14th
Jayci Lee delivers “a perfect balance of impeccable wit, laugh out loud hilarity, and off the charts chemistry. A Sweet Mess is a sinfully decadent romantic comedy.”―New York Times bestselling author Helena Hunting
Aubrey Choi has been content running her highly successful bakery Comfort Zone and with its first expansion taking up all of her time, dating has been the least of her priorities. Then a one-night-stand with gorgeous Korean hunk Landon Kim makes her want things she didn’t think she had time for. Too bad it turns out he’s a celebrity food critic whose scathing review of Comfort Zone goes viral and nearly destroys Aubrey’s business―and her fond memory of their night together.
Landon tries to clean up the mess he made by offering Aubrey a spot on the new celebrity cooking show he’s producing. She agrees to use this as a way to save her bakery and her reputation―no thanks to him―but vows to guard her heart. Now Aubrey and Landon find themselves sharing a villa in California wine country, which is a guaranteed recipe for disaster. For the next three weeks, baker and critic will tempt each other as they struggle to resist admitting that they have all the necessary ingredients for love.
“A rich, vibrant romance that’s a feast for all the senses.”―#1 New York Times bestselling author Lauren Blakely
Includes Delicious Dessert Recipes!
I absolutely agree!!!! I also found their relationship dynamic extremely frustrating and had HUGE problems with the ending.
Did you see that it got optioned? (https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/daniel-dae-kim-attached-produce-star-rom-a-sweet-mess-1303067) Like, great for Jayci Lee, but also, why not one of the many many other romance novels that are, uh, less problematic?
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Oh wow, I did not see that! This probably rates in my bottom 10% of reads this year, so that’s not ideal, lol.
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