07 September 2008

Review: Susan Mallery - Sweet Talk

Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: HQN Books (July 1, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0373772971
ISBN-13: 978-0373772971


Don't ask Claire Keyes. The twenty-eight-year-old piano prodigy has never had a regular boyfriend, much less a real romance. Her music career has left little room for friends or family—which is just part of the reason she hasn't seen the family bakery or her two sisters in years.

But now Nicole is sick, and Jesse is AWOL. Despite the fact that Claire can't boil water, she's determined to play caretaker. Connecting with her sisters tops her to-do list…along with falling in love, or at least in lust, for the first time.

Ruggedly sexy Wyatt just might fit the bill. Although he keeps saying that he and Claire come from entirely different worlds, he lights up hotter than a bakery oven whenever Claire is near. If this keeps up, she just might sweet—talk him into her bed…and her life.


If you want romance filled hours with heartwarming characters then Susan Mallery is a sure thing. With SWEET TALK I was pulled into the lives of the three sisters Claire, Nicole and Jesse. It is evident from page one that they have issues with each other and this finds its origin in their childhood. I think that with this topic Susan Mallery will speak to many readers as she did to me! I quickly became a part of the story, the lives, the thoughts and feelings of three vibrant women.

I just had a blast getting to know Claire. She is a child piano prodigy and from the age of six leads a completely different life from other kids and in doing so she is a bit world strange. Her everyday life contains piano practice, rehearsals, interviews and dress fittings. Now she is thrown in to the everyday life of her sister that is as different from hers as day is from night.

This is a recipe for fun filled moments and it triggered my humor more than once causing full blown smiles and laughter. Though there is much unresolved between the sisters, especially between Nicole and Claire as they are fraternal twins, Susan Mallery manages to make me feel the underlying strength and bond of sisterhood.

Nicole is the oldest and bares a sarcastic attitude that hides a loyal and caring heart; Jesse is the youngest and a bit of a screw-up and Claire will need both of them when Wyatt walks in to her life. He and his deaf daughter Amy completely turn Claire’s life upside down with new feelings pulsing inside of her. To see their feelings progress is like wrapping yourself in a warm blanket. I was endeared by the tender blossoming of love but also enjoyed the resistance from Wyatt as he is such a close friend to Nicole and has issues of his own to deal with. Claire has got no clue what falling in love feels like, heck, she has never been on a real date before. It is the combination of female resilience and her somewhat innocent approach that made me care for her so much, I was with her every step of the way and I found myself cheering her on with every bold step taken.

Susan Mallery adds with Wyatt and Amy two compelling characters to this tale. With their own challenges and attitude they bring a flavor to this story that enriched it and gave it more emotional punch. Wyatt is a contractor, a man that still bares emotional scars from the events leading up to his single parenting but is still a ladies’ man all the way with a sinful smile. It is from the first moment he touches Claire that he feels that electrifying zing zap through his fingers and from that moment on he knows he is deep trouble. The passion between Wyatt and Claire is a simmering sensuous tension that is evident and in the end very gratifying that will leave the romance reader more than satisfied! Though for me it was Claire all the way in her approach to these new feelings that had me even more enamored with their unraveling relationship.

I feel that the author took her bowl, threw in all the important ingredients necessary for a passionate, fun filled romance story and perfectly mixed them into a tale that you’re easily pulled into. In the end I wanted more of the Keys sisters and I’m happily awaiting for SWEETSPOT released in August 2008 and SWEET TROUBLE released in September 2008. It is with a strong affinity for life-like characterization, home, hearth, witty banter and sisterly bonding that makes SWEET TALK embrace every facet of life and engages the reader to keep turning the pages!If you are looking for a contemporary romance novel that will make for a feel good reading experience I would say it is a mission accomplished for Susan Mallery’s SWEET TALK!

Quote Claire to a construction worker:“I’m new to Seattle.”“Need someone to show you around?”Was this flirting? Was he flirting? […] She didn’t want to say the wrong thing or feel stupid.“I have a GPS system,” she told him. “I do okay.”

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