Ain’t She Sweet, by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

This is a re-read for me. I was scanning through my e-reader looking for Anna Karenina and saw this title and couldn’t remember which one it was. I knew I’d read it before, because I’ve read all the SEP books that I have, but I couldn’t remember which one it was.

 Once I started reading it, I remembered it but by that point I was back into the book and had to finish it.  It’s a book I enjoy, with good messages about not judging people by who they used to be, forgiveness, and the importance of family. And, of course, a fast-moving romance.

 The one thing that bothered me this time, more than I remember being bothered by it before, was the way the main couple got together. Obviously there was an attraction there, even though both of them were denying that there was one and that there had been one in their history, but the first time they kiss is while they’re fighting. Now I understand that fighting is foreplay for many people, but this particular incident sort of comes out of nowhere, and is quite aggressive on the guy’s side. It’s not rape, but he also doesn’t really give her a chance to say no, and this time through it made me quite uncomfortable.  Not uncomfortable enough to stop reading, of course, and the way that the relationship progressed was fine, but uncomfortable nonetheless.

 I do really enjoy the relationships in this book, though – Colin and Sugar Beth are the main one, but I also really enjoy Gigi and Winnie and Sugar Beth and the family triangle that they form as well. It’s fast, because it has to be contained within the length of the novel, but the transition from ‘I hate you’ to ‘We’re family’ is effective and organic.

 And the other thing that this book does for me is re-inspire me to write myself – to lock myself away for a week or so and just force myself through the mental pain until I get stuff done. Of course, I have learned through long experience that that technique doesn’t really work so well for me (at least, not when I am also going through romantic troubles of my own) but I still keep wanting to try it, hoping that this time, this idea, will be the one that fully feeds the obsession.  I’ll get there someday.

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