source: free review copy via NetGalley
title: Sweet Bliss
author: Helena Rac/Twitter
published: November 2015 Tryst Books
genre: Contemporary Romance
first line: This is going to be so freaking good.
From debut author Helena Rac, a sassy, sexy comic tale of second-chance romance and the many uses of icing. Tessa loves cupcakes. They’re tasty and comforting, and they’ve made her bakery a success. Men, on the other hand, are unreliable jerks who are bound to break her heart. Even if they’re hot enough to melt her frosting. Tessa is smitten with Luke after a less than graceful encounter on the streets of Chicago, and fate keeps reuniting them. She’s certain he’d be delicious in bed, but there’s just one problem: Tessa’s sworn off long-distance romances, and Luke lives in London. Besides, he’s proven himself to be bad news. Although Tessa’s sexy stranger swears to set aside his player ways after she carries out sweet revenge, she’s far too smart to believe in happily-ever-afters. Luke will need to use every weapon in his arsenal – including a spatula or two – to convince Tessa they’re meant to be together.
Hmmmmm…what can I say about Sweet Bliss.
This debut novel by Helena Rac was my first read of 2016.
The blurb intrigued me, the whole contemporary romance with a cupcake bakery theme sounded yummy. Pun intended.
I will say this review contains mild spoilers and some ranting as I really wanted to like this book more.
Tessa is in her late twenties and owns her own bakery in Chicago, cupcakes are her specialty. Her ex Jason abruptly dumped her three years ago so she has some trust issues she is still hanging onto. Her sister Clara is engaged to Marcus and Tessa will be the Maid of Honor.
One day Tessa literally runs into gorgeous Luke on the street and catches a case of insta-lust but never expects to see this stranger again. She’s wrong as a few months later, her sister takes Tessa out to the movies with one of her Marcus’s best friends. The mystery friend is none other than sexy Luke. Turns out Luke is part of the wedding party but he lives in London. What are the odds right?
The two remember their prior run in and one thing leads to another in the dark movie theater. Then after the sexy times at the movies, where Luke took charge of the situation only to never call or text Tessa again, Tessa decides she wants to get back at him and return the sexual favor then dump him. So that he can see what it feels like to have a sexy good time, then never to hear from her again. That is her idea of revenge.
So a few months later she exacts her revenge on Luke. She has planned this for months. Why on earth would Tessa want to ever see Luke privately again if he has not made any effort to contact her after he was all over her in the movie theater? Because she likes to obsess that’s why.
From then on Tessa really begins to act immature, plays games and lets her insecurities get the best of her. She would take one step forward, two steps back throughout the entire story.
Sweet Bliss had so much potential but the insta-lust-obsession Tessa has for Luke was over the top. Then the flip flopping back and forth with wanting to be with him, but being afraid of getting hurt was too much. Her obsessive inner monologue was too much to take.
Then Luke who acted like he could not care any less about Tessa after the movies, begins to chase her after she exacts her ‘revenge’ on him. Like literally chases her at one point because she runs away from him and hides in a public restroom. Tessa starts to act like a child, putting on a good show pretending not to care about him. Meanwhile, secretly she thinks she’s never felt this way about any guy. LOL! Stop playing games already.
This gif sums up my reaction at this point in the story.
Change these characters ages, and this could read as Young Adult Romance between high school teenagers instead of adults.
Anyway, a few of their scenes together were sweet and sexy. Luke was actually a nice guy after all and I was surprised to see him putting up with Tessa’s drama. I liked the spatula scene, I’ll leave it at that. Some of the cupcake references were awesomely bad though.
I climb and climb and feel him climb along with me. The orgasm finds me and I swear I see stars and butterflies and cupcakes all at once.
p. 108, Sweet Bliss by Helena Rac
I’m drawn to him like icing to a cupcake. Without him, I’m just a plain, boring muffin. Not nearly as sweet. Not nearly as exciting.
So, those are my thoughts on Sweet Bliss. Please do not let my review deter you from trying this one. What I didn’t enjoy, others did. This book has gotten some rave reviews on Amazon and on Goodreads and the cover is cute. Like I mentioned, I did enjoy some of the scenes between Tess and Luke when they weren’t playing mind games. Also, I craved cupcakes and tea while I was reading.
The author lists Sam Smith’s Stay With Me as one of the songs that inspired her book and during one scene Tessa and Luke slow dance to his music. Got to love Sam Smith.
Disclaimer: This review is my honest opinion. I did not receive any kind of compensation for reading and reviewing this book. I am under no obligation to write a positive review. I received my free copy of Sweet Bliss by Helena Rac via NetGalley.