The wait is over - Sweet Rivalry is here today! Check out my review for this awesome addition to the Sweet Cheeks world.
Sweet Rivalry, by K. Bromberg
Publish Date: February 28, 2017
Publisher: Evil Eye Concepts
Format: e-ARC, provided by the author and Inkslinger PR
Genre: adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon
Rating: 4 STARS
(Synopsis) Ryder Rodgers had a plan.
He was going to stride into the conference room, do the required song and dance over the next five days, and win the biggest contract of his career. But when he walked in and heard the voice of one of his competitors, all his plans were shot to hell.
Harper Denton. She was always on top. In college. First in their class. Always using every advantage to edge him out to win the coveted positions. The only one who could beat him. His academic rival. More like a constant thorn in his side. And his ego’s.
When he heard her voice, he was brought back to years before. To the bitter taste of being second best. But the woman who meets his gaze is nothing like the drab wallflower he used to know. Hell no. She was all woman now: curves, confidence, and staggering sex appeal. And no doubt, still brilliant.
The fact that she’s gorgeous and bright won’t distract him. This time, Ryder’s determined to be the one on top. But not if Harper can help it.
As expected, I blew through this novella set in the Sweet Cheeks world. Sweet Cheeks was one of my most favorite books in 2016, so to say I was highly awaiting the release of this add-on novella, was putting it mildly.
We all got the impression in Sweet Cheeks that Saylor's meddling older brother Ryder had his own story to tell. His actually started thirteen years earlier in college when he finally stole a heated kiss with the girl who constantly challenged him in all his classes. And right after that, she ran out of the room, and he didn't see her again. Until the moment she walks into the room of other hot shot estimators and realizes that she's going to be his biggest competition for the bid of a new construction job.
Harper has something to prove - not just to Ryder Robert - the boy who she had an immense crush on, but who infuriated her more than anyone else in college. She has to prove to the boys club that a woman can play in the deep end with them. And win. And the only one she sees as a threat to that is Ryder.
Second-chance romances are one of my favorite tropes. Although they usually involve some sort of heartbreak (there's a reason they NEED a second chance, after all), I absolutely love reading about these two sifting through all their baggage and rediscovering who they are now and realizing there's even MORE to love. Sweet Rivalry is a great example of that.
Thirteen years is a long time. Both Ryder and Harper have collected a lot of experiences in that time while on opposite ends of the country. I loved that they both acknowledged that, although they didn't exactly pine away for each other that whole time, they definitely didn't forget each other either. They both moved on with their careers and relationships, and now they are both back in the same city.
My favorite part of the book is when they have this surprise meeting in a high-stress situation. Thanks to the dual POV, we know how much it affects each of them, and watching them try to hide that reaction is fun. And then begins the dance. You know - the one where they keep a close eye on each other but try to not make it obvious that they're keeping a close eye on each other? So awesome.
One thing K. Bromberg does remarkably well in all her books is create sexual tension so thick that it takes on a life of its own. And then when it can't be contained anymore, it EXPLODES. So, I take what I said earlier back. When that happens - THAT is my favorite part of this book.
Ryder and Harper's story was fantastic. It was over too quickly, with an ending that came a bit too soon for me. I also wanted more than just a off-hand mention of Saylor and Hayes (but, that one brief mention packed a punch!) - it would've been awesome to actually see them. But, I do realize that when you're limited to 120 pages, you gotta stick to the story at hand.
I don't know if this is the last we'll see from the Sweet Cheeks world, but if it is, I'm so glad that K. Bromberg gave us this last HEA from this world that I've come to love so much.
He takes a step toward me then hesitates, but before I can process anything else, his lips are on mine.
And not just on mine––not just a brush of lips against lips—but I’m talking all in. Hands on my cheeks, tongue licking between my lips, body pressed against mine, groan in the back of his throat, type of all in.
I don’t react at first. I’m stunned. Flabbergasted, my mind reeling from the anger to the surprise to now this without any warning at all.
This is Ryder.
The thoughts flicker that this is what I’ve wanted. But they soon shift to panic. To insecurity I don’t kiss well enough. That this is all a joke and I’m the butt of it.
But then I feel. Everything. All at once.
And I know this is real.
It’s like I can’t catch my breath and have too much air all at the same time.
My body is on fire. And not just from his touch but from that burn deep inside that feels like it’s exploding and imploding all at once.
So this is what it feels like to really be kissed.
It’s a fleeting thought before the sensations, the moment, the emotions, consume me whole.
His hands move my face to change the angle of the kiss. His fingertips on the line of my jaw singe my skin. His lips move expertly against mine, and all I can do is feel. All I can do is want.
Thinking isn’t an option.
The anger from before has morphed to want. The adrenaline has recharged with desire.
There is no rivalry.
There is no graduation ceremony tomorrow I’m missing to catch my flight.
There is no panic over if I’ll ever see him again.
It’s just him.
The scent of his cologne in my nose. The heat of his body against mine. The taste of hunger in his kiss.
She’s a mixture of most of her female characters: sassy, intelligent, stubborn, reserved, outgoing, driven, emotional, strong, and wears her heart on her sleeve. All of which she displays daily with her husband and three children where they live in Southern California.
On a whim, K. Bromberg decided to try her hand at this writing thing. Since then she has written The Driven Series (Driven, Fueled, Crashed, Raced, Aced), the standalone Driven Novels (Slow Burn, Sweet Ache, Hard Beat, and Down Shift), and a novella (UnRaveled). She is currently finishing up Sweet Cheeks a standalone novel out November 14th.
Her plans for 2017 include a sports romance duet (2 books: The Player, The Catch) and the Everyday Heroes series (3 books: Cuffed, Combust, and Cockpit). She’s also writing a novella for the 1,001 Dark Night series that will be out in February 2017.
She loves to hear from her readers so make sure you check her out on social media.
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