Cover Image: Sweethand

Sweethand

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Member Reviews

4.5 

The audio narration on this one was amazing! 

I loved how this set up worked and the way they were forced together due to wedding activities, but it not being constant.

Overall really enjoyed the story and how it played out. It was just very cute with the perfect amount of spice.
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Part 1 of the new Adult Romance Series Island Bites by NG Peltier set on the island of Trinidad, Sweethand delivers in all areas. It’s funny and sweet and vulnerable with a kicking romance and wonderful ensemble.

With her sister getting married, and her mom in prime match-making mode, Cherisse finds herself balancing her business as a pastry chef and duties as the maid of honor and now facing the last thing she needs in the form of the best man: Kieran King. Kieran is annoying and suave and a big shot music producer and after her last boyfriend and a big name in the music scene cheated on her, she wants to stay away from that whole scene and the guys in it in particular. But as they have to help plan events for the upcoming wedding of their loved ones, they can’t avoid each other and they might just find they have more in common than they might have thought. 

I also just have to say that the romance in this was steamy and sizzling as hell. Like damn it was the good shit and the chemistry between Cherisse and Keiran was more than palpable. It was downright delicious. More than that, this book was refreshing and lovely with a bi leading man who wasn’t afraid to cry and be sensitive. There were a lot of issues and topics touched on in here and it all combined so wonderfully.

It also had a magnificent cast of characters which makes it perfect for a series. I am already excited to read more of this series and having fun thinking of what other characters may get the spotlight next! I am personally hoping for Remy and Maxine next! There is fire there and gosh I want to know more! The beauty of this book though is that I could point to half a dozen side characters I’d love to spend a book with and that is very difficult to pull off! It’s hard enough to give your main couple that verve and dimensionality but there was plenty to go around that I already love and want more of the rest of the crew.
Audiobooks are my sweet spot to read books because it works best with my ADHD. Sometimes I jive with narrators, and sometimes I endure them but Chrystal Bethell was a great fit for this book. She captured Cherisse’s voice spot on with all the spunk and power and vulnerability that comes with it. I don’t think I’ve heard an audiobook by her before yet but it’s always nice to add a new voice to my good list.
I look forward to the rest of the Island Bites series and have my fingers crossed that the audiobooks for those to be voiced similarly lovely voices if not Chrystal herself. My final verdict: Sweethand is a fun and steamy read and an even better listen!
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I received an audiobook arc copy of this book and I had a good time with it! I did enjoy the narrator especially with the main character’s voice but it did get confusing sometimes because they didn’t do voices that were quite different from each other so at times, I was getting characters confused. It was still enjoyable! I just had to make sure to pay better attention the who was speaking currently.

As for the book itself, I liked it! We have an enemies to reluctant allies to friends with benefits to lovers situation going on which was a fun ride. I loved how independent Cherisse was and how dedicated she was to her pastry chef business. Her food all sounded divine and I wish we could just magically have the food appear before you as you read! I had to get up and get a snack more than once because of how hungry it was making me lol!

Keiran was kind of annoying at first. At least until he started simping for Cherisse and then he became someone I was most definitely rooting for. He’s bisexual and it was a pleasant surprise when we find that out. His relationship with Cherisse turned out to be adorable and I just love the two of them so much!

Definitely recommend this if you like romance with a bit of drama, delicious food, queer characters and family! 

3.5/5⭐️
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3.5 stars rounded up!

Okay, sweet book alert! Pun very much intended. 

This story is cute with a fluffy contemporary romance set in Trinidad. And well, it’s a romance between two people who, don’t like each other… *winky face* 

I felt the chemistry between Cherisse and Kieran was super strong, a bit immature and high school esq, but not too annoying. Peltier does a great job building the tension because boy I could cut that with a knife!

For me, it was a satisfying enemies to lovers story combined with some amazing baking on the side. Since I listened to the audiobook, I didn’t get a list of a recipe, but can we get a little hint as to what Cherisse’s sweet treats were!?

Despite the sweet story, it was a tad slow at times but it wasn’t enough to slow me down. To top it off, I thought the bi visibility was strong and didn’t feel forced. I do plan on listening to the next novel in this series! I hope it comes out soon.

Big thank you to Libro FM and Net Galley for this ALC!

Content warnings: fat phobia, biphobia, infidelity, sexism
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Cherisse and Keiran have known each other forever, but have never gotten along, but are now forced to spend time together as they're now Maid of Honor and Best Man for Cherry's sister and Keiran's best friend. Sparks ignite enough for Cherry to entertain being friends with benefits.

A great narrator and an enjoyable story.
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Didn't love it but I also didn't hate it.  This one just didn't "wow" me!  So much hatred and I didn't quite buy into why.  I also never really fell in love with any of the main characters.  Since I didn't hate it, I'd probably still give book #2 a chance.
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{2.5/5 Stars}

This book was good, let's start with that, but it wasn't great. The characters were very well done and the chemistry (and sexy scenes) was AMAZING. However, there was a weird plotline towards the end that was to cause conflict that I just didn't care about. Overall, enjoyable at the time but easily forgettable.
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Cherisse's sister is getting married, and she is anything but thrilled to learn her nemesis Keiran is going to be the best man to her maid of honor.  She knows is going to have to learn to get along with him to make this wedding a success.

This is the first book I've read that is set in Trinidad, and I really liked it!  Keiran was definitely my favorite character in this book, and I wish I could have tried some of Cherisse's baking.  I can't wait to see who is featured next in this series!  This was definitely a steamy book.

Many thanks to NetGalley for providing me an audio ARC of this book.
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I honestly don’t have much to say about this one. It was fine. There was nothing particularly bad about it, but it also fell flat. I liked Kieran most of the time. I didn’t fully understand or buy in to the conflict. Why are he and Cherrise enemies? And then once they moved past that, there was no real reason for them to not be together. I also had a hard time keeping all the characters straight. Who is related to who? Why must the two best friends have 4-letter R names?! 😂 The whole story just felt sloppy to me. It was awful, and it had plenty of potential, it just needed more polish.
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This was a sweet book. It was a tad light, which is fine if you're looking for a breezy read, but I had a hard time really connecting and caring about the characters.
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Not only do I have the audiobook but I also got the kindle edition of Sweethand as well. I am biased as I interviewed NG for our  podcast (Romance in Colour) so the premise was something that I was aware of a year before the book came out. It was the perfect mix of romance and the culture of Trinidad really was highlighted. Enemies to Lovers is my favorite trope and for her debut, NG knocked this one out the park.
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I liked this book and the characters, but I actually DNF because the story did not keep my attention.
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Cherisse is a pastry chef on the island of Trinidad and is known far and wide as the Sugar Queen.  She bakes like a dream, swears like a sailor, and just recently had a very public breakup with her famous singer boyfriend.  Keiran King, a top music producer,  and Cherisse have always rubbed each other the wrong way (despite him always harboring a secret crush for her), but now with Cherisse’s sister getting married to Keiran’s best friend they find themselves as Maid of Honour and Best Man, having to plan the Jack & Jill party.  Sparks start flying, and after one hot night together, they decide they can keep it to a strictly sexual relationship, given that they claim they don’t like each other, and besides Cherisse has vowed never to date anyone in the music industry again.  As they start to see their conceptions of each other may have been wrong, who knows where this might end up ….
This is a fun book with a strong sense of place, and a diverse cast of characters..  It’s also the first in a series, and I look forward to what comes next.
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This book was lovely. A good enemies to lovers with Queer representation. A bakery AU, Rockstar AU, and Reality TV AU all rolled into one! The middle is a bit slow but it keep you engaged with snappy humor, banter, and lovable characters!
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Sweethand is a romance novel about Cherisse, a young woman who owns a pastry chef business. Cherisse’s sister is getting married, and Cherisse finds her time split between her various business assignments (including all of the pastries for her sister’s wedding), her maid-of-honor duties, and her mother’s poor matchmaking attempts. However, the best man in the wedding is Keiran King, a man that Cherisse went to school with and has always found rude and obnoxious. In the midst of their wedding coordination, though, the two of them find themselves inexplicably attracted to each other.

Most romance novels have ultimately the same destination, but Sweethand takes that a little further – I saw every major plot point coming from a mile away. That’s not necessarily a huge detractor – after all, the fun of romance novels is seeing the romance unfold, not being surprised by the outcome. However, I did wish for a little more unpredictability in this book. I think most romance readers will still enjoy this one just fine, but it’s something to take into consideration if you want a story that’s really engrossing.

I did really appreciate the characterization in this novel, though. Cherisse in particular is an interesting character. She has ambition and is good at her business, not just with the baking itself, but she also understands publicity. However, Cherisse sometimes lacks a social filter, and I really appreciated the opportunity to see Cherisse’s moments of weakness. It gave her more dimension and added a lot to my interest in the novel. Keiran also was interesting. He was much less the cause of the conflict between the two of them, and I really appreciated the scenes we had from his perspective. Keiran was able to look at the developing relationship with more neutrality, and see where Cherisse was being rational and where she was letting her frustration get the better of her. In all, the two of them were well matched and had a lot of natural chemistry, and that made for a fun read.

There was some serious effort put into worldbuilding for this book, and that was definitely my favorite aspect. Sweethand takes place on Trinidad, and there was so much history and culture surrounding Cherisse’s family. It never felt heavy-handed, but it did a great job of capturing the feeling of community. Cherisse frequently had connections with various characters on the periphery of the story, and the great number of coincidences felt as realistic as my own life growing up in a town with a population of about 100,000. I’m constantly running in to people I knew from junior high or high school, and Sweethand definitely had that feeling, without feeling too much like a small town. Given Cherisse’s profession, there was also a lot of focus on food in this book, and the author had some nice subtle cultural references here, too. It was interesting to see what food the characters considered typical or comfort food.

In all, I’ll give Sweethand a 7 out of 10. It’s a sweet romance and I enjoyed it, but I’m not sure how memorable it will ultimately be.
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If you enjoy contemporary hate to love romances with themes of wedding planning and baking, you'll probably love this one. The steam level was just about perfect to me, featured some diverse characters, and had some humor strewn throughout. Nothing spectacular as far as this genre goes, you pretty much know what to expect if you've read other romances, but enjoyable nonetheless. If that type of book is your cup of tea, this one is a good bet!
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I listened to the audio version of Sweethand by N.G. Peltier thanks to NetGalley and Dreamscape Media for the copy of this book.  I am a big enemies-to-lovers romance reader. There is something about the build up that I totally enjoy.  This book fits that trope.  This was a fun romance perfect for the summer.  I wasn’t a huge fan of the narrator of the audiobook but I really did enjoy the story.  I also couldn’t help but have a little tummy rumble with all the yummy treats that were packed into this story.  

Here is a little overview of the story. 

Cherisse has sworn off guys (not just from the music industry but all guys) after a very public breakup from her cheating boyfriend.  She has decided to focus on her growing pastry chef business.   She is also hoping that her sister's upcoming wedding will distract her mom enough to stop nagging her about settling down. But mom is still out there playing matchmaker.  Enter Kerian King (the most annoying man ever). They are both on the island for the first time together in a long time.  There is no way to avoid him since his best friend is marrying Cherisse’s sister. Oh yeah and he is the best man and she is the maid of honour.  Now they are forced to work together as the wedding comes closer.  They both need to figure out if they can survive the wedding without things turning into a disaster. 

If you are looking for a fun beach read, with just the right amount of steam I would totally suggest this book. .
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I love enemies to lovers stories. There’s something so weirdly romantic about loving the things you used to hate about someone. 

This book what set up for everything I like - Enemies to lovers in Cherisse & Keiran, a female business owner (and a baker no less!). I loved Cherisse’s spirit & I enjoyed Keiran’s whole vibe. What I didn’t like though was how they talked - to each other but mostly in general. Their language didn’t seem realistic at all. I wish I could put my finger on something a bit more specific about it, but it just seemed like the writing equivalent of overacting on stage. I ended up having a hard time connecting to the characters because of it since they didn’t seem like real people to me.

I also felt that Cherisse & Keiran were extreme versions of people we encounter frequently rather than them being realistic people that I could understand and relate to. A few times I said to myself ‘It’s just not that serious!’ at both of them. 

One thing that I thought was done really well was the cultural aspect. There were subtle drops and references to the culture in Trinidad. It was the epitome of showing and not telling, and I was able to see a little bit of the culture through the eyes of the main characters. 

I’m not sure if I’m up for another book in the series yet or not, but I wouldn’t totally rule it out.

I would like to thank NetGalley, Dreamscape Media, and N.G. Peltier for a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Sweethand is a sexy, hilarious, sweet, thoroughly entertaining, and satisfying enemies-to-lovers romance that is hard to put down. It probably comes as no surprise that friends-to-lovers is more my thing, but Sweethand could entice me over to the dark side of enemies-to-lovers, it was just that good. Filled with complex, diverse, well-drawn characters, and colorful descriptions, the novel explores themes of familial pressure, self-esteem, trust, friendship, and how preconceived ideas we form of a person rarely capture the whole of who that person is against a backdrop of Trinidadian culture and Island life.
 
Written in alternating POVs, Sweethand is an enemies-to-lovers tale of two millennials making a name for themselves in their prospective industries. Cherise, a pastry chef, and Keiran, a music producer, have bickered and annoyed each other from their childhoods as part of the same circle of friends. When Cherise’s sister and Keiran’s close friend announce they are getting married, they’re thrown together again as adults. As maid of honor and best man, they’re bound to be thrust into each other’s company for all the wedding activities, especially after the bride and groom request they plan a joint shower. All that banter, fighting, and one-up-manship between them hides a sizzling chemistry/attraction that brings long denied feelings roaring to the surface, rattling preconceived notions they both have of each other.

Cherise focuses on expanding her pastry chef business and takes a break from dating after an embarrassing public showdown with her cheating ex-boyfriend over their breakup. No more men – especially musicians. Her mother just doesn’t get it and is determined to matchmake until she finds a man for her to marry and have kids with. Independent, confident, talented, vivacious, she needs time to heal, but she humors her mother, going on dates anyway. The last thing she needs is annoying Keiran back in her life. Kieran has returned to Trinidad after being away for a while and is happy producing music with his business partner and not working with his father in his. He’s determined to be his own man – not like his father – avoid the spotlight and media, and make the kind of music he wants. While he’s always thought Cherise was an attention-seeking brat, he can’t deny he might have had a secret crush on her too.

Chrystal Bethell narrates Sweethand with enthusiasm and flavor after finding her footing. Strangely enough, she doesn’t differentiate the characters' voices, particularly the main characters, except for a few instances where she wonderfully narrates Cherise’s interactions with her elder Trinidadian family members with accents. More narration like this for Cherise, Keiran, and their circle of friends would have taken Sweethand to another level, as this along with more focus on differentiating the characters' voices were missing from the audiobook. Aside from that and a halting start, once Bethell got into the flow of the novel, her narration delightfully brought the characters and story to life for an entertaining and fun listen. I was drawn into the world and lives of these characters and wasn’t quite ready to leave when the audiobook ended. Sweethand is definitely worth a listen.
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I found this book to overall be ok. The dislike between the two main characters seemed to dissipate pretty much quickly. Cherisse seemed to always have drama. Then the ending fight felt very predictable and rushed. Also definitely not a book I could read with anyone else in the car. Though I hate to be that person, I felt the f word was excessive and unnecessary so many times.
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