Cover Image: The Sweet Spot

The Sweet Spot

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

4.5 really solid stars from Adriana Locke - Cole ended up being the hero that I needed him to be, and Palmer's consistency and character, along with Ethan being the north pointing compass, made this book exactly perfect.

I have liked everything I've ever read by Locke, and this was just a little bit different but precisely swoony in her traditional approach to romance. I was initially a little uninterested in the opening of this book at Fletcher's, where Palmer is visiting her BFF Val, and the two are sort of obnoxiously familiar. When Cole approaches Palmer and admits that he bet his friend $100 that he could get her phone number, and then Palmer gives him a phone number (not hers, but no spoilers here!), I was instantly smitten with Cole. He rolled with all the punches Palmer threw at him (and she threw A LOT). Her previous experiences with men, family, and relationships had put her off romance unless it was headed somewhere serious, and visiting hot shot Cole hit all her checkboxes except the most important one, the one that requires he sticks around.

Cole's immediately smitten with Palmer, and decides to stick around to get to know her better, by volunteering to coach Ethan's baseball team. The more time Cole, Palmer, and Ethan spend together, the more clarify Cole gets about his life after baseball. The swoon truly arrives when the reader gets to see Cole become a steady presence in Palmer and Ethan's life, something they both desperately need. Obviously, it's romance, so there's a break-up and conflict, but Cole's character is so attractive (plus, isn't it swoony to watch a guy who doesn't know what to do next realize that he WANTS TO BE A DAD??? ugh. Hopefully it's not just me that thinks that way!).

This book had so many fun storylines and reflects the reality of small town USA, without the cliches of small town romance - just a community of people who work hard to make their money, buy things locally because they know the families that benefit, and a desire to stay when there are "greener" pastures elsewhere. Furthermore, this story is one of raising emotionally supported and intelligence men, both already grown and ones being raised in the pages. I know Locke took pages from her own life, raising rowdy boys to be self-aware and thoughtful human beings, and I loved how that transferred onto the page. This book also touched on some more serious topics, including some health diagnoses that require both the characters and the reader to understand what LOVE in action looks like, and I love those kinds of books the most.

I loved this book, but something is keeping me from giving it FIVE FULL STARS. That being said, I adored this story and these characters, and it easily gets a 4-star rating from me, likely closer to 4.5 stars if I'm being honest. It's hard to articulate, but I just wanted a little bit more from this story. It was beautiful and almost too perfect? Is that seriously why I'm docking .5 stars? Maybe!

Thank you to NetGalley and Montlake for the advanced copy of this one. These are my honest thoughts.
Was this review helpful?
4.5 Stars
I really enjoyed this one. It had me at single mom and former baseball player. This book definitely delivered on the heart and feels. I even teared up a few times. These characters had me so invested. Plus the cover is beautiful and caught my eye. I loved the banter between Cole and Palmer. With everything that life has thrown at Palmer and her son Ethan they so deserve someone like Cole in their life. I loved the positive male influence Cole is for Ethan. My heart went out to Ethan because his dad is a real piece of work. In turn Cole deserves Palmer and Ethan in his life as long as he doesn't mess up that is. A really good story that you do not want to miss!
Was this review helpful?
Such a cute, feel good read! This will be a win for small town, single parent lovers who appreciate a laidback and easygoing love story with a touch of heartache. I could feel the instant ZAP of attraction between these two, and it immediately had my attention. It reminded me of my favorite of Locke's romances, Tangle, with small town vibes and tension that arises from two people who are perfect for each other in all ways but one - their outlook on relationships. Our heroine has been burned too many times, so she's determined not to fall for a man who openly admits that he can't promise her forever. I loved watching Palmer resist Cole at first, just as much as I loved watching him fall head over heels for Palmer AND her son. The romance between them was all kinds of swoony and sweet, though the laidback feel did drag on occasion. I also thought the unexpected shot of angst towards the end detracted from the vibes, but it went right back to the swoons, so I can't complain too much.

The story follows Palmer, a woman who has put her heart on the line too many times. She's given her all in relationships, only to be strung along by guys who were never going to give her forever. So when she meets an irresistibly sexy and confident retired baseball player who is only in town temporarily, Palmer knows better than to fall for his charms. But the more Palmer resists Cole, the more he finds himself attracted, and it's not long before he reconsiders his plans. Spending time in a small town with Palmer and her 12-year-old son, coaching little league and getting to know the community... it's all pretty great. Unfortunately, there's a reason why Cole never promised forever, and it's all too easy to lose sight of that.

Locke can be hit or miss for me, but I've enjoyed several of her small town romances in the past - I think that's where she really shines. There is such personality in the community setting, a true sense of authenticity about being a mom, and lighthearted vibes that simply worked. The chemistry was also great. It was all working for me, though I do think the length could've been shortened a bit. I also loved that it went in a direction I wasn't expecting from the blurb, with Cole being less of a player and more of a sweetheart who has his reasons for holding back. It's clear throughout the story that he's got a secret - he retired from baseball for a reason - but I was very taken aback when all was revealed. There were some unexpected triggers and a few chapters that weighed things down, though I certainly empathized with the situation. I didn't even mind how instalovey everything was. This ended up being a solid 4-star read for me, and I think it could've been higher if a few things had been tightened up. It definitely gave me a case of the warm and fuzzies, which makes it a win overall.
Was this review helpful?
I am absolutely in love with Adriana Locke. I don't recall ever reading something by her that I haven't enjoyed getting lost in. This book was no different. I am a sucker for a single parent romance but add in a hero that falls head over heels first and it's a perfect situation for me.
Was this review helpful?
I'll start this review by saying i don't think this was Adriana Locke's best work. The story started off great and strong. Their meet-cute was funny and it left me wanting to turn the pages as quickly as possible to see what lie in store for them. But the more time they spent together; the spark went out a little.

I don't want to say the story was not interesting, but the fire was not as strong as it was at the beginning of the book. And maybe that's because Palmer has had a rough life and she is basically taking care of her almost teenage son all on her own, whereas Cole doesn't need to take care of anyone but himself. I didn't even mind that much the main plot problem but would have wished that she realized more just how she really closed off and how much he loved both her and her son.

Overall, this was an OK read but not my favorite. Maybe i was in a weird state of mind but this time I'm giving this -4*.

***Review copy requested and reviewed on behalf of OMGReads Blog***
4 likes
Was this review helpful?
Talk about a blindsiding, misleading blurb. This review will be spoiler-ish!
I haven't much experience with Adriana Locke's stories and it's been a hot minute since the grapes in the pussy episode (I see this got your attention, so this is the book, but you know what they say about curiosity: Sway) then I saw this cute cover the other night, read the blurb and thought, why not?

I love a small town romance, so if the premise is small town romance I'm already listening. Throw in a single parent getting swept off their feet by a gorgeous sports celebrity giving them and her kid equal attention and care and I'm LISTENING. I'm here for all the feels, the elation of a sweet courtship: engaging banter, sexy innuendos, family dynamics, slow burning feels, heated kisses and the low angst from the insecurity of a small town single mom playing it safe about harbouring dreams of a future with hot shot baseball player from California uprooting his life for them.

Development between Palmer (she) and Cole (he) goes pretty fast: the hero is being very forward and relentless in a cocky/charming way and the heroine is eventually giving in after a bout of reluctancy.
Things are good between them for a while if you can excuse the lack of substantial chemistry on page and one truly uninspired sex scene. 
There's just this "news" Cole has been continuously putting off acknowledging since the beginning, to himself and his family, that is regularly reminded to us by the author. A looming drama cloud. We’re aware early in the book about a health issue going on with Cole that led him to retire early from his professional baseball career but it's being eluded foreverrrr: until the fated third act break up of romance. Ugh.

And it’s exactly when this sweet small town romance took a definitive negative turn for me. Suddenly the bad news are coming from EVERYWHERE. Drama is being piled on Palmer's doorstep in the matter of minutes. Literally.
Cole is visiting Palmer with the intention to talk to her about his recent diagnosis (multiple sclerosis) and his wish to move here permanently. He finds her in tears because of the news her boss —with whom she has a close/friendly relationship— just dropped about his wife having terminal cancer. Additionally the boss has decided to close shop so heroine is about to become jobless.
In the same scene and before Cole has had any chance to drop his bomb, she receives a call from her crappy ex—that we hear about on/off in the story because of his shitty parental skills— asking her to send him bail money from jail. Palmer has always been very diplomatic dealing with her son’s father even after he basically abandoned their son but she finally loses her shit on the phone in front of Cole. Venting about not having the mental space to deal with someone else’s shit anymore.
Awkward. Cole does what he thinks is best given the context, he breaks up with Palmer and goes back to California.

Sigh.

Look, the chemistry was somehow choppy and I wasn’t that much into the story but this made me skim until the end. I believe the son, Ethan, (who talks and acts like an adult) gives a phone call to Cole to tell him to come back deal with his mom’s tears. Cole comes back. They are pregnant six months later.
The writing wasn’t for me. I failed to connect with the main characters as a couple and didn’t believe in their romance but more than this the uninspired over the top drama pile was anything but sweet.
I despise cancer used as plot device, same goes for MS or any major illness. The blurb says sweet and sexy. I'm asking : WHERE was the sweet and sexy? Really?
Was this review helpful?
This story had a lot of "heat". I found myself turning through those pages...however the reason I stuck with it is the story is FABULOUS!!! The story line is great! I highly recommend this one as the love story develops in a way you don't anticipate. It's sweet and just all-around an easy read.
Was this review helpful?
Small town, single mom, newly retired and flirty baseball player in town visiting his parents. Palmer, a hardworking single mom to a preteen, is realizing her worth and what she needs in a partner. Even though Cole Beck may be fun, she knows deep in her heart, it only would be temporary, and she doesn't think would be a good idea in the long run. That just makes Cole want to work harder to be in Palmer and Ethan's life. The challenge is fun, but there is just something about Palmer he knows he can't easily walk away from when its time to go. There also is something going on with him with his abrupt retirement announcement. I really liked this story, the moments with Ethan, wise beyond his years, the sweetest mama's boy. So much love between mom and kiddo. These two deserved each other and I really enjoyed reading their story unfold
Was this review helpful?
Single parent romances are one of my favorite tropes and let me tell you this one did not disappoint! I loved The Sweet Spot from the moment I picked it up! If life hadn’t got in the way this one would have definitely been a one sit read! I didn’t want to put it down. I loved Palmer and Cole so much! Cole will definitely be added to the ever growing book boyfriend list! This book will have you feeling all of the feels! Laughing one moment and wanting to reach for tissues. Overall it was a great read that I definitely recommend!
Was this review helpful?
I am a massive fan of Adriana Locke and I think this might be my favorite book of hers and that's saying something. She knows just how to hook you. She writes flawed, but amazing characters. She makes you want more and more. I loved it.
Was this review helpful?
I loved this read! 

This single mom/baseball player romance hit me in the feels! I loved the characters! Palmer and Cole were fantastic! I loved the way they met, the storyline, the small town, and Palmer's son, Ethan. 

The Sweet Spot, written by the amazing romance reader Adriana Locke was the book I didn't know I needed at the time. It was the perfect mix of family, small town, romance, I completely recommend this one!
Was this review helpful?
Single mother of a twelve-year-old, Palmer Clark had no intentions to fall for the legendary baseball player that dropped into town.  After her past relationships, she wants someone stable and that will be there for her.  She wants a forever kind of man and Cole was not that man.  So, keeping him at a distance should be easy but Cole volunteering to coach the baseball team her son Etan was on made it difficult.  Especially when the connection between Ethan and Cole was so strong.
Retiring from major baseball, Cole Beck was just stopping by his hometown to visit his parents before he decided on the next step in his life.  He wasn’t looking for a relationship or a forever but then he wasn’t expecting Palmer either.  Can he overcome her fears and reach that sweet spot in life?
The Sweet Spot was a small-town romance with all the feel-goods.  This was an amazingly sweet story full of emotions and heart-touching moments.  I loved the connection Cole had with Ethan and how he stepped up to help coach the small-town baseball team.  He was so swoon worthy and I loved watching him slowly woo and break down all of Palmer’s walls.  They make such a perfect couple.   I enjoyed the book from this author who is still very new to me and look forward to more books from her.
I received an ARC and am voluntarily leaving a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Was this review helpful?
This isn’t my favorite book from Adriana Locke, but I did enjoy the story. Cole was perfection! I really enjoyed the relationship between Palmer and her son, Ethan.
Was this review helpful?
i LOVE adriana, but this one was a struggle for me to get through. it just felt very repetitive for so long the build up was just kinda meh
Was this review helpful?
I adore  Locke and her writing. The feels she conveys through her words are always amazing and The Sweet Spot will literally do just that. From being a single mom romance, the meet cute and everything, this is a sweet feel good story that have your heart happy in the long run.
Was this review helpful?
I love Adriana's small town, angsty romances they are a pleasure to read.  In the Sweet Spot we meet  Palmer who has gone through some tough times with love and has come out the other side determined not to put her heart on the line again.  That's until she meets the gorgeous and charming man candy who turns up at her favourite restaurant and will not take no for an answer.

Cole is a baseball player who suddenly retires while at the top of his game for a reason that he is not ready to face yet.  Instead he arrives in Bloomfield to visit his parents and consider his future.  What he didn't expect to find his future in a small diner.

This is a beautiful slow burn romance between two people who are so different but so strongly attracted to each other and I loved following their journey as they fell in love.  Cole was absolutely swoonworthy and the perfect boyfriend for Palmer, determined to win her over no matter what it took, including taking her son Ethan under his wing filling the gap where his deadbeat father should have been. 

Adriana's writing is amazing as she is able to make all her characters come alive off of the pages. The Sweet Spot is an emotional, entertaining and definitely unforgettable story about learning to trust and dealing with adversity while finding the future that both Cole and Palmer deserved.
Was this review helpful?
I am a  big fan of Romance books and I found this one to be a very enjoyable read.  I will be looking for more books from this author.
Was this review helpful?
5 ⭐️ 

I absolutely adored The Sweet Spot! 

This book is a classic Adriana Locke story-all the feel good emotions and the incredible characters that are sure to steal your heart as you’re reading. As always, Ms. Locke creates a fictional world that feels so real. Single mom and small town romances are some of my favorite tropes and let me just say that this story was out of this world amazing! 

Cole and Palmer were two fantastic characters. Literally stole my heart from the very beginning. The chemistry between the two was palpable and I loved watching them fall for each other. Ethan, Palmers son,  stole the show! I adored him! Loved this book and cannot wait to see what’s next for Ms. Locke!
Was this review helpful?
This is the 2nd book I've read by this author and it makes me wonder why I haven't read more. 
I really enjoyed this story. Palmer and Cole were great characters with a great story to tell. I really enjoyed both of their separate stories as well as the budding romance. Palmers story really struck a chord with me and I found her so relatable which made it easy to put myself in her shoes. Cole well what can I say about Cole except where can i find me one of those! He was not your typical jock but had such a sweet side to him and was so caring. My heart broke for him towards the end of the story. Adriana Locke did a great job at tugging at the ol heartstrings. This book had me hook line and sinker and I didn't want to put it down. Can't wait to read more by her.
Was this review helpful?
This one just wasn't for me. I found it hard to connect with the characters and the story. I really wanted to love this story though.
Was this review helpful?