Love Me Sweet (Bell Harbor #3) by Tracy BroganLove Me Sweet by Tracy Brogan
Published January 2015
Series: Bell Harbor #3
Genres: Contemporary Romance
two-half-stars
Format: eBook
Buy it on Amazon
Check it out on Goodreads

Delaney Masterson isn’t looking for fame.

Yes, she has famous parents and a reality TV show, but she’s not the wild-child celebrity the paparazzi have painted her to be. Until…The Scandal. When an old boyfriend releases a private video, Delaney’s name becomes every comedian’s favorite punch line. To escape the media, she sneaks away to Bell Harbor, Michigan—during the worst winter in fifty years.

Adventure show cameraman Grant Connelly has stayed away from Bell Harbor—mostly by choice—but when a family obligation converges with a spontaneous career decision, it’s time to return home.

When bad weather, missing money, honky-tonk musicians, and Elvis impersonators throw Grant and Delaney together on an unexpected road trip, emotions get all shook up. They know only fools fall in love, but they can’t help falling. Still, Delaney has a secret that could tear them apart forever.

Can they weather the storm? Or will this romantic ride end at the Heartbreak Hotel?

Grant Connelly is back home in Bell Harbor, Michigan after quitting his job as a cinematographer for a survival show. What he thought would be a peaceful return home after so many years turns into a disaster! First, he discovers that his mother rented his house to a cute brunette called Elaine Masters, and then, his mother’s severe case of kleptomania leads him to drive cross-country with his houseguest to run after Elaine’s belongings and her money.

And within all this chaos, all that Elaine was looking for is peace, but that’s definitely not what she’s getting. Elaine’s real name is actually Delaney Masterson, child of a rockstar and an ex-model, and also co-star in the family’s reality show. But that was before a sex tape she didn’t even know existed was leaked, putting her in a bad light. Was it really the right decision to run away, or is it only making things worse?

What I loved about this book:

  • An all-around funny story
  • Extremely entertaining side-characters

What I felt needed improvement:

  • The plot was a tad standard
  • The main characters’ chemistry was off
  • The heroine was too incoherent from the start

I have been a Bell Harbor Series fan ever since the first book. I simply love Tracy Brogan’s ability to write comforting, cute and funny reads that are perfect for an afternoon of feel-good reading at home, cuddled on the sofa with a cup of hot chocolate. Sweet Love is totally a winter-story that should be read in exactly that setting! It was definitely a sweet read, but I’m afraid that’s all it was, and it didn’t hold the charm and appeal that the two first books did.

As far as the writing goes, it’s as great as usual with Tracy Brogan. You’ll get a 3rd person narrative with dual POVs alternating between Delaney/Grant, which will allow you to get insight into both their minds, and makes the read all the more funny.

“Could be a cold night so I guess I’ll better start a fire.”
“A fire? Have you got wood?”
A curve played at the corner of his mouth. “Oh, yeah. I got wood.”

That touch of fun and hilariousness is something I highly appreciate in a book, and I certainly did find it in Sweet Love, especially when Delaney and Grant engage into a road trip and somehow end up in a Nashville band’s tourbus! Let it be said that side characters in this story are aboslutely loveable and hilarious!

“She heard a muffled thunk and a clunk. Either Grant was putting wood on the fire or a frozen raccoon had just fallen off the roof.”

However, the main characters… not so much. I really could not feel the chemistry between those two, until maybe the very end. And that doesn’t even relate to the fact that there are no steamy-scenes at all (can’t believe some reviewers complained about the fact there were more graphic scenes than in previous books, which still amounts to litterally nothing). No, the whole non-chemistry issue starts off with both not really being inerested in a new relationship, despite the mutual attraction. And then, suddenly, out of nowhere, Grant turns into this cocky, self-entitled, jealous alpha-male who can’t wait to score with Delaney. Then (again so very suddenly) he becomes totally lovestruck and confesses his undying love to Delaney/Elaine. And all this time, Delaney doesn’t really show her feelings (which we know she has!), making Grant really look like a lovesick fool.

But Delaney wasn’t any better. She was incoherent from the first chapter on! She says she avoids the limelight, and acts that way too (at least throughout the book), but why did she do the reality show in the first place? Or even become a celebrity-stylist? This whole “lifestyle” she led before fleeing to Bell Harbor really doesn’t match her behaviour throughout the book. Her character/persona held very little credibility. And then, last but not least, I really found it ridiculous that Delaney behaved in such a childish way, and put off telling him her secret until the very end. But hey, I guess we all knew that the story’s plot would lead us to that.

View Spoiler »

Yes, plot-wise, Love Me Sweet was okay, but not great because the fall-in-love-with-a-fake-identity plot is not exactly news. However, mixing this with a road-trip-during-a-snowstorm-from-hell and the encounter with a Southern band on tour did spice it up considerably!

So all in all, Love Me Sweet was a nice read but I am afraid I was disappointed that it didn’t raise the bar on the previous Bell Harbor novels. However, I would still recommend you read it if you are looking for a nice relaxing afternoon read.

Detailed Rating
Storyline
4 Stars
Characters
2.5 Stars
Writing
4 Stars
All the feels
1 Stars
Overall: two-half-stars