Guest Reviewed by Ami
Title: Anything But Sweet
Author: Candis Terry
Series: Sweet, Texas #1
Heroes: Charlotte “Charli” Brooks/Reno Wilder
Genre: M/F Contemporary Romance
Length: 384 Pages
Publisher: Avon Publishing
Release Date: June 25, 2013
Available at: Avon Publishing, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, All Romance Ebooks and Kobo
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: He’s stubborn and thoroughly male . . . If Charlotte Brooks thinks she and her TV makeover show can turn Reno Wilder’s hometown upside-down, he’ll be happy to prove her wrong. The ex-Marine has seen too much turmoil and he likes Sweet, Texas, just the way it is. Traditional. Familiar. A little dull. Everything Charli isn’t. But instead of backing off from his scowls like everyone else, Charli digs in her skyscraper heels. She’s tenacious and wickedly tempting . . . Reno Wilder is a one-man unwelcoming committee, but Charli isn’t budging. It’s clear the gorgeous cowboy needs an overhaul just as much as Sweet. Someone needs to break him out of that gruff shell and show him how fun and rewarding a little change can be. They’re about to find that love is anything but predictable.
Charli Brooks, host of a makeover show for small-towns, My New Town came to Sweet, Texas, after being invited by the senior citizens who are frustrated with the lack of resourcefulness from their Mayor. Reno Wilder, ex-marine and owner of Wilder and Sons Hardware & Feed, is probably the only Sweet citizen who is not excited about the change. Reno doesn’t want any change. He wants the town to stay exactly as it is. He doesn’t see anything wrong with Sweet that needs a facelift. Knowing Reno’s reluctance, Charli sees it as a challenge, professionally and personally, to show Reno that changes are not always a bad thing.
I love Charli’s cheerful, high-spirited attitude. She is a military daughter, and her father is not exactly one who shows emotion – but Charli still grows up as a “rainbow after the rain” kind of person. She is not discouraged when she knows Reno doesn’t agree to the makeover. She makes it her mission to show Reno that she will enhance the town and its characteristics, not destroy it. I love that Charli is a determined woman – but, at the same time, compassionate and understanding. When Charli turns on the flirty mode, Reno doesn’t stand a chance *LOL*. This is the kind of feisty heroine that I just love in my books.
Reno is the protective, stubborn, and tortured hero. He experienced three loses in a short span of time: his older brother, Jared, who was killed in Afghanistan, his father, who died not long after Jared, and last, his fiancée, just days before their wedding. I think Reno’s personal grief and reasons why he despises change is written in layers that makes him a great three-dimensional character. It’s a guilty survivor attitude – Reno thinks that he doesn’t deserve to move on. He feels guilty if he can live his life while his other loved ones can’t.
The banter between Charli and Reno is lively. The romance that is built between the two of them is lovely. And, in between, we also have supporting characters that are just as terrific – and make me very curious about their own happy endings. There are Reno’s brothers and mother. There are other Citizens, including Reno’s friend, Aiden, and his fiancée, Paige. They round up the cast of this small town wonderfully.
Small town romance – where everyone knows everyone, and it’s a tight knit community – is one of my favorite kinds of romance. Anything But Sweet is that … and definitely has done its job to make me feel warm and fuzzy after reading it.
Overall Impression: I really liked it
*I purchased my own, personal copy of this book for review.*