Reviewed for Evie at www.Evie-Knight.com
Review copy courtesy of the publisher
Sweet Ride is Book 2 in Maegan Lynn Moores' Ride series. Although Goodreads.com does not list any books other thanWilde Ride and Sweet Ride, there will be more coming (it says so at the end of this book!). I definitely like, maybe even love, this author's writing style. I find that her heroines are entirely awesome and funny and that her heroes are sexy, badass and protective. However, this book wasn't as good as the first in the series...
Payton Clare is the heroine and she was first introduced in Book 1. Payton is a serious party girl - so much so that it's almost a turn off. She enjoys men and rarely (if ever) sleeps with a man more than once. At the start of the book, she's waking up in a strange man's bed with little memory of how she got there and no memory of this dude's name. I just really didn't like this aspect of her character, at all. I think the reason for that is because Payton is SO MUCH MORE than just some random slutty chick. She's sweet and kind and caring. She's ridiculously funny and she loves her friends and family. Now, Payton has a reason for her self-destructive behavior and the author tries to keep it a secret but I thought it was REALLY obvious. I mean, when someone like Payton gets shitfaced and sleeps around constantly and can't stand to have someone laying on top of her, you HAVE to quickly figure out why that is, right? Just in case you're a little slow on the uptake, I won't reveal it here but I had some issues with this secret. I get why Payton doesn't tell anyone, I really do. But once she becomes an adult, don't you think she'd look back and think that maybe she should tell someone? Or if nothing else, that she would maybe think about counseling? I don't know. I went around and around in my head about this. The author does SUCH a great job at giving Payton reasons for her avoidance of intimacy, for her believing that she's not lovable and that she's not worth loving... all of that. But, out here, in reality, in 2013, it's hard for me to buy that. I mean, we ALL know that we're beautiful, inside and out, and that EVERYONE is deserving of love, right? RIGHT!?!?!? Are there still women out there that believe horrible things about themselves? If there are, give them my email address so that I can set 'em straight! As you can see, I may have had a little bit of an issue with Payton and how she handled things but she still affected me in a powerful way.
Luckily, Payton pretty much meets her match in Jack De Luca. Jack was also in Book 1 but he was undercover (he's a cop). He and Payton go out a few times but Payton has a HUGE issue with lying so when she found out that Jack wasn't who she thought he was, she flipped out and refused to speak to him. But Jack won't be so easily brushed aside! He feels something for Payton and he knows that she felt something for him and he won't give up on her. I swear, Jack is like the male version of Payton in some ways. The way he loves his family and friends really reminded me of Payton. I just love how he's all "Sorry, Ma" when he accidentally cusses around his mom. It is SO adorable! LOL! Jack also has a painful event in his past and, just like Payton, it has shaped him into who he is today. Jack is so hot and he's Italian (like for reals) so whenever he speaks Italian to Payton... gah! Talk about swoon-worthy! So here he is, a sexy cop who can speak Italian and he's getting all protective about Payton. It's so damn sexy... I have no words for it! There are a couple of times that Jack saves the day and that just solidified his "Stud" status in my mind (does anyone say stud anymore?).
Obviously, Jack and Payton are hot together! There's plenty of Sexy Time so don't worry - you'll definitely have lots of opportunities to see what I'm talking about! As damaged as they might be, they're still really funny together. Payton has a nickname for Jack's "member": The Beast. When she slips and says it out loud, Jack's reaction was great. Actually, that whole scene is one of my favorites because its hot but in the midst of the hotness is a little humor and that's pretty cool. I was definitely rooting for Jack to get through to Payton right from the beginning. You know he's good for her and that he really DOES like her and she's just too damaged to see it. It was awesome to see him challenging her long-held beliefs about herself. Isn't there some kind of saying about how love can do miracles or love can solve stuff or something? If you want to see what that might look like, just read this book. Ahh, if only it were that easy, right?
So, now you're probably thinking, "Okay Big Balls Liz (I have no idea why you'd call me that but let's just go with it), so you've reviewed the book - mostly - and it sounds like you really liked it. What's with the low rating, huh?" Well, calm down, missy! I'm getting there, sheesh! But you'd be right: I did really like the book. It had lots and lots of Sexy Time (love it!) and just as many laughs (love it more!). So what's the problem? I DON'T KNOW! I'm reading this book and Payton's story really gets to me and Jack is like the perfect guy for her because he knows pain and he's still healing but he has a great family and so does Payton and all of this but then halfway, maybe two-thirds of the way through the book, I'm feeling myself roll my eyes more and more. It started to feel like I was reading a character from Sweet Valley High or something (if you're too young for that reference... oh god forget it....). It just felt really immature and not predictable but kind of... stereotypical? I can't explain it right but I just found myself liking Payton less and less. Honestly, I think that might be just my own issue so don't let the low rating or this paragraph dissuade you.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. The last third of it changed somehow but don't ask me how; I have no idea. I would still recommend this book though. The characters were (mostly) pretty awesome, there was lots of Sexy Time, lots of laughs and even a little mystery. I may not have LOVED this book but I will continue to read her and this series!