30 November, 2017

#BookReview :: The Sweetheart Mystery (Brash & Brazen #4) by Cheryl Ann Smith

The Sweetheart Mystery
Brash & Brazen #4
by Cheryl Ann Smith
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Harper Jane Evans is so over pro cheerleading but she’s not quite ready for prison. Good thing she’s got a badass ex-boyfriend ready to go to bat for her . . .
Sure, Harper made a few unsavory threats against her team’s manager—she’d had a few drinks and she despised the skimpy uniform he expected her to wear. That didn’t mean she wanted him dead. But when the sleazy dude is found murdered in his tighty whiteys, Harper is the number one suspect—and former FBI agent Noah Slade is the one man who can help. Too bad she once told Noah she never wanted to see him again . . .
Noah may have done a number on Harper’s heart all those years ago, but he’s determined to do right by her now. Yet the fiery beauty isn’t the only demon from his past, which makes hunting down a murderer by her side . . . complicated—never mind the powerful attraction still pulsing between them. Good thing he’s willing to do just about anything to keep from losing Harper again. And an old love just might bring her a new career—assuming she can stay out of jail . . .

Harper Evans is gutsy and stubborn She doesn’t really know when to let things go and her big mouth has gotten her into plenty of trouble in her lifetime. However, this time her troubles are a bit more serious as she is now the main suspect in the murder of her sleezy boss. Noah Slade has a past with Harper and now the only person who can help her clear her name. The question is whether they can put their past aside long enough to work together? Especially since the chemistry between them is undeniable…

I loved Harper. She is one sassy girl with quite a few admirable qualities that make you like her; that is till she opens her mouth! She has this habit of shooting off her mouth without thinking which has often landed her in awkward and embarrassing situations. I admired her determination. Noah on the other hand took some time to settle in. I liked the fact that he ‘realised’ his mistake with Harper and when he gets a chance to make up for it, he goes out of his way to help her. I wished for more back story on him though. The chemistry between Harper and Noah did not really work for me as even though I was repeatedly ‘told’ about it, I never really felt it. The plot was simple and straight forward. No surprises for me in the book. But I did like the way the author handled the narrative. The language was lucid and the plot had a steady pace. Quite a few chuckles sprinkled through the story. But what is it with the goat though?

I am a bit curious about certain side characters in the book and as such I may pick up the other books in the series.

Harper dug through her closet and pulled out a little red dress that she’d been saving for a special occasion. A charity event with Noah was the perfect place to dust it off. Small crystals edged the hem and bodice, giving the dress sparkle and she needed sparkle. After his comment in the car, she wanted to knock Noah’s feet out from under him.
            Since his confession, she’d been feeling warm and fuzzy. Despite locking down her heart with a chain Noah couldn’t break, she just couldn’t completely shake him off.
            Yes, she agreed to sex, no frills, all fun, sex. But she couldn’t quite fully give him her trust.
            What if they dated, got married, and had kids? Then something crappy happened. Would Noah run for refuge with another woman? He had before. Could she take that risk?
            Equal parts of her were worried, and ready, to take the next step. She so wanted to test his lovemaking skills.
            With the tide turning away from her as his best suspect, Mignon was unlikely to interrupt her and Noah again. By the end of the evening, she hoped to be knee deep in the sheets with a warm and naked Noah.
            After showering and flat ironing her hair for a different look, she put on makeup and a barely-there red bra and matching tiny panties. Next, she slipped into the dress and loved the feel of the satin against her bare skin.
            Shoes with sparkles on the straps completed the picture. She’d just found her dress clutch when Noah arrived. She’d left the door unlocked. “You ready?” he called out.
            Taking a deep breath with her hand on her chest, she walked into the living room on high heels.
Noah went still. “Wow.”
            Dressed in a tux with a white shirt and bowtie, he was heart-stoppingly handsome. Not only had he shaved, but he’d had his hair trimmed. “Yeah, wow back.”
            She joined him. He took her hand and kissed the inside of her wrist, sending tingles up her arm. Up close, he smelled spicy and male. If not for the chance to speak to Betty Anne, and having spent too much time on her hair, she would’ve chucked their plans and taken him right to the bedroom.
            Noah offered her his arm. “Is it appropriate to be very aroused right now?”
            Laughing, she linked her arm through his. “I hear you.” She steered him to the door before she lost her resolve to behave. Going with an attempted baseball analogy, she said, “You’re pitching pheromones that I’m catching.”

National bestselling author Cheryl Ann Smith became hooked on romance at age fourteen when she stayed up all night to read The Flame and The Flower by Kathleen Woodiwiss. Her own writing journey happened much later, when one afternoon she ran out of books and decided to write her own. Previously, she has published five sexy Regency novels and one novella with Berkley in her School for Brides series.

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts and a giveaway!

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