Tristan Love is the youngest of 7 brothers...I'm also the youngest of 7 so I can relate to certain things about Tristan's family dynamics. Which in the scheme of things was good because relating to a story and it's characters goes a long way towards contributing to how much a reader enjoys the story or at least it does for me.
Tristan's left the food scene in New York and returned to his hometown in the hopes of escaping an abusive relationship and starting over with his own bakery. See here again I can relate to Tristan because abusive relationship...done it, seen it, been there and got the tee shirt. My point here is that a big reason as to why I enjoyed this story was Tristan right off the bat I was hooked in by a character to whom I could relate. I liked Tristan and totally understood his struggle throughout the story to be independent in regards to his family regardless of how much he loved them.
And then we met Jake and while Jake really didn't have the relatability for me that Tristan did I still really liked him. Jake was a bit of an underdog and let's face it we all want to root for the underdog...or at least most of us do and in Jake's case the fact that he was a sexy as hell underdog didn't hurt...I was more than happy to be one of his cheerleaders.
Now, here's what infuriated me...there were more than a few people who for me ended up being a bit of a disappointment. Jake's got a history that's not good. He's done his time and paid his dues and he's trying to make a life for himself working at his sister's garage as a mechanic and for the most part things are going along fairly well until he shows an interest in Tristan...not because either of them are gay no...because Jake's got a criminal record so he's not good enough for Tristan in the eyes of his brothers especially his overbearing and domineering brother Simon. Never mind that Jake treats Tristan a whole lot better than Tristan's abusive (we're talking physical, emotional and mental abuse here folks, this guy is at the top of the heap when it comes to POS ex's) thankfully Tristan can think for himself and he likes Jake not only that but he doesn't let people sway his judgement because lord knows if he did he'd be back with his POS ex if Simon had his way. Yeah, I admit it more than anyone I was furious with Simon...
Simon who never bothered to talk to his brother about why he'd left his 'amazing' boyfriend...come on Simon use your brain if he's so amazing why did Tristan not only leave him but basically run away to escape him...think about that and while your at it think about the fact that Tristan's your brother so really, who's back should you have? Thankfully Tristan's other two brothers that we get to meet Gareth and Nate aren't so readily convinced as to how wonderful Christopher is.
While a lot of what happened felt fairly predictable for me. I still found this to be a really sweet and enjoyable romance story and I think that was due not just to how relatable Tristan was or how much I liked Jake but because of the overall way in which the author told this story it was the difference between waiting for what you knew would happen and knowing what was coming but looking forward to it which I found that I was, regardless of things being predicable the T. Neilson had me looking forward to when it would actually happen and I enjoyed a story that quite honestly I was able to just sit back and listen to without having to have at least a mental spreadsheet of who did what to who and why and why and where and how...and on and on...
'Sweet Nothings' was also my opportunity to check out a new to me narrator in the person of Simon Ferrar and I was happily impressed. I enjoyed the voices that were presented to me for the different characters...especially Tristan's and Jake's and believe it or not Christoper, which I know might seem strange because...Christoper is essentially the bad guy here and who likes the bad guy right? Well, not me but when listening to an audio book so much of the story is conveyed through the narrators voice...the emotions of the moment, the urgency of things, danger, love, passion and even a character's nature. Christopher was not a nice person and the narrator's voice conveyed this fact but not in a blatant attempt to sound like a 'bad guy' way. It was subtle and the more I heard Christopher talk the more I disliked him not just because of what he was saying but how he was saying it. Needless to say I'm curious to hear more from this narrator and quite honestly I'm also curious to read more from this author especially from this series which while this book is the 55th book in the Dreamspun Desires series it's also the first book in T. Neilson's series 'Amuse Bouche' and I'm curious to see what's coming next, hopefully it'll involve some of the characters that we've met here, but only time will tell for sure.
An audio book of 'Sweet Nothings' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.