Release Date: July 14, 2015
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: Rockstar Contemporary Romance
Twentysomething Kat Reid is loving life as an in-demand Hollywood makeup artist. She has absolutely no interest in rock ’n’ roll, but in order to pay the mortgage, she agrees to work on the set of a rock video for the world-famous rockers known as Bad Habit…which brings her face-to-face with Nico Nyx, lead singer of Bad Habit and Adonis in the flesh.
However, the fiercely independent Kat isn’t impressed by the hard-living, womanizing rock star. But when Nico’s model girlfriend shows up to the set drunk and Kat is tapped to replace her as the video’s sexy bride, her combustible chemistry with Nico suddenly threatens to consume the set. Nico feels it, too—and becomes determined to win Kat over, body and soul. Yet behind his rock god swagger, Nico hides a dark secret. Can he rock Kat’s world forever, or will he just break her heart?
SWEET AS SIN by J.T. Geissinger tore me asunder! First of all, this isn't my typical read. Rockstar romances doesn't appeal to me very much not to mention the new adult label attached to it (although I think this is contemporary romance as the characters are NOT new adults in every sense of the word). BUT it's a Geissinger book so...
One of the reasons why I avoid reading books with this theme is I tend to over analyze things, zap the story of spontaneous romance, snicker in judgment for the characters, and see their actions and dramatic antics as idiotic. Maybe it's just me, but I find rockstar/celebrity romances superficial so it's a challenge to suspend disbelief.
SWEET AS SIN has its share of the abovementioned things with a few stereotypes complete with celebrity meltdowns and intrigue. It's great though because Nico gave a warning early on that jerk moves are to be expected, so there's that. It's also a love-at-first-sight romance in hyperspeed pace so that part made me question the relationship long-term. If not for the guaranteed HEA, I think I'd caution Kat on a few things concerning Nico's temper and possessiveness. These are cute characteristics in the beginning but it can get stifling down the road. Kat's not without flaws too. Chick cries on almost EVERY little thing that Nico does and there is a sense of desperation on how easily she fell for Nico and allowed him to get his way most of the time. Gah!
Last gripe, there's a few convenient excuses and history here too to justify Nico's current situation. I have to admit, it made my eye roll at times, but then I've seen worse. Also, the twist towards the end felt disjointed, but I'll get back to that later.
Despite all the cons I mentioned, it worked! I don't know what's gotten into me but I was totally swept away by SWEET AS SIN! It took me back to when I was Kat's age (25), super in love, totally vulnerable, and susceptible to drama. The romance between the two was fast and intense. Kat's reaction was very realistic in that she was both excited and afraid because she knows that she will never be the same after Nico regardless if they work or not. That's a big deal and both Kat and Nico handled it the best they can IMO.
And inspite the insta-romance, there's still some sort of courtship that went on here. I have to admit, though I find it over the top and at times cheesy, Nico's grand gestures of love were swoon-worthy. I mean if it were me, my ovaries would be doing the Macarena too! Also, Kat and Nico are a cute pair! I'm not going to lie, Nico made it difficult for me not to love him and Kat's spitfire attitude is very endearing as well. Perfection is overrated anyways so their flaws, as well as the novel's, just highlighted the good stuff even more.
Back to the sudden dark twist of events towards the end. And let me forewarn you that I'm going to get super subjective here. On the Acknowledgements, Ms. Geissinger shared a very personal anecdote while writing SWEET AS SIN, her father passed away (my condolences) in the middle of writing and naturally, it affected her work explaining the touch of darkness concerning Nico's storyline. This changed my perspective for the book entirely. I know some of you have a different opinion, that one's output should remain unaffected by personal issues. But my opinion on it is these books are emotionally driven, the authors use their personal lives as sources of inspiration for their novels so I totally understand why SWEET AS SIN felt polarized in the latter parts. And with that, I thank J.T. for sharing that bit of personal struggle with her readers.
So after everything has been said and done, I loved SWEET AS SIN. It's what I expect a rockstar romance should be: intense, all consuming, possessive, and dangerous. The rest of the band members of Bad Habit are just as interesting, especially the drummer A.J. I look forward to reading more of this series, and congratulations to J.T. Geissinger on Bad Habit's strong debut!