Note: This ARC was provided by InkSlinger PR in exchange for an honest review.
"Tell me you believe in love," she whispered.
His eyes flickered with an indefinable emotion. "I believe in you."
I discovered Nina Lane's Spiral of Bliss series this year and promptly fell in love with the story of Dean and Liv West, so when I heard she was going to start a new series, there was no question that each book would be on my to-be-read list. When the synopsis for Sweet Dreams, the first in the Sugar Rush series, was released, I had a feeling this was going to be a completely different set of stories from the author. There's no question that the exemplary writing is still there, but there's more humor in this series starter, albeit it does mingle with angst but in a way that neither one snuffs out the other, instead creating a well-balanced tale of love, pastries, candies, and family. I think it's safe to assume that the series will focus on Sugar Rush, a multi-million confectionery corporation, and the siblings tasked to run it and its enterprises. This, too, makes it stand out from the Spiral of Bliss, since that was about one couple's story told over five books, and the Sugar Rush series is individual stories of characters belonging to one family or company.
At almost twenty-three, Polly Lockhart is struggling to keep the bakery her mother started and loved afloat. Juggling the Wild Child Bakery with her studies in hopes of being better equipped to manage it have her hands full, but when she locks eyes with a gorgeous man on the night of her birthday, it's him she wants her hands on. She wishes she had left a better impression than the remnants of too much alcohol on him, but then she sees him again and it's clear that she made a fair better impression than she thought and he goes to make an even bigger impression on her: he's none other than Luke Stone, CEO of the Sugar Rush Candy Company, who at thirty-three, has been at the helm of the family-owned corporation for more than a decade. He's helped bring Sugar Rush to the pinnacle of success, but one misstep led to a scandal that has cost both Luke and the company. As distracting as Polly is, Luke knows she deserves a better man, but the more time he's with her, the sweeter and more tempting the idea of love seems to be.
This series starter made me hungry...hungry for all the delectable delights bandied about by candy connoisseur Luke and pastry prodigy Polly and hungry for more from Nina Lane and the Sugar Rush characters that I'm curious about. Polly and Luke's love story was a light read, one that I fully enjoyed and finished in a single sitting, not allowing anything to distract--not even the grumbling from my stomach because of the repeated mention of food. These two main characters gave each other help and support where they needed it and opened each other's eyes to the possibilities of finding something more beyond their usual. As different as they are, their appreciation for each other's work and recognizing the importance of family were just a couple of what they shared in common. As the first in a series, we get a truly well-written love story between Luke and Polly and are introduced to other characters we can't wait to fall in love with as the series evolves, making Sweet Dreams a deserving five-plus-starred 2016 favorite. ♥
Date Read: 23 September 2016
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