Note: This ARC was provided by InkSlinger PR in exchange for an honest review.
"I've always loved you, Hayes Whitley. When I was ten years old with skinned knees and braces. And when I was fourteen, sitting in the tree house jealous of all the high school girls bragging about your kissing skills. Then we did kiss and I hated them all for know that, but you, you could no wrong in my eyes. And even after you walked away...I still loved you."
Favorite second chance romance for 2016! Yup, We've still got a little over a month before the year ends but I'm already calling it: Sweet Cheeks by bestselling author K. Bromberg gave every romance that shared the same trope a run for its money and then beat each one by several miles. This has also got to be my favorite celebrity romance for the year. Damn, this story should feel familiar but K. Bromberg must have had sprinkled some magical fairy dust--or better yet, magical flour dust!--over herself and her keyboard because this was so refreshingly creative in a genre that has way more stories that were been-there-done-that. And guess what? This is my first read from the author. I have her other novels sitting prettily in my e-reader, but it took me signing up for this book's release blitz to get my butt in gear and thank God I did because this is one of those books that would have made me felt like I was missing out on something totally wonderful had I not read it when I did. Whatever it was that I was expecting was thrown to the wayside; instead, the deliciousness that is Sweet Cheeks surprised me in the best ways possible.
Sweet Cheeks is the story of twenty-seven-year-old Saylor Rodgers, owner of the fledgling Sweet Cheeks CupCakery who ended her engagement to her boyfriend of six years at about the same time her bakery opened, and twenty-nine-year-old award-winning actor Hayes Whitley. Hayes was Saylor's first love--her first everything--and her first heartbreak. He walked away without a word of goodbye nor a whisper of an explanation a decade ago. He's maintained his friendship with Saylor's older brother Ryder--who just happens to be his best friend--and yet cut off all communication with Saylor. So, when he suddenly walks into Sweet Cheeks ten years after he left her behind, Saylor knows it has something to do with the wedding invitation her ex-fiancé and his bride sent her weeks ago. Filling up that RSVP card was nothing more than a joke, but when her assistant mistakenly sends it, Saylor is torn between going and not showing up. She may no longer love her ex, but his family has something to do with the lack of foot traffic in her store, and if it means showing up to his wedding with her first love, than she'll suck it up.
When Hayes Whitley left everything and everyone to chase his dream of Hollywood, he never thought it would take him so long to return. Saylor Rodgers was his world and while leaving broke both their hearts, he couldn't live with himself if he didn't, at the very least, give that first audition. The rest, as they say, is history, but that history he shares with Saylor never really got any sort of resolution. He's never apologized and with her brother cashing in that IOU, helping the girl he loved could be his redemption. But Saylor is no longer that teen girl whose heart he broke. She's all grown up and more gorgeous than ever, but the changes don't seem to be just physical. That fiery part of her barely makes an appearance, and Hayes desperately wants not just her forgiveness but wants to see bring that part of Saylor back to life. He's got his own issues he's dealing with work-wise, but Hayes is ready and willing to be by Saylor's side as she hopefully closes that chapter with her ex permanently. Their time together is temporary, but why does Hayes feel as if this is history repeating itself, only this time, he wants the happy ending...
I loved, loved, LOVED Hayes and Saylor! Even at their most brutally honest moments where they didn't hold back and shared every ounce of pain that they experienced while apart or every bit of anxiety that they were now facing, there was no denying that the love they had for one another was still there. Saylor is independent, at times to a fault, but she has a good support system in her older brother Ryder and her assistant and close friend DeeDee, and she does ask for help when need be. She's sassy and doesn't back down but she's also quite sweet and doesn't have a mean bone in her body. Then there's Hayes who has officially won book boyfriend of the year in my opinion. The man isn't perfect--heck, he left without a goodbye or an explanation ten years prior--but when he makes up for his mistakes, he does so with gusto. But it isn't just grand gestures that the man can do because those little things--gah, those tweets were both corny and toe-curlingly romantic--he did for Saylor were super swoon-worthy. Sweet Cheeks is one of my top favorite reads of ANY genre this year, a five-plus-starred must-read. ♥
"I walked away ten years ago thinking I could forget you. That I could chase my dreams and move on. That first loves could never be last loves. God, how I was wrong. There's something be said for falling in love with someone you grew up with. I know all your flaws, Saylor. Your weaknesses. Your strengths. Your fears. Your mistakes. And I fucking love you for every single one of them. They make you, you. And in turn, they make us, us."
14 November 2016 13 November 2016 (early release)
Date Read: 14 November 2016
Learn more about K. Bromberg.