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Reviewed by Grant Leishman for Readers' Favorite
Book Review: A Sweet and Steamy Modern Romance of Unexpected Twists by Hayleigh Sol is very much what it purports to be in the title – sweet and steamy. Jackson Rowland is a successful mid-range author whose early work has drawn praise and success from critics and fans alike. With his agent now pushing Jax to broaden his literary pen and have his action-hero interact with women to appeal more to a female readership base, Jackson is a little lost and unsure if he can write in a style that would suit the feminine outlook. At his agent’s behest, he visits the local library and begins reading the latest offering from a female author. Unwittingly, he leaves the notes he made on his current love scene, for his new novel, on pad paper inside the library book. When Sophie Grimaldi, a successful dentist with her own practice and a passion for reading, checks out the library book and finds Jax’s notes, she is suitably unimpressed with his efforts and in her own inimitable style rewrites part of the scene Jax has written, on his note paper. After Jax manages to recover his notes from the returned library book, he is intrigued and impressed to find Sophie’s rewrite of his scene in the back of the book. Impressed by her effort, he is determined to track down the author and perhaps even employ her as a consultant on his latest novel. Both Sophie and Jax have had disastrous relationships in the past and neither is certain they are looking for another one right now but the attraction, albeit through the internet, is obvious and insistent – should they answer its call? So begins the oddest of relationships, conducted via messaging and emails.
Book Review was a decidedly satisfying read. Author Hayleigh Sol has taken the most unlikely of scenarios and made it believable, which is a testament to her writing ability. This twist on the “internet date” phenomenon was fascinating and the two characters, Sophie and Jax, were both believable and equally vulnerable in their own ways. It was easy to find oneself rooting for one, or the other, at various times during the read and equally finding yourself cringing at some of their decisions or actions. This type of reader involvement in the story and the characters is always the sign of a talented author and undoubtedly Sol is that. For the lovers of erotica, there is enough steamy stuff in this story to keep you well interested and what I particularly liked was that the love scenes were written in such a way to be integral to the story and not merely smut for smut’s sake. They are hot, steamy, and exciting. Sophie, as a character, was fascinating and I particularly enjoyed her conversations on love and life with her mother and also with her best friend, Rachel. Although she felt she had this whole life thing pretty well figured out, it was also clear Sophie knew there was more to life than just career and interests. Deep down she knew she really was looking for someone to share it all with, even if sometimes she was too scared or too pig-headed to admit it. The 'will-they/won’t-they' aspect of the story kept me totally engaged the whole way through. This was a fascinating premise and a book I found unable to put down. I can highly recommend it.