Saturday, May 25, 2013

Early Review of The Sweet Spot by Laura Drake


  • Title: The Sweet Spot (Sweet on a Cowboy)
  • Classification: Adult Fiction
  • Genre: Contemporary Romance/Christian
  • Format:  Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Forever (May 28, 2013)
  • ISBN-10: 1455521957
  • ISBN-13: 978-1455521951
  • Notes: I read an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of the the book. All quotes need to be checked against the final version.

"When you cut the center out of something, the rest falls in on itself."

Losing a loved one can be devastating. Losing a child can be even more so. It can rip a family apart, tear it in to shreds and leave only the remnants of what once was. It can cripple a parent with guilt for not being able to protect their child and eat a hole within their soul. Sometimes a person can lose themselves to the darkness of their emotions. Sometimes the family can never be put back together, nothing can be saved. When Charla and JB Denny lost their 7-year old son, Benje, it tore them apart. Instead of coming together as a couple, emotions ran high, words were said,  and actions were taken that could never be taken back. Charla spiraled into depression and pills, while JB turned to another woman. Now, a year after Benje's death, the two are divorced and trying to sort our their lives. The thing is, the more they try to lead separate lives, the more they seem to gravitate together. Can a couple come back after so much damage has been done?
Photobucket

This was a very nice debut for Laura Drake. She did an a great job of capturing emotions on paper. She covered everything I could imagine would be going through a person's mind at such a time. To write a romance about a couple who's relationship has gotten to the point that they've divorced is a rather gutsy endeavor and  not an easy task to take on when one of them cheated on the other before the marriage was over and done. I have to say, I wish we could have found out what exactly happened in the marriage a little earlier. I had a hard time liking JB because all we knew about him at the very beginning of the book is that he cheated on his wife with a younger woman when she needed him most. So for ninety-five percent of the book I just couldn't like the man.

The Sweet Spot starts off with Charla and JB's relationship at it's lowest. They've gotten divorced, but still need to work together because the attorneys couldn't figure out quite how to split the family business. So while JB owns the bulls, Charla owns the rights to their sperm which is sold for breeding purposes. The problem lies in the fact the bulls reside on Charla's family ranch making it nearly impossible for the two to avoid each other. Slowly, as each gets their priorities straight, we learn what happened that tragic day, and the events that led to their marriage's demise. The story is all about forgiveness and has a very religious undertone to it without being overly preachy. It's about forgiving yourself for things you can't control as well as forgiving others. It's about giving people the benefit of the doubt as well as a second chance.

Why is the book called The Sweet Spot? Well I believe because of this statement :
  "When you're in the right place, right behind the bull's shoulders, it's like the eye of the storm. Gentle. Easy."
     "Done right, it looks simple. But it takes lots of skill and a butt-load of luck to get into the sweet spot and stay there."
I like the way the author subtly implies that a relationship can be a bit like bull riding--full of bumps, bucks and things attempting to throw you off. If you can withstand the chaos, and find the calm amidst all the storm life surrounds you in, it can be the sweetest thing and well worth all it took to find it. The question is, once you've been thrown off, can a couple find their sweet spot again?

Overall, I gave this one 4 out of 5 roses. A moving tale about love, forgiveness, and finding your way out of the darkness of your grief. I look forward to reading more of Ms. Drake's books. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one gets a FAN rating--the temperature in the room seems to have suddenly gone up a couple of degrees and a fan would be nice.

Pictures of Cowboys attempting to find that sweet spot:
 photo bull-riding_zps1334fa8a.jpg
 photo 7471_zpsc09d40f3.jpg photo Bull_zps31e43748.jpg
All photos found on Photobucket.

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