Published by: William Morrow on July 8, 2014
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Rating: Did Not Finish
The amazing Stephanie Evanovich returns with The Sweet Spot, the sizzling story of everyone’s favorite couple from her New York Times bestseller Big Girl Panties: hunky professional baseball player Chase Walker and his sassy wife Amanda
When pro baseball player Chase Walker first meets Amanda at her restaurant, it’s love at first sight. While Amanda can’t help noticing the superstar with the Greek-god-build, he doesn’t have a chance of getting to first—or any other—base with her. A successful entrepreneur who’s built her business from scratch, Amanda doesn’t need a Prince Charming to sweep her off her feet. And a curvy girl who likes to cook and eat isn’t interested in being around the catty, stick-thin herd of females chasing Chase and his teammates.
But Chase isn’t about to strike out. A man who isn’t interested in playing the field, he’s a monogamist who wants an independent woman like Amanda. His hopes rally when she discovers that squeaky-clean Chase has a few sexy and very secret pre-game rituals that turn the smart, headstrong businesswoman on—and into his number one fan.
Then a tabloid discovers the truth and turns their spanking good fun into a late- night punch-line. Is Amanda ready to let loose and swing for the fences? Or will the pressure of Chase’s stardom force them to call it quits?
I noticed pretty early on that The Sweet Spot was like 100% telling and 0% showing. The sequence of events is just laid out with no emotion, no “moments”, no personality—nothing real. It’s literally like:
Amanda meets Chase. He’s so charming. He comes by every day for a week. He sits in this specific spot and orders this meal. He’s so friendly. The staff love him. Amanda finally agrees to date him. He’s really charming, but surely must have a fatal flaw somewhere.
It’s just: this happened, that happened, then that happened, he’s really charming, then that happened, etc. We don’t actually see or feel any of these moments. To me, the characters had no personality. I’m told that Chase is charming and sweet, but I don’t actually see it happen.
Here’s a more specific example (direct quote):
They began dating and the game changed. She dropped the attitude and focused on his company. That following Monday and Tuesday, she tagged along with Chase on some of his routine. She went with him to the gym, and won what she secretly named “the eye-candy sweepstakes”.
Notice how it’s literally just a paragraph of: this happened, that happened, that happened, etc.? That’s what the whole book was like. We didn’t actually get a closer look at these moments or activities; we’re just told that they happen.
Or there’s this quote:
But even he could tell there was more passion building up when they were together.
We’re just told there’s passion, but we NEVER actually see this passion! I saw zero passion, chemistry, lust, or attraction between the two characters. There was nothing there!
On top of that, the writing style really disjointed me. It’s not told from a clear point of view. Instead it just hops around between Amanda and Chase’s points of view at random times (rather than distinct chapters). And since the characters had so little personality, I’d lose track of which one I was “following” at that moment.
And finally, Amanda just pissed me off. She was so judgmental. As soon as she registered that Chase was a celebrity, she made a million assumptions about him and what kind of person he is.
“Guys like [Chase] don’t just want dinner”
“Aren’t people like you supposed to own a car for every day of the week?”
“Amanda, I wish you wouldn’t use my being famous as a strike against me. I swear to God, I’m a regular guy.”
I really wanted to like this book because I love the idea of a story about a successful entrepreneurial woman and a hot romance with a celebrity. But the writing style and I didn’t agree. I felt so distanced from the whole story and its characters. All the characters felt flat as a board because their personalities never shine through. The book felt like a sequenced list of events, rather than an actual story.