Publication Date: 04/01/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Sensation
Genre: Contemporary Romance
(Received for an honest review from Berkley Sensation)
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound
Shirley Jump on the WEB: website, blog, twitter, facebook, goodreads
Books in the series:
1. The Sweetheart Bargain
2. The Sweetheart Rules
Coverart: Click the Image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.
Excerpt from, The Sweetheart Rules, courtesy of the author's website.
The Sweetheart Sisters are ready to give some old-school lessons in love…
Rescue Bay veterinarian Diana Tuttle is a great single mom, but she has a harder time taking care of herself. Having been burned in the past by her son’s noncommittal father, the last thing she wants is a man who isn’t in it for the long haul—until a foolish one-night stand from her past walks back into her life.
Coast Guard Lieutenant Mike Stark has never wanted to settle down. But when his ex-wife leaves their two small children on his doorstep, he is forced to become a family man in a hurry. His return to Rescue Bay, Florida and fatherhood isn’t easy, but reconnecting with Diana makes the challenge all the more worthwhile. Except becoming the long-term lover she has in mind may be one commitment too many…
Luckily, when Diana’s and Mike’s pasts begin to threaten their future, the Sweetheart Sisters have the perfect scheme to make this second chance last a lifetime.
Shirley Jump brings readers the second book in her Sweetheart Sisters series, The Sweetheart Rules. Jump writes contemporary romance novels that grab the heart and won't let go. In this installment of the series, she not only focuses on love between the main couple, but also on family love and parenting. Jump gives readers a man who doesn't know how to be a father and woman, who is struggling with a teenage son. It's a match made in heaven. With three eccentric old ladies bent on matchmaking and three great kids, this is a great addition to the series.
What I liked:
Who doesn't love a man in uniform? The Coast Guard has always been one of those branches of service that I didn't know that much about until I watched tv shows like Deadliest Catch and the movie, The Guardian. I just thought they were men who rode around on boats, warning people about what they should and shouldn't do on the water. But I learned differently and I was really happy to see that this book focused on a character that was in the Coast Guard. Though the story didn't give much time to Mike's career and was honed in on his relationship with his daughters, I found this aspect of his life interesting as well.
Mike wouldn't have won any awards for great parenting skills when this novel started. He hadn't seen his daughters in some time and really wasn't even thinking about them, when his ex wife decided she needed to sort out her life and left the girls with him. It was interesting to see him struggle with the little girls and their issues. From tantrums to a child growing up long before her time, Mike has his hands full and when he meets Diana again things get that much more complicated. I wasn't sure I liked Mike until I began to see that he knew he was screwed up and wanted to change. It just goes to show you, that when you make up your mind to change you can. I loved that aspect of the book.
Mike wasn't such a good lover either. After a one night stand, he left Diana with a nasty note and never looked back. Now he is realizing his mistake and is determined to show her that he has changed. I liked the fact that he took an interest in her son's problems as well as in her. It showed that he really was trying to do things differently.
Diana was a great heroine. She was struggling with a lot and her son didn't make things any better. She kept trying to make excuses for his father's lack luster behavior as a dad and only making things worse. I enjoyed watching her finally face up to how he was and stand behind her son. I thought she had some serious issues of her own with abandonment, but eventually she gets it all together and turns into a good heroine. She was spunky, but she needed some courage to get her going in the right direction.
Mike and Diana together made an interesting couple. They were certainly both flawed and very human. I liked the matchmaking ploys of the old ladies and the good romantic scenes. This book had a little something for the new adult reader as well as those of us who are a little older. There was a lot of humor and some moments where tissues might be in order.
What I didn't like:
Both sisters in the series so far have had issues with running away from those that love them. Finding the same issue in the second book in the series seemed repetitious in a way and I thought Jump could have used something more original to provide the needed conflict for the story.
This was a good book, but probably not my favorite from this author. She has written a ton of contemporary titles and some of them are hard to top. But this read provides a feel good story with a lot of emphasis on family.
The Sweetheart Rules is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
About the Author:
Shirley Jump is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than 25 contemporary romance novels, including the Sweet and Savory novels (The Bride Wore Chocolate, The Devil Served Desire, The Angel Tasted Temptation, and The Groom Wanted Seconds), and the McKenna Brothers novels (One Day to Find a Husband, How the Playboy Got Serious, and Return of the Last McKenna). She spends her days writing romance and women’s fiction to feed her shoe addiction and avoid cleaning the toilets. She cleverly finds writing time by feeding her kids junk food, allowing them to dress in the clothes they find on the floor, and encouraging the dogs to double as vacuum cleaners.
The Sweetheart Rules is the second in the Sweetheart Sisters series, following The Sweetheart Bargain.
The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of The Sweetheart Rules by Shirley Jump.
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