Sweet Bliss Paperback – Nov 30 2015
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Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Sweet Bliss is a delicious literary treat from debut author Helena Rac.
Tessa and Luke meet by chance, literally running into one another on the streets of Chicago. Four months later they cross paths again, only this time, things get a little … hot, before they part ways. Luke is exactly what Tessa’s looking for. He’s sexy, funny, smart, a world traveler … but he lives in London, which leaves Tessa wondering if love can conquer 4,000 miles.
I loved this book. Helena has whipped up the perfect combination of sweetness, humor, naughtiness, and angst. This book read easy and I found myself caught up in the story almost immediately. I love Helena’s writing style. She keeps things simple, yet brings the reader right there into the story alongside the characters. And Luke + cupcakes … yum!
I loved both Tessa and Luke in this book. Tessa was funny, she made me laugh and she was relatable. She’s had her heart broken before, which I think most of us ladies also have, and now she’s afraid to hand it over to someone again. She’s also incredibly independent and a strong female lead, which I love to see in a story. I loved how she carved out her own place with the bakery and paved the way to success for herself.
Luke … Man, I can’t say enough good things about him. He’s sexy, sweet, funny and just an all around, genuinely good guy. He’s not perfect though, and that’s what I liked. He’s flawed, he does things he regrets, but he’s also honest and owns up to those things. His free spirit drew me in right away, as did his being up front about his feelings and wants. I love how he pursued Tessa and wasn’t willing to give up, despite the fact that there was an ocean and half a country between them. He’s earned a spot on my Top Book Boyfriends of 2016 list for sure.
And the cupcakes! Ahh! I loved reading about Tessa’s baking as much as I loved reading about her and Luke. And as a self-proclaimed cupcakeaholic, this story very easily won my heart. I mean really, who can resist a tale that involves falling in love over strawberry icing?
I thought that Helena did a fantastic job of taking us inside the minds of her two main leads as well, especially with Tessa. As I said before, Tessa had her heart broken, she’s dealt with abandonment, she’s gone through some difficult times with her family in the months preceding the story’s opening, and as a result, she’s got some issues she needs to get a hold on and work through. She’s very much of a control freak in some aspects, which seems to stem directly from what she endured in her last relationship. She expects answers right away, needs immediate results, and I think we all know this can be damaging to a relationship. I loved seeing her recognize this and transform as the story progressed, and watching the wall around her heart crumble, piece my piece over the course of the story, was great.
Sweet Bliss is a lovely story. Helena did an excellent job with her debut, and I very much look forward to seeing what she gives us all to enjoy next. If you’re looking for a funny, romantic, and quick read then Sweet Bliss is perfect for you.
Sweet Bliss gets the Got Nikki? Must Read seal of approval.
Five sugary sweet stars for this wonderful novel!
Tessa and Luke. These two have what is takes to be a couple that makes it long term if they can just get past their hesitation and jump all in. Tessa has been burned before and those scars are still visible. Luke has never wanted to commit to more than a fling. When you get these two together, well it is bound to be messy. But the messy relationships are usually the ones most worthwhile. These two share a connection and it is fun to watch that connection grow from admiration to lust to something deeper. When these two decide to see where a step in the right direction would lead, there is much to anticipate. The lust is explosive. At times it was like BAM… sweet romance and then they just cannot keep their hands off each other. Normally this would annoy me a little bit but it works in this scenario. These two are connected and their lives weave in and out. They have both felt the pull towards one another and they decide not to hold back. That is terrifying to them both but it works really well. What starts as a physical connection delves into something more. They are unapologetic about their lust for one another, something that fits in this book.
Sweet Talk is the beginning of a relationship that could be the catch all and end all. So often we see the beginning, middle, and end in a love story. This story focuses on the beginning. We see Tessa and Luke meet for the first time, then their brief encounter again months later. We see them meet once more with a bit of history (a messy beginning to be sure) and the story progresses. There is no insta-love. There is definitely insta-lust and a bodice ripping romance, but the emotions stay at a realistic level. There is attraction, confusion, hurt, anger, like, and the progression to something more. That is something that makes this book great. It is a natural progression of an adult type relationship. Sure it is a bit more dramatic, but not everyone falls in love in chapter 3. The relationship evolves at a steady pace and leaves you with the contentment that a happily ever after is in the stars for these two if they can just open their eyes and grasp it.
Helena does a great job of bringing this story to life. The characters are well developed and intriguing. I loved watching how each person in the story interacts with one another. There is family, comradery, and friendship. Tessa and Luke are well developed main characters who have baggage that is believable and well presented in the story. Everything we learn about them is essential to what is happening and keeps the connection strong. The situations and thought processes are spot on in this story. I love that the relationship is complex in the beginning. Sure it is a physical relationship that cannot be denied and they enjoy each other’s company, but there is something more brewing and it makes things a bit more real. Helena Rac stole my heart with this story and I demand it back. Sweet Bliss is a fun and heartfelt story of love, lust, and cupcakes! Do not miss this debut novel and make sure to add Helena to your “authors to watch” list!
* * * 3/4
There are two themes running through this which are really important life lessons in my book...
The first is you can not live your life with just doing things from pragmatic lists...of always thinking of outcomes and results. Those traits are commendable but if you do not allow yourself to feel... be vulnerable... willing to sometimes throw caution to the wind... then you are limiting the scope your life and might miss out due to fear.
The other lesson is perfectly summed up by this famous quote:
“If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return, they were always yours. If they don't, they never were.” Kahlil Gibran
So there are the most important take-aways from this book...
We have this self assured Bakery owner, Tessa. At only 26, she has made her shop successful and loves what she does. Her cupcakes, specialty cakes and loose leaf teas are the backdrop to the feelings of welcome for her customers. There they come to enjoy the sweet icing and moist cake wrapped up in a paper cup with friends having conversations or just reading in a corner. This Lovely Cakes bakery is Tessa's domain and she should be proud. All of the thank yous, pictures of events she catered, new babies from the showers she has baked for decorate her walls.
What isn't on the walls or in the persona she presents is the deep feelings of betrayal and abandonment she has experienced in her young life. Her first heartache was when she lost her father to a sudden heart attack. Her father was her hero and she had the best relationship with him. He taught her to be strong; plan things out ... be able to follow through and see the outcomes for success. His business success was the way he listed the needs of the company and it worked all his life. He was a loving father and very close to his daughters and wife. Losing him so unexpectedly was a huge impact on all in the family.
It was during this emotional time, Tessa was in college and met her thought-to-be- first-love. They were very much alike... lists and thoughts for the future and all...for three years...and then they weren't... with no warning, the man she thought was her HEA called to tell her he was going to London for his next future career step... and then never came back... leaving her devastated.
After finally coming around and focusing on her life, she put together the bakery and is loving where she is. Tess devised a perfect personal plan, too.
Have a little fun when feeling like it, get physical if desired and then Break...Detach....Run .
This way Tessa will not get hurt ever again. She also stops her feeling or being that girl she was before ....but it is a fair trade off, after all, she has her cupcakes...
This is the woman we meet as she is speed walking to a new client meeting. She is inhaling one of her cupcakes for breakfast as she is texting her appointment and smacks into a hard wall of a hard body attached to a eyes that sparkle and a grin made for sin. With icing smashed all over her mouth and chin, she looks up and loses her ability to speak...for this stranger is everything a romance reader dreams of...
He holds her shoulders, straightens her out and gazes at her mouth with a look telling Tessa he would like to lick off all that icing. Her mind is racing because she would nod yes, please do...
They step away...looks and few comments made and then just like in a dream... he is gone.
But this stranger made his impact on her... and dormant parts of Tessa's body are awakening as if from a poison apple....they tingle and will not be ignored.
For Luke is with his own issues with love, caring and abandonment. His mother left his dad and he just never got over it...He saw his dad crumble inside... wanting the woman he loved to return to him...Luke's pattern has been to have flings of one or two dates tops and move on...This way he will never become his dad... pining away for a woman who is never coming back...
Tessa's younger sister has found her "one". Clara is free spirited and sees life as uncomplicated. Her boyfriend Marcus is liked by Tessa and the mother, so all is perfect in Clara's world. Tessa is about to head home even after being invited out by her sister when Marcus walks in with his visiting college friend from London, Luke...Wall of Hard Man...Man who made her parts tingle and brain not work...
As they look at each other, words are being said by those around them of dinner and movie and let's go etc....Clara takes Tessa to her bedroom and they change; coming out in a dress which shows Tessa off and Luke is having difficulty breathing.
It is this encounter which sets so much in motion... these two have the chemistry and during the movie, things become, shall we say heated between them. There is a tad more than just lusty attraction which both feel and are reacting to in different ways...It causes confusion and hurt in Tessa...It makes Luke not understand his fascination and get what is happening emotionally...
Months pass and it is wedding time for Clara and Marcus. The events and week before the I Do's is the backdrop to the majority of this engaging first novel.
We are treated to a number of pluses... the back and forth verbal sparring of Luke and Tessa, their coming together with icing and oh, my experiences which will weaken the knees...and Luke's persistence in owning up to his past mistakes ... wanting to make things right. All of these parts were very solid and you fell for Luke, for real.
Tessa was fun but carried some series issues which caused her to doubt herself with men. It was understandable... yet when confronted with Luke and his sincere admittance to mistakes and revealing his desire for Tessa... it was Tessa's reaction I did not relate to-
It could be my personal take... as my husband proposed in 5 days of knowing each other... and we were married for quite a long time....My rating is reflective of my bit of frustration with our gal.
I will say, though, this was a very pleasant surprise and Helena Rac has a way with creating need, sexual tension, use of Icing and a spatula for every readers' liking. There was sly humor, real heart and no perfect cookie cutter ending. There was a bit of freshness to the "cute meet, rom com" and I hope there are more to come.
A Gifted Copy was received for an Honest review.
I received this Advanced Copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. But, I liked this so much that I've pre-ordered it as well. It is available to purchase tomorrow!
This is the publisher's summary:
From debut author Helena Rac, a sassy, sexy comic tale of second-chance romance and the many uses of icing. Tessa loves cupcakes. They're tasty and comforting, and they've made her bakery a success. Men, on the other hand, are unreliable jerks who are bound to break her heart. Even if they're hot enough to melt her frosting. Tessa is smitten with Luke after a less than graceful encounter on the streets of Chicago, and fate keeps reuniting them. She's certain he'd be delicious in bed, but there's just one problem: Tessa's sworn off long-distance romances, and Luke lives in London. Besides, he's proven himself to be bad news. Although Tessa's sexy stranger swears to set aside his player ways after she carries out sweet revenge, she's far too smart to believe in happily-ever-afters. Luke will need to use every weapon in his arsenal - including a spatula or two - to convince Tessa they're meant to be together
Tessa and Luke run into each other (literally) one more morning and there is an immediate chemistry that makes the encounter one that neither of them can forget. When coincidence reunites them, they give into their attraction in a moment that I can only describe as "scorching". But, Luke lives in a different country and their parting after that encounter leaves a not so sweet taste in Tessa's mouth. When her sister's wedding brings them together again almost a year after they met, Tessa's determined to have the upperhand this time. But Luke's also got a plan and his sincerity and persistence when combined with his delicious sexiness make him a force that Tessa's not able (or willing) to resist. Their sexual chemistry is off the charts and it leaps off the pages whether they are having a witty text message exchange or in between the sheets. But Tessa's a bit of a control freak and she is hanging onto some baggage from a relationship that ended 3 years ago.
This is where Tessa lost me a bit. Three years is a long time. Long enough to be able to a point where you can see the difference between a jerk and genuinely good guy.
I felt sorry for Luke (even though he made his fair share of mistakes early on) having to pay for the sins of someone else. And Tessa's back and forth made me a little batty. At the same time, I could see why she was so reluctant to give Luke a serious chance. There were a lot of non-ideal things about pursuing a relationship with Luke. And her sister's fiance Marcus didn't help things at all. In fact his actions must have broken some sort of "bro code" and I wish Luke had gotten the chance to call him on it.
This book promises to make you smile and it fulfills that in spades! It's sexy, funny and will make you crave strawberry chocolate cupcake.
This is a very promising first novel from Ms. Rac. I would love to read more work by her!
This was such a fun book. It’s sexy, flirty, and a little bit naughty. Tessa is a driven business owner and she has her heart completely dedicated to her bakery, but her heart is a bit bitter towards the opposite sex. She does seem to find herself in some messy yet sweet situations though.
Tessa has an embarrassing run in with a sexy stranger only to have him pop into her life once again. Their second encounter has chemistry off the charts but once again Luke is gone and he has now left a rather climatic yet less than desirable feeling in the pit of Tessa's stomach. Don't worry though, if she ever sees him again she has a plan of revenge and this time it will be her leaving him with all the feelings. Only once you start playing with fire it burns hotter right up until someone gets burned.
There is a fun game of cat and mouse that gets played between Luke and Tessa. Luke is persistent, not taking no for an answer. And since Tessa really does want to say yes, it makes for an interesting equation of getting close but keeping the distance. However, distance takes on a double meaning for Luke and Tessa considering he currently lives in London. Long distance relationships are not something Tessa wants.
The first 3/4 of this book was a fun chase and a great way to get to know the characters with a bit of sexy time, a few good laughs with a topping of swoons but it wasn’t until the last little bit that I made it to my favorite part. I smiled until it hurt and hugged my kindle so that we could share the moment. Sweet Bliss is a fun, sexy, feel good read that will have you smiling and swooning up until the very end.