By Adeselna Davies - 17:00

True Believers #2
Erin McCarthy
257 pages
Published by Penguin USA
Publication date: October 2013

Jessica Sweet thought going away to college would finally make her free of her parents’ constant judgments and insistence she play chastity club role model for their church events, but if anything, the freedom has made her realize she can’t go home and be a hypocrite anymore. Tired of dodging their questions, she stays at school over the summer and lands in an unexpected crash pad: Riley Mann’s house. 

Sarcastic, cocky, and full of opinions, Riley is also sexy personified with tattoos and biceps earned from working as a roofer all day. Not the right guy for her even if Jessica was looking for a relationship, which she is definitely not. But Jessica knows that Riley hides the burden of having to raise his younger brothers behind that grin and as she helps him get his house in order for a custody hearing, they begin to fall hard for each other, and she is forced to question what she’s hiding herself. 

Jessica has never had a problem getting naked with a guy, but when it comes to showing Riley how she truly feels inside, her fear of rejection may just ruin the best thing—the best guy—to ever happen to her…

Sweet is an endearing novel of two people from worlds apart who struggle against their family. While most New Adult and Young adult novels choose to omit the parents, McCarthy grabbed that fault and made sure that her True believers series was all about family. Jessica’s family wants her to follow a religious career and marry someone that they know while Riley is fighting for his dysfunctional family.

The couple of this series usually have two sides: a fun and a serious one. Jessica is a party girl and she hangs out with guys, but we get to know also her more down to earth side. She is creative, bold and is not afraid to sweat from all the work.  She gets her hands on the job and goes until the end with it. She can also be quite lovely and a nice person, while in the previous novel: True, we only saw her fun side, in her own book she is able to shine.

Riley seems a hard man, life was never easy for him and it is great to see a nice man who is not rich and perfect. His interactions with Jessica are adorable and their chemistry nearly perfect. She helps him with his home and he gives her a couch to sleep while she is figuring out her life. In the middle of all the problems, McCarthy’s dialogues are full of life, personality and feelings.

Family is the most important thing that we have and we should do all we can to preserve it. No matter how broken it is, it doesn’t even matter if we have to start our own, when all fails, we hold them close.

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