Wednesday 30 April 2014

Book Reviews - Sweet Peril/Sweet Peril Extra

Sweet Peril
Author: Wendy Higgins
Series: The Sweet Trilogy #2
Genres: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy | Young Adult
Release Date: 30th April 2013
Publishers: Harper Teen
No. Pages: 371
Source: Purchased
Buy From: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble | Waterstones
Anna Whitt, the daughter of a guardian angel and a demon, promised herself she’d never do the work of her father - polluting souls. She’d been naive to make such a vow. She’d been naive about a lot of things. Haunted by demon whisperers, Anna does whatever she can to survive, even if it means embracing her dark side and earning an unwanted reputation as her school’s party girl. Her life has never looked more bleak. And all the while there’s Kaidan Rowe, son of the Duke of Lust, plaguing her heart and mind.

When an unexpected lost message from the angels surfaces, Anna finds herself traveling the globe with Kopano, son of Wrath, in an attempt to gain support of fellow Nephilim and give them hope for the first time. It soon becomes clear that whatever freedoms Anna and the rest of the Neph are hoping to win will not be gained without a fight. Until then, Anna and Kaidan must put aside the issues between them, overcome the steamiest of temptations yet, and face the ultimate question: is loving someone worth risking their life?

The following review may contain spoilers concerning earlier books in the series.
If you have not read the previous installments, please proceed with caution.

It would be very fair to say that this book gave me so many torn up feelings, mainly those of confusion, both in plot and in love interests, but it also gave me exactly what I wanted, character development. It's been little under a year since I read Sweet Evil, and after looking part on my review, I never could understand or remember why I had given it a 4 stars, I complained about the lack of plot and how frustrating Anna was with her naiveness and general ambiance of annoyingness, yet after reading Sweet Peril, I was reminded of what it was that had me hook, line and sinker, Higgins writing.

Wendy Higgins has this amazing talent of being able to develop her characters both throughout the story and in between the story, the biggest example of this being both Anna and Kaiden. Anna's character went from naive and innocent within the first book Sweet Evil to independent, capable, strong and intimidating in Sweet Peril; even when you take away the party girl mode she took on when 'working' and ignored her mopping over Kaiden, she was more than capable of holding her own, something that was seriously lacking in book one, and she was also somebody to be feared, also something that was highly missing previously, and I think as character development goes, she had a pretty good level of it. Not once was she unrelatable or or difficult to follow and nor was she this little daughter of an angel we all saw earlier; she was a girl with power, with influence, with tricks up her sleeves and a body to shake and shake she did. Kaiden on the other had the other type of character development; while Anna grew to become a predator, Kaiden almost became her prey, he developed a sweeter, lighter angle to his personality, showed his weaknesses more and started to believe that he was entitled to a life free from 'work', a life of love, stability and a life without fear of losing friends. He admitted his feelings for Anna, and he showed just how damaged he really was; a guy who just wanted to make his father proud with his skill, rather than his talents. The lines of light and dark blurred between these two characters, Anna grew stronger while Kaiden grew weaker, yet when put together, they were an explosion of hotness. I like my hot and steamy scenes, but this book needs a warning; mesmorising, steamy and hot to the touch. Wowzer.

Once again, plot wise, this book wasn't the strongest I've read, but it was much better than in book one. Book one involved trecking across the states and to have a conversation with somebody, while book two involved a much more practical, dangerous and genuinely scary aspect; the dangers were real life, they could have well been real and I really think Higgins deserves an award for just how much research she had put in, especially for the scenes in Syria, where religion, respect and the attitude between men and women is a very tough topic, yet she weaved it so perfectly into the story that I genuinely couldn't fault it. The idea behind the plot was a strong one, and I expected a lot of travelling, a lot of scenery and a lot of just good, fresh scenes, yet the world building really was lacking; I understood that there was a lot of travelling involved in both books, but I was really beginning to miss some of the major aspects to the world building, like the layout of Kaiden's apartment, or Anna's, or the island; these are the things that would have added that little something that I really think was missing, yet it didn't rile me too much, at least, not enough to have affect the rating that much.

Now if we're talking plot twists, this book had plenty of them, and because I can't give away any spoilers, I can at least say that Belial's actions surprised me, Kopano's secrets also shocked me to no end, Z's bravery and hidden spark really had me smiling and Kaiden's jealous streak really did surprise me, not to mention how much some of the minor character's changed, such as the twins, Kopano, Z and Flynn and I also appreciated just how much Higgins highlights throughout the lives of these characters. The kind of 'work' these character do isn't because they choose to do it, they have no choice, they are ruled by their father's strengths and there sins and it definitely covers that case of proving to your parents that you are enough and that you appreciate what you give them which is very strong in society these days, and there's a huge lack of freedom from the simplest things in these two books, such as friendship, love, and family and I think overall, emotions. Higgins makes no bones about this world of Neph and doesn't shy aware from the dangers of it, the deaths, the dark aspects, it is everything different in comparison to other Neph type stories such as The Mortal Instruments; these Neph are dangerous, lose canons and most of all, their fathers weapons, and it's this dark edginess that makes this book so addictive. I was still highly pleased to have had more contact with Belial, especially between him, Anna, Kopano and Kaiden, and yes, there's tension and there's heat, but I complete understand and respect Belial's actions towards his daughter and he brings a real sense of to the other character of what it is they're missing, as does Patti's relationship with Anna.

There are things that didn't sit well with me in this book, much like it's predecessor, yet I finally understood what it was that makes me keep coming back for more and it's the characters and their relationships with one another, whether that be relationships of love between friends, romantic relationships or those with family, or whether it be competitive relationships resulting in jealousy and rage, wrath and lust, or whether it was the simple things, such as celebrations between friends for graduations, or the idea of fighting for a life of freedom, happiness and love. I could pick my way through faults in this book, how Anna's moping over Kaiden got on my nerves, or how I disliked how Higgins had the capability to make me turn from Kaiden to Kope and back to Kaiden, while also encouraging the tiniest of crushes on Blake, and I could talk about how some of the scenes were unnecessary and took up space in a book that really didn't have to be there and talked through, but I won't, because in the end, I really enjoyed it and found myself even more excited for Sweet Reckoning, which just so happened to come out yesterday, so I'll leave you all thinking about how I'm going to be reading it in a few days time and how I'm going to have a book hangover.

Sweet Peril: Extra
Author: Wendy Higgins
Series: The Sweet Trilogy #2.1
Genres: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy | Young Adult
Release Date: 20th December 2013
Publishers: HarperTeen
No. Pages: 22
Source: Free
Ever wondered what Kaidan thought about the make-out session against the stacked washer and dryer in his hall? Or what happened when he and Kope traveled to Syria together? Time to find out.
Having not read anything from Kaiden's perspective at all, I don't think I was fully prepared for the language and sexuality that the content warning gives. Kaiden enjoys swearing and his urges being cursed with Lust are heavy and don't hold back any detail, so if you don't think you can handle that much, don't read the extra.

I hate to admit it, but throughout the entire extra, I just couldn't help but think myself: 'poor Kaiden' and it sounds mad, but when I look at his characters, I see a damaged boy who's never felt good enough for his Father and has never felt good enough to be loved. He has friends who care for him, and Anna who loves him, but he's never felt worthy of it because of his Lust and it really had my heart breaking for him. His reaction and attitudes towards Kobe were realistic and I can't relaly fault it because it's Kaidens personality, he doesn't want to lose Anna although he can seem a little possessive, but much like the rest of the series, the writing was addictive and a few pages in I'd gripped a hold of Kaiden's voice and style and I flew through the extra. It was nice to get a little information on what went down in Syria, but it wasn't really anything that I hadn't already guessed, however, what was nice was seeing Kaiden's perspective on their 'work'. He see's them as a curse, as an addiction and an obsession and I'd never considered it that way before now, and I think that it's a good extra to add to Kaiden's personality.

The extra isn't vital to the story, it's a nice little something that fans of Kaiden, like myself, can read, enjoy and get to know him, his thoughts and his feelings better with. I can't really say much else about this, other than I can understand why Higgins wrote it; she wanted to make sure that we all knew just how much Anna meant to Kaiden, considering the finale features Kaiden having no choice but to go up against Anna. Higgins, you are a cruel woman..


  1. Awesome reviews Amanda, I still need to catch up with this series with Sweet Peril but it sounds really entertaining. I didn't know they released Kaiden's perspective and that sounds good too, I'll have to read it as well. Lovely review!

    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

    1. Thank you Jeann, it's definitely worth a catch up with Sweet Reckoning out now other than in the UK.. *cries*
      I think there's two extra's, a Sweet Evil and Sweet Peril extra in Kaidens perspective, they're fun, but not vital :)

  2. Great review! I started reading thinking this was a review for the first book because, well frankly, I'm an idiot. But it's actually made me really want to pick up the first book in this series and give it a go. Anna sounds like one of those female characters that would drive me mad in book one, but if the writing is good then it would save it for me. Very tempted, have to see if we have this at work!

    1. Thank you hunny! It's very easy to get the three books mixed up, they are sound similar, especially this and Sweet Evil, but it's such a good series I think, very enjoyable, and Kaidan isn't that much of a jerk, so points from you ;)


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