Wednesday 28 May 2014

Book Review - Sweet Reckoning

Sweet Reckoning
Author: Wendy Higgins
Genres: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy | Young Adult
Series: The Sweet Trilogy #3
Release Date: 22nd May 2014
Publishers: Harper Teen
No. Pages: 464
Source: Purchased
Buy From: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble | Waterstones
Evil is running rampant and sweet Anna Whitt is its target. Nobody knows when or how the Dukes will strike, but Anna and her Nephilim allies will do anything necessary to rid the earth of the demons and their oppressive ways.

The stakes are higher than ever, and Anna is determined that the love she feels will be her strength, not a liability. But trying to protect the ones she loves while running for her life and battling demonic forces proves to be perilous - especially as faces are changing and trust is fleeting. When the Duke of Lust sends Anna’s great love, Kaidan Rowe, to work against her, Anna must decide how much she’s prepared to risk.

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

By now you've all either read the book and/or reviews for Sweet Reckoning and formed your opinions on the final installment of The Sweet Trilogy, and I'll be completely honest, I'd started forming opinions before I'd even gotten hold of a copy when I read other people's reviews. It was a battle between 'if you blinked you missed the showdown' and 'damn the swoon' and it's very true that this trilogy isn't for everyone; it's heavy on the passion and romance, takes three installments for the plot to actually get somewhere and there's a lot of travelling by car and by plane, but for me personally, Sweet Reckoning ended up being annoyingly enjoyable in ways I didn't expect.

Why annoyingly enjoyable? Well, I had expected a lot more as a final installment. Deep down, I know I wanted an action filled, planning galore and kick-ass finale, something the other installments in this series didn't have, but once again, Higgins writing masked these features absence and gave me passion, sexiness, romance and soon really tense moments, and it's these moments that make Sweet Reckoning annoyingly enjoyable. I didn't want to read about Anna and Kaiden's steamy connection, we've had plenty of that in Sweet Evil and Sweet Peril, but I just couldn't help but enjoy those moments, and I didn't want to have a romance filled fun fair with happiness, the future and cuddles everywhere, yet in all these scenes, I found myself smiling, in awe or just soaked up in the love everywhere. It's been officially proven that I am a sucker for romance and this book was no different. It's true that this book isn't action filled, nor is it better than the other two on delivering powerful scenes, but the writing is just as addictive in this novel and maybe it was a little longer than it really needed to be, but it's so easy to get lost and immersed in Higgins world of Dukes and Demons that I almost forgot that it was just under 400 pages, and if I can fly through a book easily, than it's a good book.

As I've already mentioned, the romance is heavy in this installment, and if you were hoping to escape some of the cheese, the passion and the tense eye staring across the room scenes in this novel, then you're going to be disappointed. In fact, I think the romance is heavier in this installment than the other two put together and I did have some problems with the romance on a number of angles. Anna and Kaidens relationship became very addictive and and they both relied on the other to keep them steady in this installment and that really disappointed me; this is meant to showcase Anna's development throughout the series, it's meant show how she's strong, independent and capable of anything if she puts her mind to it, but these only apply if she's holding Kaiden's hand. Is it so wrong to want individuality from Anna, to see her manage on her own? A few scenes here and there just don't seem enough for me and that was a shame. I have little issues with the messages that Higgins conveyed throughout their relationship too; sex before marriage being a sin, innocence and purity being valued over love and the little religious messages that were woven into the story, losing faith, belief and your strength, which as an Atheist is sometimes difficult to accept, but that's on a more personal level. Other romances in the novel, Z and Kope, Ginger and Blake and Marna and Jay were all nicely wrapped up and I admit, the pairings were varied and well developed, with plenty of depth between them all, but I couldn't help but feel underwhelmed at Higgins decision to pair off near enough all the characters. People can stand on their own, they can be there own person and they can be whoever they want to be, they don't need another person to help define them and see them through their lives. However, these issues weren't as huge as this review may make them seem; I did like how the personalities of each of the characters complimented the relationships, I did absolutely love some of the beautiful developed and wrapped up romances such as Z and Kope, who are definitely one of my favourites, they're so damn cute and sweet it's impossible to not be happy for them. I like cheese, I like well written fluff, and I like myself some steamy, tense scenes with foreplay, passion and heat and Higgins always deliverers these features, so I honestly cannot scrutinise the romance and relationships too much because I did really like them.

That final meeting, the summit, the good vs evil, Demon vs Angel, redemption vs punishment, it was, in my opinion, a strong scene. This trilogy has never been hugely about violence, so expecting some cut throat, powerful, violent and slashing scene wasn't logical to me. Anna has always been a fair character, free of instant judgement and she sees the innocence and and honesty in people, so giving The Dukes the right information, the time to make a choice and stand for what they want was the right thing to do. Yes, this made the final battle scene around 5 pages long, but as an overall feeling and moment, I think it was written perfectly, executed exactly the way I and Higgins wanted it to be, and it was a enjoyable scene. I flew through the pages needing to know what was happening, being entirely able to relate to the pain and grief that Anna felt, going through my own grief and pain when seeing and reading what characters were where, fighting whom and doing what they believe is right. Personally, I liked the finale scene, it could have been central and larger, with a little more action, but the main focus of the this scene and this whole series is love.

The whole trilogy is focused on love, either that of family love, friendships or relationships and romance, it highlights how faith, belief, honesty and love can carry you through the things you don't feel strong enough to fight alone, and I confess, I love myself some strong messages. The Epilogue killed me and I swear I was so close to tears it was shameful. To see these characters finally happy, living their futures involved with each other and in each others lives was just, beautiful. I would have liked more from Sweet Reckoning, some more action, less romance and just something new, but what I got was the final piece of a well written and continuously enjoyable series, and I would still definitely recommend it.


  1. Weird! I've never even heard of this book. I like that different types of love are represented, though - that's always good :D

    1. It's a very good series actually, would definitely be worth a shot Emily :)

  2. I had to skim the bulk of your review Amanda but I am really loving the sound of how this trilogy ends! I actually quite enjoyed Sweet Evil when I read it, I just need to move on to the next 2 books. Glad to hear you really enjoyed it!

    1. It was a consistent series and well worth the time I feel Jeann, if you liked Sweet Evil you should like the rest!
      Thank you though, I'm glad I enjoyed it too :)

  3. I've seen this series before and I've "hmmmd" and "haahhhed" over it (I've just made those spellings up...) because I thought it looked interesting but I really didn't know what to make of those covers. Do you have reviews for the first two books? Or you could give me an idea of "if you liked this then you'll like"... I'm a sucker for a good romance, with all the swoons and ridiculous over-the-top-ness though!!

    1. I do have reviews for the others in the series, they're in my Review Archive or you can follow the link that highlights the name of the series to find them, so it might be worth checking them out hunny? :) It's definitely worth a shot if you have time!

  4. I still can't decide if I want to read this series or not, you make it sound so appealing. But, if I'm honest I think I might end up really disliking it. I can't deal with too much romance and cheese, I feel I'd spend a large part of this trilogy cringing. Plus, I have to admit that the whole religion aspect would definitely bug me. I'm also an atheist and those messages would really get to me. I don't know, maybe it's one I could try to see if I actually do end up liking it. I don't know!!! Damn it, I'm intrigued and torn ;)

    1. Maybe try and borrow it from the library? It'd be worth trying it and if it didn't float your boat it wouldn't be a problem?
      I think it's a series that is particular to a few people and there's a fair few you might not like it, so be careful ;)

  5. I skimmed your review, most of them are good news so phew! I found Sweet Evil an okay read so I haven't read the sequel yet. They say sweet reckoning is the best instalment so I'm very excited to read Sweet Peril Now LOL Thanks for sharing and great review! it's very details ;)

    1. I hope you enjoy the rest of the books in this series, they really are very good, so good luck! :)


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