The Sweetest Thing (A Riverbend Novel) by Lilian Darcy really is sweet: it’s a sweet love story, a sweet family story, and leaves that sort of heartwarming-sweet feeling in its wake.
Of course, it is the characters who evoke the sweetness readers will savor. Tully, introduced first, is acting as her mother’s mainstay, sweetly reassuring her, even though she has her own concerns. Ren, dear soul, is sweet; the first visual of him has him holding Tully’s hand — but he is unexpectedly complicated, as is their relationship.
They’d both agreed to the parameters of their relationship, and Tully makes dutiful, rational-seeming decisions , but there is all this other stuff going on, in the way. ‘An interlude’ seems like a terrible thing to call a relationship. I have hope, though, and the hopes grow as the story carries on. But…
Every character seems to have secrets, or suspect others of having their own. Secrets might not be awful, but they get in the way: of people, relationships, and trust. Charles, Uncle David, even her mom are important and meaningfully deep secondary characters. Sugar Morgan is somehow, someone more. Characters truly are at the center of this charming romance. Still, it IS a romance, and no matter the things between them, I continue to have hope for the main couple throughout.
The Sweetest Thing is nicely written, if occasionally wordy. Author Darcy it seems, won’t have readers overlook a detail, so perhaps too thoroughly explains points, or must include one more adjective than necessary. The wordiness occasionally slows the pace, but by no means disturbs the wonderful tenor of the story.
And I must note: I love the ‘candy’ themed cover of The Sweetest Thing. Perfectly appropriate!
Editor's note: This article was originally published at Long and Short Reviews. It has been republished with permission. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.