Review: Sweet Talk by Susan Mallery.

Posted September 1, 2008 by Rowena in Reviews | 7 Comments

Hero: Wyatt
Heroine: Claire Keyes
Grade: 3 out of 5

Don’t ask Claire Keyes. The twenty-eight-year-old piano prodigy has never had a regular boyfriend, much less a real romance. Her music career has left little room for friends or family—which is just part of the reason she hasn’t seen the family bakery or her two sisters in years.

But now Nicole is sick, and Jesse is AWOL. Despite the fact that Claire can’t boil water, she’s determined to play caretaker. Connecting with her sisters tops her to-do list…along with falling in love, or at least in lust, for the first time.

Ruggedly sexy Wyatt just might fit the bill. Although he keeps saying that he and Claire come from entirely different worlds, he lights up hotter than a bakery oven whenever Claire is near. If this keeps up, she just might sweet—talk him into her bed…and her life.

This is the first book in the Bakery Sisters or Sweet series and I’ve been seeing reviews on this series going up around the blogosphere and none of them had any really good things to say about it. But I wasn’t deterred from trying this one out because there was a Bakery with lots of baking going on and because I’ve been looking for some bakery themed books, I decided to give this series a go.

I finished each book in one day. I read this book on Friday and finished it that same night. I had to take a long break from the book in the beginning because I wanted to rip Nicole’s heart out and beat her with it. I think I hated Nicole even more than I hated Lillian from the Wallflower Series by Lisa Kleypas…and that’s saying much because Lillian annoyed the shit out of me but she aint got nothing on Nicole Keyes. Nicole Keyes and all of her righteous anger at her sisters seriously pissed me off, there were times aplenty that I wanted to strangle the bitch.

But anyway, this book is about Claire Keyes. The professional piano player who walked up to a piano at age 3 and started playing and has been playing ever since. Her grandmother took her and put her in piano class after piano class and soon she was playing in a different city and country everyday. The grueling schedule got to be too much for their grandmother so she retired and their Mother took over. Their mother was killed in a car accident and Nicole, who was left behind to raise their younger sister Jesse and take over the family bakery has been seething mad at Claire ever since.

Now, Claire and Nicole are fraternal twins. So all of their lives, they’ve had each other. They were really close until Claire had to leave and tour the world, leaving a distraught Nicole behind. Nicole is so consumed with her own crap that she can’t stop and take a minute to realize that Claire lost her too. Claire lost her mother too and though Nicole had responsibilities that were thrust upon her, so did Claire….but atleast Nicole had their family after their Mom died. Nicole had Jesse and she had their Dad, but after Nicole yelled and screamed at Claire about killing their Mom, Claire took off and never came back, though she wanted to. She sent letters, she sent emails, made phone calls, all of which were left unanswered and seriously, what else was Claire to think?

So Nicole is all high and mighty in her righteous anger because the prodigal sister has returned to help her while she’s out recovering from her surgery. She’s on the outs with their younger sister, Jesse and so Jesse figures if she can’t be there to help Nicole recover, then Claire can.

Claire shows up to take care of Nicole, only to be informed that her help isn’t needed or wanted and the messenger? The sexy Wyatt, Nicole’s good friend.

This is where my frustration with this book starts. I got that Wyatt and Nicole were really good friends, I get that he didn’t trust Claire but he didn’t know her. He didn’t know Claire’s side and the way that he acted towards her pissed me the hell off and for the first time since I started reading romance novels, I was afraid I was going to hate the hero. Now if you know me, you know that I’m all about the heroes and for me to instantly think I’m going to hate a hero just about surprises the hell out of me.

Claire as a heroine was a great heroine. She reminded me of my sister, Helen. The peacemaker, the one that wants everyone to get along. She’s the one that fixes everything and is just so nice. That’s kind of what Claire is. She’s really nice but she can also be a very big bitch if you get on her wrong side. Claire had to learn this and she did throughout this book. I’m glad for it because the longer she let Nicole stay mad at her for things that were out of her hands made me want to karate chop Nicole in her damn stupid head and pull her hair right out. The way she handled Nicole was good and the way she was with Wyatt made her my favorite part of this book.

As for Wyatt, he was just a pain in my ass from the beginning. I didn’t like the way that we were introduced to him and he got on my nerves with everything from the way he overreacted (just like Nicole would have done) to Amy’s mention of the implant to the way he treated Claire when he first met her, the way he was needlessly cruel and just his attitude. He got on my hot damn nerves because he may have thought he was trying to save Nicole from Claire but he really just looked like a stupid and childish.


As much as Nicole and Wyatt got on my nerves, I still finished this book. I couldn’t NOT finish the book after starting. I mean, there were plenty of things that I liked about the book like how Claire stuck it out and made Nicole come to grips with the fact that she was there to stay and they were going to fix their damn problems and she was going to realize that Nicole wasn’t the only person who was hurt from Claire taking off, but she had nowhere else to go, but back and it was Nicole that made it happen.

I guess I just couldn’t get over Nicole. She was a big part of the reason that I was so frustrated with this book. Everything in her world was about her. Claire left her and traveled around the world and she was stuck at the bakery, not getting to choose what she wanted to do with her life because she had Jesse to think about. Yeah, I get it, you were bitter because of it but instead of just dealing with it and having all of those things better her life, she let it control every emotion. Everything was, oh poor Nicole, she got stuck while Claire didn’t. So the eff what? Get over it. I hated that instead of delighting in the good things in her life, Nicole held onto her bitterness over things that couldn’t be helped and struck out at those people in her life that she should’ve held onto to.

The way she went to visit New York and didn’t visit Claire, knowing that Claire wanted to reconnect with her. The way she didn’t even invite Claire to her wedding pissed me off, I guess because I didn’t understand it. I couldn’t connect with her and her bitterness drove me insane. I hated the way she talked crap about Claire, painted Claire to be this monster when in reality, she wasn’t that bad.

It was those kinds of things that I could not stand.

But I loved the romance between Claire and Wyatt. I loved how carefree and loveable Claire was. I love how she brought Wyatt around, when he was being a dick over stupid shit, she still loved him and I loved the way that she was with Amy. I loved that she had Amy as an ally when nobody else wanted to take the time to get to know her and I think it was this part of the book that kept me going.

I adored Wyatt’s daughter, Amy. I adored the courage she faced day in and day out with her not being able to hear. I adored that she taught Claire how to communicate with her and I just really appreciated the relationship that bloomed between these two. Wyatt didn’t have a chance.

This book opened up the entire series and I think that SM did a good job of spouting off the storylines that we were to look forward to and I jumped right into the next book right after finishing this one and was surprised at how much I liked that one.

Should you read this one? Yes. I enjoyed the book and was glad that I finished it. It’s the beginning of the Keyes sisters stories and it brought out the emotions. So yeah, even though this is not my favorite book or my favorite anything, I’m still glad that I read it and I think that if you want to read this book, you might surprise yourself and like it.

This book is available from Harlequin. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

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7 responses to “Review: Sweet Talk by Susan Mallery.

  1. Dev

    Great review, Wena. I couldn’t finish this one. And even after I gave up on it, I still held on to it thinking I may read it someday. All because I enjoy SM so much, and because I loved the Marcelli series. After thinking about it, I finally donated it on Saturday. I’m never going to read it ~ I couldn’t get past Nicole’s actions and Claire’s role as victim ~ not to mention what Jessie does.

    I’m glad you finished it though! I’m looking forward to your reviews on the other 2 books.

  2. I have this one tbr because I wanted to read the second one, Nicole’s story. 🙂

    Reading the first parts of your review, I had two thoughts: Why do I always have the urge to read series in order? And: Is Nicole really so bad? After reading your last paragraphs, I (again) look forward to seeing it for myself. Thank you for the great review.

  3. I don’t think Nicole is that bad… She’s able to recognize her errors and so on, the thing is, she doesn’t forgive easily… and there’s a lot of “me, me, me” in her attitude.

    I just finished reading Sweet Trouble, all because Gabe is so cute. You’d think that Nicole would have learned something, being married and having kids… but nope. It’s sad.

    glad that you enjoyed this one Rowena!!

  4. Rowena

    Thanks Dev,

    If you can get past Nicole’s stupid ass then you can finish this book, I’m glad that I finished the entire book though.

  5. Rowena

    You don’t think Nicole was that bad? I beg to differ Nath because Nicole treated strangers on the street far better than she ever treated her sisters. Her family. Her flesh and blood. She let her pride get the better of her with everyone in her family and I just couldn’t like her…in this book.

    In her book however, she was great. But then in Jesse’s book, she’s back to getting on my hot damn nerves. You would think that she would have learned her lesson from Claire but she totally didn’t. She overreacted to each and every little thing and I hated how she thought everyone owed her something like she was the Queen or something. It was like, please…get over yourself, the world does not revolve around you.

    But, I totally enjoyed the series as a whole.

  6. Hi Rowena!! 🙂 I mean, as a whole person – not dealing with her family, I didn’t think that Nicole was that bad. I mean, she’s grumpy and all, but she can sometimes be nice. When it comes to her family however, that’s a whole different story and I agree. In my opinion, she’s completely messed up when it comes to her family and sisters. Seriously. I kind of liked her in her book… but I agree with you, in Sweet Trouble, bad Nicole was back. It’s just sooo frustrating. I don’t get it. I mean, she had 5 years to get it over… wasn’t she worried about her sister and well-being during those 5 years? I thought she’d be able to put it behind (after all, she has a new husband, new family) and behave like an adult. but nooooooo.

    LOL, seriously, I couldn’t enjoy this series as much as you did, Rowena… hopefully, the next series by Ms Mallery will be better.

  7. This is one of the ones I read on vacation and you’re even more generous than me. I thought Nicole and bitch bar none and Wyatt a total jerk. And I lost patience with Claire when even the employees treated her like dirt and she took it.

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