The Sweet Spot by Rochelle Allison – Book Review

The Sweet Spot by Rochelle Allison – Book Review

The Sweet Spot by Rochelle Allison

The Sweet Spot

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Summertime…and the living’s easy—at least, that’s what they say.
Me? I should be roadtripping with my best friend, living my best life while I count down the days to my freshman year of college. Instead, I’m broke as a joke and selling ice cream on the Santa Cruz Boardwalk for the millionth year in a row.

Did I mention I also randomly found my dad online? The dad I’ve never met?

But then, one day, the most gorgeous guy I have ever seen shows up on the boardwalk like a oasis in the freaking desert. And I realize that I’m desperately thirsty.

Living two lives is exhausting.
I’d rather just stay in Santa Cruz, going to school and surfing with my friends, but dear old dad keeps dragging me back to Brazil, insisting I learn the family business. I’ve gone along with it for years, but I’m starting to feel the edges fray. Something’s gotta give.

But then I meet the perfect girl. The girl who gets me, and gives me a real reason to stay. Sooner or later, I’m going to have to give something up, and when the house of cards that’s been built for me finally comes crashing down, she’s the one thing I refuse to lose.

Review by Julie

‘The Sweet Spot: Tan Lines’ is the first novel in a series of three from American-based author, Rochelle Allison. It is written in the first person and present tense with Wren and Luca as the main protagonists.

Wren has lived in Santa Cruz all her life is about to start college. She has abandoned her summer travel plans and has a job in The Sweet Spot, an ice cream stall on the boardwalk, to help bail her mother out of financial difficulties. Luca is a slightly older college student who has a software internship lined up in Brazil, arranged by his father. During her shift one day, Wren meets Luca along with some of his friends. The attraction is mutual and the story advances with meetings, misgivings and enforced separations.

At 422 pages, the story does its best to keep the reader interested with a diversion from the main narrative, as Wren develops a tentative dynamic with her biological father, Arlo. However, I found the timeline confusing; Wren and her mother, Lily, both meet and spend time with Arlo but several chapters later, Wren tells Luca she is looking forward to her birthday when she will meet her biological father for the first time. The chapters have little to differentiate them and it’s not always clear how much time has elapsed between scenes. It could be that I have reviewed a proof copy and these issues were addressed before publication.

The author has a direct writing style and cutting out the explicit content would make it suitable for a young adult audience. The story makes few demands of its readers and would be an enjoyable book to take to the beach. A bolder secondary thread along with fewer, but stronger foils, would have added depth. There was a significant amount of superficial dialogue and formulaic sex-scene padding which bulked up the word count but added little to the plot. Nonetheless, for those who enjoy a light-heated, uncomplicated read in the time-honoured boy-meets-girl scenario, it may well appeal. There are some humorous moments along the way as Wren and Luca negotiate the minefield of their first serious relationship.

Those who enjoyed this first outing will no doubt be looking forward to the next instalment in the trilogy. I wish this author every success for the future and award three stars.

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Rochelle Allison


Rochelle Allison has been living in her imagination since she was a little girl in the Caribbean. Nowadays, Rochelle lives just outside of Atlanta with her one true love and kids. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, hiking in forests, swimming, daydreaming, playing word games or taking pictures. She always has a book in hand…and, sometimes, a piece of chocolate cake.

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