Reviews of The Sweetheart Game and The Sweetheart Kiss

The Sweetheart Game

Cheryl Ann Smith

Lyrical Shine

January 10, 2017

Blurb: As a former cheerleader turned member of an all-female PI firm, Summer O’Keefe knows how to flirt with sexy bad boys and take down dangerous bad guys. But sometimes it can be tricky to tell the difference…

Summer’s new neighbor, Jason Parker, has gorgeous eyes and a mighty cute butt. He’d be a good choice to put an end to her romantic dry spell…if she hadn’t spotted him in the middle of the night, burying something—or someone?—in his backyard. Not to mention his distinct resemblance to the international arms dealer she’s tracking online. Either way, he’s definitely wanted…

Jason has a few secrets, and he’s not sharing them with the slightly nutty Summer—at least not yet. Though he’s finding it hard to say no to her, with her scrumptious curves and impressive computer skills. He’s so far gone he’s even taken in a pregnant cat, just to see the smile on Summer’s face. But when a local woman disappears, it’s time for them to team up and use their combined brains, brawn, and beauty to crack the case…

The Sweetheart Kiss

Cheryl Ann Smith

Lyrical Shine

May 9, 2017

Blurb: Jess Lucas works hard at the all-female PI firm Brash & Brazen, and after a brush with death, she’s determined to play hard too—preferably with a certain detective on the Ann Arbor police force . . . 

Jess was stuck at a frenemy’s wedding, playing bridesmaid in a mustard-yellow monstrosity, when chaos erupted. First the bride’s ex tried to stop the wedding. Then someone really put a damper on the big day by sending a bullet through a stained glass window and into one of the groomsmen. At least her ugly dress came in handy to stop the bleeding . . .

While the poor guy is rushed to the ER, Jess gets grilled by a gorgeous cop who’s not thrilled to learn she’s part PI and part pit bull. But he has to admit she’s highly observant . . . and he observes that she’s pretty hot, too.

The thing is, Jess was walking up the same aisle as the victim, and Sam suspects she was the real target. It’s more than professional duty that makes him want to protect her—if he doesn’t arrest her first for interfering in his investigation . . .


Almost exactly a year ago I reviewed The Sweetheart Racket, the first in Cheryl Ann Smith’s Brash and Brazen series (you can read that review here) and loved it (really, really loved it!) so I was very much looking forward to the next installments in the series.

The Sweetheart Game

The Sweetheart Game, one of my official beach reads in August, did everything a beach read was supposed to do: engross the reader, make her laugh, and make her wish the book wouldn’t end.

I loved the character of Summer. She is the woman who people underestimate because she’s blonde, pretty, and stacked. Men focus so much on her rack that they fail to notice she has an above average intelligence, a fact that she uses to her advantage. She is the computer guru of the Brash and Brazen ladies and she searches (via computer) for the FBI’s Most Wanted in her spare time. She’s hardly the party girl.

Jason is a great opposite to Summer. He’s funny and as quirky as she is. He also has a lot of secrets that makes Summer suspect he is not just the nephew of her nice neighbor. When he moves into the neighborhood, she starts spying on him, with hilarious results.

When one of Summer’s other neighbors, a woman with a sleazy husband, disappears Summer and Jason search for answers to the mystery.

The Sweetheart Game is a fun, light-hearted, romantic mystery with some slapstick thrown in. A definite read when you need amusing escapism.

Source: bought from Amazon The Sweetheart Game

The Sweetheart Kiss

After having read The Sweetheart Game and The Sweetheart Racket, I expected a similar read from The Sweetheart Kiss. Unfortunately the characters of Jess and Sam (who appeared in The Sweetheart Game) just didn’t have the same energy and spark as the couples of the preceding two novels and I didn’t feel as invested in their story.

Despite the fact that someone is stalking Jess and shooting at her from almost the very beginning of the novel, I didn’t feel the action picked up until later.

In the meantime, Jess acquires a huge mixed breed dog who chews up Sam’s favorite leather couch. Now I don’t know about you, but if my dog just chewed up the couch of a guy I had just met and who was doing me a favor of letting me stay with him, I would be beyond mortified (if there’s anything beyond mortified), but Jess barely reacts, although ultimately she does replace his couch. I guess I just found Jess’ reactions or personality to be kind of iffy. She does, at the end, show some spunk.

Before you think I’m writing off The Sweetheart Kiss, let me mention that there are some great scenes, especially involving Calvin, the naked protester. Calvin made me laugh as does his entourage of neighborhood women who form his fan club. I hope Calvin appears in future novels. It would be interesting to see if the author could turn the well-endowed Viking into a hero or whether he’ll just remain a background character–although a very fun one at that.

While The Sweetheart Kiss doesn’t live up to either of the preceding  Brash and Brazen novels, it’s still funny and very much worth reading if you need a quick escape.

Source: I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

The Sweetheart Game Rating:


4 butterflies and a ladybug out of 5 butterflies


The Sweetheart Kiss Rating:


3 butterflies and a ladybug out of 5 butterflies




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