Cover Image: Make It Sweet

Make It Sweet

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Member Reviews

I have to say, this is one of my fave opposites attract type story. We have a grumpy former hockey player and an actress looking to recharge and refocus. The wit and banter added to this epic slow burn. I have come to really enjoy Callihan's words and I could not get enough!
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This is my first Kristen Callihan book for a while and I've got to say, I wasn't disappointed.

Although there were some life altering issues raised, I felt it was generally a real, feel good novel.

The cast of characters provided a fabulous backdrop, and fingers crossed we'll get more of 'Mamie's' family, and their stories, to enjoy.

Lucien and Emma were quite simply, just the right amount of 'sweet'. Lucien's hidden skills were off the charts and my mouth watered each and every time Ms Callihan described for us, just what his skill produced.

I can't wait to see what's to come next from the pen of Kristen Callihan!
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This was such a beautiful story with compelling characters. Lucian and Emma have both been beaten down by life and aren’t sure where to go next. From the very first scene, their chemistry is sizzling and their banter kept a grin on my face. It’s a bit of grump and sunshine. Their story takes place on the beautiful grounds of Lucian’s grandmothers estate. Lucian has retreated there after his shattered hockey career to help out and hide. Emma is invited once she learns her career is in shambles. Through Lucian’s grandmothers meddling, the two find themselves constantly pushed together. They’re both hesitant and guarded, but unable to deny their chemistry and draw toward one another. The sexual tension is 🔥🔥🔥. I loved these two. Their hurts and baggage are believable, and their growing relationship is swoonworthy. The story is full of mouthwatering baking scenes and is just a heartwarming book to settle in to and stay a while. The supporting characters are charming. A big thank you to @netgalley for the ARC. This book released in late February so if you’re a fan of romance, add it to your TBR!
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I just love this author!  This is the story Lucian a hockey player who has been forced to retire and is having a hard time dealing with it.  Emma is an actress who has been axed from her show. They both end up at a house called Rosemont trying to get over their losses .  This is their love story and journey to get over their losses.
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I'm a shell of my former self. You see, I knew I was going to like this; the synopsis gave me so much stuff that I knew I was definitely going to be enjoying this story. But I never picked it up until now. And you know? I fucking loved this book. From the very beginning, the writing, the story, the setting, the characters-- everything MADE SENSE. Everything fit together perfectly. The tone of the story was just perfection and I knew I was going to fly through this story.

Two superstars find themselves in a safe haven. We have Emma, a very famous actress who has been portraying a beautiful princess in a very Game-of-Thrones fantasy TV show. After she reads the latest script, she finds out she has been chopped, and when she goes to her place so her boyfriend consoles her, she finds him having sex with another person. That's why she's arriving in California, trying to rebuild herself at a precious enormous estate. There is where she finds our grumpy fluff, Lucian.

I really want more "I hate everyone but YOU" heroes in romance. Lucian is one because he's so grumpy and does a lot of "hmm" as responses. We love to see it. But as soon as he meets Emma, you can see his walls, his crunchy outside, just slowly fall down. Emma is that ball of sunshine he cannot help but just gravitate towards. They're so perfect together and you see their attraction so clearly, it's so believable! There's a slow burn that really culminates at the halfway mark but it still feels like a slow burn because Callihan really wrote this connection SO WELL.

Loved that this book talked about Post-concussion Syndrome, we don't see it a lot in sports romances. A lot of sports are very dangerous, to your mind and to your body. Definitely contact sports are going to affect you in some way. Lucian is a former hockey player who suffers from PCS and Kristen Callihan does a very good job of showing us how an athlete lives through that.

What more can I say about this book? The hero bakes, he's very soft for the heroine, there is a lot of cute nicknames, a very wild skinny-dipping pool scene, so many descriptions of delicious desserts (please have baked goods near you when reading this book!), and very good writing.

If you loved Love at First by Kate Clayborn, I think you would enjoy this book as well.
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Kristen Callihan quickly became a must read for me after her VIP series, (SCOTTY FOR LIFE), so I was super excited to see this book up on NetGalley for request.  This was a slow burn romance that made me super hungry.  Emma meets Lucien when she comes to his grandmother's resort (I mean it's her residence but it's a resort.  It has a name and guest houses) after getting the ax (literally) from her super popular TV show.  Lucien is staying with his grandmother after an injury while playing hockey.

I am a bit bummed to say while I loved Emma and Lucien was fine, I really fell in love with the side characters like Sal, Lucien's grandmother and his female cousin.  I don't think this is a series unfortunately so I will just have to imagine their stories.

While the food and location were great, overall, I just wasn't as in to this story as other books by this author.

Trigger warning for talk of physical child abuse and parental death as a teen.
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I really enjoyed “Make It Sweet”.
It was a quick and fun read with great characters who has amazing chemistry together.
I’m already looking forward to reading Callihan’s next book!
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“You’re my heart and soul.” His lips touched my cheek. “I’m not lost anymore, Em. You found me, and I’m never letting go.”

3.5 ☆. what to expect:
– grumpy-sunshine trope.
– forced proximity.
– one bed trope for like a sec.
– kinda healing trope.
– lots of bantering and shameless flirting.
– past character cameos.
– funny side characters (and am i sensing a couple from the next book 👀??)
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I absolutely loved this Book!! The writing was absolutely gorgeous. Written amazingly, and the story was just as fabulous. 
I adored the characters, and fell head over heels for them.
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Make It Sweet by Kristen Callihan

Lucian and Emma have both found themselves without the job that had defined them and needed time to lick their wounds and plan for their futures. The fact that they find themselves in the same place at the same time and attracted to one another while healing is the basis of the story. Will they find a way forward? Can they fulfill their dreams after the dream they were living changed suddenly? Will they find a new way to be successful? And, will they find a way to be happy together? The story is written well and does eventually have a HEA. Athletes have an expiration date and Lucian may have reached his. Actors can go on forever, but they do have to adapt, change, and take on new roles to learn and grow. Relationships require communication, respect and commitment and that is what this couple does well as they work toward a future together. 

Did I like this book? It was okay. I didn’t really connect with Emma and Lucian as much as I would have liked to and wondered if they fell for one another because they truly cared or if proximity and broken dreams were the catalyst Their story was somewhat predictable but sweet even when steamy. 

Would I read more by this author? I am not sure. It would depend on the synopsis and if it appealed at the time. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Montlake for the ARC – This is my honest review. 

3-4 Stars
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Make It Sweet is my first book with Kristen Callihan and I am totally on the hook for more. Make It Sweet absolutely lived up to its name. If you're looking for a sweet, relatively angst-free, slower burn romance with fabulous secondary characters, and did I mention hockey players? Then, look no further.

Emma and Luc pretty much meet in their darkest hours. Emma is an up-and-coming actress from a widely popular fantasy series and *gasp* just learned at the cast table reading, in front of everyone, she's quite literally getting the ax. Then she finds her boyfriend in flagrante delicto with another woman. With the six month lead time until she can legally announce her -ahem- separation from the show and her latest crash and burn, the need for escape is real.

Luc "Oz" Osmond was on top of the world. Being one of the best hocket players around and had a smoking-hot fiance, money, cars, fame, friends... he was living the life until one too many on-ice accidents made his life do a sudden and drastic 180. Lucian becomes a self-imposed recluse channeling his pain and frustration into handwork around his grandmother's estate and baking patisseries in the estate's kitchen. It isn't until Lucian meets the enigmatic Emma that he starts to realize what it's like to want and feel again. Can two broken strangers help each other become whole again?

I seriously didn't know what to expect from Make It Sweet but I was pleasantly surprised by the lack of angsty drama. That's not to say our lovelies don't have to face some fairly emotionally "Who am I?", "What am I going to do?", "How do I go on?" sort of thing but it's not antagonistic. Well, ok, Lucian is a bit of a grump but, he's a guy, and I love grumpholes... So, I was ok with it. I cannot say enough of how much I appreciated such an adult tone to Emma and Lucian's interactions. Yes, they had silly nicknames for each other and yes there was some push/pull drama, but that's the fun stuff. But, above all, the two were wonderfully adult in how they handled everything. 

Lucian and Emma have a sweet and sometimes fairly spicy banter that I just meshed with so much. I really enjoyed their journey. I love, love, loved the baking patisserie aspect to Lucian's character. I was super jealous those delicious yummies weren't provided with the book. Seriously, they sounded delicious. The secondary characters were absolutely wonderful.. I was a little verklempt that we had a sort of resolution for everyone in the end. I wanted to stay for a little bit longer in this wonderful  Rosemont estate with all its fab inhabitants.

Overall, Make It Sweet was a seriously sweet, swoony romance about coming out of hard times stronger and better for it.  I definitely recommend it.

*ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*
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Make It Sweet by Kristen Callihan is a wonderful romance, that is hot and steamy, perfect to off set the blizzard going on outside.  Emma is an actress on a popular television show, who's character was killed off on the season finality.  The problem Emma can not disclose what happens to her character, so she escapes to her grandmother's friends estate in California.  Lucian Osmond is the estate owner's grandson who is fighting his own demons.  I really enjoyed this sexy romance that connects two people who are hurting. I highly recommend this book and am looking forward to reading more books by this author.  
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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i normally adore kristen callihan books, but really couldn't get into this one. i don't know why, i'm not opposed to trying it again one day, but just really couldn't connect to the characters and kept avoiding picking it back up, so, don't know.. might be the story, might be the characters, might be covid just killing my brain, who knows.
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Ruthie – ☆☆☆☆
I really enjoyed this book – lots going on in Emma's life, added to which Lucian is a man who plays hockey and is a fabulous baker... perfection!

From the moment that Emma arrived at the Rosemont estate and we get to meet the wonderful characters who live there, there is magic in the air. It felt a bit like we entered a set of an Agatha Christie mystery set in the 1930s with a modern twist. Emma watching Lucian swimming late at night; the arrival of pastry treats for her breakfast; who might be the talented pastry chef; the fashion style of Sal and his relationship with Amalie; I could go on. Really, I think it best you just grab a copy and dive right in!

As well as Lucian having to decide what comes next in his career – and the decision has a potentially huge impact on how he lives his life – Emma is too at a crossroads, as her hugely successful role has ended and she is uncertain of whether she will be able to transcend the Princess label. Thankfully, these big issues do not make them both selfish, just confused and in need of support rather than guidance.

Highly recommended! In fact, I have already downloaded another of Kristen Callihan's books, as I have really enjoyed the writing style and the humour of this fun read.
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What a fascinating book. I was impressed by the storyline and the characters were all well written and complex. Where there are complex storylines combined with intriguing characters the reader experience is magnified tremendously. To have a book that is well written as well as entertaining is a delight. Reading is about escaping your world and entering another one. Here I forgot about my own life and was immersed in the world created by the author. I would recommend this book.
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This was just what I needed right now!

The friends-to-lovers trope is already my favorite, now add a supportive couple who cheer each other up at their dreams, and it becomes a perfect, sweet story. The way this author wrote their tension and the build up to their relationship, their banter, was so good. Kristen is truly talented.

Luc is an incredible character, I am so in love with him. He was so grumpy, yet so sweet and caring, I loved the way he treated Emma. A new favorite character, for sure. 

If it wasn't for the poor decisions made in the end and some unnecessary plots, this would be an amazing five-star read. Still, I definitely recommend it!
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Honestly, if you’re looking for a sweet story that will also have you drooling for desserts, Make It Sweet is the story for you. Lucian and Emma were both great characters, both at the crossroads of their lives and careers. They end up retreating to Lucian’s grandmother’s estate where they hide from the world and attempt to sort out what their next step is. In the meantime, there are delicious desserts, made by Lucian, and a burning attraction that they both resist giving in to. Honestly, I feel like I just want to talk about the image of a former hockey player, gruff, big and gorgeous, making the most delicate and mouth warming French patisseries. That image completely sums up this book
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Emma needs to regroup and figure out what to do with life once she is let go from her acting job. She is wounded and in need of some healing. She tries to find comfort with her boyfriend only to discover he has been cheating on her. Licking her wounds, she heads to Rosemount to clear her head. Emma cross paths with the grandson of the owner of the resort and an unlikely friendship develops.

Emma recognizes pain when she sees it and Lucian has a lot of it rolling off him.  It doesn’t stop her from wanting to know him better.  Maybe this is the distraction she needs.  While their friendship grows, a romance simmers on the bottom but can Emma or Lucian put the past aside to see what the future may hold?

This is my first contemporary read by this author and she didn’t disappoint. Make It Sweet ticked off most of my boxes and gave me the feels the one afternoon that I curled up to read it. I’m not sure what is going on with the slow burn romances lately but they are working for me. I appreciate the author slowly building up to a delicious and sweet romance instead of the insta-love trope.

Lucian is so grumpy and broken. I’m glad that Emma’s spirit was able to call out to him and help in his healing process. Lucian also uses food as another way to get through his pain. Let me say that I’m a big time foodie so I loved all of the food conversations and descriptions. I’m always tempted to try to make some of the dishes and desserts. It became an intricate part of the romance.

The chemistry between Lucian and Emma is explosive. They burn all the way up. The banter gives a light hearted feel as the couple have to navigate through a lot of heavy issues. It is a nice way to break it up and give a mix to some of the heaviness.

The only reason I didn’t give this book a full five stars is that this story has been done before and nothing stood out. It is light and quick but fail to have the full wow factor despite ticking off my boxes for a good romance.

Overall, a nice, sweet and satisfying contemporary romance that book lovers can read in on sitting like I did.

~ Samantha
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I love Kristen Callihan and she nailed it with this book. It was a bit less steamy than her other books but still highly enjoyable. I highly recommend it for all romance fans!
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Lucian Osmond was a star hockey player. Hockey defined him and was his passion. Then his life changes in the blink of an eye and he feels lost without a sense of direction. Wanting to be close to family he heads to his grandmothers estate in California to pick up the broken pieces of his life. He’s enjoying his solitude when a famous actress invades his privacy.

Emma Maron is an actress living in LA. She’s worked hard to get where she is and then her life is suddenly turned upside down when she breaks up with her boyfriend, her dream role is gone, and her career is up in the air. She feels alone, and is not sure what direction to take next. She needs time to think about her future, and is offered the perfect getaway to relax and heal. Her grandma has a friend with a home overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It’s known as a haven for those who needed it.

As Emma unwinds at Rosemont she finds peace. She also encounters an insanely beautiful man who is remote, closed off, and a bit grumpy. He’s also going through a tough time, and he intrigued her. She wanted to know him, and as their attraction grows she starts to smile again. He makes her feel alive and becomes a temptation too hard to resist. She’s never felt this connected to someone, and he left her feeling breathless with one look. Could they have something real, or will she end up with a broken heart?

Make it Sweet by Kristen Callihan is an emotional, friends to lovers, slow burn romance about unexpected love, and undeniable connections. Two people who have lost their way share intense chemistry, and are captivated by one another. I really loved this story, and this sexy beautiful man. Lucian was full of surprises and stole my heart! <333
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