I call this book Kaidan is Sexy because Sweet Temptation does it no justice.
It is always interesting to see the other side of stories.
In the vein of Jamie McGuire’s Walking Disaster, or Christine Zoldenz’s Scars and Songs, Wendy Higgins has given us the guy perspective of her series. Sometimes, like in the instance of Travis Maddox, it is very hard to reconcile the guy the heroine saw and fell in love with and the dude in his own book. Travis is not charming in Walking Disaster, he’s rather skeevy. I couldn’t like him as he was in his own tale; although it was a perfect example of TWO accounts being told of one story. But Kaidan Rowe is relatable and easy to love in Sweet Temptation as he was to Anna. His weaknesses and darkness becomes apparent while keeping him palatable, and desirable even. I am still in love with this lust puppy after seeing the world through his eyes.
Kaidan is Sexy starts out at a different point than Anna’s story; it gives clear view of Kaidan’s life and unhappiness. He is empty and on auto-pilot, life is happening to him and he’s powerless to do anything about it because he’s owned body and soul. The removal he feels from the physical act of passion makes him feel meaningless, it is his job not something he feels for his own. When he sees Anna he is confused and paranoid because the many machinations of the Dukes, his father in particularly; he is used to being tested and watched. Kaidan sees an anomaly like Anna with a fair amount of skepticism. However this innocent girl kicks starts a curiosity that fuels him like nothing before, not even music has moved him in such a way. He can’t let her go, and yet he doesn’t want anything to do with her. The conflict within Kaidan is expertly handled and you feel for him. You can identify with what is in his heart.
As a matter of fact, I adored the fact that the struggles and realities in this were realistically framed in a way other novels with this sort of POV swap have failed. The sensibility of the characters emotions and frame of situations is on firm foundation.
The structure of the story remains the same, it’s not an alternate perception, it expands on the overall arc. Sweet Temptation is a compact telling of all three novels of Anna’s adventure. What makes this work successfully isn’t necessarily the insight into Kai’s journey, but rather how well Wendy knows all of her characters. It serves the narrative that she is giving the in depth background regarding all the Nephilim friends and Dukes. It is the richness of all the interactions and her own understanding of her cast that gives clarity to the reader. Anna’s view of the nephilim and Kaidan’s growing up with them show the fullness of the author’s background knowledge of all those characters she writes. Anna sees nothing but hope and love because of who she is. Kaidan sees things more darkly, he’s grown up in the dark world of the Duke’s. He’s fatalistic because he has never considered anything other than what his life is. There has never been innocence in his life until Anna. Wendy is approaching those realities individually for the best storycrafting.
Another item that is better understood in Sweet Temptation is the passage in time. With the separation of the series from book to book it’s easy to forget that years are passing. Since Sweet Temptation is condensed telling of the three books it’s easy to understand the full scope of events. I became very aware that Anna was no longer a young girl and had grown into a woman in this novel. It also helped to see Kai’s view of her as she transitioned from not knowing what and who she was to the woman who sent the Dukes to hell.
Is there any issue?
One, and it shows my age. Through most of the book Kaidan “can’t even”. My sister says it all the time too and she is nineteen. I “can always” so “can’t even” becomes really apparent to me. Regardless of my itchiness there the teen speak makes it a lot more identifiable to younger readers. Especially those who also “can’t even”.
NOTE: YOU ABSOLUTELY NEED TO READ THE SERIES IN ORDER. Skipping ahead will not have the impact the entire telling will.
Sweet Temptation Synopsis:
This swoon-worthy, romantic companion novel to Wendy Higgins’s New York Times bestselling Sweet Evil series is told from irresistible bad-boy Kaidan’s point of view. Readers will love getting inside Kaidan’s head, especially fans of the Divergent series by Veronica Roth, the Selection series by Kiera Cass, and Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire.
When bad-boy drummer Kaidan Rowe encounters good girl Anna Whitt, the girl chosen to vanquish the demons from earth, he can’t stop thinking about her. The Nephilim son of the Duke of Lust, Kaidan tries to help Anna embrace a life of sin, but she gradually helps him see that he’s meant to do more with his life. Their relationship is as tortured as it is passionate, for Nephilim are forbidden to fall in love. But as hard as they may try to obey, Kai can’t seem to stay away from Anna, nor Anna from Kai.
Full of chemistry and high-stakes drama, this companion book is darker, hotter, and completely satisfying.
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Sweet Temptation Excerpt :
“No more sex.”
I blink several times at Anna as we stand outside the car the next morning. Have we been married long enough for her to say that?
“Just until after the summit,” she rushes on.
The summit. The summit where we might die. And then we’ll never have sex again anyway. What rubbish.
I am not ready for this conversation. I want to go back to last night.
“Kaidan . . .” She takes my hands in hers and tries to explain, but I am numb. “You have to pretend not to like me. It sucks, but it’s the smartest plan. If we’re both going to survive this, which I really think we can, and will , this is our best bet. You’re better at hiding your feelings than I am, but at this point it doesn’t matter if they think I have feelings for you. You can even say you made me fall for you to lure me in. Your father trusts you to find me and get me to the summit on your own. That’s huge. He has to think you’re in his pocket until the very last minute. We’ll have freedom to communicate with each other and warn the others. Do you really want to jeopardize one of the only things we have going for us?”
I close my eyes.
Why must she be such a reasonable, positive little pixie?
I squeeze her hands.
“No, I don’t,” I say. “I’m sorry. I’ll do whatever I have to do. Or not do.”
I’m about to ask for one last shag when Anna says firmly, “From here on out, no kissing, no holding hands or touching until this is all over. No doing anything that could look suspicious.”
Her eyebrows go up and I reluctantly nod, then let her hands slide from mine. I am secretly not in agreement, though I understand her caution. When did Anna become the cautious one when it comes to being caught?
Meet Wendy Higgins:
Wendy Higgins is the USA Today and NYT bestselling author of the Sweet Evil series from HarperTeen, the high fantasy duology The Great Hunt, and her independently published Irish fantasy, See Me. She is a former high school English teacher who now writes full time, and lives on the Eastern Shore of Virginia with her veterinarian husband, daughter, son, and doggie Rue.
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