Title: Sweet and Sour
Author: Astrid Amara
Publisher: Loose Id.
Characters: Miles, Nic
Sub-Genre: Contemporary, Holiday Romance
Miles thought he and Itai would make a great team, despite the infidelities haunting their past. After all, Itai is smoking hot, they’re both driven entrepreneurs, and they love each other. What else did a person need? Well, a lot more, apparently, because not only are they no longer passionate, they don’t even share the same passions. Like people, affections change, but Miles wonders if a relationship this broken is truly worth repairing.
Itai’s business launch with his ex-boyfriend isn’t helping. And Miles himself has a new business to grow over a busy few weeks where Thanksgiving and Hanukkah collide to form either the best holiday season ever, or a kosher caterer’s worst nightmare. But help comes in the unexpected, ruggedly handsome form of Detective Dominic Delbene, a pickle aficionado with his own ghosts, who stakes out the deli to capture a dangerous drug dealer.
As Hanukkah’s eight days and Miles and Itai’s relationship comes to an end, Miles discovers that Nic is not only good with pickling; he’s good at everything.
I’ve read several books by this author and I’ve really enjoyed them all. She has a way of writing well rounded characters that I find myself caring for. Also, she writes fast-paced, interesting stories that always keep this reader’s attention from start to finish.
One of the things I really liked about this story was that although it’s a holiday themed story, there was also more going on than your average holiday cheer tale. Not only are both Miles and Nic complex characters, there is a very good reason why undercover police officer, Nic, is working at Miles’ shop. I liked how the relationship between the two men evolved from strangers to a genuine friendship and then love. I liked how they admired and liked each other. The chemistry between them really jumped out at me, so they were an easy couple to root for.
The story is mainly told through Miles’ eyes. I thought the author did a really great job at making him a likeable, realistically written-humanly flawed character. Miles has been in a relationship that is on its last legs and between that and trying to make his shop a successful one, he is often conflicted when it comes to doing the right thing for him. When Nic comes into the picture, it allows Miles to clearly see what he’s missing in his life and what he needs to do about it. As a reader, I appreciated how the author did not wash Miles’ relationship with Itai under the rug, but instead, deal with the sometimes hard decisions we have to make before we often break up with someone. I know many readers hate a cheating hero, so I would like to point out that although Miles is in a relationship when he meets Nic, he’s not a cheater. Yes, he develops feelings for Nic, but he doesn’t really act on them (other than some pretty hot flirting) until he and Itai break up.
Sweet and Sour is a well-written, romantic story that left this reader with a huge smile on her face. I enjoyed it so much, I hated to see it come to an end. I’m looking forward to reading more books from Ms. Amara in the future, but in the meantime, Sweet and Sour, will have a place on my keeper shelf where I’ll get to revisit these character time and time again.
Reviewed By: Gabbi