Former fat girl Jessie James has returned to her small hometown to open her own dance studio, something she's always dreamed of. Driving the local sheriff and former high school football star, who used to ignore her, crazy with lust is a side benefit she hadn't counted on. But revenge is sweet when all the sheriff can think about is frisking the delectable Ms. James. After the hell his ex-wife put him and their daughter through, getting involved with another woman is the last thing Chase Martin wants. His body has different ideas, though. And after all, when an outlaw like Jesse James moves into the house behind his, the sheriff has an obligation to keep his eye on her. Right? To his surprise, this outlaw steals more than his body. She captures his heart, too.
Comment: In my quest to know if I'm actually a fan of this author or simply of the books she writes, I'm keeping up with reading her stories. This month I picked Sweet Revenge, a title whose cover is simply too bad. I know smaller publishers don't have as much money to put on covers and such but I'm a firm believer any picture taken from the nature could be so much better, maybe with some people in the background but the way this cover is presented it's just so unappealing...I know, I know, covers aren't the important thing, but I think it's a bit difficult to avoid them completely, so.. a little more (better) effort could be nice...
So, this is Jessie's story, she returned to her hometown after a successful career as a choreographer in New York. She opened a dance studio and plans on living in the place where she was mocked as a teenager due to her body shape, for Jesse used to be fat.
Chase Martin is the guy Jessie had a crush on but who never looked at her. Now the sheriff, Chase sees Jessie, who by the way, lives next door and wants to know her better. But if they didn't match before, will they now?
I don't think this story was as successful as the previous ones I've read by the author.
I think this story wasn't as emotionally developed as it could, considering the theme and the situations created. Two main things caught my attention as interesting aspects to develop and explore which were treated rather superficially, without a better twist to the way on how to deal with things.
First there's the fact Jessie was said to be fat while a teenager and how that shaped her vision of those days and how other people treated her, in particular her peers. Throughout the book we get references to this and that about her teenage years but nothing done in a way I consider enough to offer me any kind of empathy towards Jessie. I assume she had trouble and besides the panties as flag episode we don't see more. One could say the point isn't about that, but then what is the point of saying she was fat? I didn't see any development on that subject nor did I see scenes where it mattered because now she has a better body. I think someone with those kind of issues would have more to deal with, would look at life in different way, even if optimistic like Jessie behaves. In fact, she became a very physical person, which is commendable. But if her past body was such a thing for her why wasn't it dealt with more seriousness? I had the feeling it was just an excuse to bring her initial opposition to Chase but then, anything could have worked.
Then the second thing I think would have worked out better differently. The relationship between Chase and Jessie seemed to start slow but after a couple of pages it wasn't so anymore...and Jessie, who at first didn't want to fall for Chase to prove him she still had feelings was suddenly losing any self control...I mean, why, the story would feel so much more enjoyable if they could have started a more natural seduction game, and more in accord to their positions in life after all their individual experiences...but the need to just keep up with the story as fast as it could was more imperative apparently.
I think the story is full of possibilities like usual, but the way the characters took on their path to each other and together wasn't the most appealing, at least there isn't anything special about it.
I wish the author could have taken a more character development approach where we could understand each protagonist better. The overall story was ok and it had some interesting scenes but despite the here and there good things, I still couldn't help but focus more on the things that could have been better.
Let's hope the remaining romances I have to read by this author are better than this one.