Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Sneaking Candy by Lisa Burstein

The Basics:
Sneaking Candy by Lisa Burstein

Entangled: Embrace
New Adult, Romance
Published December 9, 2013
Amazon.ca Kobo.com

I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

All I ever wanted was to make a name for myself as Candice Salinas, creative writing grad student at the University of Miami. Of course, secretly I already have made a name for myself: as Candy Sloane, self-published erotic romance writer. Though thrilled that my books are selling and I have actual fans, if anyone at UM found out, I could lose my scholarship…and the respect of my faculty advisor, grade-A-asshole Professor Dylan.
Enter James Walker, super-hot local barista and—surprise!—my student. Even though I know a relationship is totally off-limits, I can’t stop myself from sneaking around with James, taking a few cues from my own erotic writing…if you catch my drift. Candy’s showing her stripes for the first time in my real life, and I’ve never had so much fun. But when the sugar high fades, can my secrets stay under wraps?

Why I picked it up:

Liked the cover - it's a little bit rock and roll, and I loved the description - creative writing graduate student who secretly writes erotica? Yes please.

My thoughts:

A completely enjoyable read, Sneaking Candy wasn't sugary sweet - there was some heat in this book! Kind of like cinnamon hearts - if I loved cinnamon hearts. (Which I don't because I think they taste really gross).

I love the tension between academia/'literary' publishing and self-publishing. It's a lamentable reality. Why should there be such a divide when most of us have read books of both variety that have touched us deeply, that have made us laugh, cry, emote! I think a well-written self-published piece can be every bit as evocative and touching as a well-written 'literary' piece. Candace's fear throughout the book about whether or not her secret identity will be revealed is spot on - I was worried right along with her.

I'm a sucker for a romance novel featuring books and even better, a writer - hero, heroine, doesn't matter to me. Bring writing and books into the story, and I'll admit I'm halfway to loving it already. How can I not be when these are two of my favourite things? I loved the way Burstein handled the idea of acceptance and approval, woven around the issue of writing. Family & friends, fans, critics - all play into the writing experience and can cause extreme highs and lows. Burstein's got a great handle on this and I enjoyed reading about Candace navigating the minefield that was not only her own position as a writer but also her faculty advisor's and her boyfriend's.

And can we talk for a minute about James?  Swoon. Smart, sexy, forgiving. I will definitely re-read this book to spend more time with him. Candace's confession that she's fantasized about being his white t-shirt, just to lay flat against his muscular torso, amused me - but also made me consider it, for just a moment.

The only disappointment I had when reading Sneaking Candy was that I went into reading it thinking it was erotica. Because I really wanted to read more sexy times with Candace and James. However, that was my own fault, not a problem with the book. It delivered as a New Adult romance, and I had no disappointment in the book.

Bottom line:

Buy this one. It's an entertaining look at life as a creative writing graduate student in the modern age - one in which self-publishing online is becoming a very attractive (and legitimate!) option. You'll be cheering for Candace to get everything she wants (and deserves). You'll swoon for James! You'll add a post-it note reminder to the corner of your monitor to check out other things Lisa Burstein has written! (Well, I did!)

5 stars
For fans of books about books/writing, New adult romance, good books!

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like such a fun book! I'll definitely have to check it out!!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction