Book: Tart and Sweet
Series: Candyman #4
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publication date: September 5, 2016
Length: 233 pages
Reviewed by Erin
In the Army, Robbie Chambers turned on his lover out of fear—and he hasn’t been able to live with himself since. Now he’s out of the Army but still trapped in the closet that brought on his most cowardly moment, and he starts to think he’ll never be able to fight his way free.
Until he sees Cy McVeigh. Beautiful and uninhibited, Cy is dancing on the boardwalk at Old Sac for no other reason than the moment called for it. Robbie not only joins in the dance but is smitten from the very beginning.
However, Robbie still has old business to clear up, and when he helps out a kid in need and comes face-to-face with the man he betrayed, he’s forced to come clean with himself. He can’t redeem his mistake if he’s still locked into his old patterns, and he won’t ever be worthy of Cy if he can’t earn Adam’s forgiveness. He’s going to need all the help he can get from the people at Candy Heaven in order to make things right with his past so he can have a future with Cy.
It is with a bittersweet sendoff that Amy Lane’s delightful Candy Man series has come to an end. And I have to say, we sure did come full circle with Tart and Sweet. I don’t know that I’d say Amy saved the best for last—for me, Adam and Finn will always be my favorite—but this one was so very necessary for all the characters we’ve come to love. And for the ones we fall in love with in Tart and Sweet.
If you’ve read the previous three books (and I think you absolutely must in order to truly appreciate everything that is at play in this one) you will know who Robbie Chambers is, and what he’s done to make himself number one on all the guys from Candy Heaven’s shit list. It takes a tremendous amount of skill and finesse to redeem someone who is seemingly so unworthy but boy did Amy Lane accomplish that with her usual prowess and talent. I would imagine no shortage of unconditional love for all her characters as well. It’s quite apparent that Amy loves Robbie with a sort of bubbling glee, because she made me love and empathize with Robbie before I’d even finished the first chapter.
I’m not sure I would have been able to imagine it’s Cy McVeigh that would be Robbie’s touchstone, but I definitely bought into it the farther along I got in the book. As usual, Amy’s ability to make readers feel the connection between her characters shines through and these two guys are they perfect example of what she does better than just about anyone else. Robbie’s and Cy’s ability to show their vulnerability to each other, to expose those soft spots that they rabidly guard, was such a treasure to read. Robbie’s heartfelt and gutwrenching talk with Adam broke my heart and when Finn had his say, well … there were lots of tears.
This is truly a book about forgiveness. Of being true to yourself so that you can let others in. About doing the things that make you happy, even if it doesn’t always make you rich. About trusting someone enough to tell them the worst thing about yourself and knowing they’ll still be there. Robbie’s journey to redemption is a beautiful thing, and Cy’s big heart is exactly what he needed.
I am really sad to see this series come to an end. Amy did gift us with plenty of peeks into all the other characters from the series throughout Tart and Sweet so we can all rest easy knowing that all these guys will be just fine. I’ll miss them … and Darren’s Pixy Stix.
Oh and Amy? Thanks for the surprise cameo! What a fabulous treat that was!! (And no I’m not telling y’all who it is, you’ll need to read the book to find out. But trust me, it’s a gift!)
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