Sweet Little Lies by Michele Grant

April 20, 2015 Contemporary, Reviews 5

A light skinned black woman with long hair is shown in a tight black top, smiling, with her hands behind her headI am all about this book. Hands down, Sweet Little Lies is my favorite contemporary romance in ages. Michele Grant‘s natural dialogue more than made up for (minor) issues I had with the plot. Christina is the girl with everything but a man. Men are easy to get, not so easy to keep. A three time loser at the engagement olympics, she’s keeping things light and breezy. Steven is a little bit younger but far more mature. He’s hood made good and not interested in playing games. I straight up loved him and this tale of lost love rediscovered.

On the negative side, Steven is completely unrealistic. I was very excited in the opening pages when it appeared Christina was going to find love with a UPS driver. I’d love a working class romance where a man with a good paying steady job is seen as deserving of love instead of only billionaires. Unfortunately, this part of the book is a bait and switch. Steven only looks like a working class hero, he’s actually headed for absurd wealth in an extremely short time. I gave it to Grant because in the greater Bay Area fortunes are made in less time, if more realistically.

Power dynamics in Sweet Little Lies were so interesting. When Steven and Christina first meet, she holds all the power. She’s older, she’s got a high profile career and she’s definitely in charge. Fast forward a few years and Steven is her equal. The challenge is no longer what she’s willing to allow but what he’s willing to settle for. There’s a corruption subplot. Ignore it. The real focus of Sweet Little Lies is family, friends and healthy relationship dynamics. Christina has been getting the results she subconsciously wanted from life. For her HEA to arrive, she needs to do the work of welcoming one. Here Steven calls Christina out for refusing to say they’re in a relationship.

“For future reference, the easy and correct answer is: Yes, I am and he makes me very happy.”

“I don’t see all the happy-making, Professor.”

“My phone calls don’t make you happy? My e-mails don’t make you happy? Or are you the kind of girl who’s only happy when she’s getting the good-n-plenty on the regular?”

Sweet Little Lies, Michele Grant.

Spoiler alert, Steven – that’s exactly who she is.

“Christina, today was a win. We made lots of money for the foundation. We got a ton of information for your story. We won over our siblings. You made up with an ex. You got rid of Dante, you put Lisa in neutral, you wowed your VP. I impressed my dean. I was on TV, you weren’t on YouTube. And we just had the best sex ever.”

“Oh my God, it really was. You’re like the vagina whisperer.”

– Sweet Little Lies, Michele Grant.

My main issue with Sweet Little Lies (besides Steven getting rich quick) was how small it made the Greater Bay. I lived out there and I’m here to tell you that you never have to see people again. I had neighbors I put on mute without any difficulty at all. Christina ends up at restaurants, health clubs, parties, all with her ex lovers. It’s completely unbelievable. You’d need a postage stamp sized town to get away with that, not the city of San Francisco. They aren’t all in the same line of work or the same social circle. There’s no reason for them to randomly cross paths so easily. In addition, many of the public events hit as improbable. I didn’t care. Grant’s personal moments were so spot on that it was easy to shrug off the rest. Loved. It.

Final Assessment: Minor celebrity meets younger academic. He tells her to grow the hell up. A

Source: Library Copy

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Meoskop

Meoskop's first non-compulsory book review was in 1973. Although a hit with the 3rd grade, concerns raised by the administration necessitated an extended hiatus. Reviews resumed in 1985 but the concerns are ongoing.

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5 Responses to “Sweet Little Lies by Michele Grant”

  1. Tina

    Ok, those snippets of dialogue make this look very promising. Imma give this a look!

    Thanks

    ReplyReply
  2. lawless

    I have another nit to pick. College teaching isn’t a pathway to wealth unless it involves business opportunities on the side or fame for things like TV shows or non-technical books. I’m thinking of people like Carl Sagan, Stephen Hawking, and Henry Louis Gates (notice how they’re all men), and even so I’m not sure if they’re wealthy or merely comfortable.

    Be that as it may, this does sound interesting, although it will be hard to top Milan’s Trade Me as fave contemporary because of its Asian heroine, social conscience, and deconstruction of the billionaire hero trope. (Short version: I liked it more than you did.)

    I second your call for a working class romance, although I think Cara McKenna’s After Hours may qualify. (Hero is an orderly at an inpatient mental health facility; the heroine is a nurse.)

    ReplyReply
  3. meoskop

    @lawless: Without spoilers, Steven has more than one source of income. While his academic income is redonk high, it was plausible to me because of his field of work and my knowledge of what some specialists in that make in and out of academia.

    ReplyReply
  4. rube

    Oooh, added to my TBR list.

    Cheris Hodges’ Business of Love has a millionaire businesswoman heroine and a firefighter hero. I didn’t love it, but YMMV.

    ReplyReply

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