What better way to start the week than by reading a sweet romance by one of my fellow wenches? I present to you Jennifer Senhaji’s debut novel, Sweet Dreams.
Jenna Morris is the owner of Sweet Dreams Café in the small town of Maple Grove. An unexpected encounter with Jacob Walker, A-list actor and sexiest man alive, leads to a tentative friendship the develops over daily coffee runs. Under different circumstances could the friendship between Jen and Jake blossom into something more or is it all just Sweet Dreams?
When I first saw the cover of Sweet Dreams, I immediately went to GoodReads and read the blurb. Seconds later I was clicking the green “Want to read” button. Weeks later, Jennifer offered an ARC in exchange for an honest review and obviously I jumped at the opportunity. I was happy to move it up to the front of my mile long TBR list.
Why was I so eager to read this book? First, I loved the cover. The silhouette of the couple against the warm colors set the tone for the whole story. When I see this cover I just want to say “awwww”, you can tell this is going to be a sweet romance. Second, the blurb was slightly reminiscent of Tina Reber’s Love Unscripted and darn it, I loved that book. This is a different story, with a different setting, but the premise is similar. A-list actor and small town girl falling in love? Count me in to read that book!
Now, the story. Jake is everything you expect from a romance lead, sexy, confident and somewhat mysterious. Although the story is told from Jenna’s point of view (except for a short outtake at the end), we still learn who he is and what he’s feeling. It soon becomes evident that his mysteriousness and aloofness have more to do with his shyness and insecurity than with an inflated ego.
I don’t want to leave yet. Coffee Girl…
A chance encounter in an elevator and a few coffees in Jenna’s café, Sweet Dreams, lead to a sweet, but fragile friendship. Being friends with this movie star isn’t easy and Jenna is often left with unresolved feelings. Things are further complicated when Jake completes the shooting of his movie and leaves town. Will they ever meet again? Can their friendship survive?
Jenna stop drooling!
This is not an insta-love story, although there is some insta-lust on Jenna’s part. I love me some inst-love, but it was refreshing to read a story where as a reader, you can see the feelings develop over time. Due to their fears, Jake and Jenna keep each other at arms length for a long time and then they have to overcome the hurdle of having a long-distance friendship.
That voice, it couldn’t be. It’s impossible.
Midway through the book, Jenna and Jake finally meet again… serendipitously. I won’t spoil the circumstances of this encounter, but I will say that this was the first time in the book where I thought ‘hey, wait a minute…’. I can see some readers enjoying this, but for me, their coincidental encounter was a little too fantastical. Obviously fiction is fiction for a reason, but when a story is so believable—like this one was from the beginning—when something too out there happens, it takes me out of the story and back into reality.
Having said that, once I got over this coincidence, I jumped right back into the story and was happy to see Jenna and Jake finally succumb to their sexual chemistry. The result was a steamy night worth reading about. In true Jenna and Jake fashion this does not mean the end—or should I say, the start?—of their story. There’s plenty more to it…