I received this book for free from Entangled Publishing, NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Sweetheart Sham by Danielle Ellison
Series: Southern Charmed #1
Published by Entangled: Crush on December 4, 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Format: kindle e-book
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In a small town like Culler, South Carolina, you guard your secrets like you guard your cobbler recipe: with your life. Georgia Ann Monroe knows a thing or two about secrets: she’s been guarding the truth that her best friend Will is gay for years now. But what happens when a little white lie to protect him gets her into a fake relationship...and then the boy of her dreams shows up?
Enter Beau Montgomery: Georgie’s first love, hotter than ever, and much too much of a southern gentleman to ever pursue someone else’s girl. There’s no way to come clean to Beau while still protecting Will. But bless their hearts, they live in Culler—where secrets always have a way of revealing themselves.
Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains a hilarious “fakeship,”a scorching-hot impossible relationship, and a heartwarming best-friendship that will make you want to call your best friend right here, right now.
This is the least I can do for him after everything with my momma and how much he helped us. Heck, this is the least I can do since he’s been mine every day of our lives. by Georgia
Georgia, Will and Beau have been best-friends since they were born. But two years ago, Beau left town and their friends behind. Now, he is coming back to be best-man in his cousin’s wedding, but would like to right the wrongs he has done for his friends.
Will is gay, but the only person he has told yet, is his best-friend Georgia. So, when he finds a promise of real love, he asks her to pretend a relationship with him, so he can have a secret affair with a mystery boy. In a small town like Culler, there is no other way to keep a secret, but lying.
But could a lie, even a small one, ever be the solution?
- Cover: Is sweet and pertinent to the story. The lake has a big role in the book.
- Plot: Great story. Is well-written, with a cohesive plot without any loopholes. I like that the author talks about heavy topics in a light way that gives the story a great flow, without overwhelming the readers with angst.
- Characters: They are all great. Easy to love, connect and understand. Georgia is a strong girl, loyal to her friends and loving to her parents. Will is an amazing friend with strong family roots. Beau is an amazing son, loyal and sweet. There are some interesting secondary characters.
- Freshness: This is fresh, unique; an one-of-a-kind story.
- Addictiveness: The plot grabs the reader right at the beginning of the book and won’t let go until the end. Fast read, hard to put down.
Ma had faith that I loved her enough to let her be happy. Will had faith in me to keep his secret and to be in his corner. Georgie had faith in me, in us, and I broke that twice now, but I have faith that she will try one more time. by Beau
- This book wasn’t about a duo, but about a trio. I wished there were 3 voices, instead of only two.
… but I am ready. Love is scary, you know, but never experiencing it is scarier. by Will
A great book, in my opinion, gives you “food for thoughts”. I’ve been well fed during this read.
The Sweetheart Sham has romance, but is not about that. This story is about friends, family and love.
This book is about a trio of friends that have grown up together and have their lives so intertwined that is hard to see where one starts and the other ends. They are individuals, but they also are duos and a trio. They care for each other, in different manners, but with the same love forged by time, knowledge and friendship. Their families have strong bonds, but each of them has their own problems inside their own nuclear family.
I don’t know whose story is coming on the second book. There are lots of interesting secondary characters., but I would love to read another book about the trio. I think their journey has only begun and I would love to follow them on their next steps.
You MAY read this book because you like romance; you SHOULD read this book because you enjoy the author; you MUST read this book because it is unique and brings something new!!!
Ms. Ellison has answered a few questions:
What is your writing kryptonite?
Free time. When I have extra time or too much time I waste it. When I’m on a strict schedule with only a little free time carved out, I use it wisely.
Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly?
Sure. I think writing is sometimes the way people express emotions. I know I personally hate opening myself up and sharing my feelings with the people in my life. Being vulnerable is hard. But when I’m writing, I can pour those things into the story through my character and work through them. They’re no longer my emotions, but that person’s.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
Fully completed, I have like 3 or 4. Half-finished, maybe 1. Ideas that I started and never wrote: hundreds.
If you didn’t write, what would you do for work?
I do many things actually. I teach undergraduate college courses online. I’m starting Library school in January so I can be a teen librarian. That’s my other passion 🙂
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
I do read reviews – at least every once in a while – because I love when people love it! I mean, if it’s bad it’s bad. I’m sorry someone didn’t like it, but I don’t get upset or anything. I used to be a book reviewer and I’m an avid reader, so I know not every book is everyone’s cup of tea. I like when reviewers share why they didn’t like it, unless they are just plain mean. I’m just grateful someone reviewed it and I move forward.
What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?
I’m someone who has characters first and plot second. It’s hard to write that way because I always get stuck a little in the first draft. I love characters, but I need conflict – and once I figure out that part, it usually comes together.
If you had to do something differently as a child or teenager to become a better writer as an adult, what would you do?
I think I would’ve taken more risks and maybe I wish I would’ve known sooner that I wanted to write — but otherwise, I’m okay with where I am. The paths we go down lead us where we are and I wouldn’t change that.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
Yes, I think it’s real. Being creative is difficult and it requires a lot from a person. Maybe we don’t know a character or a motivation or something isn’t fully fleshed or we did the wrong thing somewhere and we can’t write it – at least that’s always the case for me. Then, when that happens, we writers tend to beat ourselves up over that and it makes it worse. We get in our own way sometimes, and to me, that’s the main cause of writer’s block. We just need to move.
Thank you for your answers!!! If anyone has any more questions for Ms. Ellison, please leave in the comments below.