“Sweet Temptation” by Wendy Higgins
5 out of 5 stars.
Having everything at your fingertips can be fun. Being able to party, take what he wants without consequences, and a dad rich enough to change the rules when he breaks them makes it seem as if rich, bad boy Kaidan Rowe has it all. But appearances in the world can be deceiving, especially when you’re the son of a fallen angel.
Kaidan’s purpose as a Nephilim is to darken the world by making mankind give into temptation, and Kaidan has never been bother by his “job” too much. Sure, he has experienced momentary guilt, but that is a feeling that has to be stamped out and ignored, because to survive in his world, you have to be willing break people and cause them stumble, otherwise a Duke with come for the disobedient Nephilim. Kaidan’s fear of death has always been stronger than his desire to do good, so he has chosen to survive in the only way he knew how. But that all changes when he meets Anna Whitt.
Kaidan has always known his place in the Neph world, but after meeting Anna, something within him begins to shift. Getting to know her and choosing to help her discover why she is different from him and the other Neph begins to matter more to Kaidan than obeying his awful father, and through knowing her, Kaidan realizes that he wants to do more than just survive his life sentence. But after eighteen years spent doing wrong and hurting people, Kaidan wonders if someone as broken as he is can hope to have a better future?
I had heard great things about Wendy Heggins’s “Sweet Trilogy” from my sister, as well as other readers and bloggers, and last fall, just after the release of “Sweet Temptation,” I had been experiencing a dry spell in reading material and had decided to pick up the first book in Wendy’s trilogy, “Sweet Evil.” After reading and enjoying the first book, I kept going with this trilogy and ended up discovering that “Sweet Temptation,” a companion novel to the “Sweet Trilogy,” was my favorite of the four books.
The first three books of the “Sweet Series” were pretty good, especially “Sweet Peril,” and I had loved Anna as a heroine because of her sweetness and dedication to doing what was right in the face of great obstacles. Anna was a wonderful protagonist and I enjoyed her perspective a lot, but there was just something about reading from Kaidan’s point of view that really rounded out this entire trilogy for me. Three books were crammed into just “Sweet Temptation,” and it filled in the parts of this the “Sweet Trilogy” where Kai was absent, as well as some other really key scenes, which could have ended up being too much for one novel. But while reading this book, I never felt like it was rushed, or as if random things were put into it to link up with the other books; “Sweet Temptation” actually felt like it was more rounded out and far more complete than “Sweet Reckoning,” which I personally thought read like it was rushed. While reading “Sweet Evil” and “Sweet Peril,” I always wanted to know where Kaidan really stood, what he was thinking and doing during important moments in Wendy’s series, but I could only get so much from Anna point of view. I wanted to understand Kai for myself, instead of through Anna’s perception of him, and with Sweet Temptation,” I got that and so much more. I loved how this book made the rest of the series come together and feel more whole and complete, and as great as Anna was, Kai’s perspective was a hundred times better!
Yeah, I kind of loved reading this boy’s perspective, and I thought that Wendy Higgins did such a good job of writing this complex and dynamic character. I feel that sometimes certain authors lose the feeling and connection formed between a reader and a beloved character when they write from a different character’s perspective, and it’s an awful feeling when a voice switches and the character who you knew so well feels like an entirely different person. Wendy, however, did a fabulous job of taking the Kaidan I knew from the first three books through Anna’s eyes and giving him his own voice. Kai still seemed like Kai, and I felt like I got the chance to not only grow to love this character even more than I already did, but to also understand him so much better.
I loved and hated seeing Kai struggle and suffer as a Nephilim. I hated seeing little pieces of his soul be chipped away due to his “inheritance” as a Neph, but I loved the opportunity to understand and uncover who this boy was firsthand; it was heartbreaking and sad to read, but I loved seeing him and the environment he was raised in, because it helped me to understand why he responded the way he did in certain situations. Kaidan was broken when Anna first met him, and he hated himself and the life that he lived, despite the persona he had shaped for himself. He acted like a bad boy and was wicked on occasion, but he had a good heart and just needed someone to show him that there was a way out of that kind of life, and seeing Anna do that for him from Kai’s perspective made this trilogy even better.
Besides just loving “Sweet Temptation” because I could see and feel what Kai went through during the “Sweet Trilogy,” this book also made me like Anna and Kai’s relationship all the more.
Yes, Anna and Kai’s romance was definitely swoony in the previous books, but I loved them together even more after reading “Sweet Temptation” because I could see through Kai’s eyes how much he loved Anna, and how hard he fought to protect her and tried to change to be worthy of her. Obviously Anna loved Kaidan long before he ever started to turn his life around, but seeing him fighting against all that he had ever known and struggling with how ashamed he felt because of his history…well, it made my heart hurt for him.
Kai was very good at being a Duke’s son, and for a while he liked being wicked, but underneath all of that was a thick layer of guilt and self-hatred, which always seemed to eat at him. Throughout this trilogy, he struggled with the actions of his past, and in “Sweet Temptation” it was painfully evident how much he regretted most of the things in his life. This book was fairly heavy and gritty because it dealt with a ton of different issues that plague the world like addiction and human trafficking, but I appreciated the fast that Wendy Higgins did not sugar coat the topics that were in this book. I loved that Wendy wrote such an amazing story of overcoming for her characters, and it was wonderful to see firsthand the growth that Kai experienced over the course of the “Sweet” books, how he eventually conquered his fears and addictions and helped Anna stay strong, too. Kai’s story was beautiful, amazing, and heart wrenching, and I loved seeing and experiencing his journey through his eyes. Oh, gosh, and the epilogue of the “Sweet Trilogy” from Kai’s perspective was SO beautiful that I might have cried.
I loved how amazingly well paced “Sweet Temptation” felt despite how condensed it was, and if you’ve read the other books in Wend Higgins’s “Sweet Trilogy” and enjoyed them, then heartily recommend “Sweet Temptation” to you. Kaidan’s perspective, although much darker than Anna’s, was amazing to read from because it helped to round out this entire series and made me understand and love Kaidan even more as a character. Without a doubt, Kai’s book was by far my favorite “Sweet” book, and I can’t wait to see what Wendy Higgins writes next!