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Summary

From New York Times bestselling author Kristen Callihan comes a charming, emotional romance about redefining dreams and discovering unlikely love along the way.

Life for Emma isn’t good. The world knows her as Princess Anya on Dark Castle, but then her character gets the axe - literally. The cherry on top is finding her boyfriend in bed with another woman. She needs a break, and sanctuary comes in the form of Rosemont, a gorgeous estate in California promising rest and relaxation. 

Then she meets the owner’s equally gorgeous grandson, ex-hockey player and current recluse Lucian Osmond, and she sees her own pain and yearning reflected in his eyes. 

He’s charming when he wants to be but also secretive and gruff, with protective walls as thick as Emma’s own. Despite a growing attraction, they avoid each other.

But then there’s an impromptu nighttime skinny-dip, and Lucian’s luscious homemade tarts and cream cakes start arriving at Emma’s door, tempting her to taste life again...

In trying to stay apart, they only grow closer - and their broken pieces just might fit together and make them whole.

©2021 by Kristen Callihan. (P)2020 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

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Profile Image for Heabooknurse
  • Heabooknurse
  • 25-02-21

Sweet, sexy beautiful!

Jacob Morgan should read all the things always! That is all.

I don’t know that I expected to get to see so many emotions from a hockey player. It was so moving an beautiful to see his story. Most times hockey players are surface deep in books. This was the first time I had ever seen a hockey player perforated at this level. It was incredible to see.
The setting of this book is beautiful and almost like another side character in the story. With all the people that are there it is wondrous.
Emma is an all around down to earth good character. She didn’t come off as the typical movie star character. She too was so much more than expected. This entire book made me hungry and full. I loved this sweet beautiful story.

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for being_ericamarie
  • being_ericamarie
  • 05-03-21

Jacob makes everything good

First the two narrators make every story the read phenomenal! With that said great pairing for this story. Emma and Lucian both needed what the other had to offer, they build each other up after disappointing career changes - Hockey Player and Actress. They are both hiding away from their disappointments as they try to come to grips with the changes. This story comes with their very own matchmaker in Lucian's grandmother and others cleverly pushing them together. I do feel it started off a little slow for me but picked up by about chapter 3 or 4. Again Jacob Morgan and Ava Erickson outstanding.

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Profile Image for Book Bruin
  • Book Bruin
  • 03-03-21

When I'm With You, I Feel Alive

Overall 4.5 stars
Performance 5 stars
Story 4 stars

I was recommended Make It Sweet by several friends and it did not disappoint! This grump & sunshine, forced proximity, slow burn sports romance was delightful. Lucien and Emma were wonderful together and my heart hurt for them as they struggled to find their way. They were so guarded and wary when they first meet and it was beautiful to watch them communicate and start to heal through food. Yes, the instalust/love was a bit much right at the start, but I liked how instead of rushing into anything, the author gave these two time to get to know each other and shed their insecurities and fears. The sexual tension builds up so well between Emma and Lucien (the pool scene *bites fist*) and readers/listeners are definitely rewarded for their patience. The drama was predictable and a little repetitive, but I really appreciated and respected Emma's response. Plus, it made for a truly delicious epilogue. The secondary characters were all amazing, but it was Mamie who stole the show. She was like the sun, with everyone orbiting around her. Brommy and Sal provided some excellent comic relief and I would love to see them get their own books one day.

The narration by Jacob Morgan and Ava Erickson was perfect! They voice Lucien and Emma wonderfully and I don't think I will ever get tired of hearing these two. All of the French pastry terms and variety of characters might have tripped up other narrators, but they handled it with ease. This is my first book by the author, but I'm excited to check out her backlist and also future titles.

CW: childhood abuse, death of family member, concussion/brain injury, automobile accident, cheating ex

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Profile Image for Ap2514
  • Ap2514
  • 02-03-21

I loved this story

I wasn't quite sure what to expect with this book but I really enjoy both narrators so I thought I'd give it a listen and I'm so happy I did. After a career ending injury forces Lucian into early retirement he decides to spend his time helping out his grandmother at the Rosemont, a gorgeous estate in California. Little does he know that his place of peace and quiet is about to be disturbed by an out of work actress who is also looking to hide away from the world. When these two cross paths there is instant attraction but they are both in transitional times in their lives where it doesn't seem like a good idea to make plans for the future. But sometimes life makes plans without you and you just hold on for the ride.

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  • Jodi
  • 02-03-21

Sweet, Sexy Romance!

Make it Sweet by Kristen Callihan was a fun, sweet, and sexy romance! I loved everything about his slow burn love story. Jacob Morgan and Ava Erickson narrated this audiobook.

Lucian and Emma was an interesting love story that kept me hooked from start to finish. Both characters are in a way looking at starting over. Lucian was injured and that inhibited him from playing Hockey. Emma had a star role on "Dark Castle" which I imagine to be kind of like "Game of Thrones" and they killed her character off the show. Both are lost souls just trying to find a new purpose in life or their next new endeavor. I loved that they found each other along the way.

Jacob Morgan and Ava Erickson were fantastic together in this book. I loved the raw edge that Jacob gave Lucian's character. You could also feel Lucian's pain and passion in Jacob's performance. Ava was perfect as the sweet, sultry Emma. Both narrators are always one clicks for me!

Overall I loved this book. I also liked that we got to to revisit with Macon and Delilah from Dear Enemy! I look forward to reading more from Kristen Callihan!

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Profile Image for Natalie Livers
  • Natalie Livers
  • 01-03-21

Sweet no pun intended

Loved this book! Narration was superb and the story is heartfelt and really keeps you hooked!

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Profile Image for Michella L. Patane
  • Michella L. Patane
  • 01-03-21

Chemistry so electric, you can’t wait for it to go BOOM!

I really enjoyed this slow burn storyline. Great banter and chemistry so electric you can’t wait for it to explode! Throw in emotional moments and you’ll be hooked from the beginning to the end. The narration was fantastic!

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  • Readaholic Book Reviews
  • 28-02-21

Sweet and swoony romance (also lots of baking!)

Lucian Osmond - ex hockey player - is staying with his grandmother Amalie at her private sanctuary Rosemont. Lucian is a recently retired ex-athlete and wants to be near his grandmother while he figures out exactly what it is that he does next.

Emma is an actress on a famous show... but not for long. She finds out at a table read that her character has been killed off. Needing some time and privacy for herself she seeks out Rosemont. What she doesn't anticipate is the big, burly, snarly man who just happens to be wherever she's at at the resort. When these two end up spending so much time together - there's bound to be attraction. But will they act on it - knowing that they're both in a weird headspace right now?

I truly adored Make it Sweet . I loved the often playful banter between Lucian and Em. Both of them had so many vulnerabilities and yet with one another they truly felt safe letting their guard down. And the fact that Lucian bakes french pastries...sigh 😍. I've read a few books that have the cooking or baking aspect in them - but Make it Sweet has got to be one of my favorites! It's just done so perfectly.

This book had so many things that I love in a romance including:
-playful banter
-only one bed
-the sweetest nicknames for each other
-close proximity
-both characters who are a bit broken and yet believe so strongly in one another.

The audiobook was also fantastic - narrated by Jacob Morgan and Ava Erickson. I switched back and forth between the audio and the e-book! Both of these narrators were such a great duo for portraying Emma and Lucian.

I'm so glad I decided to pick up Make it Sweet.

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  • venicelivin
  • 27-02-21

Phenomenal!

I don’t normally give all 5 star reviews to audiobooks, but each of these stars are all well deserved.

LOVE Kristen Callihan’s writing style. She is a master of creating multifaceted characters with realistic development and creating an atmosphere that relays the characters’ emotional state so beautifully. I read lukewarm reviews of this book on Goodreads, and after listening WITHOUT pause to the audiobook, think that this maybe one of the few books that is better listened to than read.

Jacob Morgan is my fave male narrator and he did a spectacular job here. At first his accents for the grandmother and her friend felt a bit off, but strengthened as the story progressed. Ava Erickson is a new to me narrator, but she was amazing and the range of her abilities, particularly with the male voices and accents - was impeccable.

Both narrators added so much emotional depth and passion to the story that other reviewers felt were lacking in reading the book.

But also, having been in both characters’ position, where I’ve experienced upheaval in my own career trajectory and have had to choose between career/moving/love myself, I connected deeply to their struggles.

I laughed, I swooned, and I fell in love with all the characters. I will definitely be listening to this over and over again.

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Profile Image for serenechaosnyc
  • serenechaosnyc
  • 27-02-21

Wonderful (and hunger inducing)

I’m hungry after reading this book. The descriptions of the pastries and food were spectacular. But I digress. This was an amazing book- layered beautifully like the finest Gateau. In it, two damaged souls, Lucian and Emma meet in a beautiful setting to heal. Lucian, a former pro hockey player, is healing from a horrible head injury and to adjusting to life without his love, hockey. Emma, an actress, just found out she lost her part in the series that made her famous. And she lost her boyfriend, the cheater. His gruffness, her sunniness, his Mamie (grandmother) and his friend/ surrogate brother Sal made this book a true pleasure to read. I hope we revisit some characters In this book (a book for Brom would be awesome!)

I went between reading the ebook and listening to the audiobook which features Ava Erickson and Jacob Morgan, both perfectly cast.