December 20, 2013

Book Review: Sneaking Candy by Lisa Burstein

Title: Sneaking Candy
Author: Lisa Burstein
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Purchase Links:
Amazon  /  Barnes and Noble


All I ever wanted was to make a name for myself as Candice Salinas, creative writing grad student at the University of Miami. Of course, secretly I already have made a name for myself: as Candy Sloane, self-published erotic romance writer. Though thrilled that my books are selling and I have actual fans, if anyone at UM found out, I could lose my scholarship…and the respect of my faculty advisor, grade-A-asshole Professor Dylan.

Enter James Walker, super-hot local barista and—surprise!—my student. Even though I know a relationship is totally off-limits, I can’t stop myself from sneaking around with James, taking a few cues from my own erotic writing…if you catch my drift. Candy’s showing her stripes for the first time in my real life, and I’ve never had so much fun. But when the sugar high fades, can my secrets stay under wraps?

Sneaking CandySneaking Candy by Lisa Burstein

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was so fun to read! I loved the premise behind it, and the characters were perfect.

Candice is a graduate student at the University of Miami. She is on track to be the next great literary writer. But, her professor believes that the only important writing is serious writing. And he just happens to hate all of the self-published romance writers that are clogging the market. Which is really bad for Candice. While she wants to write an important piece of literature some day, for right now she is supplementing her income and finding a fulfilling creative outlet by writing erotic romance under her pen name, Candy Sloane. She knows that if Professor Dylan ever found out, not only would he turn her in to the university, he would also never take her seriously as a writer. Candice quickly realizes that Candy is more to her than just a pen name on paper. Candy is actually another side of her that is more of a free spirit, and a risk taker. So it must be Candy that leads her to sort of begin a relationship with one of the students in a lecture that she is leading as a TA. Right? James is viewed by Professor Dylan as a writing prodigy, and is one of his prized students. However, when Candice and James meet outside of class at a coffee store, and then proceed to have a date of sorts, things get messy. At first they don't realize that they are student and teacher, but even once they figure it out, they can't fight what is growing between them. Candice tries to be the responsible one and push James away, but Candy keeps pulling him back in. Candice has to decide if it's worth risking everything she thinks is important in her life in order to make the Candy side of her happy. And maybe she even has to figure out if Candy and Candice are more of the same person than she wants to believe.

I loved the split personality like divide of Candice and Candy. I might have made it sound a little confusing when trying to describe it, but when reading the book it is not confusing at all. Basically, Candice is conflicted about her life, and her dreams, and about what she wants her future to hold. It's the typical coming-of-age story. She has to decide if she wants to achieve what everyone expects of her, or if she wants to pursue what really makes her happy. And James is really just another way to show her that there is more to life than being taken seriously. James is a great character. He is likeable and smart and romantic, and still pulls off the hot-guy vibe. I love how he constantly pushes Candice to extend her boundaries and walk on the wild side, but he respects her enough to back off when she tells him she's had enough. I also like how Professor Dylan goes from being a potential crush to nearly an enemy. I have met way too many professors and writers that are just like him, that look down on self-published writers, or just romance writers in general, and I had him pegged as as d-bag from the beginning. I'm glad he got what was coming to him in the end.

Overall, I truly enjoyed this book. It was fun and entertaining, and I sped right through it. I highly recommend it to anyone that enjoys this genre.

View all my reviews

Author Bio:
Lisa Burstein is a tea seller by day and a writer by night. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from the Inland Northwest Center for Writers at Eastern Washington University. She is the author of Pretty Amy, The Next Forever, Dear Cassie and Candy, Stripped. As well as a contributor to the upcoming essay collection, Break These Rules: 35 YA Authors On Speaking Up, Standing Out, and Being Yourself. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her very patient husband, a neurotic dog and two cats.

Author Links:
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