Lizzie Carpenter knows all about mistakes. Long ago she made the mistake of sleeping with the wrong person. Now the father of her teenage child wants to meet his daughter for the very first time. Between taking care of the ever disintegrating home and worrying over her child, Lizzie reluctantly accepts Dante's offer of help.
Back of the Book:
Single mom Lizzie Bea Carpenter learned long ago that no white knight was coming to save her. A hardworking waitress at the local diner, she's raising her daughter to be like the independent women in her "Enemy Club"--high school rivals turned best friends, promising to always tell each other the whole truth and nothing but! Yet part of Lizzie wishes she did have a man's help, just for small stuff, like fixing up the house. Her fairy godmother must have been listening, because Dante "Tay" Giovanni soon appears. He's sexy, kind, and offering assistance--no strings attached. Slowly, steadily, Lizzie's heart opens. But the grip of the past is fierce, and nothing in life is ever really free. Tay has his own tragedies to overcome, but if he can, he'll fix more than Lizzie's home. He'll show her just how sweet it is to be loved by him.
If I had to pick a favorite character/storyline in this book, I'd have to say it was Dante's. Who hasn't been in the position where they weren't paying attention for a scant second and they miss some catastrophic event by a hair. Although the law deemed her death an accident, poor Dante is so wracked by guilt that he can't go back to his life until he somehow can make reparations. He just wants to in some atone for his actions and no one will let him. The law won't arrest or punish him. Candy won't accept his apologies or help."I'm starting to see I won't ever be able to make that up to them. ...People hate help from the people who wronged them." He's stuck in a never-ending limbo of guilt and remorse.
The relationship between main character Lizzie and her teenage daughter is so accurate one must assume the author must be pulling from a real-life scenario. Daughter Paige just wants to buy into the fantasy of the perfect dad. One who swoops in and saves them all of a life of struggle and poverty. He'll be rich of course and exciting and wonderful. Lizzie is bound and determined to protect her daughter from what she views as a potentially dangerous situation. After all he left once. How exactly can she guarantee he won't do it again.
With all this drama going on, it's a wonder the two main character can find the time to get together. Yet they do somehow manage. It's only through their relationship that Dante begins to forgive himself and Lizzie begins to relax.
There are some minor characters and subplots throughout the novel. Some which add to the storyline- the sister is struggling with some pretty serious postpartum depression and feelings of guilt and inadequacy. Some which aren't so good. All in all How Sweet It Is delivers exactly what it promises, a sweet romance between two characters who've been knocked around by life.