Review: My Not So Super Sweet Life by Rachel Harris

Rating: 4 stars
Pub Date: April 21, 2014
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Genre: young adult contemporary romance
Format/Source: DRC/Netgalley, ebook/gift from author
Status: book 3 in the My Super Sweet... series

Cat Crawford just wants to be normal—or at least as normal as a daughter of Hollywood royalty can be. And it looks like fate is granting her wish: she’s got an amazing boyfriend, Lucas; her fabulous cousin, Alessandra, living with her; and her dad planning his second marriage to a great future stepmom. That is, until her prodigal mother reveals on national television that she has something important to tell her daughter…causing a media frenzy.

Lucas Capelli knows his fate is to be with Cat, and he’s worked hard to win her over once and for all. Unfortunately, Lucas has his own issues to deal with, including a scandal that could take him away from the first place he’s truly belonged.

As secrets are revealed, rumors explode, and the world watches, Cat and Lucas discover it’s not fate they have to fight if they want to stay together…this time, it’s their own insecurities.

Well, and the stalkerazzi.

I actually got to beta MNSSSL very early on in its existence. I'm talking 7000 words or less. At the time, Rachel was just coming off writing Cane's story in Seven Day Fiancé, and Lucas, while darling, was sounding a little too much like a 30 year old man. Also, some of the details and motivations were different. I didn't pick the book back up until I received a digital copy on Netgalley. As a very early reader of this book, I can tell you how hard Rachel worked on this book, and I am so impressed with not only her dedication to her readers to continue Cat & Lucas's story but also the difficult but necessary changes Rachel made in order to make this the best story possible.

I think the best place to start with reviewing MNSSSL is with our leading lady Cat. MSSSC is all about Cat's journey to the past but it's also her metaphorical journey during which she realizes it's okay to open herself up because even if she gets hurt in the process, love makes it worth it. Well, MNSSSL is a realistic sequel in that Cat has regressed slightly. Sure, she's with Lucas, but Cat still maintains her walls, even if they're not quite as big as they once were. Ironically, Cat lets her guard down when her long-lost mother contacts her while keeping Lucas and Jenna at arm's length again. It's tough watching Cat slide backward a bit, but I can't say I don't relate. I mean, I can't say how many times I've made some sort of resolution only to fall off the wagon in some way. It makes me cheer all the more for Cat to remember her eureka moment in book one, to let people in, to Do the Right Thing. Also, I think it says a lot of Cat's character that she is willing to give second chances and that she is willing to open her heart to someone unexpected.

And then there's Lucas. I was most struck by his dogged persistence. He knows what he wants, and he won't allow himself to be distracted by fame, lies, drama, and straight up bullshit. Lucas reminds me a lot of Matt from J.K. Rock's Camp Boyfriend, which is a compliment to them both. As always, loyalty is a trait I believe in more than almost any other. Lucas may be a touch too protective, but he has good reason to want to keep Cat safe, and I love that he stays by her and does all he can to honor his promises to her. Honestly, a ya guy who keeps his promises? As Paris Hilton says: that's hot. Where's mine?!

The romance in this book is pretty superb. Rachel manages to showcase not only normal day-to-day couple-y cuteness but also the tough stuff like arguments and disagreements and also the super AH-MAZING SWOONS. Rachel writes some of my favorite romances because she just gets it. It can't be all swoon, all the time. Yes, the negative parts are sad to read (and probably hard to write too!) and make my heart hurt, but it's real life, and those moments have the bonus of making the good times that much sweeter. And ohmygoodness, are they ever sweet and steamy and totally awesome in this book. Just trust me on this one. Cat and Lucas are HOT. There was some face-fanning going on while I was reading.

I think my only complaint is that the pacing seemed a little off. The first half of the book was reallyfastandeverythingseemedtohappenallatonce, but then things slooooooowed dooooown dramaaaatically. It's hard to talk about Caterina's role in the book without spoiling things entirely, but I wish I'd seen a few more scenes with her. Her presence dominates the first half of the book and then BAM. Dramatic things that I can't talk about without spoiling the entire book, and then Caterina is significantly less important. Ransom also seemed a bit...forced? Maybe? I am not opposed to him as a character, but I feel like he wasn't as fully-fleshed as he could be, and I think he's also a victim to odd pacing. As for the pace, I think its imbalance was most likely exacerbated by novel's relatively short length, only slightly longer than some novellas. I definitely could have stood for the book being at least a little longer. Rachel will (hopefully) most likely continue the series with a couple possible spinoffs featuring some important secondary characters, but I think there might have been a little more to Cat and Lucas that could have added to MNSSSL.

All in all, I'm really happy with the third installment to the My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century series. It wasn't perfect, but it was fun, relatable, sexy, and all-around entertaining. Rachel's writing is witty and so charming. Every time I pick up a Rachel Harris novel, I know I'm going to have a good time. What else can you really look for in a book?

Book Links:

About the Author:
Rachel Harris writes humorous love stories about sassy girls-next-door and the hot guys that make them swoon. Emotion, vibrant settings, and strong families are a staple in each of her Rachel Harrisbooks…and kissing. Lots of kissing.

A Cajun cowgirl now living in Houston, she firmly believes life’s problems can be solved with a hot, sugar-coated beignet or a thick slice of king cake, and that screaming at strangers for cheap, plastic beads is acceptable behavior in certain situations. She homeschools her two beautiful girls and watches way too much Food Network with her amazing husband.

An admitted Diet Mountain Dew addict, she gets through each day by laughing at herself, hugging her kids, and losing herself in story. She writes young adult, new adult, and adult romances, and LOVES talking with readers!

Author Links:

Open INTERNATIONALLY. Entrants must be 13+ and be able to receive a kindle ebook. Giveaway is open until 12 AM CST May 7. I reserve the right to disqualify any entries that are not in accordance with my giveaway policies as stated in the Review & Site Policies tab at the top of the page. Prize: 1 winner will receive ebooks of My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century, A Tale of Two Centuries, and My Not So Super Sweet Life. 2 more winners will receive Kindle ebook copies of My Not So Super Sweet Life. Good luck!

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  1. Awww this looks to be a very enjoyable read. Great review and I'll definitely check the series out! :)

  2. I just got this as a Kindle deal. I am happy to hear you thought it was good. Bargin + good = happy me. :)

  3. I love this series so much! I love that Rachel decided to write this novella, because I felt like Cat's story wasn't complete after ATOTC. I agree about the swoons and about Lucas--Rachel sure knows how to write romance, whether it's YA or Adult. :)