By day, Candice Salinas is a teacher’s assistant (TA) and an MFA student. By night, she’s Candy Sloane, an erotic romance author. Sneaking Candy is about how Candice’s personas slowly collide until she becomes Candice “Candy” Salinas.
What I liked about Sneaking Candy
Writing style: I don’t know how to describe the writing style, but it kept me interested in the story. It wasn’t very elaborate or descriptive or outrageous, but it wasn’t dull or confusing either. All I can say is that the style and plot made me not want to put the story down.
James: James isn’t the bad boy with a secret sensitive side. He’s not the perfect guy (beauty, brains, and brawn) born just for Candice (i.e. her soulmate). Nor is he a sleazebag who just wants to get in Candice’s pants. James is a genuine guy with flaws who wants to date Candice and treat her right. There were so many opportunities when James could have morphed into a douchebag, but he remains a decent guy, which, in turn, led me to root for him and Candice to get together.
Sexual content: Even though Candy is an erotic romance author and Burstein had many chances to include sexy scenes, Sneaking Candy registers as light on the sexual content scale. Meaning that it’s safe to read in public. Plus, I like how even though the story is about a romantic relationship, which would include sex, sex isn’t the focal point of the story.
What I didn’t like about Sneaking Candy
Narration: While this point may seem contradictory to my point on writing style, I’m talking about something else. I didn’t like how, to ensure the reader followed her train of thought and knew who she was talking about, Candice referred to herself and her pseudonym in the third person as if she wasn’t talking about herself. I didn’t like how she’d go on a tangent about Candice and then go on a tangent about Candy as if they were two separate people. I think most of Candice’s problems came from the fact that she couldn’t unite her two identities.
Character development: Candice’s character didn’t show any permanent development until the very end. Every time she took one step forward, she’d take one to two steps back so most of the time her development either remained the same or regressed. It was nice to see her finally take responsibility and control of her life at the end, but getting to that point was annoying.
Overall, Sneaking Candy is a nice, quick read. You’ll either enjoy it or you won’t. I don’t see any reason to completely love it or absolutely hate it.