Sneaking Candy – Lisa Burstein

Sneaking Candy is not the fluffy confectionery that one would assume given the cover, unlike most New Adult fiction, it is not a maudlin self-indulgent tale of post-teen angst with the amount of tragedy comparable to a Korean soap opera. What it is, is a love letter to readers, all readers well maybe not the literary book snobs out there but to the average everyday Joe who loves a little escapism, or a touch of irreverence in their reading fare.

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.

Candice is the slightly repressed daughter of two surgeons and after years of toeing the party line she rebels by eschewing medical school and following in her parents and boyfriend’s footsteps to move to Florida and pursue her dream of being a writer. Her parents respond by disowning her and her boyfriend dumps her unceremoniously telling her that she was a lousy lay and that he cheated on her as well. Forced to find her own way Candice uses her only resource and self-publishes an erotic romance novel under the pseudonym Candy Sloane.

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?

Much like all of us Candy is the alter ego who says and does the things that we think of ten minutes after the opportunity has passed. Caught between a rock and a hard place Candice is torn not only between two men but also between following her heart and her head career-wise.

“You’re this serious writer,” I said “I figured you’d view it as fluff, me as fluff. I mean, anyone in the program would.”

Sneaking Candy revitalized my faith in the New Adult genre introducing us to a heroine who is not a victim, perhaps a little repressed, but with the confidence to do and READ or write what our own inner-Candy dictates.


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