Bitter and Sweet by Nicki Jantzen

Bitter and Sweet by Nicki JantzenIn the interests of full disclosure, I edited this book for Nicki. What’s significant about that fact was I had no intention of taking on an editing client at this point. However, once I read Bitter and Sweet, I was hooked. Nicki has a strong storytelling voice, and while this novel is styled as contemporary romance, Claire’s tale follows the pattern of epic fiction.

It’s not a story about a single woman out to find a single man. It’s not a story about a single woman out not to find a single man either.

Bitter and Sweet is a complex, blended story of poor choices, revenge, consequences, and figuring out what’s the right thing to do. Though there are elements of faith and fate, this is far from traditional inspirational romance. It’s a sensual, sexy novel that, as all good stories do, offers a suggestion or two about how our decisions affect others and ourselves.

Nicki introduces a rich cast of characters with full-rounded issues ranging from co-dependency and alcoholism to a lack of self-worth. But don’t think this story is all doom and gloom. It has a measure of those, but there are also moments of joy, laughter, and even consternation. More than just Claire, and her counterpart Josh, come to grips with the consequences of their choices. And not all those final decisions are happy, healthy ones either. But ultimately, true to the romance genre’s happily ever after, Claire and Josh find their way to the end of a rough road, and they’re not the only ones to make positive changes for the future.

I chose to take this book on based on the strong roots I could see. The published version takes those strong roots and weaves a tale I find compelling, and hope that you will too. I’d love to hear what you thought, good or bad, as Nicki starts her journey into the hands of readers.

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