Book: Sweet Temptation
Author: Wendy Higgins
Series: Sweet Evil
Standing: Book 4 (final/companion novel)
POV: 1st person by Kai, present tense
Genre: YA paranormal
Source: Physical Copy
Release: September 8th, 2015
Bad boy Kaidan Rowe has never wanted for anything—money, popularity, musical talent…hot girls—but seducing them is part of his duty as a Nephilim, slave to the demon Dukes. As the son of the Duke of Lust, Kaidan has learned his father’s ways, becoming a master of passion, a manipulator of chemistry. Disobeying his father would mean certain death. Thankfully for Kaidan, he’s good at his job. And he enjoys it.
Until he meets Anna Whitt—smart, feisty, and inexplicably good—the one girl seemingly immune to his charms. The daughter of a guardian angel and a fallen one, she makes him wish for more than he could ever deserve.
Determined to save all the Neph from their dark lives, Anna joins forces with Kaidan to overcome the Dukes’ oppressive ways. In the light of her affections, Kaidan must undergo his toughest test of all, a battle of the heart.
Sensual and swoonworthy, this companion volume to the Sweet Evil series, told from the perspective of the mysterious Kaidan Rowe, gives readers revealing insights into the true emotions that drive him.
Let me say this: Kai made an phenomenal Valentine's date for me!
We all know the story of Anna Whitt, and how she was able to overcome every obstacle in combat against the Dukes of Hell. But in this book, we finally have the true story of Kaiden Rowe: how he was living his life committed to making humans sin when Anna Whitt explodes into his life and breaks down everything in his life. This book goes through the main events and takes a few behind-the-scene routes through the three books in the Sweet Evil trilogy.
Kai's character arc is much slower than Anna's was, thus requiring 3 books to capture how he grew. In the original series, Anna can only speculate at what Kai's thinking, and is frequently away from him in order to make it seem like everything is normal. However, in this book, we get every single thought Kai has. It should be no surprise that his thoughts are all about Anna, which made it extremely sweet to read about. Whereas Anna was selfless, actions done to help others, Kai's actions all had one main goal, and that was getting Anna.
I really enjoyed the progress Kai goes through. We first see his fear of Anna, thinking she was sent by his father to observe him, and watch as his fear becomes suspicion to her apparent ignorance. Kai exercises superhuman amounts of self-control and restraint with Anna, and we really get to see how hard it is for a normal Nephilim like Kai to resist urges when he's been trained to give into them since he was eleven. But he does it for Anna. The lengths he goes to in order to defy his father are great, and Kai finally is able to learn to forgive himself for everything he's done in order to be with Anna.
Generally, I'm not really into fans of jealously sob stories and all that, but for Kaiden, it was both hilarious and pitying. He's done a lot as a Nephilim to not even begin to entertain the idea of having Anna, and these thoughts literally eat him alive when he's separate from her. When issues of Kope come up, Kai's descriptions of his heart regarding the hurt he felt and how he knew in that he wasn't the right guy for Anna made me want to cry. It touched me, and I wanted to sadly to hug him and love him because he deserves everything.
Kai's protective streak is blown right into proper proportion in this novel, much to my delight. In the original trilogy, Anna gets the sense that Kai is reluctant to let her do anything that might danger herself, but he lets her do it regardless. However, with Kai's point of view, we get to see just exactly how reluctant he is, and the constant worry he has when Anna's going into a perilous situation. It is absolutely adorable how much he worries, and how he tries to hide it from Anna.
And, of course, being the son of the Duke of Lust, the thoughts Kai entertained throughout the entire book were a lot darker and more mature than Anna's point of view. This book in general was significantly darker, filled with a lot more agonizing emotions of pain and love. Things like sex, drugs, details on the satanic Marissa's sex trafficking company, and swearing are all up and open with Kai, which really made his character real. Unlike Anna, he wasn't living in a bubble of ignorance, nor was he trying to. Kai knew all the terrible things going on in the world since his existence depended on tempting humans to sin, and bluntly didn't sugarcoat anything.
The ending of the book was a lot more significant to Kaiden than to Anna, and in this novel, we get to see just how much it affects Kai. Anna acknowledges that Kai has a moment, and we actually get to experience the moment he has, and how powerful it is to him. For Kai, his story finally finds closure, and I could not be any happier with it! Everything felt right at that moment for him, and you can see just how far he's come.
"Only I can control me. And it's time to make a change. I've always lived as if I have no choice, but that's not true. There's always a choice, no matter the consequences...I'll never be good enough for Father or Anna, or God for that matter. But if I can be proud of myself for once, that will be a bloody brilliant start."