Sweet Dreams (Beach Squad, #1)by Marika Ray Published 22 Feb 2018
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After the devastating loss of my parents when I was in college, I vowed to focus all my energy on fulfilling my promise to my mom: to open up the hot chocolate store we’d always dreamed of running together. No distractions. My plans are set.
But things heat up faster than I can handle when a bronzed lifeguard sets his sights on me in the most delicious of ways. Mix in a stalker determined to throw me off my game, and a comical, ass-kicking Beach Squad (okay, ‘squad’ is a littler over the top… it’s just me and my two best friends)… well, then you have a situation that requires a level of bravery I don’t know if I possess.
I may appear to be a damsel in distress, but I can save my own damn self, thank you very much. I just want the hottie lifeguard as the whipped cream on top of my sweet dreams.
***Warning: strong adult content.***
"Sweet Dreams (Beach Squad, #1)" Reviews
I love it when I find a new author who hits all my reading needs. It is even better when I’m on the ground floor with an author who is destined for success. Sweet Dreams is the first book in her Beach Squad series it is also the debut book by Marika Ray. It doesn’t get any better than that for a reader.
What grabs my heart is that I love both main characters from the beginning. Lately, it seems that one character or the other must convince me that they are worthy. Not the case here. Esa is trying to put men behind her after a bad relationship. She is also dealing with the loss of her loving parents. Her focus is building her hot chocolate business. (Another plus as I love hot chocolate piled with whipped cream like Esa.) After meeting Ivan, Esa begins to rethink her decision to put men on the back burner.
Ivan is the local lifeguard supervisor—a hot, very buff lifeguard. He is attracted to Esa from their first meeting when Esa gets stung by a jellyfish. Esa recognizes some of the sadness in his eyes while acknowledging in her heart that he is not like the other men she knows. I like that Ivan isn’t pushy with Esa. He agrees to be friends if that is what she needs. However, it doesn’t take long for them to move forward to something more meaningful.
I love books that have great secondary characters, and Sweet Dreams has that. Ivan’s friends and fellow lifeguards are sweet and fun additions to the story. I can see how Ms. Ray is setting the foundation for the future books in the series. My favorite ancillary character is Bailey. Esa’s best friend. She is that friend who will help you hide the body. She encourages Esa at every curve in the road. Bailey is there in the good times and the bad. She is the perfect confidant. I’m sure she has an entertaining backstory that we will see in this series. I can’t wait to learn more about her.
Sweet Dreams is a fast-paced with a little mystery. It isn’t hard to figure out who the stalker is but that doesn’t ruin the story. The action and romance are enough to hold the reader’s interest from beginning to end. In general, Sweet Dreams is a satisfying romance that puts joy in my heart and a smile on my face. If you love good old fashion romances that have a little suspense sprinkled on top for good measure, you will love Sweet Dreams . Great debut Marika Ray. I can’t wait to see what comes next.
This was a good start to a new series. This was also the debut book by Marika Ray and I was certainly impressed by it.
Both main characters were likable and both coming into their meeting and subsequent relationship with baggage. Esa has been dealing with trying to achieve her dreams after the loss of her parents. They were her biggest supporters and her losing them changed her world. Then other events that also happened in college have her just wanting to focus on her business. Enter Ivan with his toned life guard physique and big heart. His baggage has put haunted shadows in his eyes but he knows that Esa is one of a kind and someone he has to get to know better.
This story had a good pace, likeable secondary characters as well main, and the story line was very interesting. It was able to hold my attention and keep me reading. I look forward to book two of the series and how this author will develop going forward.
Looking for a sweet read with no weak ass heroines and manwhore heroes Cuz i definitely do then this is it.
It was definitely great for a debut novel.
A strong likable heroine and such a sweet, swoon worthy hero.
An interesting story with sad back stories of both characters that does somehow make you emotional.
No OW/OM drama.
But to make it interesting a stalker was added to the mix, but it was easy knowing who it was, i thought maybe the author could've made it more mysterious and not so easy to guess.
I am definitely reading more of this series.
This is the first book I've read by this author and I definitely plan on reading more. This is a really romantic sweet book. It has a lot of twist and turns with some suspense thrown in. I recommend this book.
I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book.
What a fun beach read! You instantly fall in love with both characters in this story, and it is so sweet I think I got a tooth ache. This was my first book by Marika and will NOT be my last!
Fun, sweet and steamy! Full review to come.
4 ★ – Sweet, Adorable and Deliciously Swoony
This book pleasantly surprised me and had my heart melting from the start. With delicious chemistry, hilarious bantering, steamy sexy scenes, and heartwarming friendships, Sweet Dreams by Marika Ray is a delightfully fun debut novel.
The plot was well-paced, never dull, and satisfyingly intriguing through the end. Even though I predicted who the stalker was, I thought the mystery aspect was still really fun. The romance heated up way too fast for my liking, but the chemistry between Esa and Ivan was just too sweet and adorable that I couldn’t resist falling head over heels in love with them. I absolutely enjoyed all their interactions – from the first time they met, to their first kiss, and their sizzling sex scenes. I did so much swooning that my heart couldn't take anymore!
I also really liked the side characters and thought they were just charming. Esa's best friend, Bailey, was just the BEST best friend anyone could have and I loved how protective she was of Esa. Ivan's lifeguard buddies were so fun and cute too! Hopefully one or two of them will have a book in the series. I'm totally down for that... cause you can never have too many hot book boyfriends.
I loved Esa from the start. She’s independent, kind, sweet and funny. Even after going through a very dark past with so much pain, Esa kept fighting to achieve her dreams. She’s very determined, hard-working and incredibly passionate about her business. While she's more than capable of standing on her own, Esa deserves her happily ever after in the romance department. That's where Ivan comes in. With his big gentle loving heart and adorable personality, Ivan was exactly who Esa needed. Not only is Ivan devastatingly handsome, he's also incredibly caring, super romantic, and would do anything for Esa. They're perfectly shippable and so ridiculously swoony!
This book had me on the sweetest sugar rush. I was completely hooked and could not stop smiling throughout the entire time I was reading. Sweet Dreams is surely one yummy treat! If you’re in the mood for some delicious fun that will make your heart melt, then I highly recommend you pick this book up.
I received an advanced reader copy of this book from the Enticing Journey Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
To read more of my reviews, visit by blog Sincerely Karen Jo