I waffled big time over the title of this book. I didn't settle on Sweet until I was more than halfway through the writing process, mostly because of the way I've titled the books in the Contours of the Heart® series.
The titles of Easy and Breakable were paradoxical in nature, and I meant them to be. Jacqueline confronts rumors (spread by her attacker to cover his tracks and intimidate her) that she's easy. Lucas comes to terms with a past horror that could and possibly should have broken him, but didn't. With the friendship and love of others and through their own efforts, these victims become survivors. I set out to designate a meaning other than the usual associations we make with those words by the end of each book.
So how did I choose this title for Boyce and Pearl's story? Unlike the initial connotations of easy and breakable, sweet is such a nice word... But consider how often sweet seems to mean weak.
While quiet boys are labeled brooding, quiet girls find themselves labeled demure or modest or sweet. Pearl Torres Frank never had to challenge the status quo because what she wanted for herself was always supported and encouraged by parents, teachers, and mentors. Now, she's about to shake things up. Even disheartened by those who express disappointment over her altered course, she doesn't back down from her decisions.
When a quiet, unassuming girl has a backbone, that fact surprises everyone - except the person who knows her best.
Boyce Wynn has never been quiet. He's anything but brooding. Growing up in his small town, he was bigger and louder than life. He alarmed and disconcerted peers and authority figures alike - and he meant to do so. But from the first moment he knew her, Pearl was something apart from everyone else, and nothing that applied to the rest of the world or the people in it applied to her.
When a loud, rough boy has a gentle side, that fact surprises everyone - except the person who knows him best.
Watch these two prove to each other and everyone they know that there is nothing stronger or sweeter than lifelong friends who fall in love.