Overall Grade: 4.5 ⭐️
I want to come at Sweeper from a different angle than Amy Daws’s other reviewers might come from. You should know that I have yet to read the other Harris Brothers’ books except for Blindsided and Replay...and now Sweeper. I’ve come to her booklist later than some, but it’s never too late to jump in. As such, my review of Sweeper comes from the place of a newer reader to Amy Daws. After reading Blindsided and Replay, spin-off stories of the Harris Brothers series, I was hooked. One hundred percent, I wanted more. At the end of Replay, Santino and Tilly’s story, Daws left her readers with a huge “WTF” moment, set up for Sweeper, her newest book. Even without the perspective of the Harris family, I NEEDED this book. I WANTED Sweeper because Amy Daws takes fictional characters and makes them real for her readers. It’s as simple as that. Whether she’s crafting heroes and heroines in a tire store or on a futbol field, you want to know Amy Daws’s characters, and Sweeper is absolutely no different.
From the beginning, Zander intrigues you. He’s a jumble of emotions as he finds his mother’s secret, one pointed to at the end of Replay. With this information, he’s in freefall, trying to make sense of his life. Instead of confronting his mother, he takes advantage of a scouting prospect and becomes a football player for Bethnal Green. This is a huge set-up for disaster for Zander. As a reader, you see the future issues, but you can’t help turning the page to the impending disaster. Daws ameliorates this disaster by placing Zander as a neighbor in proximity to Daphney. Obviously, Daphney has problems of her own, a past heartbreak that has left her distrustful of men. Zander tends to come on strong. He sees most women, initially, as hookups (in fact, that was my least favorite part of Zander – every woman he meets he has an opinion about his attraction to her. He begins the story sounding very much like a hound dog). Yet, as Daphney helps Zander settle in London, sparks fly, and it’s clear fairly early on that Daphney and Zander have more. While they develop a physical relationship far before their emotional one, that relationship development takes most of the story to evolve. Some might call it a slow-burn romance in terms of acknowledging their deeper feelings for each other, but Daws shows her readers it’s necessary to develop it at a slower pace as Zander’s situation must unravel in order for him to realize his feelings for Daphney.
Here’s the thing. You can’t help but fall in love with Zander and Daphney. Zander, after you get past his playboyish ways, shows himself to be caring and empathic. He’s simply doing his best in the face of his life-changing issues. And Daphney is independent and insightful, challenging Zander every step of the story while trying to protect her vulnerability.
Add into the book the zaniness and chaos of the Harris family as well as some solid European football, and this story reminds you again why you should read everything Amy Daws writes. From her humor to her plotting to her story and character development, Sweeper is a perfect addition to the Harris Brothers world. When Zander finally faces the truths of his life, the raw emotion of this story will make you cry and tear at your heart, but the compassion and love in its wake will make it worth every tear you shed. Just remember…you don’t have to have read the other books of the series to get the full emotional power of Amy Daws’s Sweeper.
In love and romance,