Yes, this book was not as good as the first but that would be asking for so much. Heartsick was simply amazing and Sweetheart does a very credible job as a sequel. So much so for me, that I already have the third and fourth books in the series.
Many authors take it upon themselves to use every adverb and adjective in their vocabulary in an effort to create an environment for the reader. Ms. Cain is able to create that environment by keeping up the action and interest in the storyline while not overstating the details.
I must disagree with other reviewers that feel the series has become a love story. To believe that is to completely miss the type of sordid relationship between Archie and Gretchen.
I continue to really enjoy the characters/ Ms Cain has created a intensely interesting characters. The setting is wonderful Portland Oregon (less the blind liberalism) which is as beautiful and interesting as described in the books.
My actual rating is 4.5 stars.