Murder with Lemon Tea Cakes by Karen Rose Smith

With its very interesting premise and believable characters, the first book in the Daisy’s Tea Garden Mystery series is constantly captivating. Karen Rose Smith masterfully brings the storyline to life with much convincingness, as situations could easily occur just as described. I was instantly caught up in the happenings that took place, regardless of who was mixed up in an incident or what was transpiring. Ms. Smith cleverly turns an ordinary businesswoman into a capable amateur sleuth who shrewdly looks for the truth. MURDER WITH LEMON TEA CAKES is intriguing with carefully thought-out mysteries and realistic family issues.

Things are going well for Daisy Swanson and the shop that she co-owns in Willow Creek, Pennsylvania. With the help of her Aunt Iris and a longtime friend, they give residents plus tourists to the Amish country a place to relax and enjoy a light meal with teatime. Widowed for three years, she is raising two teenage daughters whom she closely watches over and tries to guide in the right direction. Daisy also feels responsible for her aunt, and is currently concerned about the intentions of the older woman’s new friend. Iris has become rather chummy with Harvey Fitz, although he is not yet officially divorced.

Since Daisy’s Tea Garden does some catering, they have been hired for an event observing a milestone in Harvey’s clothing business. During the celebration, Daisy hears some disturbing news related to him, causing her to wonder what it will mean for his future and possibly her relative as well. But when Harvey is later killed and his death takes place in the garden of her shop, she plans to make sure the responsible person is caught, and it definitely is not her aunt as the authorities are insinuating.

The tea garden theme in MURDER WITH LEMON TEA CAKES is refreshingly original, and I liked how it gave the main characters a good opportunity to interact with many other people in various locations. Daisy is a personable woman, and while she is devoted to her business, family members and friends come first. When Aunt Iris is suddenly in trouble, nothing will keep her niece from assisting and making certain her relative is treated fairly. Daisy’s actions caused admiration on many occasions, and I liked the way she stood up to others. When it comes to her family, I could tell there is much love between them. But like real life, there can be some disagreements along with a few upsetting developments, too. Ms. Smith always handled these moments with much believability.

When the focus was on any mystery, the number of unknowns mount up at first. Then the facts are gradually revealed, and I was often surprised by being caught completely off guard. Karen Rose Smith expertly keeps the reader in suspense as to what is exactly going on, giving a hint sprinkled here and there to keep the anticipation building. I have visited the Amish area numerous times, and the vivid descriptions by the author had me reliving some wonderful memories. The foods mentioned in the book all sounded so delicious, and the recipes for several favorites are listed at the end. One of the plots I really enjoyed was the two men with whom Daisy might perhaps get closer, and I am looking forward to seeing how these relationships progress in future stories.

I voluntarily reviewed the book and all comments are my honest opinion

Series: A Daisy’s Tea Garden Mystery

Publisher:  Kensington

Releases:  December 26, 2017

Purchase:  https://tinyurl.com/ybyl9boq

Genre:  Mystery

Author website:  https://karenrosesmithmysteries.com/

Rating:  4.5 Stars

Cowboy Up by Harper Sloan

While I have enjoyed all three books in the Coming Home series because of the appealing couples and original plots, I must say that Clay and Caroline’s story is my favorite. I was immediately drawn into their lives when they first met, and every following scene featuring this dynamic couple only made me adore them even more. Both had unpleasant circumstances in their backgrounds, and these situations actually had them feeling closer because it led to a mutual understanding for problems dealing with family and relationships. Harper Sloan makes the road to finding lasting happiness exceedingly bumpy for Clay and Caroline, and I am just glad I was along for the enthralling ride. COWBOY UP is contemporary romance at its most entertaining.

The reason Caroline Michaels came to a bar one night was to hopefully lift her spirits by consuming some alcohol, never anticipating any of the men there would notice her. She grew up in the nearby Texas town of Pine Oak, and coming back to the area has her recalling some painful memories. Caroline wants to make some changes in her life by leaving the past behind, and there is no time like the present to start. When asked by a stranger to leave with him, there is no mistaking what will happen later, and the night is definitely memorable for both of them.

Clayton Davis has undertaken lots of responsibilities for years, and his biggest one was being in charge of running the family ranch. He also finds it hard not to continue watching over his two younger siblings, though they are now married. He never expects to have a permanent relationship, but he certainly enjoyed the one night spent with Caroline. When an event has the two reconnecting, Clay and the rather shy bookstore owner decide to explore more fully what they felt that fateful night.

Harper Sloan delved into the innermost hopes and fantasies of Clay and Caroline with believable reactions, where emotions are often expressed with an almost overwhelming intensity. I do not know when I have experienced the sentiments of a character with such a powerful force as those repeatedly conveyed in COWBOY UP. Whether individuals were particularly joyful or suffering great misery, I also endured every single feeling right along with them. Clay has been a protector for a long time, as he tried to make things better for his brother and sister. When he meets Caroline, his gut tells him that she could benefit from his help and he is certainly willing to oblige. With his backing, she just might become a stronger woman while also giving him something important in return. I laughed so many times when clever comebacks were spoken by this couple, and I absolutely felt the fiery heat when they had sex. COWBOY UP will long be remembered for its heatedly steamy encounters.

Though the main focus of the story is on Clay and Caroline, his brother and sister plus their spouses from the previous books make plenty of appearances along with her two best friends. Conversations range for delightfully humorous to very insightful, causing many smiles and a few misty eyes. There is even a little suspense to increase the heartrate. An outstanding conclusion to a compelling series.

I voluntarily reviewed the book from the publisher via NetGalley, and all comments are my honest opinion

Series:  Coming Home – Book 3

Publisher:  Pocket Books

Releases:  December 19, 2017

Purchase:  https://tinyurl.com/yba773zf

Genre:  Contemporary

Author website:  http://authorharpersloan.com/

Rating:  5 Stars

As You Were, Cowboy by Heather Long

The second book in the Lone Star Leathernecks series is often movingly emotional yet also very uplifting at times. The hero is a former soldier who does not regret doing his duty, but sadly he is now paying a big price most days with little expectation of the future ever becoming brighter. When a spirited woman enters his life, he at first feels betrayed and a little angry. But as the couple interacts on a daily basis, both lives take a turn which neither saw coming. I smiled when a situation went well, and then felt empathy for a character if an event did not go as desired. Heather Long has created an exceedingly realistic story filled with romance, hope, and profound emotions. AS YOU WERE, COWBOY is heartwarmingly dramatic time and again.

When Claire Windsor traveled from England to Texas, she had plans to her wishes become a reality. Love for horses led to her choosing a career training them, and a personal matter had her working to use the perceptive animals to help people with various problems. Yet when Claire arrives at Round Top Ranch, she is confronted by the current trainer for its horses, and his greeting is not at all hospitable.

After Mateo Lopez suffered a severe injury to his spine while serving as a Marine, he was discharged for medical reasons and had to return home. He keeps hoping that one day his mobility might improve enough to let him once again work more efficiently with the horses, so there is no reason for Claire to be hired. But since the ranch owners have the final word, Mateo must work with Claire and implement her new program to assist those in some type of pain.

AS YOU WERE, COWBOY is an insightful look at people who need assistance plus those willing to give it. Claire wants to share her knowledge of horses with others, letting them come to also know these creatures and perhaps change their lives for the better along the way. Training an animal to improve the quality of life for someone that has either physical and/or emotional problems is an admirable career, and the Brit is extremely dedicated to aiding anyone who could benefit. She is definitely surprised to learn a ranch employee could use her help, and she can immediately tell there are going to be some uphill battles fought before Mateo will work with her in a friendly manner. But as they start to share ideas, mutual respect begins to grow. A love of horses may have brought them together, but their candidly honest behavior has them growing closer. I was truly touched by many of the scenes where Mateo opens up to Claire about several private topics, and her responses had me liking her even more. Heather Long takes a realistic approach in how horses can give a person confidence, and I felt as though any arising situations could actually be true on so many occasions. Details about such therapy are given in a way which is informative yet does not overload. AS YOU WERE, COWBOY is a cleverly imaginative story that left me with a positive feeling.

I voluntarily reviewed the book from the publisher via NetGalley, and all comments are my honest opinion

Series:  Lone Star Leathernecks – Book 2

Publisher:  Pocket Star

Releases:  December 11, 2017

Purchase:  https://tinyurl.com/y6uxqje8

Genre:  Contemporary

Author website:  http://heatherlong.net/

Rating:  4.5 Stars

Roomies by Christina Lauren

Filled with clever dialogue and charming characters, ROOMIES is a realistic story in today’s world. In order to help out a man who will be deported if discovered still living in the United States, a woman thinks marrying a virtual stranger is the best solution. What occurs after her impulsive decision are situations where plenty of soul-searching takes place because emotional predicaments must be worked out. The romantic couple created by the talented duo writing as Christina Lauren is interestingly original, as both have engaging personalities plus real-life issues to overcome. I immediately adored the two main characters, and truly did fret when events did not go as anticipated for them. ROOMIES is enchantingly delightful with imaginative scenarios that are very believable.

Even though Holland Bakker has never actually met the man who regularly plays a guitar in a New York City subway station, she feels drawn to him and his gift for music. One night after an unexpected conversation where she learns his name is Calvin Mcloughlin, a stranger tries to take her phone and she is injured. Afterward, it seems the performer helped her out, but he leaves before she can thank him. When her uncle needs to replace a musician in the Broadway show that he directs, Holland thinks this is an opportunity to let Calvin know she is grateful plus could also assist him.

When Calvin auditions, his talent earns him the spot. But since he has remained in the states after the time on his student visa ended, he cannot take the job because of feared repercussions. Then an idea is voiced which would have Holland marrying the man from Ireland so he could legally work for the theater. After very little deliberation, she takes the proposal to Calvin and he agrees. While they try to persuade the authorities that their marriage is authentic, their feelings begin to also feel very genuine.

A pretend marriage storyline always intrigues me, as I enjoy seeing how two people will react to spending time together in an intimate setting. Though Holland may have fantasied about Calvin for months, she really does not know much about his private life. What they experience after marrying is depicted with convincing circumstances that are often fascinating because of their responses. I liked how the authors showed the couple having conversations where they were openly honest, and those moments when they interacted with others were especially pleasurable when Holland’s Uncle Robert was involved. I smiled numerous times when this charismatic man was featured.

The relationship of Holland and Calvin is certainly not conventional, as they knew very little about one another at the beginning. But the journey they took in learning about each other is beautifully told by Christina Lauren. From past history to current likes, truths were revealed and secrets are also exposed. The musical aspects in the story are exciting, as it let me get a glimpse of Broadway shows and those who have hopeful aspirations. ROOMIES is about individuals and the possibility of making their dreams come true. The unique relationship of Calvin and Holland will be recalled again and again.

I voluntarily reviewed the book from the publisher, and all comments are my honest opinion

Publisher:  Gallery Books

Releases:  December 5, 2017

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/y8gbjn5l

Genre:  Contemporary

Author website:  http://christinalaurenbooks.com/

Rating:  4.5 Stars

So Over You by Kate Meader

Hockey, family matters, and a complicated relationship are all explored in the second book of the Chicago Rebels series, and I was captivated by each situation that developed. Details about playing a professional sport are delved into, where the importance of physically preparing for a game along with being mentally ready is shown. Also outside influences can certainly cause havoc on game day. Isobel Chase and Vadim Petrov must adjust to learning about recently discovered family members, and I thought any discussions were genuine because old hurts often resurfaced. As for whether the couple will ever be more than owner and player this time around, they will first have to face some very tough and often poignant challenges. Kate Meader has created a believable romance with a compelling sports theme and a very engaging couple. SO OVER YOU is humorous, sensuous, and repeatedly emotional.

When Isobel Chase had the opportunity to play in the National Women’s Hockey League, almost all her objectives connected to this particular sport were now met, and hopefully her few remaining ambitions would soon be achieved. But an injury right after her first game started meant her professional career was already over. While Isobel can no longer participate on a team she still has much knowledge to share. So when she and her two sisters become co-owners of the Chicago Rebels, she becomes a consultant for the men’s hockey team.

After a repeated knee problem kept Vadim Petrov from performing his best, the player who grew up in Russia is traded to the Chicago Rebels. Upon learning Isobel will be helping him get back in shape, he is not at all happy. The two knew each other when teenagers, and a fling between them had bad results. But Vadim and Isobel are now adults, and it appears there are several things they could teach each other even when they are not practicing on the ice.

While I do not know a lot about hockey, it was easy to become enthralled in the story because of its delightful characters and fascinating premise. Vadim is Russian, and some of his comments when confused caused huge grins. There were also moments where he knew exactly what he was saying and his sly wit was evident. Since Isobel says what she thinks, their conversations were very lively if she did not filter her words. When the hockey players were together, their talks could be serious or comical, just like most of the family chats. I especially enjoyed the times when remarks were about an adorable dog.

SO OVER YOU is about a second opportunity to find lasting happiness in all aspects of life. Though Vadim and Isobel have known each other for eight years, neither thought they could actually be together because of too many differences plus obstacles. Yet when they are once again in contact with one another, they realize the passion they felt as teenagers was nothing compared to what they now feel. I thought the way in which their relationship progressed was convincing, as they experienced numerous ups and downs. The one area where Isobel and Vadim are always fun to observe was their sexual encounters because of all the banter and enthusiasm. Kate Meader makes SO OVER YOU enjoyably entertaining.

I voluntarily reviewed the book from the publisher via NetGalley, and all comments are my honest opinion

Series:  Chicago Rebels – Book 2

Publisher:  Pocket Star

Releases:  December 4, 2017

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/y7w68d5x

Genre:  Contemporary

Author website:  http://www.katemeader.com/

Rating:  4 Stars

Killer Colton Christmas by Regan Black and Lara Lacombe

The romantic couples who have been in the previous books of the Coltons of Shadow Creek continuity has gone through numerous trials and experienced conflicted feelings, and the final two stories are no exception. Regan Black and Lara Lacombe have imagined risky situations for their main characters to face, where lives are on the line and heartfelt entanglements are frequent. Several new people are introduced while past characters make a return, and each one had important roles. The ongoing plot about Livia Colton always left some details unanswered in the prior books, and I now have all the facts. KILLER COLTON CHRISTMAS is emotional plus filled with unanticipated danger.

 

Special Agent Cowboy by Regan Black

Since her background history was seldom encouraging, Marie Meyers is thankful for all Colton, Incorporated has done to make her life better. Working as its digital officer, she tries to ensure that any news related to criminal Livia Colton does not negatively affect the company. When a group known for hacking makes the business its next victim, her own personal information appears to be targeted more than most. The FBI is called in to stop the leak of data, and Emiliano Ortega is assigned to watch over Marie because the severity of the threats keep mounting. Hiding the fascinating woman on his ranch located in Shadow Creek is the plan, but becoming emotionally involved certainly was not.

As evidence is gathered connected to the hacking case, Marie could either be a victim or perpetrator. Regan Black makes the story interesting as clues are gathered along with motives. Marie and Emiliano are opposites in many ways, yet these differences seem to draw them together and form an emotional bond. To discover what is actually going on, a big risk must be taken, where feelings and duty collide. I never knew what would happen next. Special Agent Cowboy builds suspense with intriguing and unexpected circumstances.

 

The Marine’s Christmas Case by Lara Lacombe

Although Dario Ortega would like to know Felicity Grant better, it seems the newly returned resident of Shadow Creek is not interested in the same thing. But when the private investigator needs assistance to uncover the person responsible for hacking into Colton, Incorporated, his technical knowledge is very much appreciated. As a former marine, Felicity has the drive to prove she can be successful at her new career, and she is willing to accept Dario’s help to solve the case. Yet to find the answers, the couple must spend many hours researching, and surprisingly some of it is spent thinking about each other.

In the concluding book about Livia Colton, a number of unforeseen truths are finally exposed. I was kept guessing until the very end, and enjoyed looking out for any cleverly placed clues. Dario and Felicity are really likable, and I wondered if they would be willing to take a chance with their hearts. These two did not see their lives going toward the same goal, so it was fun watching them come to several stunning revelations. The Marine’s Christmas Case has engaging conversations and plenty of honest reactions. Lara Lacombe has created compelling situations for her particularly appealing couple to deal with, and the continuity came to a satisfying finish in this entertaining story.

I voluntarily reviewed the book and all comments are my honest opinion

Series:  The Coltons of Shadow Creek

Publisher:  Harlequin Romantic Suspense

Releases:  December 1, 2017

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/ybmufesf

Genre:  Suspense

Author website: http://www.reganblack.com/ and http://www.laralacombe.com/

Rating:  4 Stars

All I Want by J.H. Croix

Stories set during the Christmas holidays are always a favorite of mine because the season is associated with joyous times and the possibility of something miraculous happening. J.H. Croix gives two people a second opportunity to be in a relationship, but it will never occur unless minds are changed and big risks are taken. With the help of friends and relatives, the couple might find what is missing in their lives is within reach if they will just take a chance with their hearts. I always enjoy a story written by this author, as the characters are so genuine while the plot is believably convincing, and ALL I WANT left me smiling and very happy.

When a friend wanted to know if Dallas Tate would go and make certain all was well with his vacation home, the FBI agent knew it was a great excuse to get away for a few weeks and revisit Haven’s Bay, Maine. His job has been rather demanding lately, and his former hometown along the coast is the perfect place for him to relax. But upon reaching his destination, Dallas discovers another person is already there ahead of him. Audrey Edwards is the one person who is vividly remembered from when he lived in this community, and seeing her again recalls a memory involving them both which has never been forgotten. Though circumstances were not right for them to be together years ago, perhaps fate will give them a different ending this time.

J.H. Croix captures my imagination with her colorfully depicted setting of coastal Maine, as it let me visualize the area and want to experience what winter would be like there, especially if I had someone like Dallas to aid in warming me up. This dedicated FBI agent may appear to only think about work, but his inner thoughts let me know there are plenty of emotional feelings also inside him. While his mind tries to deny the potent connection he has with Audrey, his body definitely realizes when she is around. For a man who is always in control, overwhelming lust can make Dallas act upon his craving for her in an instant. Since her adoration for him has never completely died even though they have been apart for years, she cannot stop herself from wanting to be with him in any capacity. Yet when things become complicated between them, some tough decisions must be made by both of them. Since the story is told from alternating viewpoints, I got to see how each was reacting to the same situation. There is even a playful dog in the book, and her antics had me grinning. ALL I WANT is passionately sexy and has engaging characters.

I voluntarily wrote a review after receiving a copy of the book via Booksprout

Publisher:  Amazon Digital Services LLC

Releases:  November 25, 2017

Genre:  Contemporary

Author website:  http://jhcroixauthor.com/

Rating:  4.5 Stars

Black Ops Warrior by Amelia Autin

While I have thoroughly enjoyed all the Man on a Mission stories, there was something about the hero of the tenth book that made him a favorite. Niall Jones is a dedicated agent whose work has him telling untruths and pretending. But when he interacts with Dr. Savannah Whitman, keeping his emotions from becoming involved is one of the hardest things he has ever done. As days go by and these two become more connected, the couple must ask themselves what is most important for future happiness and are they willing to try and make it happen. I immediately became caught up in the clever plot, and whether a scene contained threats or was only emotional, my captivation increased. BLACK OPS WARRIOR is engagingly imaginative because Amelia Autin has a talent for creating believable developments, where the reaction of characters is backed by genuine feelings and the circumstances are convincingly depicted.

For his latest undercover mission, Niall Jones is intently watching a woman who might become a traitor to the country that he has sworn to protect. Her previous job working with a defense contractor has left Dr. Savannah Whitman privy to sensitive government information, and there are corrupt individuals who would really like access to these facts. Now it is up to Niall to follow her around China while she sightsees, making certain nothing she knows is passed on to someone else.

Since Niall is trained to be aware of even the smallest detail, he cannot keep from noticing various personal aspects pertaining to Savannah yet wishes he did not. When he makes contact with her, it is to gain her trust and perhaps get some pertinent disclosures from her. But when it becomes apparent that the data she knows is wanted by an undetermined faction, Niall must remain close to Savannah or the critical material and even her life could be at risk.

Much of the story takes place in China, and Amelia Autin certainly took me on a colorful trip around this country. As Savannah and Niall take in the sights, I also got to “see” the many unique wonders that can only be found there. When it comes to the mystery of what individuals were actually carrying out the unlawful orders, the author kept me in the dark for most of the story. Subtle clues are given, yet just when I thought all was figured out, something would occur and change my mind. I like when not everything is known until the story almost concludes. The suspense definitely kept building with each new threat, and I never knew when something perilous would crop up. BLACK OPS WARRIOR skillfully balances the danger with emotional conflicts.

The relationship of Savannah and Niall is very complicated. He is undercover and must keep many secrets, while she is openly honest. The more time they spend together, the more guilt he feels, but duty forces him to remain silent. I felt how much it pained him when he could not tell her the truth, as he has quite a few inner discussions with himself. He is such an honorable man in all ways, and Savannah is just principled. When these two are intimate, the encounters are steamy yet also caringly tender. I had a wonderful time watching this couple discover so many new things about each other plus themselves.

I voluntarily reviewed the book and all comments are my honest opinion

Series:  Man on a Mission – Book 10

Publisher:  Harlequin Romantic Suspense

Releases:  December 1, 2017

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/y9y4lf7e

Genre:  Suspense

Author website:  http://www.ameliaautin.com/

Rating:  5 Stars

Christmas with the Best Man by Susan Carlisle

The two main characters in this Christmas in Manhattan story have very different views about what they want out of life. Dr. Helena Tate tries to be positive when she envisions what the future will bring, while Dr. Elijah Davenport feels he will always be alone and never have a wife. But when a celebration has them in close contact for an extended period, the simmering attraction they both feel turns into an almost uncontrollable desire for them to be together. What happens when they give in are days filled with delight until old fears resurface. The seasonal aspects in the book certainly had me smiling as I watched the couple enjoy various festivities during their daily lives. The storyline is also very emotional and truly compelling. Susan Carlisle makes every development in CHRISTMAS WITH THE BEST MAN believably realistic and constantly captivating. While part of a continuity, the book is understandable without reading the prior books.

After an emotionally distressing incident when Dr. Helena Tate was a teenager, she has tried to move forward. Though she is a successful emergency room doctor, there is no one special in her life at this time. Yet she hopes one day to find a man with whom to have the family that she desires. While Helena does often interact with Dr. Elijah Davenport at Manhattan Mercy hospital, his reputation of not wanting to settle down with one woman lets her know they can never be anything but professional coworkers.

When Elijah’s twin brother gets married and he along with Helena are attendants, there are several playful moments after the ceremony which have them really noticing the other for the first time. The couple then seem to come in contact more often at work after the wedding. Although there is certainly much physical longing between Helena and Elijah, his attitude about relationships is nothing like hers, so she feels giving in to the strong pull will only result in future misery.

Holiday stories are always a favorite of mine, and I had a great time visiting several decorated sights in New York along with the characters. The latest Christmas in Manhattan installment even has a wedding that was imaginatively seasonal. How Helena reacts to the snow had me grinning, since I am also a southerner. When it comes to any medical procedures, each problem is handled in a way which had me convinced every detail is accurate. Getting to see these two dedicated doctors during a crisis let me know just how much they cared about their patients.

From the start of CHRISTMAS WITH THE BEST MAN, I really like Helena and Elijah. While both have a good reason for letting an event cause them anguish in the past, she has not let it dictate much of her current life as he still does. These two individuals will have to do much soul-searching before their short fling can become more than a few days of pleasure, and Susan Carlisle gives each much to ponder when unexpected feelings are experienced. I thought all responses were spot-on for the happenings in their lives, and a few reactions left me worrying how everything would ultimately turn out for the spirited Helena and Elijah.

I voluntarily reviewed the book, and all comments are my honest opinion

Series:  Christmas in Manhattan

Publisher:  Harlequin Medical Romance

Releases:  November 21, 2017

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/y8rat5ae

Genre:  Contemporary

Author website:   http://www.susancarlisle.com/

Rating:  4.5 Stars

Sweet Tea and Sympathy by Molly Harper

Life with all its ups and downs is portrayed with amusement and sincerity in the latest book of the Southern Eclectic series. Molly Harper is known for writing hilarious scenes, and her unique sense of humor is evident all throughout the story. Comments are constantly witty, while the distinctive personalities of characters are demonstrated during lighthearted instances. But there are also plenty of circumstances where feelings are displayed with honest emotions. I felt as though I was reading about a real family at times, as any interaction between its members seemed so genuine. There are countless laughs in SWEET TEA AND SYMPATHY along with an equal number of heartfelt moments.

As an event planner, Margot Cary has dreams of working with a leading company in Chicago whose influential clients will help to make her more in demand. But one wrong decision by someone under her direction leaves her career in shambles. Now she is out of work with not a single prospect in sight. Luckily for Margot, a relative in Georgia saw the embarrassing video about the unfortunate incident, and the elderly woman wants her to help promote their two family-run businesses. Though she has no idea what the new job will entail or really anything about these people, her situation is too desperate not to accept the offer.

When Margot arrives in Lake Sackett, she has some big doubts about the new direction her life is taking. The place is too rural, and she certainly has no knowledge about fishing or funerals. Yet her family members make her feel immediately like she will fit in, and one male resident has even grabbed her attention. As Margot begins to settle into a routine, she cannot help but wonder where she really belongs.

If I see the name Molly Harper on the cover, then I know the story will be totally entertaining. This author has a way of drawing in the reader with her downhome folks who face some real-life problems. In SWEET TEA AND SYMPATHY, a woman has lost just about everything, but family members whom she has never met come to the rescue. What happens when someone raised in the big city goes to live in a town where secrets frequently spread quicker than wildfire is captivatingly told with humor plus some unexpected seriousness, and I was always affected regardless of what was happening. I laughed repeatedly, especially when some of Margot’s relatives were making a statement in an earnest manner, but the meaning definitely came across as comical. Numerous citizens in Lake Sackett appear from time to time, and these individuals often made the story more noteworthy because of how they reacted.

What I will remember most about the book is the scenes dealing with family. Though a person cannot pick their relations, they can be thankful when devotion is freely given. I really enjoyed seeing Margot meet her new family and then discovering how everyone would respond. Even her first encounter with school principal Kyle Archer is memorable, and what transpired afterward was realistic and sometimes even moving. I do not know what direction the Southern Eclectic series will go, but I truly wish for there to be many more books.

I voluntarily reviewed the book from the publisher via NetGalley, and all comments are my honest opinion

Series:  Southern Eclectic – Book 2

Publisher:  Gallery

Releases:  November 21, 2017

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/y9kaozvn

Genre:  Contemporary

Author website:  http://mollyharper.com/

Rating:  4.5 Stars