Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Sweet Tea and Sympathy by Molly Harper
Series: Southern Eclectic #1
Published by Gallery Books on November 21, 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Beloved author Molly Harper launches a brand-new contemporary romance series, Southern Eclectic, with this story of a big-city party planner who finds true love in a small Georgia town.
Nestled on the shore of Lake Sackett, Georgia is the McCready Family Funeral Home and Bait Shop. (What, you have a problem with one-stop shopping?) Two McCready brothers started two separate businesses in the same building back in 1928, and now it’s become one big family affair. And true to form in small Southern towns, family business becomes everybody’s business.
Margot Cary has spent her life immersed in everything Lake Sackett is not. As an elite event planner, Margot’s rubbed elbows with the cream of Chicago society, and made elegance and glamour her business. She’s riding high until one event goes tragically, spectacularly wrong. Now she’s blackballed by the gala set and in dire need of a fresh start—and apparently the McCreadys are in need of an event planner with a tarnished reputation.
As Margot finds her footing in a town where everybody knows not only your name, but what you had for dinner last Saturday night and what you’ll wear to church on Sunday morning, she grudgingly has to admit that there are some things Lake Sackett does better than Chicago—including the dating prospects. Elementary school principal Kyle Archer is a fellow fish-out-of-water who volunteers to show Margot the picture-postcard side of Southern living. The two of them hit it off, but not everybody is happy to see an outsider snapping up one of the town's most eligible gentleman. Will Margot reel in her handsome fish, or will she have to release her latest catch?
Molly Harper brings the funny, quirky characters to each small town she writes. Sweet Tea and Sympathy is contemporary romance, not paranormal, so a few small things were hard to believe. The feeling I got from the small town world sometimes was redneck – with trucks, town grapevine, two unrelated businesses together, the local bar hangout, little feuds and a family compound. But that’s too much a generalization.
Margot coming to Lake Sackett seemed a bit of a stretch since no one had contacted her from the family previously. Her family issues, employment problems and romantic interests gave plenty of life and interest to this story. Her slow realization of what she wanted was realistic. It’s hard to make changes in your life and let go of wrong assumptions.
Kyle did not feel as developed a character, probably since we see him just through Margot’s eyes. It’s not unusual for me to feel this way when we don’t get his point of view. His daughters added a lot of fun and feels. He does a great job of helping Margot feel more connected to the community and to see the advantages of small town life.
The Southern Eclectic series, like most others, takes a little bit for me to get into the world. I’m sure I’ll go forward more easily as I’ve come to love this town and some of the unique people residing there. I’m looking forward to the novella and next book in 2018.
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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- Anne: 2017 New Release Challenge