Southern Eclectic Book #3
Small town romances in general are not my favorite. I don’t necessarily avoid them but I don’t seek them out either. However, when I read the blurb for Gimme Some Sugar by Molly Harper, I was definitely intrigued. I’m glad I made the decision to read this book because it proved to be a fun and romantic story. I have not read any of the previous books in the series but honestly, that did not hinder my enjoyment in the least. Right now, I’m eager to dive into the first two books in the Southern Eclectic series.
Gimme Some Sugar begins with Lucy Bowman carrying a penis cake. Yep. A penis cake. She immediately runs into one of her good friends growing up, Duffy McCready and he is well, amused. Lucy is back in town after living in Texas with her husband. She is now a widow after the recent death of Wayne and she is ready to make a fresh start for herself and her four-year-old son, Sam. She is opening a bakery and even though there are some things in her hometown that still drive her a bit bonkers, she feels relief to be back in the community she loves.
Duffy is struck-dumb to see Lucy back in town. He has loved her for so long and unfortunately, has watched from afar as she married Wayne and he made his own marriage mistakes. He does not want to lose her friendship again now that she is back but he also can’t help yearning for something more FINALLY. It is not easy, especially when he offers to help get Lucy’s new store in tip top shape. Duffy is a talented woodworker and has the skills to make Gimme Some Sugar a premier bakery in town. And if he spends more time with Lucy, well he won’t complain about that.
Gimme Some Sugar just abounds with small town charm and character. I’m in the midst of a rewatch of Gilmore Girls and I have to admit, some of its characters and town quirks reminds me of Stars Hollow. It is not perfect though but I will say, in terms of fictional small towns, it definitely leans more towards the idealistic small town America feel. I really liked Lucy and how she is determined to get her life together and make something of it rather than just going along for the ride as she fell into while married to Wayne.
Lucy is trying to figure out how guilty she should feel that she doesn’t particularly miss her husband. She never wanted him dead (OBVIOUSLY!) but their marriage was facing several challenges, not the least of which was his cheating. Lucy wants something more for her and Sam. She isn’t one hundred percent sure what that means yet but I enjoyed watching her figure it out along the way.
Duffy is well… he is just sweet. Maybe a beta type hero of sorts. But he is likable and kind and charming. I really enjoyed watching how their friendship from the past deepened and grew as these two got to know each other as adults with layers and mistakes. I really liked the McCready family also. They are quite something! It took me a minute to get everyone straight in terms of the family tree but soon their distinctive personalities took over and well, you definitely won’t forget Grandma Tootie anytime soon.
I know some readers are sensitive to kids in stories. I found Sam to be a sweet presence in the story. Lucy is definitely a mom with the discipline and messes that comes with that but Sam does not dominate the story by any means. He shines where appropriate but of course, has a few not so great moments too. Sam feels like a kid to me. Not an overly precocious one either.
The one big fly in the ointment of this story is Lucy’s mother-in-law, Evie. She is quite the piece of work! I found myself annoyed and frustrated with all her scenes. She is just mean. I know she has her reasons (which we discover) but the way she tries to take over Lucy’s life, questioning all her parenting decisions, and just being overly intrusive, well, suffice it to say she is not a favorite character.
Gimme Some Sugar is charming. It sounds simple but really, it is true. This is a charming story from an author who writes with humor and effervescence. I am eager to go back and read the previous books!
Gimme Some Sugar is available Tuesday, April 2, 2019!
GIMME SOME SUGAR
By Molly Harper
The Southern Eclectic series
On sale April 2, 2019
Trade Paperback • Price: $16.00 • ISBN: 9781501151354
eBook • Price: $9.99 • ISBN: 9781501151378
Lucy Brewer would never have guessed that her best friend, Duffy McCready (of McCready’s Bait Shop & Funeral Home) has been in love with her since they were kids. Fear of rejection and his own romantic complications prevented Duffy from confessing his true feelings in high school, so he stood by and watched her wed Wayne Bowman right after high school. Wayne had always been a cheapskate, so it comes as no surprise when he suffers a fatal accident while fixing his own truck.
Even as her family and friends invade Lucy’s life and insist that the new widow is too fragile to do much beyond weeping, Lucy is ashamed to admit that life without Wayne is easier, less complicated. After all, no one knew what a relentless, soul-grinding trudge marriage to Wayne had been. Only Duffy can tell she’s hiding something.
In need of a fresh start, Lucy asks Duffy to put his cabinet-building skills to use, transforming the town’s meat shop into a bake shop. As the bakery takes shape, Lucy and Duffy discover the spark that pulled them together so many years ago. Could this finally be the second chance he’s always hoped for?
Molly Harper is the author of two popular series of paranormal romance, the Half-Moon Hollow series and the Naked Werewolf series. She also writes the Bluegrass ebook series of contemporary romance. A former humor columnist and newspaper reporter, she lives in Michigan with her family, where she is currently working on the next Southern Eclectic novel. Visit her on the web at MollyHarper.com.