Guest Reviewed by Ami
Title: Sugar’s Twice as Sweet
Author: Marina Adair
Series: Sugar, Georgia #1
Heroine/Hero: Josephina Harrington/Brett McGraw
Genre: M/F Contemporary
Length: 384 Pages
Release Date: November 25, 2014
Available at: Forever, Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: He’s trouble she doesn’t need . . .
Thanks to a cheating fiancé, Josephina Harrington’s perfect life just crashed and burned. Moving in with her overbearing parents is definitely not an option. No, she needs to prove she can make it on her own. And she will-by turning her great-aunt’s old plantation house into a destination getaway. She’s just not expecting her contractor to be so hands-on-and so totally irresistible.
. . . but everything she wants
Bad-boy golf champion Brett McGraw figured his hometown of Sugar, Georgia was the perfect place to lay low and get his life back up to par. The leggy blonde with a pint-sized pup is the kind of sweet ‘n sassy trouble he never saw coming. She doesn’t know a nut from a bolt and before long, he’s renovating her house . . . as she steals his heart. Can he convince Josephina that his womanizing ways are in the past and he’s ready for forever?
I know that small-town romance is probably the most popular trope when it comes to the romance genre. And while I don’t read as many contemporary M/F romancse as I do with M/M, this trope still is my preference when I pick an M/F CR. What can I say, I love the level of comfort that it brings, the closeness of the community (even with the busy-body neighbors), and the ideal happy living town – which might not even exist in real life, but heck, this is why they call it fiction.
Josephina comes to Sugar, Georgia, after a failed engagement, to take refuge at her late aunt’s historic Fairchild House. Josephina had a happy memory here as a child, when she still dreamed of fairies and wanted to have her own wings. By returning and planning to rebuild the house into an inn, Josephina hopes that she can get her dream back, to prove to everyone – especially her overbearing parents – that she can make it on her own.
Meanwhile, Brett returns to his hometown after a scandal that involved a sex video with the daughter of the Stone Golf fortune. His brother asks Brett to lay low for awhile until the news blows over. And Brett can help with the community while he’s there.
I LOVED the characters here. Josephina, especially … I totally felt for her. It is common to have a heroine with overbearing rich parents, who seem to keep forcing the daughter to do things their way. But every single time, when the heroines are able to overcome the challenges, I want to jump on my feet and cheer loudly.
That is what happened with Josephina in this book. Oh, she might come to Sugar with her tail between her legs … but I loved her determination to rebuild Fairchild House. Despite the troubles coming from the feud with a few elderly women who are her late aunt’s poker friends, Josephina powers through. Even if she has to knock down the wood and wallpaper on her own!!
Meanwhile, Brett is one of those playboys with a heart of gold *smile*. Despite his easy ways with women, there is something more to Brett than meets the eye. He is kind and loyal – he tries to please everyone in his town, even if takes a lot from him. Brett just can’t say no, he’s too nice … and I loved how Josephina is the one who can see this. I loved how Brett can just relaxe and be himself when he is with her.
The chemistry between Brett and Josephina is strong … even if I thought they both think about each other’s physique way too much *laugh*. But I loved when they are connecting … they have teeny tiny small history between them, because Brett once helped Josephina to get down from a tree, and well, Brett kind of dreamed of marrying her when he grew up. So it is sweet and entertaining to read about that.
Now, about other secondary characters… in small-town romances, usually we have elderly characters that can either be the busybody that pushes our hero and heroines together or they serve as humor that lighten the drama. Unfortunately, here, I thought the elderly characters were – sorry – pains in the ass. I disliked how they took the ‘feud’ against Josephina’s plan to renovate the house with what I would call as nasty behavior. It didn’t feel like a prank at all.
I hated how they treated Josephina as a Yankee, and didn’t see how she struggled with everything, to get back on her own two feet. I admit that because I’m not an American, I don’t know whether these kind of feuds really happen in southern towns, and do they really dislike city people or is it just another stereotypical thing … but yeah, their attitudes annoyed the hell out of me, and I wished something bad would happen to them (I know, gasp!). Although, when I thought it over after I finished, they did offer something less idyllic to the small-town romance trope.
The other secondary characters are fun though — Josephina’s new girlfriends, Brett’s siblings, and even Brett’s teenager niece. They add the quirks to the whole small town community.
All in all, this is a strong solid romance where the heroine shows her strength and triumphs over challenges that come her way, and the hero redeems himself from his playboy ways with a genuine heartfelt act. I mean, this man actually bought HOGS to win her heart. That is just endearing! Sugar’s Twice As Sweet definitely has the charm, the sizzle, and the eccentricity of the small-town romance genre. It is also a great start to a series. I already cannot wait to read about Brett’s brothers, or this push-pull attraction between the mechanic and the town sheriff. I think it will be delicious!
Overall Impression: I really liked it!
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*