Review: Sugar Street (Book #1: Sugar Street Series) by M.J. Pullen

40182855In the idyllic Atlanta enclave of Sugar Mills, four women are struggling to keep their marriages alive in the hectic whirl of middle-class suburbia.

Adventurous Jess adores her sportswriter husband, but he’s more likely to fall asleep than respond to her creative attempts at seduction. Delia agreed to an open marriage when she had nothing to lose; but now that the reality of her choice has settled in, she feels a void no direct sales commission can fill. Infertility has left ex-tennis star Carras feeling powerless and frustrated. PTA president Maizy is desperate for acceptance in the Sugar Mills community, and with her health-conscious husband.

Enter Parker, a gorgeous young tennis pro moonlighting as a male escort. Could a little well-orchestrated jealousy cure the marital blues? Will a risky scheme put the spark back in their suburban marriages, or burn everything they’ve worked for to the ground?

Review. Text on the string. Conceptual 3d image

Source: NetGalley          My Rating: 4/5 stars

The ladies of Sugar Mills are no joke and when they set their minds towards a course of action, there isn’t going to be any stopping them.  Jess, Delia, Carras, and Maizy are a force to be reckoned with, especially when their collective backs are up against the wall and their happyish lives are being threatened.

In the beginning, the plan was simple.  All four women, involved in long-term, committed relationships were simply looking to reignite the flame of passion in their partners by inspiring just the tiniest bit of jealousy.  If their husbands could see another man interested in their wives, maybe the heat, the passion, the recklessness, the spontaneity of days long would past, would find their way back into the women’s lives.  None of the Sugar Mills women want to see their marriages come to an end, but each sure would like to have back a little of what made their relationships so damn hot so long ago.

With the help of a well-placed friend, Jess, Delia, Carras, and Maizy agree to split the fees for a short-term “relationship” with one very hot tennis pro.  Parker is young, strong, talented, tremendously hot, and fully aware of his place in the ladies’ lives.  Parker is to be friendly arm candy, to be conveniently in the same places as the women, and to be utterly attentive to their presence.  With his youth and good looks, and just a bit of luck, each woman’s respective husband will see Parker as competition and work to reclaim what is theirs; that is, work a bit harder to keep their wives’ attention. 

As the saying goes, the road to Hell is paved with good intentions . . . .

As the days go by, each woman does, in fact have her time with Parker and he certainly lives up to his billing.  He has all the right words, knows just when and how to boost a woman’s ego, and is the perfect listener.  To a fault, Parker is the perfect companion!  Unfortunately, Parker is also in way over his head and though he puts up a great front, his own personal life is in a shambles, and is going to have serious consequences for the Sugar Mills ladies.  If the fantastic four can’t figure out how the plan went so badly, so quickly each is going to risk losing everything they set out to preserve and improve. 

The Bottom Line: WOW and welcome to Sugar Mills!!  Sugar Street isn’t so much a romantic comedy as it is the story of four women who are trying to make sense of lives and marriages that haven’t gone exactly as the fairly tales promised.  Jess, Delia, Carras, and Maizy may be friends (mostly!) and a group, but they are also individuals with cares, concerns, and secrets they just aren’t willing to share with the group.  On the surface, the goal of each woman is the same, to reignite the passion in their marriage.  However, there’s a great deal of depth beneath the surface and as the plot unfolds, the reader gets four individual stories and four individual sets of circumstances.  Through their struggles, each woman reveals more to the group about her personal situation, her circumstances, and her real reasons for contracting with Parker.  What no one expected is how events unfold, how each woman rises to the occasion, and how the group comes together to protect themselves and their lives.  Overall, no matter how misguided these women were in the beginning, they came together to help one another rather than throwing one another under the bus to protect their individual interests.  In general, I liked the group dynamic, but I liked the woman as individuals even more, especially in the end when each was forced to face the consequences of her actions.  I can’t say I loved this book, but I did like it quite a bit and found the premise and plot intriguing.  By the end of the read, many things were resolved, but not all and there is quite clearly going to be a return to Sugar Mills and the lives of these four terribly interesting women.  I can’t wait to see what these four get into next time around.

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