Spotlight and Sweepstakes: Ms. Demeanor by Danica Winters

 

Ms. Demeanor
by Danica Winters
Series: Mystery Christmas, #4
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Paperback Release Date: November 21, 2017
Digital Release Date: December 1, 2017

 

A cold-case Christmas in Mystery, Montana 

Yearning to be known as something other than Mystery’s ultimate bad boy, rancher Rainier Fitzgerald isn’t pleased when he stumbles upon the remains of a dead body. Especially when Officer Laura Blade catches him with a gun in his hand.

Spending Christmas chasing down a cold case with a man she’s not supposed to fraternize with isn’t granting any of Laura’s holiday wishes, either. But could her favorite time of the year be working its magic on Laura’s feelings? Or is Rainier truly transforming from a charismatic rogue to a hero worthy of her heart?

 Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ iBooks ~ Kobo ~ Google Walmart ~ Harlequin ~ Universal Book Link ~ Goodreads

 

 

Book 1: Ms. Calculation

 

Book 2: Mr. Serious

 

Book 3: Mr. Taken

 

 

Danica Winters is a Nielsen BookScan and an Amazon bestselling author who has won multiple awards for writing books that grip readers with their ability to drive emotion through suspense and occasionally a touch of magic. Most recently, Danica was the winner of the Paranormal Romance Guild’s Paranormal Romantic Suspense Book of the Year Award and Chanticleer Media’s Paranormal Book of the Year for her novel Montana Mustangs.

When she’s not working, she can be found in the wilds of Montana testing her patience while she tries to understand the allure of various crafts (quilting, pottery, and painting are not her thing).  She always believes the cup is neither half full nor half empty, but it better be filled with wine.

Danica Winters is represented by Jill Marsal of the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency, LLC.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

Spotlight: A More Perfect Union Series by Betty Bolte

 

A More Perfect Union Series
by Betty Bolté
Series: A More Perfect Union
Genre: Historical Romance

Cover DesignerSweet ‘N Spicy Designs

 

 

A More Perfect Union, Prequel Novella

ONLY 99¢



CAUGHT BETWEEN DUTY AND LOVE

Joining the revolutionary army was the honorable thing to do—but Jedediah Thomson hadn’t realized how long he’d be away from the lovely, spirited Miss Elizabeth Sullivan. They’d only begun their courtship when the occupation of Charles Town, South Carolina, trapped her in the city, making it dangerous to get to her.

Elizabeth Sullivan feared for her brothers, fighting for American freedom; for her father, pretending to be a loyalist; for family and friends, caught between beliefs; and most of all for Jedediah, the man she loves, who was doing his duty. She cherished every moment they had together, knowing how swiftly it could be taken away.

And that made her willing to risk everything to claim a piece of him forever….

 

 

A More Perfect Union, #1

ON SALE FOR 99¢

Emily Sullivan’s greatest fear is dying in childbirth, as did her twin sister and their mother. Then she’s thrown in a loyalist prison for her privateering father’s raids on the British, and her accuser–a former beau–promises to recant if she will marry him.

Frank Thomson always loved Emily despite her refusal to return his affections. A patriot spy posing as a loyalist officer, when Frank learns of Emily’s plight, he challenges her accuser to a duel.

Freed from prison, Emily ponders returning the affections of her rescuer–the only man she’s ever loved and who married her twin to save the Sullivan family’s reputation. But Frank cannot afford to be discovered. For the sake of young America, he must deliver his secrets.

 

 

A More Perfect Union, #2

ON SALE FOR $1.99

Without a goodbye, Amy Abernathy’s childhood sweetheart, Benjamin Hanson, leaves to fight in the American War for Independence. Amy chooses to pick up the pieces of her heart and leave Charles Town to help her sister who is with child.

Benjamin knows he hurt Amy, but he plans to make it up to her after his mission is completed. Then he learns that Amy has been captured by renegade soldiers. Now Benjamin faces his own choice: free the sassy yet obstinate woman he’s never stopped loving or protect Charles Town from vengeful British occupation.

 

 

A More Perfect Union, #3

ON SALE FOR $2.99

In 1782, the fight for independence becomes personal in the port city Charles Towne, South Carolina. Samantha McAlester, midwife and healer, returns to Charlestown to find it occupied by the British and her one of few medically trained people in town. But when a friend is shot during an attack, she must defend her reputation as well as her heart against the town doctor, Trent Cunningham.

Dr. Trent Cunningham has a lot to prove to his father and to himself before he’ll be accepted as the new doctor in town. Having just returned to South Carolina, he’s ready to roll up his sleeves and start showing everyone the results of the education he’s received at university. When the raven haired healer flashes him a professional challenge with emerald eyes, can he prove he’s the best doctor in town without undermining her reputation and her regard for him?

 

 

A More Perfect Union, #4

Widow Evelyn Hamilton must overcome societal expectations as well as soaring post-war inflation in order to provide for herself and her infant son. Determined to rebuild the gutted manor as well as her life, she vows to create a safe home on her own rather than be subjected to the dictates and demands of another husband.

Militiaman Nathaniel Williams is driven by a thirst for adventure and longs to make his fortune on the frontier. When he visits Charlestown and his heart becomes ensnared by a smart, beautiful widow–who would never consider leaving her family behind–he must make the hardest decision of his life.

Can Nathaniel fulfill his dream even though it would mean living without Evelyn?

 

 

Betty Bolté writes both historical and contemporary stories featuring strong, loving women and brave, compassionate men. No matter whether the stories are set in the past or the present, she loves to include a touch of the paranormal. In addition to her romantic fiction, she’s the author of several nonfiction books and earned a Master of Arts in English in 2008. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, the Historical Novel Society, the Women’s Fiction Writers Association, and the Authors Guild. Get to know her at www.bettybolte.com.

 

Join Betty’s Fan Club/Street Team: Betty’s Novel Ninjas

 

 

 

 

Excerpt and Sweepstakes: He Loves Me…KNOT by R.C. Boldt

HLMK_BlitzBadge

EBOOK-HeLovesMeNot

I never looked back after skipping out on my own wedding, even if it did leave me estranged from most of my family. Eight years later, I have the life I’ve always wanted. As an advertising account executive, my world is damn near perfect.

Until I come face-to-face with my past. With the man I once loved. The man who holds my future in his hands. The man who’s hell-bent on getting even with me for leaving him at the altar.

Even with all the unfinished business between us, I still love Knox Montgomery. The only problem?

He loves me…KNOT.

knox still love teaser

Excerpt from He Loves Me…KNOT

Barely a minute passes before the din of light conversation ebbs to complete silence when a man enters the room and heads straight for the opposite end of the table. I can only see the back of him as he takes long, powerful strides, one hand grasping a thick binder. Something seems so familiar about him… My eyes track his movements, and my forehead creases as I try to place him.

His suit is well tailored and it’s evident the man works out because even beneath the black pinstriped dress pants, his backside is firm, the fabric doing nothing to mask his powerful, muscled thighs. When he moves to set the binder down, his suit jacket shifts and hints at a firm, flat stomach beneath the button-down shirt. My appraisal continues down to his hands when he draws one hand back from the binder.

An odd sensation overtakes me, and a rousing awareness crackles within the air, causing me to immediately grow still.

Then he turns, fully facing everyone in the room, and it’s in this moment my breath is completely robbed from me.

As if in shock, my mind refuses to operate on all cylinders, acting sluggish. I continue to take in the sight before me, cataloguing my observations. The square jawline that used to remain clean-shaven now has a short, neatly trimmed beard of the same dark shade of brown as his hair. My eyes skim over the straight nose that has the faintest bump on the bridge from the time when he was five and fel—

Sweet Lord, no.

As the man’s identity dawns on me, my eyes flicker over my coworkers seated around the large table before I return my panicked gaze to the individual who’s garnering attention with his commanding presence.

He surveys everyone in attendance and those piercing green eyes, framed by dark lashes, scan each person and slowly travel around the table. My heart skips a beat when his eyes lands on me. If I weren’t scrutinizing so intently, I wouldn’t have caught the slight pause, the faint shift in depth of his gaze, as it grows frigid before he continues his perusal of the remainder of the staff members.

My throat grows dry and I immediately wish I’d brought my water bottle along. A stick of gum, even. Anything.

I should’ve known better than to think my past wouldn’t catch up to me at some point.

In my case, however, it seems my past is the new owner of my place of employment.

Knox Montgomery. The man I left at the altar.

Amazon | iBooks | B&N | Kobo

About the author and where to find her: 

RC BoldtRC Boldt currently lives on the southeastern coast of North Carolina, enjoys long walks on the beach, running, reading, people watching, and singing karaoke. If you’re in the mood for some killer homemade mojitos, can’t recall the lyrics to a particular 80’s song, or just need to hang around a nonconformist who will do almost anything for a laugh, she’s your girl.

 Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | NewsletterAmazon  | BookBub | Instagram

SWEEPSTAKES

Barclay

Excerpt and Sweepstakes: Deal Breaker (Book #2: Billionaire Bosses Series) by Tara Leigh

DealBreaker_OneWeekBlitz_Badge

Deal BreakerNixie Rowland is having a bad day. Rushing home to drown her sorrows in ice cream and reality television, she decides to take a shortcut to the subway where things take a turn for the worst. But Nixie’s bad luck doesn’t end there—the white knight who comes to her rescue is none other than the Dark Knight of Wall Street, a cocky Manhattan mogul whose ego barely fits inside his penthouse. To her horror, Nixie discovers the sizzling attraction between them is off the charts, and rising fast. Spending the night in his bed does nothing to lower the heat… And everything to set her heart on fire.

Nash Knight doesn’t have room in his life, or his heart, for anything beyond one-night stands or casual flings. And he certainly doesn’t make a habit of rescuing damsels in distress. Except that this particular damsel slips beneath his armor, the vulnerability she covers with a false show of bravado hitting him somewhere deep. Nixie is everything he never wanted… And exactly what he needs.

With Nixie on the run from a controlling ex, and Nash trying to salvage a business deal at risk because his conquests in the bedroom are overshadowing his wins in the boardroom, there’s one simple solution for them both: a marriage in name only. But when lust becomes love, will their untamed emotions be a deal breaker?

DealBreaker_FBcover_onsale_v2

Excerpt from Deal Breaker (Book #2: Billionaire Bosses Series):

“Can I have my clothes now?” My throat was so tight, each word emerged strangled.

“No.”

No? I’d swallowed my pride to sound appreciative, practically begging for my clothes back, and he had the gall to say no? Who the hell did this guy think he was?

Beneath the covers, an indignant shiver trembled through me. I couldn’t see much in the dark room, but I assumed he was the same man who’d come running into the alley last night. The memory of him was permanently ingrained in my brain. Tall, at least a foot taller than me, with close cropped dark hair and olive skin. Pale green eyes that sat above high cheekbones, fringed by long eyelashes that didn’t soften his hard edges one bit. “Listen, if you’re expecting some kind of open-armed, grateful—”

“From you?” He made a noise that sounded like a snort. “I’m getting the feeling you don’t do grateful.”

I winced, taken aback by the blunt honesty of his observation. “I never asked you to come running into the alley after me.”

“So you’re not glad I did?”

With my track record, of course I wouldn’t wind up with a run-of-the-mill good samaritan. No, instead I fell into the hands of a cocky jerk with extra time on his hands, looking for an appreciative female to stroke his ego. “How do you know I wouldn’t have been just fine on my own?”

“You’re right. I don’t.” His swift capitulation surprised me, and I sagged back against the pillow. “Next time you have your head in the clouds and don’t notice two thugs hot on your tail, looking to rob or rape you, probably both, I’ll let you take your chances.”

“Fine. All hail the conquering hero. Happy now?”

“Are you admitting that you needed my help?”

So damned smug. “Listen, we can debate my self-defense capabilities all day—”

“Night. It’s the middle of the night.”

“Whatever. All night, all day. There’s no difference. What I’m trying to say—”

The arrogant man with a white knight complex interrupted me again. “Actually, there is a difference. The difference is—it’s nighttime, and you’re in my bed getting all hot and bothered about nonsense. Either go to sleep, or we might as well channel your energy into something more productive.”

I snapped my sagging jaw shut, feeling a rush of heat between my thighs that rivaled my burning knife wound. Jeez, Nixie. Get a grip. This guy is clearly an asshole and you are not an asshole magnet.

Not anymore.

His low chuckle sent the hair at the back of my neck standing on end. “So that’s what it takes, huh? You know, most women would consider sex with me to be more of a bonus than a threat.”

Jesus, this guy had quite a set of balls on him. “Don’t flatter yourself, big shot. You could have called nine-one-one. Or dropped me off at the nearest hospital. I’m in your bed because you brought me here. And now I want to leave.”

Amazon B&NiTunes Kobo

About the author and where to find her:

Tara Thompson May 2017 social media bTara Leigh attended Washington University in St. Louis and Columbia Business School in New York, and worked on Wall Street and Main Street before “retiring” to become a wife and mother. When the people in her head became just as real as the people in her life, she decided to put their stories on paper. Tara currently lives in Fairfield County, Connecticut with her husband, children and fur-baby, Pixie. 

  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon | Goodreads | Pinterest

SWEEPSTAKES

Barclay

Double Review: Whisky Business Mystery Series by Melinda Mullet

MaltWhen Abi inherits her uncle’s quaint and storied single malt distillery, she finds herself immersed in a competitive high-stakes business that elicits deep passions and prejudices. An award-winning photojournalist, Abi has no trouble capturing the perfect shot—but making the perfect shot is another matter. When she starts to receive disturbing, anonymous threats, it’s clear that someone wants her out of the picture. But Abi’s never been one to back down from a fight.

Arriving on the scene with her whisky-loving best friend, Patrick, and an oversized wheaten terrier named Liam, Abi seems to put everyone in the bucolic village on edge—especially her dour but disturbingly attractive head distiller. Acts of sabotage and increasingly personal threats against Abi make it clear that she is not welcome. When one of Abi’s new employees is found floating facedown in a vat of whisky, Abi is determined to use her skills as an investigative journalist to identify the cold-blooded killer and dispense a dram of justice before he strikes again. But distilling truth from lies is tricky, especially when everyone seems to have something to hide.  

Review. Text on the string. Conceptual 3d image

Source: Purchase          My Rating: 4/5 stars

Abi Logan has spent her adult life in some of the world’s most horrifying places.  As an award-winning photojournalist, Abi has seen more than the average person and handled most of it spectacularly.  What’s harder to handle is the death of her uncle, the man who raised her.

Ben was everything to Abi, and his death, though not unexpected is still hard to accept.  What’s more, Ben has left Abi a beautifully renovated home and a boutique whiskey distillery.  While Abi is grateful for the home – being a photojournalist doesn’t leave much room for settling in and making a home – she has no idea what to do with the distillery.  If the locals are to believed, it’s no surprise Abi has no idea what to do with a distillery since it’s a man’s world and no place for a woman.  What those locals (and other distillery owners!) don’t know is anything about Abi and how dear Ben really was to her. 

Digging her feet in and accomplishing her goals is what Abi does, and within hours of her arrival she is going to have to do just that.  Since Ben’s death, there have been small acts of vandalism around the distillery and when Abi doesn’t immediately put the distillery on the market, the vandalism and threats only increase.  Though the local police don’t want her involved, Abi’s natural instincts toward uncovering the truth kick in and she begins asking a lot of questions.  Getting the locals to trust her isn’t easy, but when one of their own turns up dead and Abi makes every effort to solve the crime she gets a little further, a little faster. 

As she’s poking around, Abi does begin to make a few friends, she learns a great deal about the history of her newly acquired distillery, and taps into a much larger series of crimes than anyone could have originally suspected.  Though Abi doesn’t tend toward such rotten luck, the much larger series of crimes she uncovers puts her in tremendous danger and Abi suddenly becomes grateful for the few friends she’s made.

The Bottom Line:  It took me several chapters to really get into this book, but I’m glad I gave it a chance to pick up and pull me in.  Abi isn’t the typical disgusting journalist so getting behind her and her inquiries wasn’t all that hard.  The locals who befriend Abi are all quite delightful and such an asset to the overall read.  While this story is certainly about the distillery and the whiskey plot, it is also about Abi finding her place in the world.  Without Ben, Abi is decidedly lost, and in his wisdom, Ben brought Abi to the one place in the world he knew she would belong.  All she had to do was solve a huge crime, a series of other crimes, and convince the locals she isn’t going to sell off their beloved distillery to the highest bidder.  Nothing could possibly go wrong in all of that 😊

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Audible

DeathAward-winning photojournalist turned whisky distillery proprietress and amateur sleuth Abigail Logan returns in the charming follow-up to Single Malt Murder.
It’s been three months since Abi Logan last checked in on Abbey Glen, the celebrated whisky distillery she inherited. With her oversize wheaten terrier, Liam, by her side, Abi returns to the quaint Scottish village of Balfour. But her relaxing Highland homecoming takes a stressful turn when she unearths an unseemly bit of village history, welcomes a group of Japanese whisky enthusiasts, and becomes shepherdess to an unexpected flock of sheep—all within the first twenty-four hours. Still, nothing’s more stressful than murder. . . .

Local celebrity Rory Hendricks is the hotheaded, hard-rocking former frontman of the Rebels—and Abi’s girlhood crush. After meeting him in person, Abi can’t say no to anything he asks, like photographing his upcoming show . . . or figuring out who’s trying to kill him. Turns out someone’s been bumping off his old bandmates, with the drummer dead under mysterious circumstances and the keyboardist in a coma following a hit-and-run. Now a series of threatening messages leads Rory to think he’s next on the chopping block. And the band has a devil’s share of broken hearts and bitter disputes in their past, leaving Abi a huge batch of suspects to sift through—all before the killer takes another shot.

Review. Text on the string. Conceptual 3d image

Source: Netgalley          My Rating: 5/5 stars

Returning to the Haven and Abbey Glen after a grueling assignment was meant to be all about rest and relaxation for Abi Logan.  Within minutes of her arrival, she comes across a dead body and two new mysteries that need solving.  She can rest and relax when she’s dead, right?

One mystery just isn’t enough and before Abi can even get a tiny bit rested, she’s pulled into another mess by one of her teenage crushes, Rory Hendricks, lead singer of the Rebels.  The Rebels haven’t been on tour or even speaking to one another years, but someone seems to have it in for the group and is bumping them off one by one.  Rory has come to town to hide out and knows Abi via her work and reputation.  Rory’s “simple” request from Abi is to use her excellent skills of observation to suss out who has it in for the Rebels before he or she strikes again.

Though somewhat reluctant, Abi agrees to help the aging rocker and finds herself up her to her butt in secrets, plots, and threats.  While the culprit has gone directly after the other band members, he or she has been toying with Rory in an effort to increase his level of worry and anxiety.  What’s more, the culprit has also threatened Rory’s grown daughter and put a great deal of circumstantial evidence in place to convince the police of Rory’s guilt.  Rory may be one hot guy, but he’s Abi into a mess that is far more involved than she counted on or is prepared for. 

As is her way, once Abi gets on the scent of the culprit, she just can’t give up even when it’s in her best interests to do so.  Secrets from the past are piling up, Rory is looking far guiltier by the minute, and his seemingly sweet as pie daughter is all over Abi’s current crush and business partner, Grant.  Oh, and because she’s a softy, Abi also takes on a small herd of sheep, all of who she names 😊  As the days pass by, Abi works with (mostly!) the police to unravel the mystery and as she comes ever closer to the truth, she puts herself in grave danger.  It’s one disaster after another right up to the moment the culprit is revealed.

The Bottom Line:  The training wheels came off with this second installment of the Whiskey Business Mystery series!  Except for the book specific players, all the cast and crew from the first book are in place, established, and involved in this read, and I was ever so glad to see them all back in action.  Abi, Grant, Patrick, Hunter, and Cam are all up to their necks in the various issues in this read and I thoroughly enjoyed their involvement.  The mystery surrounding rock-n-roll Rory is a sad and tragedy-laden plot line that manages to work itself perfectly into the quiet town of Balfour and Abbey Glen.  In fact, the very end has a nice little twist that really ties both mysteries, Rory, and Balfour all together with a nice neat little bow on top.  I greatly appreciated this twist and greatly appreciated how well woven together all the bits and bobs of this read are.  Some of the rustiness of the first read has worn away leaving a solid read that is entertaining, enjoyable, well-written, and leaving me with a great anticipation for more.

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Audible

Review: Perilous Poetry (Book #3: A Book Barn Mystery Series) by Kym Roberts

P.P.Charli Rae Warren doesn’t plan on striking it rich as the owner of an independent bookstore in Hazel Rock, Texas—especially one with a pink armadillo as its mascot. But when an ingenious advertising campaign puts her business on the map, it ropes in some deadly publicity . . .

Charli can’t believe writer Lucy Barton has agreed to promote her latest Midnight Poet Society novel at The Book Barn Princess—or that there’s only a week-and-a-half to prepare for the signing. It’s all because of The Book Seekers, a smartphone app created by her cousin Jamal exclusively for Charli’s bookstore, which sends fans on a virtual scavenger hunt around town for a chance to meet the bestselling author. But as soon as it goes live, people turn up dead . . .

Someone’s using The Book Seekers to track victims and copycat the fictional Midnight Poet Society homicides, and horrified locals suspect Jamal could be the mastermind behind the crimes. While Charli readies the Barn for a stampede of new customers, it’ll take true grit to shelve the culprit before her brainy cousin gets locked behind bars, Ms. Barton backs out of the visit, and she finds herself up a creek—with a serial killer holding the paddle! 

Review. Text on the string. Conceptual 3d image

Source: Netgalley          My Rating: 4½/5 stars

Charli Rae Warren just can’t seem to stay out of trouble.  More accurately stated, she can’t seem to keep from attracting trouble to her, much to the despair of her family and friends.  In fairness, Charli Rae doesn’t go looking for trouble, it just has a nasty habit of showing up on her front porch. This time, the trouble comes in the form of her beloved cousin, Jamal.

Jamal is a serious computer geek and in his geekdom, he has created an app designed to encourage readers and reading and lead them straight to the Book Barn Princess.  What’s more, in conjunction with the launching of the app, Jamal has managed to secure an exclusive in-store appearance by one of America’s hottest mystery writers, Lucy Barton.  With nothing but excitement in the air, Charlie Rae agrees to sign on with Jamal and immediately launches into the preparations for a visit from one her favorite authors.  With any luck, business will be booming in no time.

Everyone, literally everyone knows Charli Rae’s luck just doesn’t run that way, and within 24 hours of the app launch, a dead body turns up.  As if the dead body weren’t enough, the method of murder matches one concocted by Lucy Baton.  With a direct connection to her livelihood and family, Charli Rae can’t help but get involved which means asking a lot of questions and poking around where she certainly shouldn’t be poking.  For her troubles, Charli Rae gets her bookstore vandalized, her pink armadillo grazed by a bullet, her cousin run off the road, and she, her dad, and her pink armadillo dumped in the river.  Oh, and a date with Mateo!!  Her efforts earn her a date with Mateo!!

Even with her date with Mateo high, Charlie Rae can’t help herself from staying involved in the investigation which leads to even more trouble and at least two more bodies.  Seriously, Charlie Rae is just one big trouble magnet 😊  As the bodies pile up, so do the questions, and the cry for Jamal’s app to be taken down.  It’s clear the culprit has it in for Jamal and/or his app and if Charlie Rae, ahem, the police can’t figure out who’s behind the mess, Jamal stands to lose everything, including his freedom. 

The Bottom Line: Each installment of the Book Barn Mystery series sucks me in a little deeper.  Charlie Rae seems to get more likeable with each book and I found her especially likeable this time around since she seems to have settled on a guy . . . . finally!!  With appearances from the entire Hazel Rock cast of characters (you know I LOVE this!), Perilous Poetry delivered on nearly every level and I’m certainly hoping there’s more to come in this series.

Goodreads | Amazon | B&NKobo | Paperback

Review: Sweet Tea and Sympathy (Book #1: Southern Eclectic Series) by Molly Harper

ST&SNestled 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?

Review. Text on the string. Conceptual 3d image

Source: Netgalley          My Rating: 4½/5 stars

Margot Cary never expected to leave Chicago, but after a disastrous public event she organized and orchestrated, Margot isn’t just leaving Chicago, she’s tucking her tail and running.  That tends to happen when no one in the industry, including her own employer will not return her calls and inquiries, let alone offer her a job. 

As she bounces along the highway in a (gasp!) pick-up truck, Margot can’t believe she’s gone from the big city to a spot on a map known as Lake Sackett, Georgia.  At the behest of her relatives, on her long-absent father’s side, Margot is in the heart of the South hoping to keep her head down until the scandal blows over and she can move on to a new “real” job.  Until that blessed moment arrives, Margot is living on the family compound and learning the ropes at the family owned funeral home and bait shop.  Within a nanosecond, her entire extended family and the population of Lake Sackett knows Margot is in town and is excited to meet her.  So much for keeping her head down.  

Margot has never been the shy and retiring type, so she dives right into life in Lake Sackett.  That means, meeting all her relatives, determining how she feels about the reappearance of her father in her life, and becoming a reluctant pet owner.  To complicate things, Margot can’t help but get involved in local events which leads her to the local school and principal Kyle Archer. Kyle is by far the most interesting man in town, and he is in desperate need of Margot’s event planning skills.  The local school/town festival is coming up and if Kyle can pull off a hit, he may finally be able to wrest control of school from the hands of her former, busy body principal.  As an added bonus, planning the school/town festival means spending time with delectable Kyle Archer.  There are worse ways to spend her limited time in town. 

While Margot has only the best of intentions, not everyone in town is pleased with her presence or her involvement with town affairs and eligible bachelors.  In fact, as Margot quickly discovers, small town resentment can burn just as hot as big city jealousy and pettiness.  As the weeks go by, Margot becomes more heavily involved with the town and Kyle than she ever imagined possible.  Her family, some crazy and some delightful, always have her back during the madness, and that’s something Margot has never had in her entire life.  As the festival draws ever nearer, Margot startlingly begins to see herself not only staying in Lake Sackett, but actually enjoying her life there.  Of course, that’s precisely the moment the universe decides to offer Margot a new, much-hoped-for opportunity.   With life altering choices and decisions to be made, Margot must weigh her options carefully. 

The Bottom Line: There is all kinds of quirky and awesome to love about Sweet Tea and Sympathy and I did indeed love every bit of it.  From the moment Tootie calls Margot and invites her to Lake Sackett to the moment Margot sticks it to those who deserve it, I was all over this book.  Margot has some pretty serious moments of awesome (every dog catcher scene!) coupled with some moments of pure stupidity.  No matter what she does though, her crazy family has her back and that is really what this book is all about.  Family, friendship, trust, and loyalty are the pervading themes which makes Sweet Tea and Sympathy an incredibly happy read.  The HEA is a given and with the number of people in the family, another book or nine is also guaranteed.

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Audible | Paperback