Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Release Day Review: Gimme Some Sugar by Molly Harper


Gimme Some Sugar
(Southern Eclectic #3)
Molly Harper
Release: April 2, 2019
Goodreads Amazon
ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley
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?

Just before New Year's I binged the Southern Eclectic series and really enjoyed it. Quirky small towns are totally my catnip! And the McCready family is a delight. So I was excited to get Duffy's book only a month later. (Yes, I read this one the same day I got the ARC.)

I loved being back with the McCreadies in Lake Sackett. I just felt like the romance was a secondary plot here. Both characters spent more time dealing with exes and in laws and figuring out what they did wrong in their previous relationships than they did actually being in a relationship with each other. But since this series tends to revisit characters, that doesn’t feel like negative as much as a to be continued.

I liked checking in with Frankie, Marianne and Margot from the previous books. The series storyline takes an interesting turn too, as the older McCready family members start to consider retirement. I think that adds to the feeling that childhood best friends Duffy and Lucy spent their story growing up.

The timeline for Gimme Some Sugar overlaps with the novella A Few Pecans Short of a Pie, which revisits Margot and Kyle form book one. There are even a couple of events that we see in both, once from Margot's POV and once from Lucy's. I felt like both stories were on the short side and could have been combined, though I realize the secondary plot would normally set up the couple for the next book rather than returning to a previous one. I read Pecans, which was released earlier, after Sugar, so I think you can do them in either order.

While this wasn't my favorite book in the series, I'm still loving Lake Sackett and the McCreadies and I'm looking forward to the next one.

3.5 stars

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