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Sweet Tea and Sympathy: A Book Club Recommendation! (Southern Eclectic 1) Kindle Edition
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Nestled 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?
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“This sweet tale of the city girl finding a home in the country launches Harper’s (Accidental Sire) latest series and will go down as easy as honey on a deep-fried Twinkie.” (Library Journal)
“Margot is a terrific lead for Harper’s supporting cast of quirky characters. This is a promising start to Harper’s Southern Eclectic series.” (Publishers Weekly)
"Harper writes characters you can't help but fall in love with." (RT Book Reviews)
About the Author
- ASIN : B01HMXRW94
- Publisher : Gallery Books (November 21, 2017)
- Publication date : November 21, 2017
- Language : English
- File size : 2741 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 321 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #276,365 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
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Top reviews from the United States
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Molly Harper begins a new series with Sweet Tea and Sympathy centering around the McCready family who have lived in Lake Sackett, Georgia for generations and somewhere along the way began operating a dual bait shop and funeral home.
When she was three Margot Cary's parents divorced. Margot's mother took custody of her, and they moved to Chicago never hearing from her father again who, admittedly, was struggling with being an alcoholic.
Fast-forward thirty years and Margot is an event planner, one of the best in the business. She works with one of the best firms in Chicago, that is, until one of the events she's coordinating goes terribly wrong. Now, fired from her job, a laughingstock within the business, and getting no responses back on her submitted resumes, Margot is at a loss for what to do next.
She's given an answer when long-lost Aunt Tootie calls her and offers her a job in the family business. Having no other option Margot heads back to Lake Sackett, Georgia, a place that she barely remembers. As Margot grows close to the family she never got to know, and the father who she feels abandoned by, she'll start to question what exactly it is that makes her happy. Throw in an attraction to the school principal, a man still healing from heartbreak of his own, and Margot will find out what really matters in life.
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. Margot's journey was definitely heartbreaking in some spots especially her initial dealings with a father that she barely remembers who hasn't spoken with her going on thirty years. That relationship was the crux of the story, overshadowing the sweet romance.
Sweet Tea and Sympathy is about family. More specifically it's about fathers and daughters. As we see Margot and her father's relationship somewhat mirrored by the relationship between Margot's love interest Kyle, a widower, and his two young daughters. The latter's relationship is indicative of what could have been between Margot and her father had her mother not taken her away. At first it sounds really harsh, the idea of Margot's father not trying to reach out to her in all those years, and you somewhat see her mother in a not-so-pleasant light as well, you know, taking a child away from her father and not trying to bridge that gap between them. But as the story progresses it's clear that some perceptions are only surface deep, and sometimes you have to dig in order to discover the truth of the matter.
The McCready family is wonderful. Full of colorful characters each with their own unique quirks. None of them give Margot grief for possibly not wanting to stay in Lake Sackett if another job opportunity comes along, but they all welcome her with open arms even with the potential leaving hanging in the air. It's through their embracing, that she learns what families are truly all about.
There's a prequel novella Save a Truck, Ride a Redneck, that focuses on Margot's cousin Marianne. It takes place more than five years before Sweet Tea. Having read the novella previously, I was thrown by things that transpired off page, and the fact that so much time had passed between, but if you haven't read the novella there should be no problems getting into this full-length story. It would just enhance your reading.
I can't wait to see which McCready family member will get their story told next. And since they are a pretty close group, I look forward to checking in with the rest of the clan and seeing what trouble they can cause next!
This book was everything I would want in a great contemporary romance. Girl down on her luck, girl gets help from unexpected source, girl discovers family and friends that she will grow to love, girl grows through this experience, and girl falls in love. This is definitely a book I will recommend to others. This one is a #MustRead for me!
On the family dynamics side: they were interesting but needed more depth and by the time we got to the father-daughter reconciliation it wasn't really believable or emotionally satisfying. And when it came to the crucial decision of whether to stay in Georgia or go, I certainly didn't feel the "weight" of her final decision. I could have lived with her deciding either way, the stakes didn't seem high enough.
On the romance side: it had potential but I really didn't like that the heroine made all the running. Also, while there were flashes where you could see a relationship developing, there wasn't enough interaction between H/h to make the romance have an emotional impact on the reader.
The best thing about this book was the humor: the dialogue was tight and snappy and very entertaining. I wanted more of that! So much so that I will try the second book in the series. The fact that this is the first in a series has me hoping that this was just the set-up to get us introduced to the town and to the main characters -- maybe the next one will be less one dimensional.
Top reviews from other countries
If I ever go to a small American town at some point in the future and don't meet a tall handsome stranger I will personally sue Ms Harper.
Sweet Team and Sympathy is a fun story of Margot, a thirty-something woman who is fired from her job so moves from Chicago to her family business in small town Georgia. Naturally, chaos ensues and youbetcha I will read all available books in this series asap.
I'm actually embarrassed it took me this long to pick the series up.