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Sweet Tea and Sympathy: A Book Club Recommendation! (Southern Eclectic) Paperback – November 21, 2017
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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)
"This book is funny and the characters engaging....FInished it in 24 hours and already looking forward to the next in the Southern Eclectic series." (BookRiot)
“A small-town romance with tons of heart, lots of laughs, and of course, kooky locals. . . . Sweet Tea and Sympathy kicked off Molly Harper’s newest series in the best of ways.” (Harlequin Junkies)
“Molly Harper is known for writing hilarious scenes, and her unique sense of humor is evident all throughout the story. . . . There are countless laughs in Sweet Tea and Sympathy along with an equal number of heartfelt moments.” (AlwaysReviewing.com)
About the Author
Molly Harper is the author of two popular series of paranormal romance, the Half-Moon Hollow series and the Naked Werewolf series. She also writes the Bluegrass ebook series of contemporary romance. A former humor columnist and newspaper reporter, she lives in Kentucky with her family, where she is currently working on the next Southern Eclectic novel. Visit her on the web at MollyHarper.com.
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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!