(Review) Sweet Tea and Sympathy
Sweet Tea and Sympathy by Molly Harper
Publication Date: November 21st, 2017
Pages: 320 (paperback)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
My Goodreads Rating: 5 stars
Beloved author Molly Harper launches a brand-new contemporary romance series, Southern Eclectic, with this story of a big-city party planner who finds true love in a small Georgia town.
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?
I've never read any of Molly's books and I kind of requested this one on a whim as I was looking for something sweet to read. I'd just had a bad experience with a book and was a little frustrated and wary going into this one. (See previous review of romance novel gone wrong if you want to know how that worked out.)
But, as you can see from my Goodreads Rating, I loved all parts of this book. As someone from a small southern town (some of us consider Florida the south) I completely fell in love with this town and pretty much every single one of these characters.
The book's opening scene is hilarious and enough to catch your attention. At first you sense that Margot is a little uptight. She's a big city girl with a big city job so you know right off that she's going to clash with her small-town family.
This does happen, but not in the sense that she thinks she's better than any of them. I don't recall any instances of Margot feeling superior to the residents of the town and I loved that about her. If anything she worried about what they thought about her.
This, to me, is not your typical "love at first sight" romance. Sure, there's definitely chemistry between Margot and Kyle, but it isn't thrown in your face and sexualized throughout the pages. Kyle is a complex character, but in the best way. I love that he puts his family first, doesn't try to control Margot, and is always honest with her. Kyle had me swooning many times with just his words.
What I loved most about this is how Margot comes to know and love the family she's never met. From her father to her aunts and uncles and cousins. So many of these moments made me smile, almost as much as reading about Margot and Kyle.
So, five stars from me for making a romance also about family and not making me hate any of the main characters. I'm impressed.