because bibliophiles require refreshment

Taste of Sugar by Marina Adair

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Things I love in romances: second chances, small towns, tribal families, brothers acting the fool and women who love them, big floppy dogs and unbelievable acrobatically unrealistic sex. A Taste of Sugar has all of those things – sans the dog. It does, however, have a sheep.

Long story. Southerners remain a little bit crazy.

This book takes place in Sugar, Georgia with Charlotte and Jace at its center. After growing up together, they end up meeting up in Atlanta on a fateful evening and engage in a whirlwind romance that ends in a wedding. However, three weeks later, Jace freaked out and, instead of waking up next to her husband, woke up to annulment papers instead. She turns down a high profile medical job in Atlanta and returns to Sugar to help run her family’s hospital. Since then, she has thrown herself into the project of starting a clinic for under-resourced children.

However, as we find out in the beginning of the story, the annulment was never made official during a paperwork error. Jace comes back to Sugar from Atlanta, to get the paperwork finalized so that he can buy a garage in Atlanta. He’s a world renowned engine expert – even working on Ferrari’s engines for the Formula 1 races we’re told – and he wants to set up his own shop. All he needs is Charlotte’s signature.

I was romanced by this story. Because just as Charlotte and Jace found each other again, they found themselves again too. For Jace, that means reconnecting with his family. After the tragic death of his parents in a fire several years ago, Jace took off to distance himself from the painful memories. Throughout the story, we get the feeling that this separation is entirely of Jace’s doing and watching him realize the family is just patiently waiting for him to return to their fold is beautiful. The relationship between him and his teenage niece Peyton is a particular favorite for me.

For Charlotte – or Charlie, as only Jace calls her – finding herself is about deciding who she is in spite of her family and the legacy they represent in Sugar. Heretofore, her whole self has been defined by them and Charlotte needs to learn how to stand on her own two feet. Thankfully, she’s got a lot of people around her who see more in her than she sees in herself and Jace is at the head of their pack.

As a brief aside, this is 100% competence porn. These people are good at their jobs and I love reading books about people who know what the hell they’re doing in fields I wouldn’t have the foggiest in.

I’ve never read any books by Adair before, but I added her to my author alert list and I’m looking forward to future offerings. For my money, books about Georgia must be enjoyed with proper sweet tea, so that’s my recommendation.

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Further Reading:

  • So the closest thing I can find to the sheep sport that exists in this book is sheep racing. It’s amazing and observe these gifs for evidence.
  • Do you want to help other clinics like Charlie’s help children? Then click here, or here.
  • Books set in Georgia

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I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a fair review. A version of this review also appears at Rakes of Romance. 

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