Sweet Tea and Sympathy by Molly Harper (Amazon Link)
Description: 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?
Genre: Romance - Contemporary
Why I Picked This Book: I've read one book by Molly Harper and really enjoyed it. I wanted to try her again but am a little scared of werewolves and the like so this completely unsupernatural book looked like the perfect choice!
My Impression: Well that was fun! I loved Margot right from the start though she isn't always the most likable person - especially at the beginning. The shrimp tower disaster was hilarious and while I don't consider myself a particularly violent person, I think she showed considerable restraint in not punching the chef hard in the nose. And when she ends up in small town Georgia there was definitely a whole lot of hilarity and a giant helping of quirkiness.
I loved the McCready family. Margot isn't quite sure where she fits when she first lands in Lake Sackett and frankly isn't quite sure she wants too. However, doing a good job is important to her and she's a hard worker so that seems to give her a little something to help get her bearings. She doesn't always understand how things are done but she tries. All the aunts, uncles, and assortment of cousins really add to the fun and I desperately want to go hang out with Duffy, Frankie, and Marianne. And while I'm not a huge fan of fried food I'd definitely give some of Aunt Leslie's creations a try. While the relationships formed quickly and naturally between Margot and most of her family her relationship with her father was a little more tricky. I really loved how Harper developed both characters and how they interacted. It felt very natural though heartbreaking at times.
I really liked the relationship between Margot and Kyle. Neither one of them has any desire to be in a serious relationship and their reasons are decidedly real. I'm not typically a big kid person in romances but Kyle's children were really cute without being obnoxious and I enjoyed all their page time. The banter is perfection and the relationship felt wonderfully real.
I really enjoyed this read. It's quirky, fun, and all about family connections and figuring out what really makes you happy. I'm so glad that this is going to be a series and can't wait to see where Harper takes it next. Now I'm off to change my name to McCready and go find Lake Sackett!
Would I Read More of this Series/Author? Absolutely! I've been wanting to read more Molly Harper for ages and I'm excited to see where this series goes.
Would I Recommend this Book? If you like small town contemporary romances do not miss this book!