Saturday, June 11, 2011

Sweet Tea and Secrets by Nancy Naigle

Sweet Tea and Secrets

By Nancy Naigle

Book Blurb:

Adams Grove is mourning the loss of Pearl Clemmons, known for her award-winning chocolate pecan pie and the best unsolicited advice in the county. When Jill returns to settle her grandmother’s estate, she’s greeted by a Clydesdale-sized guardian dog who doesn't seem to be earning his stripes (although he drools on them pretty well), and Garrett Malloy, the ex-fiancĂ© she left behind a year ago. Jill insists on staying at Pearl’s amidst a string of break-ins that have sleepy Adams Grove wide awake and locking its doors. Jill’s past with Garrett becomes the least of her worries when she learns that their lives are in danger. She is the only person standing between a desperate conman and a secret from Pearl’s past. Will Pearl’s past kill any chance of Jill and Garrett’s future together?

What a delightfully touching love story. Sweet Tea and Secrets has an old time romance flavour that is safe to read at work or lend to your mom/sister/grandma.  

SweetTea and Secrets captured me at the very first paragraph with this uplifting sage advice from Grandma Pearl, “Live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor in the morning, Satan shudders and says, “Oh shit, she’s awake!””  That’s a great mantra to live by. 

At the beginning of the story, you comfortably ease into the loving relationship that exists between Grandma Pearl and her granddaughter Jill Clemmons. Although Jill has been relatively vacant and away from her grandmother’s life the past year, you still can feel their closeness and their tight bond. Grandma Pearl is a wise woman and she has great advice that we’d all do well to take to heart. Another winning motto is, “Better to fight for what you really want than to be left wanting what you didn’t fight for.”  

Jill, hurt from a breakup with her beloved childhood sweetheart Garrett, had left her hometown of Adams Grove, Virginia and ended up in a rebound relationship.  Wrapped up in a new job and trying to get over Garrett, she was a bit slow to see what a deviant her new boyfriend, Bradley really was. 

Jill travels back to her home in Adams Grove to help celebrate a milestone birthday for Grandma Pearl. Jill and Pearl have a fun reunion and a great birthday party celebration. Due to work commitments, Jill returns back to Savannah. 

Alright, so pull out your Kleenex boxes because Jill needs to return to Adams Grove as Grandma Pearl passes in her sleep.  Everything about the funeral and the grief recovery was as true to life as possible. The hurt and sorrow constantly pulled at my heart strings. The only saving grace from this mourning period is that Garrett was strong and stable as ever and helped Jill bounce back. 

The recuperating part of the book leisurely moved forward although I did appreciate that Garrett and Jill couldn’t dive right back into a relationship straight away. From here Sweet Tea and Secrets became a story more of healing rather than a romance. Healing from her grandmother’s death, healing from her wounded heart with Garrett and healing from the self-realization of how Bradley was not the man she thought he was.  The family secret part of Sweet Tea and Secrets was an unhurried build-up and I would have liked to have seen it all come together a bit faster to make the pages turn in anticipation. It was an interesting story to unfold; I just wanted it accelerated a bit more.  

Moving beyond the healing phase and Garrett & Jill becoming reacquainted with each other again, the story picked up immensely and completely redeemed itself.  With fast action chapters, I devoured the rest of the Sweet Tea and Secrets. I highly recommend Sweet Teas and Secrets as a lazy weekend read, lounging in a lawn chair sipping on some refreshing sweet tea. And hey, if you need a recipe, there is an extra added bonus of recipes at the back of the book.


1 comment:

Nancy Naigle said...

Thank you for the lovely review. I appreciate you spending your precious time with my debut novel, and I'm so glad you enjoyed the escape to Adams Grove.

Warning: I might need to send you a hanky to go with Out of Focus in November. It's got ties to the same small town and that good looking Sheriff is going to be a part of it, too.
Hugs and happy reading,