Lee Ann London once had big plans…scholarship, college, love. Then she found herself raising her deceased sister’s twin girls when their father disappeared. Now, with her beautiful girls, a community that depends on her, and her photography studio finally taking off, Lee Ann may not have the life she’d imagined, but it’s definitely where she wants it.
Until Cody, her bad-boy ex, returns to Sugar Springs…
Cody’s childhood put a chip on his shoulder the size of Texas. Bouncing around the foster care system, he was always the one to leave before anyone left him first. Then he found a place he wanted to stick. Lee Ann was the best thing that ever happened to him. Only, he hurt her. Bad.
He’s back now, and determined to earn her forgiveness…and maybe win back her love while he’s at it.
And here is Melanie's review:
Kim Law is a force to be reckoned with in the contemporary game, I think. This is a strong debut with a lot to recommend it.
Heroine whose life went totally off-track but who isn’t bitter / angry about it, and figured out on her own how to find a different (albeit longer) path to get to her dreams.
Hero who can see where he went wrong and still has the impulses that lead him into trouble, but has grown up now and gets to use his fully developed frontal cortex to figure out how to act like one.
Twin pre-teen girls who are distinct individuals and neither too old nor too young nor too plot-moppety.
Big slobbery dog, naturally.
Building up of back-story and current conflict, all nicely layered so that there’s always conflict lurking and conflict being resolved and one person getting over something while the other is just encountering or facing something else. All without feeling like the reader is being manipulated.
- Strong emotional tension and nice sexual tension, playful and intense in turns.
Everyone in the town loves her? Everyone in the town reviles him? Can’t someone be indifferent? Are the cinnamon rolls she makes for bake sales that amazing? (This is all very genre-fitting, of course, but it’s one of the things about the trope I find grr-worthy.)
Lee Ann is nicely protective of her girls, but the issue of “Cody hates this town, but loves them” becomes her line in the sand, and I was frustrated that she was so inflexible and resistant to his desire make anyplace but Sugar Spring part of their future.
- The wrapping-it-all-up-in-a-bow resolution felt a little rushed.
All in all, I’m seriously impressed by Law, and will definitely read whatever she publishes next. If it weren’t for Jill Shalvis, I’d pick this as my favorite of the nominees, but Shalvis has that crack-factor that Law is missing. Sugar Springs is very well constructed, with impressively well-realized main characters, and as sweet as the title suggests, but I could put it down, and to get an A from me I need to have trouble putting it down.