RITA Reader Challenge Review

RITA Reader Challenge: Sugar Springs by Kim Law


Title: Sugar Springs
Author: Kim Law
Publication Info: Montlake 2012
ISBN: 9781612186979
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Book Sugar Springs This RITA® Reader Challenge 2013 review was written by Erica. This story was nominated for the RITA® in the Contemporary Single Title Romance category.

The summary:     

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 Erica's review:

Sugar Springs is a small town contemporary featuring secret babies and reunited lovers.

You guys, this book? This book was so damn adorable. I'm not going to say that I was sneak-reading it at work, because I am a responsible employee who would never do that… (ahem)

So Cody and Lee Ann were in love in high school, until Cody freaked, slept with Lee Ann's half-sister and tore out of town. Thirteen years later, Lee Ann is raising his twin daughters (from his sexcapades with her sister) when he comes back to town to apologize for hurting her. Lee Ann (whose sister was a total freaking bitch from hell and is now dead) has been under the belief that he knew about his girls and doesn't care about them. Cody has no idea. He is reluctantly informed.

So, they have issues.

Let me just say. Things that had annoyed me when I reviewed The Tycoon's Secret Daughter I absolutely bought here. Lee Ann can see that Cody has grown up a bit, and is willing (barely, at first) to let him get to know the girls, but refuses to address their romantic past. In my review of The Tycoon's Secret Daughter, I was livid about that exact same scenario. Here? I was down. I totally understood. And I can't even begin to tell you what the difference was, to cause those different reactions. Maybe because Lee Ann's fear is from worrying that Cody will leave, and the heroine in the other book was worried about the hero being an alcoholic or something? That's a much more serious thing, so if you're legitimately worried about that, don't let him around your kid. In this book? I mean, how can you ever absolutely protect your kid from someone leaving? You know what I mean? That's my rationalization for my different reactions.

Anyway. Cody is adorably flawed. He is so nervous about how to do the right thing with the girls, and he's all awkward and cute. He's had a tough life and he tends to freak out and run, and I totally understood his reasons and oh my god, I just loved him. He'd never gotten over Lee Ann, not just as a girl who he had the hots for in high school, but as a friend and confidante, and one of the few people who absolutely believed in him. He's thought of her often over the years, and he's so upset that she hasn't been living her dreams. I LOVED him. In real life, I would have lusted after this dude big time.

Lee Ann was strong and vulnerable and I really enjoyed her. I really liked how she saw Cody completely freaking out about having twin daughters and stood there talking about them, letting him share in all the moments that he'd missed. It was so sweet. She's worried about whether or not she's been a good mom, and it's so real.

And the girls? I LOVED THEM. Kendra is sweet and obsessed with a boy, and wants to be a vet (oh, Cody's a vet), so she and Cody bond pretty easily and quickly. Candy is more guarded, even bitchy in a couple of places. And then Cody eventually wins her over. But except for one really sickly sweet conversation at the end, the girls seem like real kids (embarrassed by their parents in public, etc) not plot moppets. And they were just awesome. I really adored them.

And oh my god, the ancillary characters. They were fabulous. There's this chick named Holly who Cody becomes good friends with, and I love her. I don't know if she's sequel bait or what, but I am dying to know her story.

I laughed a lot reading this. It reminded me a bit of some of Jennifer Crusie's earlier stuff and it was just adorable and funny.

That being said, there was only one sex scene and it was awkward. Okay, the term “girl parts” was used completely seriously. “A lone finger stroked along the seam of her girl parts and she cried out.” I died. I seriously died. I snorted with laughter, then cackled like a mad woman, then read the line to my husband and laughed for another five minutes. It seemed like the author was making this crazy determined effort to not swear anywhere, and occasionally the wording felt a bit stilted to me. For example, in the beginning of the book, Lee Ann is thinking back on Cody sleeping with her sister and she thinks, “What had he said? He's gotten some bad news. Well, that was simply unacceptable. People got bad news every day. You didn't get bad news, then trip and find yourself penis-first inside your girlfriend's sister.” Okay, that is a hilariously snarky awesome line, right? Except I kept getting hung up on “penis-first.” I was like, “It's DICK first, girl! DICK.” Which is an awkward thing to say out loud when you are *not* sneak reading the book at work.

That being said, I completely adored this book and I will totally be reading it again, and probably looking for others in the series.

This book is available from Goodreads | Amazon | BN | Kobo | iBooks.

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