From beloved author Molly Harper comes the first novel in the contemporary romance series, Southern Eclectic, about a big-city party planner who finds true love in a small Georgia town.
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?
Harper (Where the Wild Things Bite) puts her own spin on a fish-out-of-water tale in this romantic comedy. Margot Cary was a talented event planner in Chicago, looking forward to making partner in her firm, until an unmitigated disaster involving flamingos run amok got her fired. Out of a job and facing the prospect of losing her apartment, she is suddenly contacted by an aunt that she never knew existed and reluctantly accepts her job offer. The family of Margot's absent father welcomes her to Lake Sackett, Ga., to work for the McCready Family Funeral Home and Bait Shop. After a prickly start, Margot gets to know her extended family and her father, Stan. She also meets (and makes out with in a truck behind the local bar) handsome elementary school principal and "depressive lumberjack" Kyle Archer, a widowed father of two. As Margot sorts out her feelings for Kyle and finds her footing in her new town, Harper sets her heroine a challenge to suit her talents in taking over the local Founders' Festival. Margot is a terrific lead for Harper's supporting cast of quirky characters. This is a promising start to Harper's Southern Eclectic series.
For those of us that fell in love with and in the south after big city living, this book is everything
First book in Southern Eclectic series
Sweet Tea and Sympathy by Molly Harper is the first book in Southern Eclectic series. Margot Cary is an event planner with Elite Elegance in Chicago until her latest soiree is sabotaged by the chef (he put out a shrimp tower). Margot loses her job and is unable to find another one after the party fiasco is posted on You-tube. She is shocked when she receives a call from Tootie, her great aunt, in Lake Sackett, Georgia. Tootie is offering Margot a job at the McCready Family Funeral Home and Bait Shop (you can bury your loved one and then pick up bait for fishing). Margot accepts the position, but she insists it is just temporary. Margot soon discovers that life in Lake Sackett is very different from Chicago. Everyone knows your name, your family and your personal business. Margot delves into her new position and finds romance with elementary school principal, Kyle Archer. But what happens when Margot gets offered a position out-of-state?
Sweet Tea and Sympathy is a quirky, zany over-the-top story. The author shoved too many characters into the story. There are numerous relatives and townspeople. I found it impossible to keep them all straight (I gave up after a while). The pace of the novel is slower than it needs to be (thanks to the numerous characters). It needed a snappier pace. I was not a fan of the humor. Instead of being funny, I just found it unbelievable (lots of eye rolling). The petty squabbling and backbiting got on my nerves. I did not like the main character. She thought she was better than her relatives (I found her annoying) and had the maturity level of a teenager (most of the time). Margot’s constant complaints about the town’s coffee got on my nerves (and wondering why she did go out and buy a coffee maker). Frankie, the mortician, was my favorite character. She is unique and embraces it (she also loves her job). The ending is expected and quickly wrapped up (with a nice big bow). It seemed like the author took every Southern stereotype and shoved them into this story. Moonshine, thick Southern accents, deep fried everything, and so on. I did not laugh once while reading the book (my mother thought it was hilarious and claims I have no sense of humor). Sweet Tea and Sympathy is a predictable Southern romance novel with the wacky factor ramped up. I will stick with Molly Harper’s vampire novels which I just love.