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Friday, June 24, 2011

Sweet Tea and Secrets by Nancy Naigle

Sweet Tea and Secrets by Nancy Naigle
Publisher: Turquoise Morning Press
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (264 pages)
Heat Level: sensual
Rating: 5 Books
Reviewed by Sunflower

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?

Grandma Pearl was a matchmaker indeed. She was also loved by the town of Adams Grove. When she passed on, she left behind a trail of secrets for her granddaughter Jill to follow. And, with her matchmaking skills in mind, before she died she set out to encourage Jill and Garrett to rekindle their relationship. It would be a win-win situation for all parties involved.

Jill left Adams Grove a year ago, to begin a new life with a great new job. She became very busy, but made it back to Adams Grove for her grandmother's surprise party, and then for her death just a while later. Pearl was the only relative Jill had left, and so her surprise passing hit her pretty hard. She stops everything she's doing to come back to Adams Grove and take care of things, and to keep a fresh mind of all the memories of Pearl that are there. And Garrett, he just doesn't give up.

Garrett loved Pearl too. Obviously, Pearl loved Garrett and wanted him to be a part of the family. She'd always felt Garrett and Jill belonged together. Even in death, Pearl is everywhere. She has a strong presence throughout the story, playing on the good and bad emotions of her family and friends that loved her.

Jill sees so many changes within Adams Grove. She's torn between her life in Savannah (though her boss and boyfriend is a rude man!), and the life she left behind. And it seems someone is intruding in Pearl's house. Weaved into the story is a mystery. Who keeps breaking into the house? What is it they are after? Then comes the secrets Pearl left behind. The mysterious letters written to Pearl from a man Jill has never heard about, and so on.

Adams Grove, Virginia is a quaint little country town filled with a variety of people. It seems that Jill is surprised at those who'd once left, but came back to this town for one reason or another. What is it about a small town that brings people back, no matter where they left to and what they went to do? The ending gives vague hints that there could be more stories set in this little town. I sure hope so, because I'd love another visit. Ms. Naigle writes characters that are engaging and fresh, a plot that is moving, romantic, mysterious, and emotional. It's perfect reading for the upcoming hot summer days, where sitting in the shade with your own glass of tea seems fitting.

Want my advice? Don't miss this charming and wonderful book. Sweet Tea and Secrets has a little bit of everything - romance, mystery, something that tugs on your heartstrings, and that wonderful happily ever-after that the romantic reader craves.