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Sweet Tea and Sympathy by Molly Harper
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Sweet Tea and Sympathy

by Molly Harper

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Southern Eclectic (1)

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12123157,346 (3.96)3
After a spectacular failure at an exclusive event in Chicago, event planner Margot Cary takes a job in Lake Sackett, Georgia. Organizing wakes and fishing trips isn't exactly her thing, but she starts feeling more at home when she catches the eye of the elementary school principal Kyle Archer. A offer for a big-city job means Margot must decide between her career, and a possible new love.… (more)

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Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
It was a good story but the romance was awful. ( )
  Nany.Diaz | Feb 18, 2020 |
4.5 stars.

The first full length novel in the Southern Eclectic series, Sweet Tea and Sympathy by Molly Harper is an absolutely charming novel of new beginnings and coming to terms with the past.

Unable to find a job after her last event becomes famous for all the wrong reasons, Margot Cary very reluctantly accepts her Great-Aunt Tootie's offer to work in the family business. Grudgingly relocating to Lake Sackett, GA, she is out of her comfort zone in too many ways to count. Margot is surprisingly enchanted by her extended family but unsurprisingly, her estranged father, Stan, continues to be a disappointment. She is intrigued by Kyle Archer and although their attraction is mutual, are either of them ready for a relationship at this point in their lives?

Margot is a bit of a snob when she first moves to Lake Sackett and despite how out of place her fancy clothes and shoes are in the rural community, she clings to her big city ways. She tries to keep her distance from her numerous family members, but they have a way of sneaking past her defenses. Charmed by their eccentricities and their big hearts, Margot cannot deny how much their easy acceptance of her means to her. However, Stan continues to keep his distance from her and she remains unforgiving when he blows his chance to start mending their strained relationship. Despite slowly coming to appreciate and enjoy her close-knit family, Margot is still planning to leave town at the first opportunity.

Margot is absolutely delighted to meet someone who can commiserate with her adjustment to life in small town America. As a transplant to Lake Sackett, Kyle has a pretty good idea just how much of a culture shock she is experiencing. Their friendship is definitely a bright spot in her (hopefully) temporary relocation but will their unexpected attraction have any impact on her plans for her future? Well, considering just how ill-prepared she feels when confronted with the depth of Kyle's situation, Margot is not sure she is the right person for him.

Sweet Tea and Sympathy is a humorous and poignant novel that is fast-paced and engaging. Margot is initially a little off-putting but as she falls under the spell of her family, Kyle and Lake Sackett, she becomes much more sympathetic and likable. Despite a bit of a romantic element, Margot's character growth is what drives the story and it is an absolute joy watching her connect with her relatives and sort through her tangled relationship with her father. A heartwarming first installment in Molly Harper's Southern Eclectic series that readers of women's fiction are going to LOVE.
( )
  kbranfield | Feb 3, 2020 |
Just finished this witty engaging story. It had a little bit of everything I like, a little romance, a little humor and some very likable characters. I will be reading more from Molly Harper! highly recommended. ( )
  erinclark | Sep 11, 2019 |
If you’ve been following the reviews on my blog, you’ve probably noticed I’m enamoured with books written in the Southern United States. And as I look out the window on this cold Wisconsin day, and see snow violently hurling itself down to the ground, I really wish I was in Georgia right now!

Years ago I remember reading some of the books in Molly Harper’s, Nice Girls series, and enjoying them, so when I came upon this ARC, I decided to give it a read. The Nice Girls series started in 2009, so that is why I don’t have reviews on my website for them. But I do know I liked the series, so if you like Paranormal Romance, you should definitely give it a try.

Harper does a fantastic job developing the main characters in this series. There are so many characters, that unless this book was an additional 200 pages, she would not have been able to do them all justice.

After finishing this book, I checked to see what the next full length novel in the series is about. It’s titled, Ain’t She a Peach, and focuses on Margot’s cousin, the mortician. So I was super excited to see that each book and novella in this series would focus on a different character. I know Harper will continue to shine with her character descriptions.

The humor interwoven in the story had me chuckling throughout. And I really appreciated that the author didn’t have Margot dwell on having to come to some ho-dunk town throughout the whole book. When Harper did write about it, it was mainly for the humorous effect.

Besides the wacky characters, and situations, there is also some deeper storylines, that got me in the feels. Especially the one involving Margot and her father. Margot really grew because of this, and I couldn’t help but feel that this was how a real daughter might react to the situation with her father. And of course there is the budding romance with Margot and the school principal, but Harper kept it on the lighter side because of all the family drama that was going on.

If you enjoy light romances that have family dramas and funny scenes throughout them, this is one you will want to read.

You may also want to check out the novella about Margot’s cousin, Marianne, that takes place about five years before this book. It’s called, Save a Truck, Ride a Redneck.

I already have, Ain’t She a Peach, on hold at my local library, and am looking forward to continuing this series, with Margot’s other cousin, Frankie, the mortician! ( )
  KimHeniadis | Aug 19, 2019 |
This was such a fun book to read! Margot was an event planner at the top of her game in Chicago. She was ready to nail the latest event and cement her chances at a partnership in the company. Unfortunately, thanks to a rogue chef, some shrimp, and some flamingos, her crowning event went spectacularly off the rails. To top it all off, a number of the cellphone videos of the incident went viral, causing an immediate loss of her job. Unemployed and blackballed in her chosen field, Margot was getting close to being broke and homeless when she received a call from a woman who claimed to be her great-aunt Tootie. Skeptical, because really, who has the name "Tootie," Margot discovered that she had an entire family unknown to her in Lake Sackett, Georgia. She was invited to come to Georgia and work for the family business, McCready Family Funeral Home and Bait Shop (aka the Bait and Bury). Out of options, Margot accepted.

Talk about culture shock! Margot's mother took her and left Georgia when Margot was a small child, remarrying and moving to Chicago. Mom and stepdad were not exactly the demonstrative type, and appearances were important to them. Margot was a bit uptight, entirely out of her element, and counting the days until she can get another job in a city. She was welcomed with open arms and (gasp!) hugs. I loved the enthusiastic welcomes, from Aunt Tootie and her motley collection of dogs to her aunt and uncle to the cousins who are determined to be friends whether she wanted it or not. I loved the scene where they took her to the local bar and introduced her to moonshine. It was great fun to see Margot attempt to adjust to a place where food is pork-based and/or deep-fried, and fruits and vegetables are nearly impossible to find.

I loved the small town atmosphere and quirky characters. The town itself has fallen on hard times because the drought has further lowered the level of the lake, leaving many tourist-based businesses struggling. Small town politics, especially in the PTA, are alive and well. When Margot was guilted into helping to straighten out the plans for the PTA-sponsored town festival, those politics created some hilariously funny moments. The current PTA president and the former principal do not want to relinquish one bit of control, and their passive-aggressive actions get on Margot's last nerve. But Margot is used to much tougher opponents, and I loved watching her work her magic. I loved her final confrontation with Sara Lee, as the Chicago event planner merged with the newly minted Southern woman. It was a grand thing to witness.

Neither Margot nor Kyle expected the romance that grew between them. Their first meeting was unusual. The night that her cousins introduced Margot to moonshine, she encountered a big, bearded "lumberjack" with the saddest eyes she'd ever seen. An impromptu hug of sympathy turned into a hot makeout session in Kyle's truck before Margot panicked and ran. Imagine her dismay when she discovered that her "lumberjack" was actually the elementary school principal and a single dad. Margot was determined to keep her distance, but it was a small town, and frequent encounters were inevitable. Kyle was a widower who still grieved for his late wife and had no plans to enter any new relationships. His occasional dates were kept far away from his family. Kyle was very good at keeping each part of his life separate - family, work, and social each had its place, and they didn't overlap. I loved seeing the relationship between them grow. Though both claim they don't want a relationship, they can't stay away from each other. Margot is especially wary because she has no experience with kids and doesn't want to do something wrong. In spite of her fears, she is actually very good with them, and I enjoyed seeing them together. Then an unexpected offer meant that Margot had to make some decisions. I ached for her and for Kyle as she struggled with those decisions. Margot's big moment at the end was fantastic. The epilogue was great.

One of the things I liked best about the book was the family theme. I loved how the McCready side was so ready to embrace Margot, in spite of the events that had kept them apart for so long. It took a while for Margot to loosen up enough to appreciate each person's unique traits. That was especially true of her father, Stan. Margot only had her mother's side of the story when it came to their relationship, so her attitude seemed especially harsh. I ached for Stan, who was honest about his mistakes and regrets. There were times I was a bit irritated with Margot and her unwillingness to bend a little. However, time and exposure helped. I loved Margot's reaction to Sara Lee's comments about Stan, and the progress it showed in their relationship.

I can't wait to read more in this series. ( )
  scoutmomskf | Apr 29, 2019 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Molly Harperprimary authorall editionscalculated
Ronconi, AmandaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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