Tuesday, May 25, 2010

SUGAR CREEK, the latest from Toni Blake!

Author Toni Blake has a new release officially available TODAY! I feel confident that her readers are going to adore SUGAR CREEK and revisiting Destiny, Ohio! I was very lucky to get an early copy and I truly was sad to see it end. Knowing that the next book in the series will be out in a few months does help!
Clicking here will take you to a page on Toni's website with a great excerpt and ordering information - go on now and have a look - and order your own copy while you're there!

My review:
Despite a challenging, successful job in Chicago, Rachel Farris wastes no time in returning to Destiny, Ohio to help her ailing grandmother at the family apple orchard. The first person she runs into is Destiny police officer Mike Romo – as in the generations-long Farris vs. Romo family feud Romos. Clocked and ticketed by Officer Romo for speeding on her way into town isn’t quite how Rachel anticipated being welcomed back and the two quickly and repeatedly begin to butt heads until there’s the smallest hint of a spark. When the speeding tickets begin piling up, those embers begin to increase in intensity.

Rachel has financially assisted her family for a long time and while she’s starting to feel slight tugs of settling down in Destiny to take over the orchard, she worries that it won’t provide the income necessary to keep everyone’s heads above water. Frustrated that her grandmother will only share the story of her long ago romance with Giovanni Romo in small increments, she begins to realize that her grandmother had experienced the very same weakness when it came to a Romo male. Rachel further realizes that her grandmother suffered a broken heart as a result and she’s determined not to let her heart become involved.

Mike is a small town boy with a heavy guilt hanging over him, keeping him from finding any sort of true happiness. Rachel is a city girl who thrives on the congestion, shopping and general busy-ness of Chicago. Mike and Rachel both have heady sexual appetites and while Rachel is unashamed about her experience, Toni Blake has successfully written that forwardness without making Rachel seem slutty or promiscuous. Watching these two lose themselves in each other, while insisting that nothing is going to change in the long run, is especially fun. Rachel and Mike have an undeniable love-hate relationship and no one is more shocked over the “love” portion of the relationship than their families and friends. Neither understands what is happening between them and likewise, neither is in any hurry to see their “sex only” fling come to an end. There is backstory explaining the Farris-Romo feud that is a sort of story within the story, a bonus of sorts, that will cause a tight pull in your chest and a lump in your throat. Secondary characters are as familiar, charming and aggravating as your own family and friends and lend a touch of reality. Also interesting is Toni’s trademark pet name for the heroine is reversed in SUGAR CREEK; the hero gets the nickname this time – so fun! This has long been one of my favorite things about picking up one of Toni’s books – the anticipation of what that pet name will be!

I adore small town stories and returning to Destiny with Toni Blake is a wonderfully enjoyable visit. I was slightly disappointed that Jenny and Mick from ONE RECKLESS SUMMER, the first in the “Destiny” series, weren’t more visible in SUGAR CREEK, but other secondary characters were colorful and intriguing enough to curb that disappointment and make me curious as to whose story will be next.
I give SUGAR CREEK a very strong recommendation for all readers who appreciate well-written contemporary romance that’s full of emotion, intricate attention to detail, and passion that is positively molten.

Thanks for checking out Toni's latest book - and thank you, Toni, for allowing me to read and review SUGAR CREEK for you!


Judy F said...

Great Review.

Hopefully my copy is winging its way to me.

I just love toni's books

Barb V. said...

Great review Laurie -- as always. I have long anticipated reading this book, and was happy that B&N shipped my copy today. I'm hoping to have it by the weekend. I love Toni's pitch perfect way with small towns and am so glad we will be getting a number of additional Destiny books. Only problem is the wait time.

Pat L. said...

I love Toni's book and look forward to this one.