REVIEW: Save a Truck, Ride a Redneck by Molly Harper
Molly Harper brings her signature “clever humor, snark, silliness, and endearing protagonists” (Booklist) to the charming small town of Lake Sackett, Georgia with the new Southern Eclectic series.
Carl and Marianne were high school sweethearts, loving the way only teenagers can—with no thought to logic or pride, just a bone-headed, optimistic frenzy of unicorns and hormones. That was all they needed. Or so Carl thought.
Scared of being stuck in Lake Sackett, Georgia, like so many of her friends—without a real shot at a future or achieving her own dreams—Marianne panicked and bolted to college after stomping Carl’s heart into the high grass. But when she returns to Lake Sackett for the summer with her family after years away, she and Carl are drawn together like moths to a flame. As they rekindle their old romance and remember what it was like to be in love, they have to wonder: is this, finally, their real chance at happiness?
Dear Ms. Harper,
I had so much fun reading your Kentucky “Bluegrass Series” that I jumped all over the chance to read this opening novella for the Southern Eclectic books set in Georgia. And yes I had to read that twice to see that it’s not a series about linemen for Georgia Power.
Marianne McCready arrives back in her small hometown of Lake Sackett, Georgia with a bump and grind – bashing her car up to avoid the deer in the middle of the road. Her distress call to her brother gets answered by the last man Marianne wants to see (again). Four years ago she hightailed it out of Lake Sackett to college leaving Carl in the dust and through years of strategic avoidance, she hasn’t seen him since. But she has to admit that the zing is still there.
Now she’s been guilted by her mother into staying in town for three months before going to law school and it looks like there’s no way to avoid Carl any longer. But does she want to and what are these feelings of doubt she has about her carefully arranged life plans? For some reason, law school isn’t as appealing to her as it used to be. Marianne still manages to put her foot in it with Carl – and frankly I agree with her self-assessment that sometimes she’s not very nice – plus there’s trouble brewing in the extended family and their businesses. Is there a place for Marianne’s dreams and her sudden clarity about her feelings for Carl?
There are times when this novella reads more as a women’s fiction than a romance. The McCready family is large and colorful with the descriptions of them being both funny and time consuming. This is, after all, a novella. A lot of time is spent setting up the various McCready enterprises – I loved the combo businesses they’ve got going – and a small tussle Marianne eventually helps to solve. It gets the series going but it’s lucky that Marianne and Carl already have an intense history or there’s no way I would buy their romance. As it is, Carl is extremely mature and willing to forgive. But I guess that’s the definition of unconditional love. He does take the opportunity to view his past grievances and make sure that Marianne knows what she’s doing this time.
I had fun here and there are plenty of Family Issues which have been laid on the table for future books but readers expecting the time to be spent on only the romance will need to adjust their expectations. B