Friday, November 8, 2013

Review: Welcome to Sugartown by Carmen Jenner

Ana Belle never wanted anything more than to hang up her apron, jump on her Vespa and ride off into the sunset, leaving Sugartown in the dust.

Elijah Cade never wanted anything more than a hot meal, a side of hot arse and a soft place to lay his head at night where he could forget about his past.

But you know what they say about wanting: you always want what you can’t have.

Nineteen year-old virgin Ana is about to discover that’s not quite true because a six foot three, hotter than hell, tattooed, Aussie sex god just rode into town. He’s had a taste of her pie and he wants more– no really, Ana bakes pies for a living, get your mind out of the gutter.

She’d be willing to hand over everything tied up in a big red bow, there’s just one problem; Elijah has secrets dirtier than last week’s underwear. Secrets that won't just break Ana’s heart, but put her life at risk, too. When those secrets come to light, their relationship is pushed to breaking point.

Add to that a psychotic nympho best friend, an overbearing father, a cuter than humanly possible kid brother, a wanton womanizing cousin, the ex from hell, and more pies than you could poke a ... err ... stick ... at.

And you thought small towns were boring.

Welcome to Sugartown.

*Content Warning. Intended for a mature 18+ audience. Contains explicit sex, oodles of profanity and a crap-tonne of AWKWARD.

4.5 Star Review by Lisa Kane

Welcome to Sugartown is deceiving. It starts out sweet and sassy and then BAM-it's one OMG moment after another. Ana Belle is 19 and has lived her whole life in this town in the middle of nowhere. Her family owns a pie shop, she and her girlfriend Holly run the shop, selling the pies that Ana bakes. Some are her concoction and some were recipes passed down from her mom. When her mom died her dad kept the shop in her memory, but Ana has been stuck taking care of it for years, and her father, a former member of an MC, married one of the young (and I mean a few years older than Ana) workers at the shop and has a son Sam. Sam is the apple of Ana's eye with his big heart and little lisp (maybe not so little). He would rather be with her than his neglectful parents any time. Bob Belle runs a mechanic shop across the street from the pie shop.


One day Elijah Cade roars into town to start working for Bob. This hot giant is as taken with Ana as she is with him. But Elijah has lots of secrets and knows he isn't any good for her. If he had any doubts about that, Bob is sure to tell him several times, just so he gets the message loud and clear.
 I watch her usher the kid ahead of her through the kitchen door. She's untying her apron as she goes, causing the blue dress to pull against her ass and ruck up a little higher. Holy shit, I'm headed into boner territory. I tilt my head to the side and admire the view before the swinging doors make it disappear completely. Next thing I know I'm staring at 5'3" of pissed off waitress. Aaaaaand there goes my boner.

Hormones will win over logic almost every time and these two dance around each other, testing the other's self control. Ana was burnt back in high school when she  wasn't ready to have sex with Scott her boyfriend. He ended up screwing Nicole, and spreading vicious rumors about Ana. Ones that seem to have stuck in the town gossips' minds. Elijah travels from town to town; there are reasons he has to move constantly and he knows as much as he wants her, Ana is too good for him.
I'm not the guy who stays in one place long enough to have a second date. When they're seeing proposals and picket fences I'm checking out of shitty motels and watching road signs turn to dust in my rear-view mirrors. I'm practically married to that white line.

Quickly the two run smack into Elijah's past and the encounter is about as scary as it can get. Ana pushes him away, partly out of fear for the things he holds secret from her and partly because she is repulsed by what she saw go down. What Elijah gets up to while Ana pushes him away, made me want to punch him in the throat (among other places). This was one of those OMG moments, which just happened to be after the first OMG moment.  

Ana tries to  cover up her hurt but ends up placing herself in real danger and the consequences are devastating-not only for Ana but for Elijah too. As sickened as I was by his actions, there is nothing this guy won't do to protect Ana. Never did I doubt his love for her.  

There are some interesting layers to this story. Her friend Holly comes up with some real gems..

"You know, I've been thinking," she begins. "No." "What do you mean, no? You haven't even heard my brilliant plan." "And yet the answer is still no." "Hey, I'll have you know I'm excellent with my hands, and I've never had any complaints in the sexy time department." I laugh. "You're brilliant plan was that we should convert to lesbianism?" She shrugs. "I'll try anything once." "I think that's your problem."
She ends up with a whole heap of trouble herself and has a vulnerable side to her that is endearing. Ana's cousin Jackson has a lust vs. love relationship going on with Holly and these two are the subject of the next installment in this trilogy. I loved this book, I hated and loved Elijah at alternating points of the story. Ana surprised me with some of her reactions but she has a surprising inner strength and a good heart. At every turn she worries that she will hurt someone by her actions, but she has to be true to herself. This book packs a whole world of emotions in its pages, and believe me you better dig your heels in for the long haul. Might be a good idea to keep a good stiff drink close at hand.

Barnes and Noble


  1. Thank you so much for such a wonderful review, Lisa!! I love that you enjoyed the book so much! :)


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