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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Ain't She Sweet?

***** Ain't She Sweet? by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Contemporary romance.

Once again, SEP has taken a very unlikely couple, put them together, and made it work. Not only that, but she takes a fairly unlikeable couple, puts them together, and makes it work.

Sugar Beth was a real bitch in high school. Daughter of the wealthiest family in town, she was also the prettiest and most popular. If someone wasn't in her clique, she either ignored them or made their lives hell. And if someone crossed her, the way young teacher Colin Byrne did, she destroyed them.

In Colin's case, she accused him of coming on to her, getting him fired and sending him back to his family in England in disgrace.

Now they're both back in town, and the tables are turned. Sugar Beth is broke and desperate for money. Her only hope is that her aunt left her the carriage house and a very valuable painting--if she can find it.

Colin is now a very successful author, and he owns the house Sugar Beth grew up in. When she needs a job to allow her the cash to stay in town long enough to find the painting, he sees the perfect opportunity for revenge, starting with hiring her as his housekeeper.

His revenge plot is abetted by Sugar Beth's half-sister Winnie, who has just as much reason to want revenge as Colin does.

While there are some very funny parts in the book, Ain't She Sweet? is not a light romantic comedy. Sugar Beth, Colin, Winnie, and Winnie's husband Ryan--who married Winnie on the rebound from Sugar Beth--all have some serious issues to work through, and they don't always deal with them admirably.

I'd discussed this book with a friend before reading it, and I was prepared to find Sugar Beth's former classmates a bit unbelievable in holding on to anger for so many years. My sense was that it was only Winnie and Colin who were still angry, and the other women succumbed to pack mentality. It seemed believable to me.

What I had to suspend disbelief for was the small town, which is very unlike the small town where I grew up. But then, it's like most other small towns in fiction, and the town I grew up in was not in the south, and I left it when I was barely an adult, so it's entirely possible that my small town is like that and I just never saw it.

Anyway, still loving SEP's books, and I think I only have 2 or 3 left in the TBR pile to be all caught up.

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*Phew!* So glad you like this book. I kept reading reivew that most didn't like the book. I do love SEP Chicago stars series, but I was hit with disappointement on two of her stand alone so am really skipical of trying the stand alone books *grin*

I do however got "Ain't She Sweet" on my TBR pile :)
This is the only SEP book I have ever read, and I wasn't completely besotted with it! I have just bought the first of the Chicago Stars books so we will see how we go when I get to that one!
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