Series: Sultry Springs #1
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on 1 October 2012
This is a sweet and fluffy contemporary romance that won’t strain your brain but might just tug at those heart strings. Mae-June Augustine (just call her June) is all set to open up her dream bar in Austin, only to discover they won’t give her a liquor licence because she has an outstanding warrant back home in Sultry Springs. She knows she hasn’t done anything terribly wrong and can’t understand why the judge, who happens to be a close friend of her grandmother, would issue a bench warrant. There is nothing she can do but head home to the place she fled nine years earlier. Judge Bea sentences her to one month’s community service at either a church or a charity housing site and releases her into the care of her grandmother Pru who she is not on speaking terms with. If that wasn’t enough, Luke, the boy she has been in love with her entire life, the same boy who rejected her is back in town and he’s all grown up.
Contemporary romances such as these live and die by the chemistry between the characters. In this second-chance novel, it works. Neither June nor Luke had a particularly easy life before they were taken in by Pru. June’s parents died when she was young while Luke was abandoned by his mother when he was twelve. Pru has a very strong Christian faith but she is not demonstrative towards the children. She gave them stability and loved them but when they do something to break her trust, she completely rejects them. Pru repents her actions and tries to rebuild her family but it is too late to bring June back into the fold. The bench warrant offers her a chance to make amends. June is an interesting character as she is so full of life in Austin but so lost back in her home town. She has a vision of her bar and the drive to make it happen but in the dry town of Sultry Springs, she doesn’t quite know what to do with herself. After all sorts of awkward interactions between her and Luke, she decides that she first wants his friendship back and then realises that isn’t enough for her as she wants and deserves his love. Luke on the other hand is terrified of love. Although he shows his devotion to June by taking care of her and is quite protective, he bolts at the l-word given his I-was-abandoned-by-my-mother baggage. Luckily for him, June is persistent.
The romance between the characters is effective and the secondary characters such as Trey, Luke’s best friend, and Pru are the icing on the cake. It was nice to take a break from alpha males (just for a little while) and enjoy men that could construct coherent sentences without beating their chests. Sultry with a Twist is a sweet and sexy second-chance at love read.