Tuesday, June 26, 2018

ARC Review: Ain't She a Peach by Molly Harper

Series:Southern Eclectic #4
Pub. Date:June 12, 2018
Publisher:Gallery Books
Length:305 pgs
Source:NetGalley

Ain't She a Peach is the fourth book in the Southern Eclectic series, which focuses on the McCready family in small town Lake Sackett, Georgia. I was at Nola Storycon last year when I heard Molly Harper talking about her new southern series involving a family who runs a combination bait shop and funeral home, and I knew that this was the romantic comedy for me! I love Molly's wit and humor, and the Southern Eclectic books are good light fun. While it's not absolutely necessary to read this series in order, I would caution you not to read this book without reading its prequel, Peachy Flippin' Keen

Frankie McCready is quite the unique southern heroine. She is the town's coroner, and undertaker for the McCready Family Funeral Home. You don't quite expect to have a sassy purple-haired uniquely-dressed twenty-eight year old woman for a coroner and undertaker, and that made her all the more fun. I loved how she didn't let it bother her when some of the townfolk thought her odd, or moved out of her way in public, or called her Dr. Frankenstein. She owned her look, personality and chosen profession and didn't let anyone make her feel bad about it. Frankie was also stuck in kid limbo, living at home with her parents who were a bit overbearing with their love after Frankie was sick as a child. I couldn't imagine still living at home these days, my skin gets itchy just thinking about it. So it was interesting to see how Frankie dealt with being smothered by her parents.
 
Eric Linden is the new sheriff with the biteable bottom lip, and he has moved to the zany town of Lake Sackett following an "incident" that occurred when he was a city copy in Atlanta. He doesn't quite know what to make of small town folk, or the large and boisterous McCready brood. Nor did he expect to find Frankie as the town coroner, as they had history (that you will need to read about in Peachy Flippin' Keen). Eric was a good guy. He seemed lonely and somewhat downtrodden, and I had a hard time picturing him with our blue-haired pixie heroine. I loved the relationship that he developed with Hercules, and I didn't even mind the struggle he had between his feelings and his sense of duty (even when they did lead him to say hurtful things a time or two). 

The relationship between Frankie and Eric is fairly rocky. It starts out antagonistic, and had a bit of that playground love feeling happening. Frankie was snarky to Eric and he thought she was a pain in his patoot. But they eventually come around and talk things out like adults, and I liked the pair of them after that. I don't consider this story to be heavy on the romance - it's there, but in my mind, it takes backseat to the ambiance and happenings in Lake Sackett.

There is a secondary storyline about Jared Lewis, an entitled brat who continues to harass Frankie and vandalize the funeral home. Frankie and the family have been trying to catch him in the act since Peachy Flippin' Keen, and they are closing in now. I truly hated the kid and his enabling family... and he reminds me a lot of some of the kids we see in the media and online these days. (((Shudder)))

This series is full of delightful secondary characters. Aunt Tootie and her dog pack are endearingly funny, and Aunt Donna's grumpy nature makes me laugh every time. I am looking forward to seeing where Molly takes this series next, as these are happy, zany, feel-good romances.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book that I received from the publisher, Gallery Books.

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