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Friday, June 6, 2014

ARC Review: Gimme Some Sugar by Kimberly Kincaid

Carly di Matisse, chef and soon to be divorcee, has fled New York. Pine Mountain’s La Dolce Vita restaurant has provided her with a soft landing. She and her friend, Sloane Russo, are renting a cottage. When a storm damages the back deck, Jackson Carter is hired to fix it. The mutual viewing through the sliding glass door sets Jackson and Carly up for a scorching kiss. Both decide to slow down and get to know each other. Jackson takes Carly to his mother’s house for the Fourth of July. The party is also to recognize his brother’s recent engagement. She falls in love with his mother’s extensive vegetable gardens. She has an idea to create one by the restaurant. She meets his ‘pretend’ girlfriend and he learns she’s still sort of married. Their misunderstanding grows and demands both make full apologies and disclosure. Both step out of their comfort zones and talk about their lives. His mom wants him to settle down so he asked a friend to be his girlfriend for the party. Her husband tries to drag out the divorce. They were a cooking team and hosted a local cable cooking show. He’s nothing without her and needs her back to save his career. Carly gets an offer to return to New York as a master chef. Is this her dream job or does she already have it?

Jackson has a cowboy vibe, a man of few words and many talents. He comes to Carly’s aid before she asks. He’s dependable and reliable, even when he’s out of his element. Carly is trying to pick up the shreds of her life and put them back together. Betrayed personally and professionally by her ex-husband, she’s vulnerable. She’s determined to be successful and dig down deep to find her passion for food and Jackson. They make an excellent couple.

The relationships Carly and Jackson have with their mothers are realistic. Carly’s mom sees divorce as a sin. She wants her to reconcile with her husband. Marriage for life is how it works. After an illness, she softens her stance with Carly. Plus she admits Carly’s husband is a jerk. I’ve heard many conversations over the years where moms get mixed up in their children’s marital problems. A no win for all sides. Jackson’s father was abusive. He’s afraid he’ll be the same way. He keeps Carly at arm’s length to keep her safe. His mom sets him straight. Jackson is nothing like his father and would be missing a life time of happiness if he believes otherwise. She’s the only one who can discuss and explain the past.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

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