Review: Ain’t She a Peach by Molly Harper

Posted June 12, 2018 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 31 Comments

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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

One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
two-flames

Series: Southern Eclectic #2
Genres: Comedy Romance, Contemporary Romance
Published by Gallery Books
Released on June 12, 2018
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley

Get it at: add to goodreads

The Delight

I’ve enjoyed the time I’ve spent in the Southern Eclectic series getting to know the McCready family and following along as they sort out love, life, and family in their small southern lakeside town so I was glad to get Frankie’s story.

Sophia Rose’s Review

Ain’t She a Peach is book two of the series and could work as a standalone in a pinch if the reader doesn’t mind references to two of the cousins already getting their stories and getting a little follow up in the background of Frankie’s story.  Ain’t She a Peach is also preceded by Peachy Freakin’ Keen which is a shorter novella introducing Franky and the good sheriff who start off on an acrimonious foot and it continues into this book.

It’s fall and Lake Sackett is winding up on the tourist trade and focusing on the Trunk or Treat, Sheriff’s election, and small town gossip.  Frankie McCready is losing her focus as she juggles the age-old problem of convincing her parents she’s a twenty-eight year old who wants to move out and do some adulting.  She also is recently discovering some wistfulness when around her cousins who are all starting to settle down in solid relationships and raise families which is odd since she holds fast to her ‘hit it and quit it’ program and keeps telling herself that she doesn’t want all that other stuff and its not for her.  Kinda tough though when she can’t go anywhere without bumping into the hottie interim sheriff who is not beguiled by her beguiling ways.  In the meantime, she has to contact the sheriff and get him involved in the personal vendetta she has with a local teen who antagonizes her and constantly tries to sabotage or break into the family mortuary.

So, I liked it and it was a easy-going, fun read, but… I didn’t love it.  I have ambivalent feelings about Frankie and the romance with Eric.  If I treat this like a crossover women’s fiction then the romance isn’t so problematic because the focus is on Frankie figuring things out about herself, but if I read it as contemporary romance then I needed a bit of something more.

The broader focus on Frankie’s family and life in the town, small town antics, adorable rescue dogs, PTA meetings, and more was my favorite part of the book.  I love the emphasis on small town and family particularly this family who run a funeral home and bait shop out of the same property and most of the family live in cabins on the property.

In the earlier novella, I ended it with a wait and see attitude when it came to Frankie.  She struck me as full of herself, but in the end, she was starting to suspect that she might be pampered by her family as a result of surviving childhood leukemia and she had bought into this herself in her words and actions.  The sheriff, Eric Linden, confronted her about it when she willfully did an end around him when he was just doing his job with due diligence and her cousins told her that he had a point.
But, much of this book goes by with no change.   She puts Eric in a hard place a few times with his job and had some immature moments.  I don’t mean to say that she’s mean or can’t be kind and loving because she is.  It’s sweet how she cares for the dead to make them look good and talks to them, determined to do the best for the grieving families.
She’s content to let her parents spoil her even while complaining about it and doing nothing to change this so she doesn’t hurt their feelings.  It’s funny, but also a little weird.
Eric challenges her, but unfortunately he has his own issues so she can ignore her issues to point out his.  She is still fighting her attraction or the possibility of a regular dating relationship late in the book.  So, yes, I was on the fence about her though she does manage to work things through by the end.

This is funny in ways- and its meant to be as they banter back and forth and comedic things happen when they’re together, her family does crazy stuff, and the Trunk or Treat event takes on a nightmare life of its own.

So, all in all, I had a good time with the book.  It’s light and laugh out loud funny in spots.  Frankie took a while to figure things out, but she does eventually get there.  It ends on a happy for now and I suspect that it will be like the earlier stories that carry on in the background of the next book.  Even though this won’t be my favorite, I loved quite a bit about the book and hope the series continues.  Those looking for some heartwarming family, small town antics, humor, and lightly spiced romantic comedy should give this series a go.

I rec’d this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

Challenges

Romance Roundabout #193 CR
New Release #93

Recommendations

 
I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Ain’t She a Peach by Molly Harper
Ain’t She a Peach

One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
one-half-flames

Series: Southern Eclectic #2
Genres: Comedy Romance
Published by Gallery Books
Released on June 12, 2018
Pages: 304
Format: eARC

Get it at: add to goodreads

The Delight

A unique Southern woman and a formerly disgraced sheriff find love in a small town in Georgia. Written by Molly Harper, you just know you are in for some humorous moments along the way. Usually.

Lorna’s Review

Book two of Molly Harper’s Southern Electric series was a mostly fun read for me. There’s actually two full length books and two novellas that belong in the series. I have the two novellas in my to be read pile still, but I jumped into this one without reading anything else in this series and really had no problems following the story. And after reading this one, I bought book one, Sweet Tea and Sympathy, on audio.

Frankie McCready is a spunky heroine, one with an affinity for jumping into the fray(so to speak) without thinking first. She’s dresses creatively-goth-and dyes her hair even more creatively. She’s twenty eight and still lives with her parents. And to top it off, she’s the county coroner and a all around jack of all trades at her family’s funeral home. So no, she’s not your average small town girl, and in many ways she still has to do some growing up. Sheriff Eric Linden is new in town and has to prove himself since he is only interim sheriff until the election. Getting involved with Frankie, one of the strangest people he’s ever met, was probably not the way to go for Eric to get elected, but it’s clear that it’s only a matter of when, not if, the two will get together.

There’s actually a large cast of characters in this small town and we do meet quite a few of them. Most of them were probably characters in the previous books or novellas and even Frankie and Eric had met well before this book happens. Besides her parents and Eric, Frankie’s world consists of lots of colorful family members and townspeople that don’t always get where she is coming from. A teenage vandal with a vendetta against Frankie is featured as the epitome of a small town villain. His parents fill the rest of the villain roles in this story.

For the most part, I liked this story, but I can’t say I exactly loved it. Truthfully, I only laughed once and to my knowledge this is supposed to be a romantic comedy. I can generally read three or more books a week, but this one took me over a week to finish. I kept putting it down because there really wasn’t much happening to keep me interested. I can honestly say that was a first for me for a Molly Harper book. I should also add that normally I listen to all of this author’s books and adore Amanda Ronconi’s narration so maybe if I had listened I might have enjoyed it more. This author’s Jane Jameson vampire books are some of the funniest books I have ever listened to and made Molly Harper a must read/listen author for me. I did like it enough to buy book one on audio after reading this, so that should tell you something.

For those that enjoy small town books with colorful characters, a heroine that does show some character growth by the end, and a kind of mild enemies to lovers story, this might be a book you would enjoy. If I had it to do over, I would definitely listen, instead of read.

Recommendations

  
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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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Anna@herding cats&burning soupMary @StackingMyBookShelves!Barks Book NonsenseKimberly Caffeinated ReviewerMary Kirkland Recent comment authors
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Nicci
Guest

Hmm… I’m not sure this would be for me but I am curious about Molly Harper’s books. I hear good things.

Sophia Rose
Guest

Definitely worth picking up one of her books, but let’s just say that maybe a few of her other series are the stronger ones. 🙂

Sophia Rose
Guest

Yay! Dual reviews with Lorna. Looks like we had a similar overall reaction. 🙂

Debbie Haupt
Guest
Debbie Haupt

oh cool dueling reviews love it and I’ve missed this series. I have read Harper’s other works looks good girls!!!

Sophia Rose
Guest

I think it is fun to read a book at the same time and then compare notes.

I recently listened to the first book in her PNR series set in the Bayou. I still need to go back for her earlier ones. I know they’ll be fun.

shootingstarsmag
Guest
shootingstarsmag

Thanks for dual reviews! Sorry neither of you LOVED this one, but liking it works too. I need to read more Molly Harper. I do love the books I’ve read by her.

-Lauren
http://www.shootingstarsmag.net

Sophia Rose
Guest

She writes cute and fun stories for this series. They’re just a little under-developed for the romance and there isn’t really a riveting plot- sort of meanders. I do have a good time so I’ll keep going. 🙂

Melissa (Books and Things)
Guest

Aw too bad I do like Holly’s books so I think I would still like it too. I think I need something with humor in it right now. 🙂

Sophia Rose
Guest

They are aren’t wow-worthy, but are still cute and fun reading, Melissa.

AngieElle @ Ba_BAMB
Guest

I’m seeing a lot of middle of the road reviews for this series. I think I will give it a pass and hold out for something that might wow me.

Thanks for the reviews, gals!

Sophia Rose
Guest

They are on the adorable side of likeable, but yeah, not exactly leaping out at one. 🙂

Alyssa
Guest

This sounds like the perfect fun summer read for me. I love reading cute, fun books during the summer. Great reviews, both of you! 🙂

Sophia Rose
Guest

This is definitely a good fit for an easy summer read, Alyssa. 🙂

Melliane
Guest

I only tried her vampire books so I’m curious about these too

Sophia Rose
Guest

They are easy going small town American Southern reads. 🙂

Carole's Random Life
Guest

Interesting that neither one of you loved this one. I read the introductory novella for this series and liked it but didn’t fall in love with it. I do need to read more from Molly Harper very soon. Great reviews!

Sophia Rose
Guest

Yeah! They’re fun, light and entertaining, but not deeply developed. I enjoyed the two novellas and will probably go back for book one, but I won’t rush on that. Thanks, Carole!

Vanessa
Guest

Ohh sounds like a very good light read Sophia Rose. Plus, those cover looks so cute <3

Sophia Rose
Guest

You guessed it exactly. Light and cute. 🙂

Mary Kirkland
Guest

Hmm, it’s not really my type of book and I can understand the problems you both found with this one. At least you didn’t hate it.

Sophia Rose
Guest

Yes, it was fun and light, but just a little too light in ways. Far from hating it so that’s definitely a plus.

Kimberly Caffeinated Reviewer
Guest

i missed this one, but I have been in a UF/PR funk and so not looking. I will added it, I have enjoyed the series. I am glad to see despite some aggravation Frankie did eventually come around.

Sophia Rose
Guest

I think you’d find this series sorta relaxing- easy reads, Kimberly. They’re not laugh out loud funny, but there’s humor in a slowly paced way of small town happenings.

Kimberly Caffeinated Reviewer
Guest

Oh I have read the first one and novella. I am just behind

Sophia Rose
Guest

You did say that now that I read your comment properly. 🙂 Another catch-up book… I have a few of those, too.

Barks Book Nonsense
Guest

I have a bunch of Molly Harper books already in the TBR. I think they’re the werewolf ones. Too bad she’s leaning towards woman’s fiction. I prefer PNR and light & funny and it’s all about me, right?!

Sophia Rose
Guest

I’ve heard wonderful things about her earlier two PNR series. I listened to the latest PNR-suspense series that she started this year which was great. I look forward to catching her backlist.
These WF/CR books are light, but probably not as humorous as the ones you like.

Yes, we all have our favorites. 🙂

Mary @StackingMyBookShelves!
Guest

I do like enemy to lover type books. Sorry this wasn’t stellar. I do like the cover of this book. I will take your advice and listen instead of read it tho.

Mary

Sophia Rose
Guest

Me, too. This pair really got under each other’s skin. 🙂 It was good enough, but just lacks some ooph to push it to more than average. Hope you enjoy it when you get the chance to listen, Mary. 🙂

Anna@herding cats&burning soup
Guest

Hmm I could see that with needing to read it in one frame of mind or the other genre-wise. I’ve had some in the past like that where I’d have liked them a lot more if just considered them mystery (with light romance) vs romance with mystery.

Sophia Rose
Guest

Yep, you caught my point exactly. It’s all going to depend on the reader going in with certain expectations for how much romance they can expect or how developed it will be b/c of where the focus is. Ha, yes, mysteries are another one where the right label changes things.