Review: Sweet Southern Bad Boy by Michele Summers

Review: Sweet Southern Bad Boy by Michele SummersSweet Southern Bad Boy by Michele Summers

Series: #3 Harmony Homecomings
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on December 6, 2016
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Buy: Amazon
three-half-stars
three-half-flames

add to goodreads

So we have a location scout on her last chance with the studio who finds the perfect setting only it’s owned by a writer reluctant to extend to the craziness of his life with adding Hollyweird to a book deadline and responsibilities for his brother’s three precocious kids.  Bargaining is at its finest when the sparks of attraction fly, small town gossip sizzles, secret deals are struck in this sizzling, fun small town romance.

Sweet Southern Bad Boy is the third book in the Harmony Homecoming series.  I wasn’t paying attention and picked it up based on the blurb and new to me author.  Turns out, I got lucky and this worked fine as a standalone.  I could see who the earlier couples were and there were references to their situations, but no series spoilers were given so I can easily go back for the others if I want.

Katie McKnight needs to prove herself to her famous producer dad and her occasional fiancé who is kissing her dad’s butt to advance with McKnight Studios.  Nobody thinks she has talent or skill or the ability to stick with a career.  She will prove herself by nailing the contract on the location for her dad’s popular teen vampire TV show.  Vance Kerner’s barn and farmhouse are exactly perfect.  If only she can talk the attractive flirting writer into signing the papers.  Katie is so determined that she agrees to watch his energetic nephews and niece to allow him to make a writing deadline even while she is confused over his attraction and approval of her when her ‘taking a break’ fiancé seems uninterested.

Vance is at wits’ end when the cute location scout shows up and whips his brother’s kids into shape.  He’s got writer’s block, but it really has little to do with the distraction of the kids.  This latest book in his trilogy is just not coming to him.  With Katie’s arrival blow the winds of change for Vance, for his dad, and for a chance at love if the secrets he’s keeping don’t ruin it all.

Alright, this one was in the tone I enjoy for light southern small town romance.  The quirky denizens of Harmony were colorful and the gossip was flowing fast.  The overall feel for the story was more over the top than I like when it came to the town craziness and his friends’ ‘interventions’ in his love life, but it was still a fun element.

Vance is a home town boy and everyone knows his business and has an opinion including his matchmaking friends.  He was a rebellious teen after his mom died and his dad’s strictures and withdrawal divided them.  He’s had his affairs, but for the most part has settled down to his work and doing what he can for family.  He quickly acts on his attraction to Katie and patiently pursues her though she pulls back each time.  The way he kept secrets around her made it obvious what the big conflict was going to be in the end- yep, those secrets will come out, buddy.

Katie on the other hand has no real roots, but her whole life has been spent as a doormat for her self-absorbed parents.  Katie acts mousy and looks mousy and has trouble believing a guy like Vance is really interested and she has no clue what to do with his interest.  She is the product of long-term emotional abuse from parents who put her down constantly so she can’t see her gifts, skills, personality, and looks like everyone in Harmony does.  I struggle with this type of heroine because I don’t have a lot of patience for the sort of stuff she allowed and put up with, but I also was angry on her behalf and really wanted her to come into her own and tell her parent’s off.

I really felt Katie’s need to stand on her own and Vance’s need for a repaired relationship with his dad were more front and center than the romance which came on quick with the feelings of love once they did something about the attraction.  It made sense that they had to deal with individual situations before they were ready for something together.

All in all, Vance was definitely a Sweet Southern Bad Boy and Katie was a fun California girl to match him in this light, slightly spicy small town Contemporary Romance that I can recommend to those who enjoy it, too.

My thanks to Sourcebooks Casablanca for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

 

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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.
  • Oh it looks like a really nice one even it was sometimes a bit complicated with the heroine! I didn’t know about it

    • Yes! It had a light, fun feel to it though there is the trouble with her family that messed her up. Glad to put you in the know, Melliane. 🙂

  • Debbie Haupt

    its good to know it works as a stand a lone Sophia Rose cause I think I’m gonna add this to my pile LOL 😉

    • Haha, yes, I got lucky again, Debbie, with getting it out of order and having it work out. It was a fun story. Hope you enjoy it if you get the chance.

  • a lot going on, not sure at how little her family believes in her tho.. that seems blah, I always like families that cheer their kids on

    • Yes, definitely a lot going on for this pair and the surrounding cast of characters. It was frustrating the way her parents and fiance were toward her. I loved seeing her become part of the hero’s family and part of the small town community.

  • Hmmm…I’m a little nervous. I requested the ARC for the latest in this series from Netgalley, and I am not a fan of over the top small town life. But I’ll give it a go and cross my fingers! This book sounds very busy.

    Great review. 🙂

    • Oh, hopefully it is just my take on it and it won’t be over the top for you, Angie. I confess that I’m not as taken with drama so it might just be me. 🙂 Crossing my fingers for you.

  • oh this sounds like a fabulous book here!! I do love those quirky southern romances and need to read more of them. It sounds like the heroine’s situation isn’t easy and I can see how you can struggle with her at times but I am curious to see how her character develops. Great music pick by the way, I love that song so much.

    • It was a fun one with the small town folks and his friends butting in and having funny moments. No, her situation was pretty tough and that’s why I really wanted her to tell her family and fiance where to go. It was frustrating to watch her put up with it for so long, but then she changed and that was great.

      Buble’ is a fav of mine. 🙂

  • A character like Katie would usually make me want to shake her because of her self deprecating manner, but it isn’t her fault when her own parents have been the reason behind it. I can see if she was just one of those girls who didn’t think of herself as worth it, just for the sake of it. Then, I’d have a problem. I love small town romances. I love even more that this has kids involved.

    • Yes, that is exactly why I didn’t completely write Katie off. Her parents and her fiance had me steamed and I was so glad that she grew and centered herself and took them on. It was neat to see how being around the people there and Vance showed her she had worth and could take a stand.
      Ha, those kids were a hoot. Loved them in this one.

  • Goodness it sounds like his hands were full. Glad it worked out even jumping in so far into the series. I love small towns but maybe not so over the top? How does it compare to like Katie Lane or Carolyn Brown?

    • Oh yeah, he was definitely chasing his tail. I suppose it isn’t more over the top than others I’ve read and liked. I think I didn’t like the way his friends felt they could butt right into his personal life and discuss it with the new girl he’s trying to get to like him. I think she’s got the same flavor as Katie or Carolyn though she’s Carolina girl stuff instead of Texas if that helps make sense.

      • Yeah I like a little meddling but it can go too far sometimes. She’s actually one of my local authors here in NC so I am tempted to give them a go 🙂

        • I like to give a little extra support to local authors, too. I perk right up when I see they are from around here.

          You’d probably be okay to try these alright. I can get in moods about little stuff and it colors my whole experience with a book. I do want to try another one because I did enjoy the overall story and that small town fun feel.

  • At least it made sense for both characters to do what they had to do with their individual issues before moving forward with each other. Some authors can not pull that off.

    • So true. Their issues were real and then not just swept under the rug by the romance.