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October 22, 2013

Braine Reviews: Welcome To Sugartown by Carmen Jenner

Series: Sugartown 1
Format: Mobi
Source: Author
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: November 3, 2013
Genre: New Adult - Contemporary
Ana Belle never wanted anything more than to hang up her apron, jump on her Vespa and ride off into the sunset, leaving Sugartown in the dust.

Elijah Cade never wanted anything more than a hot meal, a side of hot arse and a soft place to lay his head at night where he could forget about his past.

But you know what they say about wanting: you always want what you can’t have.

Nineteen year-old virgin Ana is about to discover that’s not quite true because a six foot three, hotter than hell, tattooed, Aussie sex god just rode into town. He’s had a taste of her pie and he wants more– no really, Ana bakes pies for a living, get your mind out of the gutter.

She’d be willing to hand over everything tied up in a big red bow, there’s just one problem; Elijah has secrets dirtier than last week’s underwear. Secrets that won't just break Ana’s heart, but put her life at risk, too. When those secrets come to light, their relationship is pushed to breaking point.

Add to that a psychotic nympho best friend, an overbearing father, a cuter than humanly possible kid brother, a wanton womanizing cousin, the ex from hell, and more pies than you could poke a ... err ... stick ... at.

And you thought small towns were boring.

Welcome to Sugartown.


*Content Warning. Intended for a mature 18+ audience. Contains explicit sex, oodles of profanity and a crap-tonne of AWKWARD.

Woot! WELCOME TO SUGARTOWN by Carmen Jenner is one of those books that I have a personal connection to not because the story echoes my own rather it's by Carmen Jenner! To give you a brief 101, Carmen used to be a fangirling book blogger like us. Last year I had the pleasure of reviewing Carmen's first foray into the author world when her zombie short, What Goes Around, was featured in the horror anthology, FEAR. I was very impressed with Carmen's storytelling and I know then that she'll go places with her creative writing as she's not afraid to dig her heels in and go the extra mile. 

WELCOME TO SUGARTOWN is one of those novels that I fondly call dramedy. The first half of the novel is really light, flirty, snarky and has that small town feel that I'm quite fond of. Its your usual girl meets boy complete with all the warm fuzzy feelings associated with finding your first, and probably, only love. The second half is heartbreaking not because of complicated characters falling in love, but because their pasts caught up with them and said past didn't really jive well with the future Ana and Elijah are trying to create for themselves. These two were tried and tested to the bone and CJenner really made them earn their HEA (tough mistress, this Aussie is). Oh and it has influences of those MC biker stories that everyone is loving these days.

Ana is a great contrast to Elijah. She's buxom, blond, petite, nineteen and makes amazing pies. She's your good girl next door who keeps to herself and sticks to people she's close to and trusts and very down to earth. Elijah is someone our mommas warned us about, rugged, tattooed, faux hawk and all leather and bike, he's so forbidden you want to keep him for yourself. Their dating stage is sweet, tight with tension, funny, swoony and ripe with torrid sexin'. Ana really blossomed under Elijah's adoration and she in turn made him hopeful and happy again.

But this won't be a legitimate new adult contemporary romance without Drama with a capital D. Despite her father's warning, Ana can't help but give her heart to Elijah on a silver platter only to be broken and stomped on. Smh. This sent Ana on a downworld spiral which led to a lot of regrettable things flooding WELCOME TO SUGARTOWN with tears, anger and heartbreaking tragedies. I'm a bit tired of "tortured heroes" and though Ana and Elijah went through some pretty tough shiz, I liked that CJenner didn't go overboard by wringing her characters dry. They're just changed people in the end but not to the point of brokenness, just stronger and wiser. Heartwarming ending if you ask me.
You take her down that road you've been on, drag her down, you hurt her in any way and I'm gonna finish you. I don't care if I have to follow you to the back of beyond. You hurt my little girl and I'll put you to the ground quicker than you can f*cking blink. Ana doesn't need you to be another decision she'll regret. - Bob
Aside from its witty dialogue and burning life and love story, WELCOME TO SUGARTOWN has some pretty colorful secondary characters. Ana's mechanic dad, Bob, is very endearing and someone I want to give a good hug on several occasions. He's a bit of a mess himself but his love and protectiveness for Ana is foremost and unquestionable. Holly, Ana's BFF is gotta be my favorite. This girl is loud, expressive, loyal and spontaneous, the opposite of Ana's down home style. These two were Ana's rock and were key in her and Elijah's happy ending. And I'm hoping/expecting/wishing that book 2 is Holly's story. CJenner set up her storyline pretty well and I must say, the plot is different from WELCOME TO SUGARTOWN but it'll be a compelling one nonetheless. Can't wait!

The entire time I was reading WELCOME TO SUGARTOWN I was both in awe by CJenner's writing voice and applauding it profusely at the same time. It was so surreal because like I said, I'm acquainted with her and I was blown away by her debut. This lady knows what we want and delivered it to a perfect tee, I laughed, cried, got angry, got hungry and a slew of other emotions while reading Sugartown 1, I know I'll keep coming back for more. She wrote such a vibrant and tantalizing story its INSPIRED. So if you're a fan of hadrcore new adult contemporary romances, you MUST add WELCOME TO SUGARTOWN to your TBR and save a date to read it, it's solid and won't be a waste of your precious reading time.

Series Website
Purchase links not yet available


 

Carmen Jenner lives on the far North Coast of New South Wales, Australia with her partner, their two awesome kids and her Chihuahua Pikelet. Her interests include: books, cupcakes, biker boys, naughty faeries, zombies and things with fangs.

She’s the author of Book Me! a book review site and is currently working hard on some super scintillating, sekrit squirrel project that you'll be dying to read.

Her short story: What Goes Around, was published in Crooked Cat Publishing's Fear: A Modern Anthology of Horror and Terror October 3, 2012.

Her sexy debut New Adult Contemporary novel, Welcome to Sugartown, is set for release November 3, 2013.

She will be appearing as a panelist at UtopYA 2014

Carmen despises talking about herself in the third person but LOVES hearing from Authors, Publishing Houses, and fellow Bloggers and can be found at the following places:

Stalk her!




17 comments:

  1. Okay, I have been waiting for a review! The story sounds great, but the cover is...not (sorry), and that made me hesitant. I will definitely be adding WtS to my to-read list!

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    1. Thou shall not judge a book by its cover. LOL

      Yeah the cover is misleading, it looks so apple pie wholesome but it's so not.

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  2. I knew that name was familiar! I'm glad you said who she was cause I would have had that running through my head forever (or at least until I got to her bio where it says, but I might not have read it if you hadn't mentioned that). So... I'm glad to hear that this one was great! I'm not sure if it's one I would enjoy, but I would at least consider giving it a try!

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    1. I hope you take the time to read it, Candace, our fellow blogger did it!

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  3. Great review Braine, and you know I love small town romances, and of course we need some drama for the couple. So glad you enjoyed this, and how lovely to see an author grow.

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    1. Yes and I'm so happy, honored and proud to watch that growth. It's such an experience to witness it!

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  4. This sounds like it'd be right up my alley, Braine! I love it when characters really come into their own with the help of a love interest - not because of. Ana & Elijah sound great and that WtS has a great cast of supporting characters seals the deal for me. I'm so happy you loved this so much! Great review!

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    1. Thank you and I hope you get to it soon! I know you're TBR is like, if not worse than, mine

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  5. Hmmm I think you might have convinced me Braine! And yeah I totally would have skipped it because of the cover. I'm shallow I know. But it sounds awesome and dang I love heroes like that :)

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    1. Don't judge a book by its cover!

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    2. I know, I know. You're so right about that. But that's usually how I shop. I hardly ever read a blurb and go by title/cover nearly every time. The new cover is amazing.

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  6. Thanks for a wonderfully thoughtful review, Braine! I'm so glad you enjoyed it!!! :)

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    1. Yes I did and again, CONGRATULATIONS!

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  7. Can't read your review yet Matey, I am reading this next ;) But glad you liked it xxx

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  8. I love small town romance and opposites and all that. Sounds great!

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  9. I need to add this to my to-be-read next list, that cover wasn't hot, but the new one is so I'm bumping this up! :P plus, I love Jenner so I'm hoping our retired blogger turned knocks my socks off :D

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