Title: Bittersweet Creek by Sally Kirkpatrick
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 320 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
From the author of The Happy Hour Choir comes a Romeo and Juliet story with Southern flair–witty, warm, and as complex and heart-wrenching as only love and family can be.
For a century and a half, the Satterfield and McElroy farms have been separated by a narrow creek and a whole lot of bad blood. Both sides have done their share of damage. But the very worst crime either family can commit is to fall in love with the enemy. As teenagers, Romy Satterfield and Julian McElroy did exactly that. Then, on the night they were secretly married by a justice of the peace, Julian stood Romy up.
Ten years later, Romy is poised to marry the scion of one of Nashville’s most powerful families. First she has to return home to Ellery to help her injured father–and to finalize her divorce. For Julian, seeing Romy again brings into relief the secrets he’s kept and the poison that ran through his childhood. Romy has missed the farm and the unpretentious, downright nosy townsfolk. In spite of her efforts, she’s also missed Julian. But though she suspects there’s more to that long-ago night than Julian ever revealed, the truth will either drive her away for good, or reveal what is truly worth fighting for. . .
Bittersweet Creek by Sally Kirkpatrick is a funny and poignant second chance at love romance. A well rounded cast of characters bring this story vibrantly to life but it is the true to life storyline that will resonate with readers.
Romy Satterfield has come a long way in the ten years since leaving home. After completing college, she took a job as an English teacher in an inner city high school. She is in a comfortable relationship with a wealthy Nashville attorney. As far as she is concerned, her small town roots are firmly behind her, but when her dad needs help after breaking his leg, Romy discovers that her past is nowhere near as resolved as she thinks. This realization is brought home when she comes face to face with her high school sweetheart (and secret husband) Julian McElroy.
Julian did what he thought was best to protect Romy all those years ago, but his decision definitely took a toll on him. He made a lot of stupid choices and took a lot of unnecessary risks, but he finally decided to get his act together. He is living and working on the family farm and to help make ends meet, he also works as a mechanic in one of the local car dealerships. Julian never quite forgot his first love and although they have previously managed to avoid each other on Romy’s rare visits home, they are not so lucky this time around.
Although Romy returns to help her dad, she is also determined to put an end to her ill-fated marriage. She never understood why Julian abandoned her and although ten years have passed, Julian still remains unwilling to discuss his decision. He agrees to sign the divorce papers, but complications arise after her boyfriend discovers she kept her marriage a secret. After learning about her father’s possible plans for the family farm, Romy makes an impetuous decision that jeopardizes the future of her relationship with her boyfriend.
While Romy is trying to figure out what comes next for her, Julian continues to try to keep his father from destroying his legacy. The situation between them is quite volatile and Julian is quite suspicious of his dad’s sudden capitulation regarding their land. In the midst of his family’s ongoing drama, Julian and Romy are thrown together when she needs his assistance with some of the day to day operations on her farm. They are both surprised to discover they still harbor feelings for one another but will Julian’s secrets and fears ruin their chance at happiness?
A wonderful balance of serious, real life issues and plenty of laugh out loud humor, Bittersweet Creek by Sally Kirkpatrick is a captivating small town romance with a refreshingly realistic storyline. The characters are down to earth and likable with relatable flaws and issues to overcome. The plot is quite engaging and moves at brisk pace. An all around feel good read that I highly recommend to anyone who enjoys small town contemporary romances.