Title: A Taste of Sugar by Marina Adair
Sugar, Georgia Series Book Three
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 400 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
A blast from her past…
Charlotte Holden, Sugar’s favorite pediatrician, knows better than anyone that love only leads to heartbreak. Instead, she’s focused on creating the Grow Clinic, an outpatient center for children. All she has to do now is to host the best Founder’s Day Parade in the history of Sugar, Georgia, to win over a big-city donor. Easy as peach pie. Then sexy Jace McGraw blows back into town and utters those three words every woman dreads: we’re still married.
…leads to tantalizing trouble
Jace McGraw was making an offer on his dream business in Atlanta when he was told that his wife had some credit issues. Wait, his wife? The annulment went through years ago—or so he thought. He’d walked away only to keep his troublemaker reputation from ruining her dreams. But now that they have a second chance, Jace offers Charlotte a deal: he’ll grant a discreet divorce in exchange for 30 days and nights of marriage. Because this time he isn’t going to let her go without a fight.
In A Taste of Sugar, good girl Southern belle, Dr. Charlotte Holden, takes another walk on the wild side with her tattooed, bad-boy not quite ex-husband, Jace McGraw. This second chance at love romance by Marina Adair is a sweet yet scorching hot love story but it is also a beautiful journey of self discovery for the lead protagonists. Although it is the third installment in the sassy Sugar, Georgia series, it can be read as a standalone (but I highly recommend the entire series).
Jace and Charlotte impulsively (and secretly) tied the knot four years earlier and just as quickly, their marriage ended. Charlotte eventually returned to their small hometown to work in her family’s medical center while Jace steadily built his reputation as a high performance engine mechanic. Now, both are on the verge of fulfilling their longtime career goals when Jace discovers their annulment did not go through and they are, in fact, still married. Dismayed to discover it will take three weeks until their marriage is annulled, Jace and Charlotte decide give their relationship another chance. But with Jace planning on leaving and Charlotte firmly rooted in Sugar, will these two live happily ever after?
Charlotte is a highly successful and well regarded doctor who has worked hard to secure the funding for an outpatient center for children. She has finally bought a house of her own but she is still having trouble standing up to her parents. Despite having no interest in a relationship, she continues going out on blind dates arranged by her matchmaking mother. However, the biggest point of contention for her is the lack of professional respect from her father. Their working relationship is growing increasingly strained as he continues to treat her like daddy’s little girl instead of a capable adult. Afraid of disappointing her parents with her decision to keep their marriage a secret all these years, Charlotte agrees to work on her relationship with Jace, but only if he agrees to keep their marriage and current involvement under wraps.
Jace has mostly outgrown his bad boy reputation but he is afraid no one in Sugar views him as the successful man he has become instead of the wild child he used to be. He has a long history of running away from his problems and he continues to blame himself for his parents’ death. He has kept both an emotional and physical distance from his family for years but once he agrees to Charlotte’s terms, Jace knows he will finally have to face his past mistakes. Repairing his strained relationship with his brothers and reconnecting with his niece is easier than he thought but will it be enough to convince him to reassess his future plans?
Jace’s relationship with Charlotte also figures heavily into his decision about his future. Having barely recovered from her broken heart the first time he left her, Charlotte is not willing to risk getting hurt by Jace again. At first, he gives her the space she needs, but he slowly comes to the realization that she will avoid him until it is too late if he does not take drastic action. She reluctantly agrees to let him stay with her and while she would be more than happy to explore their scorching hot attraction, Jace wants more than a physical relationship. He is sweetly romantic but Charlotte resists his touching gestures until she grows weary of playing it safe. With their three week deadline looming over them, Jace and Charlotte agree to explore the possibilities between them, but outside interference eventually threatens their chance at happiness.
A Taste of Sugar is a light-hearted romance that is full of down home, Southern charm. Jace and Charlotte are well developed, charming protagonists and it is utterly delightful watching their personal growth as they make peace with their respective pasts. The secondary cast of characters is quite colorful and add to the novel’s overall appeal. The storyline is well-written, unique and quite captivating. Sweet, sexy and oh so gratifying, this third installment in Marina Adair’s Sugar, Georgia series is an absolutely outstanding novel that I thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend to fans of contemporary, small town romances.