by Alicia Hunter Pace
Publication Date August 24, 2021
Published by Carina Press
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Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Romance, Small Town & Rural, Sports
A pro hockey player learns that home is where the heart is in the first novel of a delightful new series from USA TODAY bestselling author Alicia Hunter Pace
Evans Pemberton has always had a problem saying no. To her overbearing Mississippi Delta family, to her business mentor’s push to expand her thriving pie shop and to her lifelong crush, Jake Champagne. But Jake chose her beauty queen cousin three years ago and ghosted on their close friendship. When he comes to her small town in Alabama with a new pro hockey franchise, Evie fears she’ll lose her heart all over again. Of course, she'll forgive him like the good Southern woman she is, but anything more than that is off the table.
So why can’t she stop baking for him?
Jake is looking forward to a new team, a new town and a clean slate in Laurel Springs. After a disastrous year, the hockey hotshot is leaving his past behind—even betting his best friend that he can stay away from women. But he’s happy to reconnect with a piece of home when he visits Evie. Between slices of Mississippi mud pie and chicken potpie, he’s starting to remember all the good times they had and the man he always intended to be. Not to mention what a fool he was to let Evie get away…
How will they find a future together when she can’t say no and he can’t say yes? The path to true love isn’t quite easy as pie, but it sure is sweet in the end.
Good Southern Women
Book 1: Sweet as Pie
Sweet as Pie by Alicia Hunter Pace needs to come with a warning. “Will make you hungry for pie”. Besides feeling hungry while reading, I enjoyed this book very much. It’s a heartwarming book set in a town in the south and has all the charm you would expect from a book about a pie shop! Sweet as Pie is the first book in Alicia Hunter Pace’s Good Southern Women’s series, and I will be anxiously awaiting the next books in this series.
Evans Pemberton finally has opened her dream of owning a pie shop in a small town in Alabama. Her ‘silent’ partner is also the owner of a new professional Hockey team, and Evans is chosen to cater a breakfast for the players. Evans is distressed to learn one of the new players is none other than Jake Champagne, an old friend she grew up with back in the Mississippi Delta. She has a history with Jake, and when she finally decided to change their relationship from friend to more, Jake fell for Evan’s beauty queen cousin and was soon married.
Jake’s marriage soon fell apart, but he can’t figure out why his best friend Evans stopped contacting him. When he arrives in Laurel Springs, he’s happy to find his old friend Evans, but can’t figure out why she’s polite but reserved with him. He soon realizes the hurt he caused her when he fell for her cousin and decides to try to make up for his past behavior.
This book is as sweet as the pie on the cover. I enjoyed the sports aspect of the book and learned a lot about professional hockey. Jake and Evans have a complex past, and it takes some twists and turns for them both to realize they are perfect for each other. The author did an excellent job of making the town of Laurel Springs come alive, and I felt like I want to live there. I highly recommend this book to lovers of small-town romance with the caveat that you should read this book on a full stomach! I received a complimentary copy of this book. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.