Book: Lucky Charmed
Author: Sharla Lovelace
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 18, 2017
Carmen Frost hates honey. And bees. And in her hometown of Charmed, Texas, which practically invented the stuff, that’s a problem. The good news is that the summer Honey Festival is finally over. Even better, so is the annual Lucky Hart carnival, a road show that made off with her dreams years ago—including the boy she loved. Now she’s got a divorce behind her, and a successful law career in front of her, but in a tiny town, big memories die hard. Or they don’t die at all—as Carmen discovers when she runs into an all too familiar pair of eyes—older, wiser, and just as heart-melting as ever . . .
Sully Hart has had enough of the nomad lifestyle. Travelling with his father’s carnival gave him adventures, but it cost him much more. Now he’s home to stay, contracted to create an entertainment complex in Charmed. He wants roots, a house with a yard and all the mundane pleasures that go with it. But the girl he loved has become a woman who still wants freedom. Can she still want him? It seems he and Carmen are at each other’s throats one minute—and on each other’s lips the next. Someone’s gotta give . . .
It hasn’t been so long since I’ve left Charmed, Texas so it was an even easier read since I knew the people from the previous book. And though this may not particularly hold true for other series, it was a good thing in this case. This is a small town with varying characters residing in, and each one of them have something little or other changing in the books. I know I’ve had my thoughts about both reading the story from one character’s point of view and the general tone of the previous book, but having read this one I can tell that now I truly get the kind of storytelling Sharla Lovelace has. This is a romance book that’s for sure, but it’s also so much about the characters who’re telling us the story. Which is why, I believe, we hear them along the way, all the way.
We know Carmen from A CHARMED LITTLE LIE, she was the lawyer and friend to that book’s heroine. Clues were given to us as to the kind of person she was but more importantly the kind of romance she was going to have in her own book. It was intriguing because she had once loved and lost. When she was young she fell in love with the boy whose family ran the carnival that visited their town. They fell fast and hard, but it was short lived because the boy left. With no goodbye. Fast forward fifteen years, and we have a bit bitter, a bit sad and a lot lonely Carmen who has a nasty divorce behind her and a lot of gossip still ahead. Then enter Sully, the boy she once loved but left her, and people start talking, hearts continue breaking, and emotions run high.
Since Carmen is the narrator, she was the one I got to know best among everyone. And while I might’ve had my reservations with it like I did in the previous book, I now know this is just the way it is. After I’ve made my peace with that, with the fact that I wasn’t going to get to know Sully as well as Carmen, I was able to focus solely on their romance and Carmen’s development. Because develop she did. She started out as a woman whose life was on hold, one who had a dream but not the courage to take the step to live it. But while I’ve read, she faced her past, her fears and her future, and made a grab for herself. I found a lot of myself in Carmen, minus-sadly- the sexy carnie whose spirit always wanted back to her.
I’m adding four spoonfuls of this story into my hodgepodge. I want you to know, and this is the best part of why I think I’ll really like these stories, that these books are not just about the romance but even more so about the women who tell them. So, you go Carmen. And right now, I can’t wait for the next one, where Alli will talk to me all about this thing that she has with a certain bee breeder.
I lifted my chin, and refused to look away. No matter what was liquefying in my chest as his gaze burned through me. No matter what images flashed like a movie reel in my head. I wouldn’t give him that satisfaction.
“Good for you,” I said, placing the package back on the shelf. I needed them more than ever but I would not need them in front of him. “Welcome back to Charmed.”
I made to walk around him, but the heat from his hand on my arm stopped me.
His voice was like hot honey over my body.
I hate honey.
I was proud of myself. My acting ability to not suck my tongue down my throat, or choke on my own spit, or jerk my arm free like I’d been bitten by a rabid squirrel—was Oscar-worthy. Instead, I patted his hand and smiled up at him, slowly stepping to the side until his fingers slid free.
“We’re grown-ups now, Sully,” I said, wondering where the hell the words were coming from. “It’s all good. Have a great day.”
And I walked away. And out. And to my car. The pains stabbing through my middle stealing my breath. Damn grateful for nothing else in my hand because being chased down for shoplifting cookies while in a blind haze of what-the-fuckery would have been the final icing on a messed up cake.
Fumbling for my keys, I hit the button and got in as quickly as possible. I had to leave. Now. Before he came out. Before I could see what he was driving and then obsess over every other that vehicle I saw in every other parking lot in Charmed. Before I could succumb to the temptation of watching to see where he went. Where he lived, what his home looked like.
“Leave,” I whispered, my voice sounding vaguely desperate. I felt the burn behind my eyes and I shook my head and tilted my head back. “No. You will not cry, damn it.”
I blinked at the roof. I was thirty-three. Eighteen was a long time ago. Suck it up, Carmen.
I took a deep breath and faced forward, just in time to see him walk out of the store. He’d slid the sunglasses down over his eyes, causing a stray lock of dark hair to fall next to his face. He was probably twenty-five feet away, and I could feel that strand of hair on my fingertips.
Without another look, I pulled out and drove away.
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Sharla Lovelace is the bestselling, award-winning author of sexy small-town love stories. Being a Texas girl through and through, she’s proud to say she lives in Southeast Texas with her retired husband, a tricked-out golf cart, and two crazy dogs. She is the author of five stand-alone novels including the bestselling Don’t Let Go, the exciting Heart Of The Storm series, and the fun and sexy new Charmed in Texas series. For more about Sharla’s books, visit her website, and keep up with all her new book releases easily by subscribing to her newsletter. She loves keeping up with her readers, and you can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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