December 02, 2013

Review: Welcome to Sugartown by Carmen Jenner

Title: Welcome to Sugartown
Author: Carmen Jenner
Genre: Contemporary New Adult
Release Date: November 3, 2013

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.



What a nice little surprise. I have to be honest, despite the warning under the blurb, I genuinely expected this to be all fluff. Sexy fluff, but fluff none-the-less. Which may be why when I started to realize that this story actually had meat, I couldn’t put it down.

I’m over bad boys. Somewhere along the way the line has become increasingly and disturbingly blurred between bad boy, and abusive boy. But there has always been a part of me who yearns for an author to do it right again. For there to be a bad boy who is rebellious, who may have a lot of tattoos and a foul mouth, who wants to get her in bed because he thinks she’s hot and he’s horny, who isn’t afraid to speak his mind, but who is also respectful. One who doesn’t manipulate her or man handle her into acting the way he wants her to. One who makes mistakes because mistakes are a part of life, but who also realizes when he’s made a mistake and learns from it. That Bad Boy is Elijah Cade, and Carmen Jenner is that author.   

Complimenting Elijah perfectly is Ana. That’s another thing that I believe has been missing from NA for a while. Heroines who can actually handle the hero. It doesn’t matter if I think the hero is sexy if the heroine can’t handle the way he is. Maybe I need to adopt the “it’s just a book” mentality to deal with that, but to me, if the story doesn’t work for BOTH characters, it doesn’t work for me.  Ana can definitely handle Elijah. I’m not going to say there weren’t times when she annoyed me, because there were. She’s young and every now and then her age shows in her naivety, but it isn’t to the point that it affected my appreciation for the story. She makes up for it in her feistiness, and for the vast majority of the book, I enjoyed being inside her head.   

A lot of things happened in this story that I did not expect, but for spoilers’ sake, I won’t delve into them. I will say, however, that they are weighty issues. They may rub some readers the wrong way. Do not go into Welcome to Sugartown expecting sunshine and roses because that’s not what this story is. It is sexy as hell and even sweet at times, but other times it is not for the faint of heart.  

Overall, Welcome to Sugartown is the perfect blend of all the right things. Dark but not too dark. Airy but not fluffy (it totally makes sense, trust me). Sexy but not erotica. I would highly recommend it! If you’re an NA fan and you skip this one, you’re seriously missing out!


About Carmen

Carmen Jenner is a thirty-something author, doctor, pilot and CIA agent.

She's also a compulsive, flagrant prevaricator who gets to make things up for a living.

While Sugartown may not technically exist, Carmen grew up in a small Australian town just like it, and just like her characters, she always longed for something more. They didn't have an Elijah Cade, though. If they did, you can be sure she would have never left.


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  1. I absolutely loved this book. I was also excited to read your review.

  2. this does sound intriguing! Thanks for the great review! I'm a sucker for small town romances and throw in a bad boy and my interest is piqued :) Thanks for sharing!


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