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Ain't She Sweet? Review written June 16, 20163.8 Stars An ironic, emotional and entertaining black sheep returner romance in great SEP styleAin t She Sweet , a standalone non series romance from 2004 written by one of my absolutely most admired and beloved m f romance authors in this traditional light nice contemporary genre Always much joy and heart.So even this time A nearly perfect SEP story, but for me, a few weaknesses in the audiobook edition Thus, a lower rating ranking this tim Review written June 16, 20163.8 Stars An ironic, emotional and entertaining black sheep returner romance in great SEP styleAin t She Sweet , a standalone non series romance from 2004 written by one of my absolutely most admired and beloved m f romance authors in this traditional light nice contemporary genre Always much joy and heart.So even this time A nearly perfect SEP story, but for me, a few weaknesses in the audiobook edition Thus, a lower rating ranking this time I listened to the 11 35 hours audiobook narrated by Kate Flemming aka Kate Fleming orknown as Anna Fields , a established usually very good SEP narrator Parrish, Mississippi USAin t She Sweetis the 15 years later returning, three times married, admirable tough woman, Sugar Beth Carey s, and the by now famous local author, once a young British highschool teacher, Colin Byrne s, struggling and bumpyEnemy to Loversstory The tiny town of Parrish, MS, isn t exactly welcoming wild child Sugar Beth Carey home with open arms Nobody has forgotten the former town princess s selfish and demanding ways She, Sugar Beth a silly name or , is without even a penny but sha has an old aunt s small legacy and a very famous artist s old painting to hope for He, Colin has revenge and repayment to look forward to Moreover, he now owns the big southern house our heroine grew up in Colin also hangs out with her old boyfriend who in his turn now is married to the girl Sugar Beth used to bully and make life miserable for every day then back in their teen years.It is a mess and this, to begin with, rather unsympathetic, by life worn, tired and very cynical heroine has hurdles to cross Nobody likes her NO ONE wants Sugar Beth back in ParrishAin t She Sweetis a wonderful story in the very best Susan Elizabeth Phillips style Funny scenes, heartbreaking moments, hilarious dialogue and a wonderful bunch of interesting second characters Add, as always, a fantastic brave and easy to like heroine and all in all great believable adult heartwarming love Me loving Me needSEP booksoften My only small complaint is that the, in every other way great, narrator this time partly destroyed the sexy hero by doing his voice way too ridiculously silly Perhaps that is how Americans see and hear the Brits and their in my opinion mostly fine English language speaking but for me was it too much His voice did it in the end hard for me to feel him as the Dream MAN and truly take him to my romantic heart Sadly on an otherwise very good and fabulous well narrated audiobook My recommendation is thus read the book this time instead of spending money on an expensive audio book I LIKE a solid good SEP every time The girl everybody loves to hate has returned to the town she d sworn to leave behind forever As the rich, spoiled princess of Parrish, Mississippi, Sugar Beth Carey had broken hearts, ruined friendships, and destroyed reputations But fifteen years have passed, and life has taught Sugar Beth its toughest lessons Now she s come home broke, desperate, and too proud to show itLiked this one a lot Had read it years ago but had sort of forgotten what it was about Sugar Beth was such a strong cha The girl everybody loves to hate has returned to the town she d sworn to leave behind forever As the rich, spoiled princess of Parrish, Mississippi, Sugar Beth Carey had broken hearts, ruined friendships, and destroyed reputations But fifteen years have passed, and life has taught Sugar Beth its toughest lessons Now she s come home broke, desperate, and too proud to show itLiked this one a lot Had read it years ago but had sort of forgotten what it was about Sugar Beth was such a strong character Yeah, she had grown up in the fifteen years since she had left Aren t most girls kinda bitches in High School Maybe not all, but some But would the town of Parrish forgive and forget And would the High School English teacher forgive and forget also Colin Perhaps now is the time to tell you that I have a weakness for agreeable women Sugar Beth Well, that sure does leave me out Colin Exactly With agreeable women, I m unendingly considerate Gallant even Sugar Beth But with tarts like me, the gloves are off, is that it Colin I wouldn t exactly call you a tart But then, I tend to be broad minded Colin Byrne yeah, his Dad was Irish came across as a bit of a Dandy and a Fop But still a lovable Dandy In high school Sugar Carey had reigned supreme She alone had decided what or who was cool Her spiral perm had been the perm against which all others were measured, and her opinion on which boys were acceptable to date the only one that counted A beautiful, blonde if not always benevolent dictator, she had a reputation for being the wild child in her home town, the girl most likely to set the world on fire, and leave a trail of destruction in her wake When she left home she swore she d never return Only now, fifteen years and several husbands later, she s run out of money, luck and optionsBut Sugar arrives back home to discover that everyone else is living her life Her half sister is married to Sugar s high school sweetheart, the teacher she schemed to get fired is now a successful novelist and owns her old house She also discovers that people have long memories especially where Sugar is concerned No surprise here I loved it when I read it and I loved it just a littlewhen I listened to it Keeping this one short and sweet Most of you already know that Susan Elizabeth Phillips is one my most favorite authors I had gone on a binge not too long ago and read through quite a few of her books, falling in love with most all of them I had saved a few for my inevitable need for a little of the magic she so easily delivers with her writing No surprise here I loved it when I read it and I loved it just a littlewhen I listened to it Keeping this one short and sweet Most of you already know that Susan Elizabeth Phillips is one my most favorite authors I had gone on a binge not too long ago and read through quite a few of her books, falling in love with most all of them I had saved a few for my inevitable need for a little of the magic she so easily delivers with her writing.Ain t She Sweet gave me that magic and it was a fabulous read It was SEP telling a story in her true form Giving us two main characters that were completely lovable apart and when they were together they were delectable Then top that off with side characters that are fun and quirky and you get all of the greatness They truly are the ones that strengthens the story line and wraps everything together perfectly.I m happy I m content If you love SEP and haven t read this one, move it up your TBR You are missing out on a gem I thought I d write a review on this book this time around but I thought I d write a review on this book this time around but I ve never been around to attend my high school reunions when they pop up, but sometimes I wish I could go just to see how far some of those wannabe socialites have fallen from their high horse I know it s kind of mean, but let s just say my school years were not kind In It is six o clock in the morning I have no reason to be up right now except for the fact that finishing this book gave me the worst night s sleep I ve had in a long time Man this book bothered me Please excuse the following rant, I really need to get this out of my system First off, I love SEP, and I have a habit of finishing her books in one sitting because of how good they are This time I finished the book in one sitting because I was so frustrated I couldn t bear to go to bed with it It is six o clock in the morning I have no reason to be up right now except for the fact that finishing this book gave me the worst night s sleep I ve had in a long time Man this book bothered me Please excuse the following rant, I really need to get this out of my system First off, I love SEP, and I have a habit of finishing her books in one sitting because of how good they are This time I finished the book in one sitting because I was so frustrated I couldn t bear to go to bed with it unfinished.To begin with, the whole Winnie premise made not a lick of sense to me she MARRIED Ryan, for God s sake, and became best friend with every mean hateful girl from highschool Forgave every.single.one Not one grudge held on any of them And her best friends hate Sugar Beth for forgetting them after highschool Seriously That s the reason to be so cruel And suddenly they re Winnie s best friends Seriously These characters need to GROW UP.I just couldn t handle it It literally set my teeth on edge Winnie was uncompromising and mean Look, she had it rough I grant you and Sugar Beth was terrible during highschool The things she did were horribly mean spirited and I felt so sorry for Winnie There needed to be some come uppance, but I hated how it was handled.I especially hated Winnie s inability to feel ANY empathy It completely ruined her as a character From her very first comment let the games begin I started to dislike her Winnie had already got EVERYTHING the whole town was on her side, everyone already knew Sugar Beth had been terrible, and Winnie had inherited and sold every single piece of Sugar Beth s history Seriously, the comeuppance had already HAPPENED So when she was so rude at the party I could agree with Colin that I was ashamed she couldn t rise above the situation Even after the wine down the front of her shirt when she told Sugar Beth to get her forkmy God I could have screamed Honestly Screamed.Sugar Beth needed to be taken to task for her behaviour, yes But her comment I feel like I was raped after Colin s book is published is apt They really whipped her raw And no fancy wedding made up for that for me THIS WAS TERRIBLE 3 June 2018 reread This is as good as I remembered I acquired the audio via Overdrive to see if that made a difference It did, but not for the better which was a surprise as I generally enjoy a Southern accent and this has lots of those I didn t like the emotional interpretation, particularly near the end when Sugar Beth is uncertain The narrator added frantic anddespair than I think was warranted Also, the narrator inflected some of the Grand Sophy quotes each chapter starts with 3 June 2018 reread This is as good as I remembered I acquired the audio via Overdrive to see if that made a difference It did, but not for the better which was a surprise as I generally enjoy a Southern accent and this has lots of those I didn t like the emotional interpretation, particularly near the end when Sugar Beth is uncertain The narrator added frantic anddespair than I think was warranted Also, the narrator inflected some of the Grand Sophy quotes each chapter starts with a Heyer quote in ways you d know were wrong if you were familiar with the story and that irked me, too This was a complete delight from start to finish Francis Elizabeth who everybody calls Sugar Beth because this is the South, apparently was a very rich and entitled teen in a very small town Her dad was the most important businessman and her mom the most important social director For the most part, it seems her rule was strict though benevolent, but with two exceptions The first is view spoiler her half sister hide spoiler Winnie Davis Sugar Beth takes every opportunity to isolate, pick on, and even terrorize the lonely brain The second is the new, young teacher she got fired by leveling accusations of sexual misconduct And then she went on to college where she torched all her remaining connection to the town by callously dumping her High School sweetheart and being too good for her friends So Sugar Beth was very bad, with some outright evil in her past And her life went downhill from there with a string of no good exes and a drop into poverty And like many but not all who find themselves at the end of their resources, Sugar Beth did some soul searching so we find her at the beginning of this book as a reformed woman forced by circumstances to return to town and take all the bitter recriminations and payback she knows she deserves Making this go from potentially painful to probable torture is that Winnie Davis is now the town social director and she married Sugar s HS sweetheart who is now the owner of the local company enterprise and leading businessman So Sugar has been a hiss and a byword for near a decade What made this engaging is that Sugar Beth doesn t indulge in excuses or try to manipulate others on the strength of her reformation Yes, she s a better person, but she also knows exactly what she did and that she pretty much deserves all the petty spite she receives Part of her new found strength is becoming self reliant enough to trust her heart and to be honestly doing her best to be kind and helpful even as she s trying to find the McGuffin she needs to take care of a dependent who needs her So she s strong and courageous and in such a way that she doesn t feel she has to prove it to everybody else.And, of course, that teacher she got fired Yeah, he s back, too, and interested in his pound of flesh I liked Colin and I was really glad that SEP kept his revenge reasonable he really is a fundamentally nice guy Given that this is a romance and we knew he d come to regret being mean it was good to see him, yes, enjoy the payback a bit, but also to understand that he isn t so much the bitter jerk he could have been as he is a mostly nice guy presented with a golden opportunity for some quality entertainment Plus, his banter with Sugar Beth is outstanding Seriously, it is worth the read for that alone.I really enjoyed the underlying theme of redemption and kindness and empowerment and being true to yourself And I liked that Sugar s repentance was independent of the forgiveness extended by others She apologized, sincerely, and that was really all she could do at this stage as her ability to repair anything had been stripped by the disaster her life had become It took a lot of strength of character and I loved seeing her rise to the occasion and watching that affect and engage and even inspire Colin was rather fun as well.And SEP knocks the secondary characters and plots out of the park as well Since this takes place in a small Southern town, that s important to note I won t go into details except to say that I really liked how it came together with all the complexity it needed, without bogging down the main plotline unduly.So yeah, strong on all fronts and a solid five stars.A note about Steamy I let too much time pass before reviewing this, so I no longer recall the exact number of explicit sex scenes It was the middle of my steam tolerance but edging up, as I recall And yes, there was a secondary romance with some heat to it, as well Frankly, I really enjoyed that secondary romance as it involved another redemption forgiveness arc, but in a completely different way from Sugar s Have you ever experienced reading and enjoying it, until the author says something, which is quite unforgiveable that it destroyed almost everything Well, I did Susan Elizabeth Phillips had done that mistake.One of the characters of the book described a pug, UGLY I love pugs.How can this pug be ugly Pugsley, my pet dog, God bless his soul, is really adorable How could anyone call him ugly And now, Pugsley is crying.But despite my seething anger, I continued on, chanting She called a pug ugly Have you ever experienced reading and enjoying it, until the author says something, which is quite unforgiveable that it destroyed almost everything Well, I did Susan Elizabeth Phillips had done that mistake.One of the characters of the book described a pug, UGLY I love pugs.How can this pug be ugly Pugsley, my pet dog, God bless his soul, is really adorable How could anyone call him ugly And now, Pugsley is crying.But despite my seething anger, I continued on, chanting She called a pug ugly again and again But obviously, the chanting didn t work I still loved this book.How could I hate it, when I was still up 3am in the morning, trying to finish it And, pray, tell me, how I could hate a book with a hero who has a British accent That got me all weak in the knees already.Speaking aside, the story is cute and the happily ending well deserved The bantering of the H h is refreshing The dialogues are all witty and humorous I was laughing loud so often, I thought the doctors are going to take me away.The plot, though not actually unique,the heroine had three ex husbands and was a mean ass is high schoolis still good, since Susan Elizabeth Phillips added tons of new stuff to it, that it became an original.I should also mention that this book taught me that it s never too late for love Despite all the heartaches that can come my way, we should never close our doors And also, it s never to late to ask for sorry.This book is 97th on the All About Romance Top 100 list And I m wondering why it isn t any higher.BTW, Susan, I forgive you for saying that a pug is ugly.However, I think Pugsley does not He takes things quite seriously He is deeply hurt, thus, the frown 5 Stars A book you can sink your teeth into It consumed me In no way did I think these characters could endear themselves to me, particularly Sugar Beth, but much to my surprise not only did I like them, I was rooting for a good outcome No one, I mean no one, can write snarky witty dialogue like SEP can, and how she managed to make me like some of these characters is beyond my thinking at the moment I don t even know where to start with this one, but in the beginning, I just couldn t see how 5 Stars A book you can sink your teeth into It consumed me In no way did I think these characters could endear themselves to me, particularly Sugar Beth, but much to my surprise not only did I like them, I was rooting for a good outcome No one, I mean no one, can write snarky witty dialogue like SEP can, and how she managed to make me like some of these characters is beyond my thinking at the moment I don t even know where to start with this one, but in the beginning, I just couldn t see how anything good could come of this story, but hell, what do I know You just don t know about someone, until you really get to know them You think you know what drives them, but do you really Talk about a mean girl, Sugar Beth takes the crown, and yet, she turned out to be one of the most appealing characters I ve ever had the pleasure to read about Colin is the last person you would think could forgive, but not until he s exacted his revenge However, revenge can be bittersweet, especially when the one you want to hurt is the last person in the world you should be hurting, but you don t realize it until everything is set in motion, then it just becomes painful and you are powerless to stop it Sugar Beth s strength and resolve floored Colin and me I will stop rambling now, but if you are looking for something different, a book that will make your head spin, make you contemplate why people do what they do, then read this The ending is worth the pain it drags everyone through, including the readerThank you KarLyn for recommending this SEP It s no wonder it s one of your favorites, it s now one of mine too I can definitely see myself reading this again