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Book CoverC2’s review of Sugar Creek (Destiny Series, Book 2) by Toni Blake.
Contemporary romance published by Avon 25 May 10

Rachel Farris had the life she always dreamed of – she was an account director at a Chicago advertising company with an awesome apartment and was living the big city life.  She had left her small town upbringing far behind and had no desire to revisit it.  Then when she found out it was her turn to help her grandmother with the harvest at the family apple orchard, Rachel dutifully requested a leave of absence.

No big deal, right?  Until her company decided it needed to downsize…right after Rachel’s team lost a major account.  So, as Rachel headed back to her hometown, she was not in the best mood and seeing blue lights in her rear-view mirror did not improve that in the slightest.

Officer Mike Romo takes law enforcement very seriously. So when he pulls over the sporty little car that just blew past his cruiser and encounters a smart-mouthed woman with tons of attitude, he is not a happy camper.  And when he finds out she is a Farris – the Romos  and Farrises have years of bad blood between them – he isn’t surprised she doesn’t follow rules.  There’s something about her that gets under his skin.

Oh – for those who hate flashback sub-plots, be warned – scattered through the book, Rachel’s grandmother tells her the story of how she came to Destiny and her romance with Mike’s grandfather. Sometimes I’m annoyed by that plot device, but it works pretty well in this book.

As Rachel settles into life in Destiny, fate continues to throw her and Mike together – small towns being what they are, they have friends in common – and they continue to snipe at each other.    Rachel finds out he has made an offer to buy out her grandmother and is not happy with the idea that a Romo might own her family’s farm.

Finally, Rachel and Mike give in to the chemistry between them and decide to have a fling.  Neither of them is looking for anything serious and they know the relationship will end when Rachel goes back to her real life.  Small towns might be great for some people but and Rachel kind of enjoys getting a chance to visit with old friends and spend time with her grandmother…as long as they all know it’s temporary.  She has a life she loves and wants to get back to in Chicago.  Doesn’t she?

Sometimes we don’t realize that our dreams have changed until we are faced with other options.  And the life we want when we are in high school and the things we think we want to accomplish then might not be the best fit for us later in life.  Watching the residents of Destiny wrestle with those ideas was interesting.

Sugar Creek was the first book I’ve read by Toni Blake but it won’t be the last.  I enjoyed her look at small town life.  Sure, it was a bit too good to be true, but most small towns in books or on TV are.  The characters were interesting and mostly well-rounded, which makes sense since this is a continuing series.

CSquareds C2 IconGrade: B-


Welcome to Destiny, Ohio—where two families have been at odds as long as anyone in town can remember.

Rachel Farris returned to her childhood home with one mission in mind: get Mike Romo out of her family’s apple orchard business and out of their lives. But hard-nosed and totally hot Mike, who happens to be the law in Destiny, is convinced the Farris clan stole the land from his family fifty years ago and he’s not backing down. Even when shapely trouble shows up in a pair of designer blue jeans. However, neither the hunky cop nor the sexy prodigal hometown girl can anticipate the electricity that heats things up whenever they’re together—adding new sizzle to an ongoing feud that’s raged for generations, and soon putting both their hearts at risk.

Read an excerpt.

Other books in the series:
Book Cover