I thoroughly enjoyed Candis Terry's Sugar Shack series with
its small town quirks that included a deceased mother
haunting the backseat of the old family car. With so many
books in my to-read pile I must admit to wondering if I
wanted to follow her into a new series set in the small town
of Sweet, Texas. Now that I've been there once, I
absolutely look forward to my next visit. With ANYTHING BUT
SWEET, Candis Terry has moved to the top of my list of go-to
authors for a small-town-America romance.
Ms. Terry first introduced the people of Sweet, Texas in
Home Sweet Home, a novella available in the anthology For
Love and Honor. Sweet is a quintessential American small
town struggling to stay current while maintaining its charm
and hominess. The people are as warm, welcoming, caring, and
nosy as you would expect. It's that sense of home and family
that calls to Charlotte "Charli" Brooks, host of My New
Town, who has whirled into town with a film crew to give
the town a much needed facelift. Charli spent her life
moving from place to place with her Marine father and has
always longed for a permanent place of belonging; something
she hasn't had since the death of her mother so many years
ago. She quickly starts to fall in love with the people of
Sweet, especially Reno.
Ex-Marine Reno Wilder likes Sweet just the way it is. He is
especially against Charli's plan to makeover his hardware
store, a place he ran with his father until his death a few
years earlier. Reno has experience with loss and abandonment
and takes comfort in the familiar. He doesn't need Charli
changing everything and challenging his peace and quiet. He
has set his mind on not giving into the attraction that
flares between them... too bad his heart has other plans.
ANYTHING BUT SWEET is a smart, heartwarming love story of
two people who have more in common then they realize.
Charli is intelligent, optimistic, and confident yet
fundamentally lonely. Reno is strong, caring, stubborn, and
feels safer alone then trusting in love after so much loss.
Their conversations and arguments feel genuine and form the
basis for the risk they take to be together. Their friends
and family alternately challenge and support them, believing
in the best of who they are. I want to live in Sweet! If I
had one quibble it was feeling that the television aspect of
the story was underdeveloped. The crew was scarcely seen
and Charli never seemed to consult a producer or director.
I suspect a host generally does not have the autonomy Charli
enjoyed. It's a small issue, though.
ANYTHING BUT SWEET is a definite must read for fans of
contemporary romance. If you love Robyn Carr, you will love
For years Ex–Marine Reno Wilder managed to uphold
his end of the Wilder Boys' wild reputation. But the scars
of war and the deaths of those he loved have flipped the
switch on his point of view. Now, to keep tradition and
memories alive, he'll settle for a staid life of wash,
When the senior citizens of Sweet, Texas believe it's
time for their little town to become a destination for
tourists they contact a new TV makeover show. Their
community is chosen to participate and everyone is
A woman who wants to change everything . . .
Beneath her headstrong desire to upend Reno's peace and
quiet, makeover show host and designer Charlotte Brooks has
something to offer that has nothing to do with changing
drapes and everything to do with showing him that change can
be sexy, hot, and very, very sweet.
Face–off for a happily–ever–after .
Neither of them saw coming. Who will stand their ground?
Who will find common ground? And who will let go of their
past and grab hold of a future full of promise?