Friday, May 16, 2014

Welcome to Sugartown by Carmen Jenner

** 3.5 out of 5 Stars **

**WARNING!  This review contains spoilers (it's a spoiler blog).  If you don't like spoilers please don't read below my initial review.  You've been warned :)**

**WARNING:  This book does contain a rape scene.  If you have issues reading books with dark matter then this may not be the book for you.**

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.

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 nymph best friend, an overbearing father, a cuter than humanly possible kid brother, a wanton womanizing cousin, the ex form hell, and more pies than you could poke

And you though small towns were boring.

Welcome to Sugartown.


Honestly this book wasn't what I was expecting.  I wasn't prepared for the things that came with this book.  I thought it was going to be a run of the mill love story.  Bad boy rides into town, falls for the innocent virgin, they fall in love and live happily ever after...and that's what I got until about half way through it.  I have to rate this book based on the first half vs the last half.  The characters were intriguing and the plot enjoyable.  I felt like I connected with Ana.  She was a bit reserved for my taste.  I like my heroines strong.  It's not that she wasn't just that she would come across strong and then she felt weak.  As for Elijah, honestly I thought he was a tool until I got half way though this book.  I didn't like him at all.  All he thought about was sex.  He wasn't a womanizer but he just didn't have depth in the beginning.  He reminded me more of a college frat guy than a troubled bad boy with a past.  Together they were cute but I wasn't feeling them in the beginning.  I'm not a fan of insta-love and this book had it.  About half way thorough this book took off.  There was so much going on.  It went in several different directions and I couldn't put it down.  I'm talking, it's that good.  I'm writing this review and I haven't been to bed yet.  There are huge secrets that come into play, situations happen that knock the ground out from under them and it's not any easy journey back.  The book end but it wasn't what I had hoped for.  What I wanted to happen did but it just felt rushed and I felt jilted when it finally came to an end.

What I liked:

  1. The twists and turns
  2. The banter and sexy talk between Ana and Elijah
  3. The way he was with her in the second half
What I didn't like:
  1. Elijah the first half of the book
  2. Certain points weren't needed, certain characters weren't needed
  3. The ending
All in all I would recommend this book to read.  I loved the second half of it.  It was without a doubt a 5 Star half.  The problem is, the first half was 2 stars at best.  Because of that I'm rating this at 3.5 Stars.  I did enjoy it and if you can push through the first half then you will love it.  Take a chance on it.

(Spoilers ahead:  Read at your own risk.  You've been warned!)

Ana is a small town girl that is generally bored with life.  She would like nothing better than jump ship and get out of dodge.  She has an overbearing father but he's not bad about it...just geniunely loves his daughter.  She runs the family bakery and her pies are to die for.  She's 19, a virgin, and apparently the town whore??

Elijah is a tattooed bad boy who drives a motorcycle.  He's running from his past.  He rides into town to work for Ana's father at his shop across the street from the bakery.  

The book begins with Elijah and Ana meeting a few minutes after he arrives in town.  There is an instant connection and it doesn't take long before the have their first date.  They are into each other but she's cautious.  On this first date we are introduced to Scott, who is her douche of an ex.  Elijah makes his point about exactly who she belongs to and this is when they are officially a couple.  After this date they begin spending all their time together.  He doesn't feel worthy of her but he can't stay away.  She's scared to fall for him but she's doing it anyway.  We are introduced to some chick named Nicole (honestly there was no point to part of the story line...overkill if you ask me).  She's a girl from Ana's past who at one point stole Ana ex from her.

It becomes obvious pretty quickly that Elijah is hiding something big.  He's spent time in prison but we aren't sure what for.  His mom and little sister were killed when the car they were in exploded.  He won't talk about his past at all.  And like all things do, it rears it's ugly head.

The book takes off from here.  While in town together Elijah notices a few guys watching him.  They end up being chased by these men and while running from them they wreck the motorcycle.  We find out that the men are from the Hell's Angels and that Elijah was born into the MC.  His father is the Sergeant of Arms with the club.  As part of his parole he was to have no contact with the club so he's been running from them.  They hold him at gun point while one of the members attempts to rape Ana.  He manages to get away from the guy with the gun and shoots the guy right before he can violate her.  She sees him kill the guy and realizes what he's really like.  Their relationship begins to go downhill from here and it eventually ends altogether.  He tries to get her back.  He begs, pleads, shows up at her house, her job but nothing works.  She won't talk to him.  

They end up at a bar at the same time and she catches him having sex with Nicole.  This didn't make me mad, I actually felt sorry for him.  He honestly thought he'd lost her and he was trying to forget her and got caught in the process.  I also thought, once again, this wasn't needed.  There was enough going on without the "other woman" aspect.  We don't hear from Nicole again after he chases Ana out of the bar.  They fight and go weeks without speaking.

During this time she goes to a party with her friend.  She's hanging out with her ex and drinking to much.  They end up leaving the party together.  Things start to get out of hand but she tries to stop it.  Scott, the ex isn't having it and he rapes her.  This scene is a little on the graphic side.  It's not as bad as some of the scenes of read (definitely not Eva and Frankie while Deuce was forced to watch) but it wasn't light either.  Not knowing where else to go she runs straight to Elijah.  Once he gets her calmed down and she passes out he goes after the guy.  He pretty much mutilates the guy...carves rapist into his forehead and other stuff.  He ends up spending 6-7 months in jail for the crime but believes it was worth it.  While he's in jail she will not see him.  Her dad is going to every visitation but she refuses to talk to him.  He hasn't heard from her for months and then she shows up the day he is released to give him a ride and a place to stay (with her) but she won't be with him.  She drove me crazy right here.  I wanted to smack her.  This poor guy has done everything he could to please her and she won't back down.  Honestly I would have hit the road running if it were me.  Nobody deserves to be shunned the way she did him.  

She eventually gives into him again and they finally have sex.  He's her first actual partner and he is gentle with her showing her what it should be like.  The book ends right after they sleep together.  We know they are together but we don't get anything else after it.  I wasn't feeling the ending.

Like I said, take a chance on this one.  It's a good book but it's slow for awhile.  It's worth the read though.  Enjoy!

My Elijah/Ana