Monday, September 12, 2016

Book Review and Giveaway: Southern Charmed

I really enjoy Melanie Jacobson's lighthearted romances, but after what happened in Louisiana the past few weeks, it became much more than just entertainment. Southern Charmed highlights the culture and landmarks of a beautiful state and when you see the devastation the floods have wrought on it, well, my heart just aches. I love that the author donated a portion of her proceeds from this book to help not only her own family members, but everyone affected by this tragedy. (You can see pictures and read more that here.)

Our heroine, Lila Mae, loves everything about Louisiana. She was born and raised there, and now lives at home with her widowed mother and teaches at the high school. Her mother gently reminds her quite often of how she should be out there looking for Mr. Right. Lila Mae wants to find him, too, but her only option at the moment seems to be Max Archer, a "Yankee" who once hated everything about Louisiana and humiliated her at a church dance while they were teenagers. She doesn't even count him as an eligible guy until they get put on a conference planning committee together. As they search out venues and ideas for the conference, they get to know each other and put away the prejudices they'd had from when they were teens. But Lila knows they can never go anywhere because she's not leaving Louisiana and Max won't stay. This sweet love story will have you turning pages to see if they can work it out and get their happily-ever-after.

I really liked both Max and Lila Mae. They both have passionate feelings for their work and family, they both have regrets that they try to make up for, and they both fight the answers that are right in front of them. I thought they both had a lot of depth to them and were easy to relate to. The dialogue was easy and fun and the romance was the kind to give the reader butterflies. (The perfection was only marred by a few typos, including a misspelling of the country of Colombia. That poor country never gets spelled right! LOL) But, the setting was done incredibly well and the venue search gives us a glimpse of several areas of Louisiana that made me wish I'd visited there.  You'll definitely walk away with a feeling of being "southern-charmed."

Download your Kindle copy here

Don't forget to scroll down and enter the giveaway!

Here's the back copy:

Lila Mae Guidry is a Southern girl through and through. As a fourth-generation Latter-day Saint in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, she's proud of her heritage as both a Southerner and a Saint—and she doesn't take kindly to people who disparage either. Ten years ago, Max Archer was just that kind of jerk. As the mission president's son, Max spent his entire three years mocking the South . . . and teenage Lila. After Max's family moved away, Lila forgot about her sworn enemy. Almost.

When a new job brings a grown-up Max back to Baton Rouge, Lila is less than thrilled with his reappearance, especially since everyone seems intent on throwing her together with this old adversary. Yet fight as she may, Lila soon realizes resistance is futile—their connection is undeniable. Max embodies everything she wants in a man—except perhaps the most important thing—her life is rooted in the city she loves, but his dreams are bigger than Baton Rouge. With such mismatched visions of the future, Max and Lila are faced with a life-altering decision: jeopardize their aspirations or risk losing love.

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