Review: Sweet Tea
SWEET TEA - Piper Huguley
Hallmark Publishing
July 2021
Contemporary Romance
REVIEWER: Brenda Larnell | RATING: B+
REVIEW: Talk about “Hallmark for Television” ready, SWEET TEA is that story! This story has some great bones that qualify it for that outlet: 1. The allure of the exciting big city until it’s not. 2. Small town life will save you. 3. Love is magical. Talented author, Piper Huguley takes the reader back to Milford, Georgia, the town that birthed the Smithson ancestors and home to Milford College, an HBCU. The heroine, Althea “Tea” Dailey is a daughter of Milford who left the town to attend college in the North, resides in New York City, and becomes a very successful lawyer. She had her reasons that you will discover when you read the story. Jack Darwent, the story’s hero, has a passion for cooking, instead of the law, and it is that passion that leads him to Milford to document the culinary expertise of Althea’s grandmother, Miss Ada, who is known for her extraordinaire cooking skills at the college.

SWEET TEA is a sweet interracial romance that had me wondering if the hero and heroine would ever get together. The intellectual property lawyer, Althea, does not trust Jack, the trust fund scion of a prestigious Southern family. She thinks he is out to take advantage of her grandmother, and to steal her recipes. In spite of her mistrust of Jack, with his help, Althea is able to shed some of the layers that she has shielded her true-self with, and to rediscover what she is missing in life. Jack is also fighting some demons of his past that Althea calls him out on. While they are both struggling to get their lives together, Miss Ada or Granda, as Althea calls her, sits back in all her wisdom and shakes her head at the young folk trying to figure it out.

However, the one thing that this engaging story is missing is the spark that stokes the fire between Jack and Tea. There’s not enough intimacy which makes their romance a little sterile. It has nothing to do with sex, but everything to do with those special moments that signal that a couple is going to be fire together. I don’t get that with Althea and Jack, whom she announces at the end of the story as her “very special friend”.

All the minor characters contribute to the intrigue of the story and the development of the main characters. Ms Ada, Althea’s grandmother,  stands out! I love the foodie aspect of the story. There is some fantastic southern cooking happening that will have your mouth watering. Kudos to Ms Huguley for including a couple of recipes at the end of the book. The HFN is satisfying.

SWEET TEA has a lot of layers, and I enjoyed them all. I recommend this entertaining story for your reading pleasure.

14th July 2021 |