A SWEET LOWCOUNTRY PROPOSAL - Preslaysa Williams
Harper Collins/Avon Books
Cheryl McNeil (B+)
REVIEW: Jaslene Simmons runs a successful wedding planning business in Charleston, South Carolina. Two years ago her world was shattered when her sister and business partner, Hope, died in a car accident. Jaslene was set to marry her college sweetheart the same day, and broke off her engagement as she struggled to deal with grief and poured all her energy into her niece. She has all but abandoned the design aspect of the business, which was Hope’s expertise, but reluctantly agrees to plan and design her best friend Sasha’s wedding. Marcus Carter is passionate about his work as an archivist and researcher at the Lowcountry African American museum. If things had been different, he would be married to the love of his life, Jaslene. He’s struggled to get his latest exhibit approved, which focuses on members of New Life Church from the 1820’s. His estranged grandfather, Pastor Clark, also leads the church.
Jaslene and Marcus need to work together since Sasha’s wedding will be at the museum. Sasha set things up to ensure Jaslene would run into Marcus. She is a well-meaning friend and pushes Jaslene in areas where she needs a nudge. Marcus doesn’t realize how much he misses Jaslene until he sees her for the first time. Feelings come rushing back for Jaslene as she remembers being lost in his embrace. It’s also heartwarming for Jaslene to see the results of her sister’s charity work with the museum.
Jaslene and Marcus realize while working together
that there are more factors that contributed to their break up. Marcus is also still dealing with grief and guilt from his brother’s death. He and Jaslene unfortunately have the loss of a sibling in common. They have to determine if their love is strong enough to move forward. I like how Marcus takes the first step in repairing his relationship with Jaslene. He courts her and she is eager to spend time with him. Their flame is still smoldering. Marcus also takes the initiative to repair the relationship with his grandfather. Despite Pastor Clark being difficult and set in his ways, his love and respect for his wife is obvious. It’s a love that Jaslene hasn’t yearned for in a long time. Grandpa Clark also gives great advice to Marcus to go after his woman.
A strong theme, in A SWEET LOWCOUNTRY PROPOSAL, besides 'second chance love' is 'restoring relationships and forgiveness'. The events surrounding New Life Church and the Clark’s ancestors in the 1820’s is an interesting side story. I noticed a minor issue surrounding the timing of Hope’s accident as compared to the wedding but overall, this is a very good read and I recommend it.
5th January 2023