cover image Sweet Talk Me

Sweet Talk Me

Kieran Kramer. St. Martin’s Paperbacks, $7.99 mass market (320p) ISBN 978-1-25

Regency romance author Kramer (Say Yes to the Duke) makes a clumsy foray into sweet Southern romance that goes down like a bottle of corn syrup. Early conversations between True Maybank, a nervous young woman from an impoverished genteel family in tiny Biscuit Creek, Ga., and her childhood sweetheart, Harrison Gamble, the bootlegger’s boy turned country music star, read like a heap of clichés tumbled with a checklist of plot points to be ticked off before the end of the novel. The forgettable story neatly lines up with expectations set in the first few pages, providing a smooth cruise with no real surprises. Authentic Southern flavor depends on creativity and spunk, both of which are sadly lacking here. (Apr.)