The Inn on Sweetbriar Lane

Jeannie Chin. Forever, $8.99 mass market (352p) ISBN 978-1-5387-5360-6
Chin debuts and launches her Blue Cedar Falls series with a delightful, opposites-attract, interracial romance. Surly military veteran Clay Hawthorne arrives in his late friend Bug’s wealthy North Carolina hometown determined to realize Bug’s dream of opening a bar “for people who’d never had a seat at the table.” He finds a spot in Blue Cedar Falls’s quaint tourist district across the street from the Sweetbriar Inn. June Wu, the most responsible of three Wu daughters, helps run the inn with her stepfather, takes care of her mother as she recuperates from a lengthy hospital stay, and struggles to manage the mounting medical debt without alerting her family to their financial peril. With a new highway already disrupting tourism and threatening the economy, June strives to convince Clay to work with, not against, the other local businesses. Their relationship convincingly morphs from animosity to romance as mutual attraction leads to sweet, sexy lovemaking—but questions about whether lasting intimacy is possible given their vastly different life experiences create genuine tension. Chin rounds out the romance with a diverse, well-shaded supporting cast, a tender subplot about June’s lesbian friend coming out to her parents, and plenty of groundwork for future romances featuring the other Wu sisters. It’s a standout achievement. This edition also includes the novella “Kiss Me at Sweetwater Springs” by Annie Rains. Agent: Emily Sylvan Kim, Prospect Agency. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 08/02/2021
Release date: 09/28/2021
Genre: Romance/Erotica
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