Sweethearts of the Twilight Lanes, by Luanne Jones

>> Monday, June 23, 2003

There are some books in my TBR pile that have been there for ages. Some, I know I'll get to them eventually, but there are others that I look at and wonder what I was thinking when I bought them. Sometimes I like to just grab one of these and force myself to read it, even if it doesn't sound appealing at first.

I get mixed results with this. I did that with Forbidden Garden, for instance, and I'm glad I read it. The one I tackled this weekend, though, wasn't that good. I'm glad I'm read it too, but only because I can now add it to my Trade List instead of having it clutter my bookshelves.

The book was Sweethearts of the Twilight Lanes, by Luanne Jones

As the doyenne of Simply Southern Magazine, Tess Redding is the soul of southern hospitality -- or at least to the world around Mount Circe, Georgia. But when bad boy Flynn Garvey roars back into town, Tess's plans to leave Mount Circe are suddenly in danger of burning hotter than Atlanta after Sherman. Once upon a time the smooth-talking rebel broke her young heart, now Tess is just determined to have nothing to do with the mouth-watering, trouble-on-two-legs charmer.

But then Tess and her best pals, the Sweethearts, begin to receive anonymous blackmail notes that threaten to expose their youthful follies. Having her old exploits with Flynn revealed is the last thing Tess's sweeter-than-molasses image needs, and he is the only one who can help her. So all that's left for Tess to do is put on her best pair of pumps, march right on up to the man...and fall in love all over again.

My grade for it was a C-, and I think I've learnt my lesson. No more Southern Fiction for me, I just don't like it.

For most of the book, I just couldn't relate to the characters and their problems. Who were this people? Do people like this really exist in this world? I didn't care what happened to them, and in fact, I think I didn't even like them, Tess, with her Southern Living magazine, Wylene with her beauty pageant school and her daughters named Jolene and Brentelle, after her husband Joe Brent... Everything was a turn-off, even the way they spoke.

The book got a bit better near the end, when the Flynn - Tess relationship finally got off the ground, and when they started to put their secrets to rights, but it was too little, too late. It saved the book from being a D, but it's not enough for me to recommend it.

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