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From beloved romance author Molly Harper (Half-Moon Hollow and The Nice Girls series) comes the first title in her new rom-com women’s fiction series, Southern Eclectic, which features the lives, losses and loves of the McCready family as they manage their family’s generational funeral home and bait shop (you read that correctly) on the shore of picturesque Lake Sackett, G From beloved romance author Molly Harper (Half-Moon Hollow and The Nice Girls series) comes the first title in her new rom-com women’s fiction series, Southern Eclectic, which features the lives, losses and loves of the McCready family as they manage their family’s generational funeral home and bait shop (you read that correctly) on the shore of picturesque Lake Sackett, Georgia. Type-A Margot Cary is the leading event planner for the crème de la crème of Chicago high society. No request is too extravagant for her to execute with trademark perfection. That is, until an unfortunate incident involving a shrimp tower, live flamingos, and a shellfish allergy puts her on the black list of the rich and social and out of a job. With the lights about to be shut off in the trendy condo she can no longer afford, and her savings account dwindling, Margot’s situation is near to desperate. In steps her birth father’s side of the family (who she’s never met), the McCreadys…the McCreadys of the McCready Family Funeral Home and Bait Shop in small town Georgia—and as luck would have it, they’re looking for an event planner and don’t care about her reputation among the A-list crowd. As Margot tackles small town life—where everyone knows everything about everyone—and builds a relationship with a father who she’d never known, she discovers the comforts that community, a rather large extended family, and a rugged, unpretentious country man can offer...


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From beloved romance author Molly Harper (Half-Moon Hollow and The Nice Girls series) comes the first title in her new rom-com women’s fiction series, Southern Eclectic, which features the lives, losses and loves of the McCready family as they manage their family’s generational funeral home and bait shop (you read that correctly) on the shore of picturesque Lake Sackett, G From beloved romance author Molly Harper (Half-Moon Hollow and The Nice Girls series) comes the first title in her new rom-com women’s fiction series, Southern Eclectic, which features the lives, losses and loves of the McCready family as they manage their family’s generational funeral home and bait shop (you read that correctly) on the shore of picturesque Lake Sackett, Georgia. Type-A Margot Cary is the leading event planner for the crème de la crème of Chicago high society. No request is too extravagant for her to execute with trademark perfection. That is, until an unfortunate incident involving a shrimp tower, live flamingos, and a shellfish allergy puts her on the black list of the rich and social and out of a job. With the lights about to be shut off in the trendy condo she can no longer afford, and her savings account dwindling, Margot’s situation is near to desperate. In steps her birth father’s side of the family (who she’s never met), the McCreadys…the McCreadys of the McCready Family Funeral Home and Bait Shop in small town Georgia—and as luck would have it, they’re looking for an event planner and don’t care about her reputation among the A-list crowd. As Margot tackles small town life—where everyone knows everything about everyone—and builds a relationship with a father who she’d never known, she discovers the comforts that community, a rather large extended family, and a rugged, unpretentious country man can offer...

30 review for Sweet Tea and Sympathy

  1. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    Sweet Tea & Sympathy by Molly Harper is a 2017 Gallery Books publication. Cute and funny contemporary romance- For the most part, Molly Harper, is known for her offbeat and delightful paranormal romance novels. While this new series is vastly different in terms of genre and settings- the cute, sweet and quirky elements you know, and love, are still prominently featured. When event planner, Margot Cary's career takes an overnight downturn, she finds herself out of work and nearly homeless. When sh Sweet Tea & Sympathy by Molly Harper is a 2017 Gallery Books publication. Cute and funny contemporary romance- For the most part, Molly Harper, is known for her offbeat and delightful paranormal romance novels. While this new series is vastly different in terms of genre and settings- the cute, sweet and quirky elements you know, and love, are still prominently featured. When event planner, Margot Cary's career takes an overnight downturn, she finds herself out of work and nearly homeless. When she is contacted, out of the clear blue sky, by her great-aunt on the McCready side of her family, who offers her a job in Lake Sackett, Georgia at the family funeral home/bait shop, Margot feels she has no other option but to accept. Once she arrives in Georgia and begins to meet her estranged father’s family, the culture shock is spectacular. Not only that, she knows that sooner or later she will have to stand face to face with her father, Stan, a man she hasn’t seen or heard from since she was a small child. But, it really is only temporary. She’s sending out her resume at every available opportunity. So, as soon as she gets a new job, she’ll be right back in the city where she belongs… right? The big city girl adapting to small town life might be a familiar fable, but it never seems to grow tiresome. In this case, hilarity is mingled with family drama, cute dogs and kids and sweet romance, peppered with just the right amount of spice, to give the story plenty of originality. In one or two places I guffawed out loud, and once I had to put the book down because I couldn’t stop laughing. Suffice it to say, the McCready family is a real hoot. Of course, there are some tender moments, too, especially between Margot and her father, who is trying unsuccessfully to build a relationship. The romance between Margot and Kyle, the widowed school principal, is very sweet and touching, as well. The characters develop nicely, and of course, Margot will discover that small town life has its advantages. Overall, this is a very light and fun southern style contemporary romance that will definitely brighten your day and lighten your mood!! 4 stars * I received a complimentary copy of this book as a member of Simon & Schuster's XOXO After Dark official street team.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Carol [Goodreads Addict]

    Sweet Tea and Sympathy is book one in the Southern Eclectic series by Molly Harper. I love the cover of this book and was so excited to win it in a Goodreads Give-a-way. Margot Cary was raised by her mother and step-father in a very un-emotional way in Chicago, Illinois. After her mother passed away and her step-father moved away, Margot remained in Chicago and became an event planner for a prestigious company. It’s one of Margot’s biggest parties and if she can pull this one off, she is sure to Sweet Tea and Sympathy is book one in the Southern Eclectic series by Molly Harper. I love the cover of this book and was so excited to win it in a Goodreads Give-a-way. Margot Cary was raised by her mother and step-father in a very un-emotional way in Chicago, Illinois. After her mother passed away and her step-father moved away, Margot remained in Chicago and became an event planner for a prestigious company. It’s one of Margot’s biggest parties and if she can pull this one off, she is sure to get the partnership she has been hoping for. Things were all going so perfectly, until the chef brought out those shrimp. Who knew flamingos loved shrimp that much. The whole thing went down in history as the flamingo debacle. And just like that, her career in Chicago was over. No one could come anywhere near her. Out of the blue, a woman popped up claiming to be her Aunt Tootie. Margot discovers she has a whole town full of relatives from her biological father she knew nothing about. And they want to hire her. She’s about to be homeless, can’t find a job anywhere, so she takes the offer. It will just be temporary, only until she can find something better. Should she remember Lake Sackett, Georgia? She was so little when her mother took her away from here for a life in the big city. Her family owns the McCready Family Funeral Home and Bait Shop. They are offering her a job, a place to live. But more than that, they are offering her the opportunity to get acquainted with a family she never knew. Getting to know a father she never knew. At the same time, maybe this time away will help to build her confidence back up. But as soon as one of the resumes she has sent out comes through with a job, she’s outta here! Kyle Archer is a widower with two little girls. The first time Margot saw him, she saw such sadness in his eyes. She can’t seem to look away from him, wondering what he’s so sad about. When she realizes what he does for a living, though, and that he’s a daddy, it makes her worry. She does not do kids. She has no experience with kids. And she’s only in Lake Sackett temporarily, until she can find a job in a bigger city. This book was such a fun ride. This is a quirky town and the residents are equally quirky. The longer she is there, though, the more she calms down. The more she connects with her cousins. She never really had friends before so this feels so wonderful. And then there is Kyle and his daughters. She can’t seem to keep her distance from Kyle. Her head says keep the walls up but her heart says something else. The whole experience in Lake Sackett turns out to be a bit of a journey of self discovery for Margot. Actually a bit of one for Kyle as well as he sorts out his feelings. His daughters were adorable as well. I really enjoyed this book. I loved the sarcastic banter and I loved the McCready’s. Book #1.5 in this series is Peachy Flippin Keen and book #2 is Ain’t She A Peach. I look forward to reading both of these soon.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jilly

    It was pretty fun. I think you will like it if you like the Southern small town thing. Folksy. That's a word, right? That's how I'd describe the book. With a word that I think is a word. Gee, I'm good at this writing-reviews thing. Our heroine is Margot. She's a snooty party-planner in Chicago when her life derails and she ends up moving to Kentucky to take a job at a family business when she had no idea she had family. The business is a bait shop and funeral parlor. This is perfectly normal in th It was pretty fun. I think you will like it if you like the Southern small town thing. Folksy. That's a word, right? That's how I'd describe the book. With a word that I think is a word. Gee, I'm good at this writing-reviews thing. Our heroine is Margot. She's a snooty party-planner in Chicago when her life derails and she ends up moving to Kentucky to take a job at a family business when she had no idea she had family. The business is a bait shop and funeral parlor. This is perfectly normal in the small town South. My friend lived in a tiny town here in Texas. Her mom owned the flower shop, her dad owned the funeral parlor, and he was the Justice of the Peace. They used to say that their family would "marry you and bury you." So, this quote was no surprise to me about the bait shop/funeral parlor: "the locals just call it the Bait and Bury." Margot has a bit of culture shock when she moves to town. I honestly know not one thing about Chicago, except that they like pizza that has limp greasy meat under the sauce on top of a giant slab of greasy bread... yeah, I said it! Come at me bro! Scary pizza aside, Margot is completely unfamiliar with the way people eat down in the South. "If we're not feedin' someone pork products, we get all twitchy and just start throwin' biscuits at innocent bystanders." This is true. We actually have a restaurant down the street that is famous for throwing biscuits to their diners. It's called the Potatoe Patch. And, yes, the word potato is spelled wrong on the sign. It's folksy. Sure it does. Margot immediately meets a guy and they start getting together. Let's just say that it's a good thing she met him quickly before all of the Southern cuisine does its magic, cuz everyone who moves here all nice and thin learns the beauty of yoga pants - without the yoga cuz that's weird hippy stuff. The breakfast they bring her: "Bacon wrapped around a sausage, stuffed with cheese, dipped in egg batter and deep-fried. I call it a Breakfast Stick." (Margot): "I don't know how to respond to that." "The gravy's in the spare thermos!" Some exercise company is out there wondering why their best sales are in the South, but in the extra extra large size. No smalls. Never size small... It could be worse. The guy that Margot immediately hooks up with is a widowed father of two little girls, so she's a bit scared off. Finally! A little realism. In books, every heroine is just dying to date the single fathers. Oh, it's so adorable how he has children. Oh! Look at how sexy he is. I just want to marry him and immediately mother his children and we'll all be so happy and they'll love me, and ...blah blah blah....just let me at his dirty laundry!" But, in reality? So, I was glad she didn't automatically want an instant family. You never see men lining up to date single mothers. Anyway, the book was pretty fun and entertaining. It would be a good vacation read.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kelly (and the Book Boar)

    Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ Party planner extraordinaire Margot has had to deal with plenty of mini emergencies and unexpected glitches during events, but the one thing she never would have predicted was that she would be (quite literally) tackling a real life angry bird situation . . . . To make matters worse, once word begins to spread about the gala disaster, Margot loses not only her dream job, but also her loan approval on a new condo she was planning on Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ Party planner extraordinaire Margot has had to deal with plenty of mini emergencies and unexpected glitches during events, but the one thing she never would have predicted was that she would be (quite literally) tackling a real life angry bird situation . . . . To make matters worse, once word begins to spread about the gala disaster, Margot loses not only her dream job, but also her loan approval on a new condo she was planning on purchasing. Right when she’s about to give up hope, Margot receives a phone call from a long lost relative, Aunt Tootie . . . . (No relation) Making her an offer she can’t refuse . . . . basically because it’s the ONLY offer on the table. What’s the offer, you might ask? Come down and help with the family business . . . . “The locals just call it the Bait and Bury.” Yep, you heard that right. Bait shop slash funeral home. Margot plans on only staying as long as it takes for people to forget the little snafu, but reuniting with a family she didn’t even know she had, new friendships, a potential for romance with a handsome local and the charm of the South might just change her mind. I think I had my expectations set just a little too high for this one. After having a pretty howling good time reading about Naked Werewolves combined with this being about a Yankee who finds herself transplated to the deep South had me thinking in shades of . . . . And while there was plenty of . . . . . Along with some humor . . . . “The first time you tangle with moonshine is like dancin’ with a good-looking carnie. Sure, it feels great at first, but you wake up sore and soaked in regret.” It just felt REALLY forced. Margot wasn’t a great character which could be excused if Kyle was, but he was a big drip too. Then there were his children . . . . Neither did Margot! But of course Kyyyyyyyyyle’s children were different – even though they were pretty insufferable little bastards, if you ask me. And then there was the being beaten over the head by Margot’s daddy issues . . . . That freaking storyline was on a damn loop. It sucks that this one wasn’t a hit for me, but I’ve been assured Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs will deliver what I’m looking for. We shall see, but let’s not forget that . . .

  5. 5 out of 5

    Carrie

    After a huge disaster at her event planning job Margot Cary finds herself jobless and soon to be homeless if she can't find something quick. But unfortunately for Margot in this day and age the huge catastrophe that happened at her last event has gone viral and all of her prospects are afraid of taking a chance on her so her job hunt hasn't been going well. Just as things are looking their worst Margot gets contacted by a lady that claims she's family from Margot's biological father's side and s After a huge disaster at her event planning job Margot Cary finds herself jobless and soon to be homeless if she can't find something quick. But unfortunately for Margot in this day and age the huge catastrophe that happened at her last event has gone viral and all of her prospects are afraid of taking a chance on her so her job hunt hasn't been going well. Just as things are looking their worst Margot gets contacted by a lady that claims she's family from Margot's biological father's side and she wants Margot for a job in Georgia. With little options left other than living on the street Margot packs her things and moves from Chicago to Lake Sackett, Georgia to meet her father's family and take on the task of becoming the planner for the McCready Family Funeral Home and Bait Shop. Yes, her family is in the business of funeral and fishing which is so far out of Margot's realm it's unreal. Margot however after moving down to the small town finds herself getting to know relatives she never knew she had and coming to love the small town life including the local principal, Kyle Archer. Sweet Tea and Sympathy by Molly Harper is the first book in the new Southern Eclectic contemporary romance series. There also seems to be a companion novella already released in the series featuring another couple from Lake Sackett but I haven't read that one myself but being different main characters it would seem that these would be fine to read as standalone books if a reader chose to do so. This book had all sorts of little things that I loved about it from the small town charm to reconnecting a family. Meanwhile during all the antics of Margot trying to fit in with this family that she had never known and grown up in a very different environment there was also a budding romance with some cute little girls involved in his family. My only downside was it sort of rubbed me wrong for Margot to put a lot of blame on her biological father for their being apart when it seemed to be her mother's doing and as an adult the street went two ways so she could have reconnected herself. In the end though that was a small complaint leaving this one to rate at 4.5 stars and I'll definitely look for more from this small town. I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley. For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.wordpress....

  6. 4 out of 5

    Debra

    This book was a really fast and quite enjoyable read. After a failed high society event in Chicago, involving flamingos and shrimp, (need I say more?), event planned Margot Carey has lost her job. She has been blackballed and shunned. Really, I don't think she was to blame - at least not as much as the chef..but as her character states in the book - she lost control of the event and the workers of the event and all hell broke loose! So after losing her job, her new home and her reputation, she re This book was a really fast and quite enjoyable read. After a failed high society event in Chicago, involving flamingos and shrimp, (need I say more?), event planned Margot Carey has lost her job. She has been blackballed and shunned. Really, I don't think she was to blame - at least not as much as the chef..but as her character states in the book - she lost control of the event and the workers of the event and all hell broke loose! So after losing her job, her new home and her reputation, she receives contact from a distant family member inviting her to come "home" to Lake Sackett and work in the family business. Guess what the business is? The McCready Family Funeral Home and Bait Shop! I said this book was fun, right? She has not been to Lake Sackett since she was a small child and does not know this side of the family. As she settles into her new home (a cabin!), she starts her new job at the funeral home. While there she meets her long last relatives, is reunited with her father she has not seen or heard from since her Mother left him, and meets a handsome "lumberjack" type man who is not really a lumber jack but the town principal. You see where this is heading.... This book is full of fun, emotion, and southern charm. It's a fun book but it also deals with some heavy issues: death, addiction, loss of employment, starting over, grief, estrangement, and family drama. I have never read this Author before but I know I will be reading more of her books in the future. This was was an enjoyable read that did not require too much thought or energy. Its a curl-up-on-the-couch type of book! It's fun, enjoyable, has fun moments with characters who talk like real people. This book has a nice flow to it. The pacing is fantastic. I found that time slipped away as I read. It's a book one can easily sit down and read in one sitting. You know what else I loved about this book?????? The ending does not come out of thin air. My biggest gripe with romance books is the build up of the story to have a rushed ending where everyone falls madly in love after 300 pages of angst and has to immediately get married. OH, Come on! This book had wonderful pacing (I know I already said something similar to this). I admit it, I enjoy romance books but I hate the rushed endings. This book does not feel rushed at ALL!!! woo-hoo!!! I received a copy of this book from Gallery, Threshold, Gallery books and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. See more of my reviews at www.openbookpost.com

  7. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea Humphrey

    #FallIntoMyBacklist pick 3 Contemporary-a-thon 2019- contemporary recommended to me by a friend

  8. 5 out of 5

    Cindy Burnett

    This book was such a fun read! I have read a lot of heavier books lately, which I thoroughly enjoy, but was ready for something a little lighter, and this book was perfect. I love Molly Harper’s writing; it’s clever, often hilarious, and just plain fun. But of course what else would you expect from a book that is centered around a family business called the McCready Family Funeral Home and Bait Shop?! Margot Cary is an estranged member of the McCready family who moves back to Lake Sackett, Georg This book was such a fun read! I have read a lot of heavier books lately, which I thoroughly enjoy, but was ready for something a little lighter, and this book was perfect. I love Molly Harper’s writing; it’s clever, often hilarious, and just plain fun. But of course what else would you expect from a book that is centered around a family business called the McCready Family Funeral Home and Bait Shop?! Margot Cary is an estranged member of the McCready family who moves back to Lake Sackett, Georgia after an epic and very public work fail which resulted in the loss of her job. Sweet Tea and Sympathy focuses on her reintegration into her very large and nosy family and the town in which they all live. Margot is unfamiliar with the South and its customs and ways, and while her learning curve is steep, she slowly manages to become a part of Lake Sackett and all it offers her. My favorite part of the book by far were the characters. Harper creates a group of loveable, entertaining, and ragtag bunch of characters that made me want to visit her fictional Lake Sackett and meet the various McCready’s. As I was writing this review, I looked up the book on Goodreads and was delighted to see that it is the beginning of a series. I am already looking forward to the next one! I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a lighthearted story with some depth to it. I truly enjoyed reading each and every page. Thanks to Gallery Books for my copy. All opinions are my own.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Heather K (dentist in my spare time)

    *2.5 stars* I like Molly Harper, though admittedly she isn't my favorite author, but I always find her stuff to be light and nice. Sweet Tea and Sympathy, however, simply bored me to tears. Clutches those pearls! This book is certainly more women's fiction than romance. In fact, I kept waiting for the chemistry and romance to develop, and well into the last quarter of the story I STILL felt like nothing real was happening. If you are looking for romance-y romance, this isn't it. Sweet Tea and Symp *2.5 stars* I like Molly Harper, though admittedly she isn't my favorite author, but I always find her stuff to be light and nice. Sweet Tea and Sympathy, however, simply bored me to tears. Clutches those pearls! This book is certainly more women's fiction than romance. In fact, I kept waiting for the chemistry and romance to develop, and well into the last quarter of the story I STILL felt like nothing real was happening. If you are looking for romance-y romance, this isn't it. Sweet Tea and Sympathy is all about family and family dynamic. I liked that part of the story, actually. The quirky Southern family, the estranged father, the weird fishing shop/funeral home-thing was entertaining. However, a few little punchy details didn't carry the story for me. My overall impression of this book is that it is well-meaning. The messages were there, it tried to be funny-ish, but it feel just shy for me. It took me over two weeks to finish, and for me, a reader of 4-5 books a week, that is unheard of. I think many readers will enjoy this story, but it just didn't connect for me. *Copy provided in exchange for an honest review*

  10. 4 out of 5

    Brooke — brooklynnnnereads

    This was a cute, humorous, and enjoyable read. It was the perfect way to spend a Sunday and had all the remembrances of a small Southern town. The main character of Margot was both likeable (and relatable) and the addition of her motley crew of a family added to the story. It was a fast and quick read that is pretty predictable but the journey on getting to the end was truly the best part. I definitely will be looking for more in this series in the future as well as more written by Molly Harper This was a cute, humorous, and enjoyable read. It was the perfect way to spend a Sunday and had all the remembrances of a small Southern town. The main character of Margot was both likeable (and relatable) and the addition of her motley crew of a family added to the story. It was a fast and quick read that is pretty predictable but the journey on getting to the end was truly the best part. I definitely will be looking for more in this series in the future as well as more written by Molly Harper as her writing style is equal parts serious and humorous, making for the perfect combination in a novel.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Chris C - A Midlife Wife

    4.5 Stars Such a fun story. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ One of the things I love the most about the writing style of Ms. Harper is her snarky, dry sense of humor. It reminds me of me… lol. But it also makes for a humorous look at life even when everything we have dreamed of goes down the drain in one impressive display. While a pity party is definitely due, life does have to move on, and moving on is exactly what Margot has to do. But why be boring? Let’s move on to a completely different world and 4.5 Stars Such a fun story. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ One of the things I love the most about the writing style of Ms. Harper is her snarky, dry sense of humor. It reminds me of me… lol. But it also makes for a humorous look at life even when everything we have dreamed of goes down the drain in one impressive display. While a pity party is definitely due, life does have to move on, and moving on is exactly what Margot has to do. But why be boring? Let’s move on to a completely different world and live with people we don’t know! The family is quirky and a bit wild but you will quickly fall for them right along side of Margot. And Kyle – a blend of sweet and sad, and a perfect balance for Margot’s life. I love the wild passionate streak they have going on!! Refreshing and fun, with bouts of pity party going on, Sweet Tea and Sympathy is a delightful read that offers a look at a second chance in life. From family to work, even to love, this book has it all. Absorbing and highly entertaining, you will not want to put this one down. Copy received for review consideration full review - http://amidlifewife.com/sweet-tea-and...

  12. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Have you ever read a book and felt like the author wrote it just for you? Like it truly speaks to your soul, the characters seem like your type of people and there is such a strong connection you wouldn’t be at all surprised if said characters jumped off the page and strolled into your home? That’s exactly what happened when I read Sweet Tea & Sympathy, I felt understood. That may sound silly as this book is a very lighthearted read, but it’s true! I loved everything about it from the setting of Have you ever read a book and felt like the author wrote it just for you? Like it truly speaks to your soul, the characters seem like your type of people and there is such a strong connection you wouldn’t be at all surprised if said characters jumped off the page and strolled into your home? That’s exactly what happened when I read Sweet Tea & Sympathy, I felt understood. That may sound silly as this book is a very lighthearted read, but it’s true! I loved everything about it from the setting of small town Georgia, to the characters and the sweet and funny storyline. I think what made me enjoy this book so much is that Margot’s sense of humor is similar to my own. She’s sharp and sarcastic, but underneath her cool exterior she has a pretty huge heart. Her burgeoning relationship with Kyle was equal parts awkward, adorable and spicy which is basically my favorite combination of all time. Besides those two you have Margot’s family, which although extremely embarrassing they made me laugh so much. The residents of Lake Sackett aren’t exactly welcoming to Margot but her altercations with some of the prissy ladies in town had me rolling. This is the start of a new series and I couldn’t be more thrilled, I already miss these characters and can’t wait to catch up with them next spring. I was utterly charmed and delighted by Sweet Tea and Sympathy and Harper is such a wonderful storyteller.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jacob Proffitt

    I should probably admit up front that I'm a huge fan of Molly Harper. Her mix of Southern charm and pure snark hit my sweet spot and this novel is no exception. Indeed, this is pretty much an exemplar of her work and something I might point to as representative of what to expect with her stories. As such, the story was pretty predictable with a lot of the story beats happening right on time and about how I expected them to happen. Which I don't take at all as a bad thing as my rating will attest I should probably admit up front that I'm a huge fan of Molly Harper. Her mix of Southern charm and pure snark hit my sweet spot and this novel is no exception. Indeed, this is pretty much an exemplar of her work and something I might point to as representative of what to expect with her stories. As such, the story was pretty predictable with a lot of the story beats happening right on time and about how I expected them to happen. Which I don't take at all as a bad thing as my rating will attest. But that makes this very hard to review on its own merit. I really liked Margot and she had my full sympathy with her retreat to the family she never knew when her professional life blows up in spectacular fashion. I found her family loveable and really enjoyed getting to know them. I love that Harper made the family's "funeral home and bait shop" business actually hang together beyond the punchline it would have been with a less-careful author. And I loved all the sweet souls in their small town and how well they worked as fully-fleshed characters that still served as backdrop in Margot's story of growth and maturation. And Kyle was just adorable. As were his kids. And no, that doesn't mean Harper played them for sweetness and puppies because she's way too talented to put up with that. And now I'm gushing. Ugh. Let me cut this short. It's typical for Molly Harper which isn't going to be a fit for all readers. I love the banter and the setting and the characters and had a really hard time putting it down. And if I have anything to say about it, bacon will be known in our home as "nature's glorious meat candy" from now on. A note about Steamy: There are only a couple explicit sex scenes and Harper actually pulls the curtain before things go terribly far. And that fit this story very well, I think. So this is the low side of my steam tolerance.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ian

    As a high end event planner Margot can handle just about anything. But when her crowning glory in the Chicago event planning scene goes horribly awry she finds herself unemployed and unemployable. So when her aunt who she has never met offers her a job in the family business in Georgia she has little choice but to accept. She quickly discovers the family business is a Funeral Home and Bait Shop, she has dozens of relatives and a father who abandoned her as a child. With spotty internet and cell As a high end event planner Margot can handle just about anything. But when her crowning glory in the Chicago event planning scene goes horribly awry she finds herself unemployed and unemployable. So when her aunt who she has never met offers her a job in the family business in Georgia she has little choice but to accept. She quickly discovers the family business is a Funeral Home and Bait Shop, she has dozens of relatives and a father who abandoned her as a child. With spotty internet and cell phone reception, no Starbucks or even a shop that sells fruit, Margot is well out of her comfort zone but with the help of a brooding school principal, his two young daughters and her crazy family she gradually finds a place. The only problem is Lake Sackett is a dying town. The tourists have abandoned them, businesses are closing and there isn't much of a future for someone with her skills. I read a lot of books and honestly I've read pretty much every story before, usually more than once. There aren't too many books I wished would just keep going indefinitely. There aren't too many authors I'll buy just because their name is on the cover. But this is that book and Molly Harper is that author. I loved everything about this book. I wanted more of every single character. So much love for Sweet Tea and Sympathy

  15. 5 out of 5

    Cammie

    Following a career-ending debacle at a high-society event in Chicago, Margot Cary has little choice but to take Aunt Tootie’s offer to work for the family’s funeral home/bait shop in Lake Sackett, Georgia. There’s nothing like loose flamingos and a shrimp allergy to add humor to the story and also to reunite Margot with her estranged father whom she hasn’t seen since she was three years old. Margot’s move to Georgia is supposed to be temporary—just an opportunity for her to lay low while the dem Following a career-ending debacle at a high-society event in Chicago, Margot Cary has little choice but to take Aunt Tootie’s offer to work for the family’s funeral home/bait shop in Lake Sackett, Georgia. There’s nothing like loose flamingos and a shrimp allergy to add humor to the story and also to reunite Margot with her estranged father whom she hasn’t seen since she was three years old. Margot’s move to Georgia is supposed to be temporary—just an opportunity for her to lay low while the demise of her career becomes old news. She can’t imagine how she could possibly use her event-planning skills in a simple place like Lake Sackett. Sweet Tea and Sympathy is heart warming, funny, and touching. The characters are real and flawed but likable and funny.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Marla

    This book was so much fun! The characters are sharp and funny, June, the little girl was making me laugh. Loved Aunt Tootie. I would love to have a crazy funny family like this. I'm so glad this will be a series. I think I found a new favorite author. If you want to laugh and feel good and just be entertained, then pick up this book. I received an advanced copy from Netgalley. This book was so much fun! The characters are sharp and funny, June, the little girl was making me laugh. Loved Aunt Tootie. I would love to have a crazy funny family like this. I'm so glad this will be a series. I think I found a new favorite author. If you want to laugh and feel good and just be entertained, then pick up this book. I received an advanced copy from Netgalley.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lacey (laceybooklovers)

    4.5 stars!!! Absolutely LOVED this small Southern town romance. It was a sweet and funny read that I was in the perfect mood for. Review to come! Thanks to the publisher for generously providing me an ARC to review.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Molly Harper does it yet again. If I ever go to a small American town at some point in the future and don't meet a tall handsome stranger I will personally sue Ms Harper. Sweet Team and Sympathy is a fun story of Margot, a thirty-something woman who is fired from her job so moves from Chicago to her family business in small town Georgia. Naturally, chaos ensues and youbetcha I will read all available books in this series asap. I'm actually embarrassed it took me this long to pick the series up Molly Harper does it yet again. If I ever go to a small American town at some point in the future and don't meet a tall handsome stranger I will personally sue Ms Harper. Sweet Team and Sympathy is a fun story of Margot, a thirty-something woman who is fired from her job so moves from Chicago to her family business in small town Georgia. Naturally, chaos ensues and youbetcha I will read all available books in this series asap. I'm actually embarrassed it took me this long to pick the series up.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Sweet Tea and Sympathy Molly Harper Received from Netgalley SWEET TEA AND SYMPATHY is the first book in the Southern Eclectic series. It centers around Margot failing at her job in Chicago and finding refuge at her family compound in Lake Sackett, Georgia. Her family runs the McCready Family Funeral Home and Bait Shop. This is her father's family, who she hasn't seen in decades. She doesn't know any of them even though when she was younger, she actually lived at the compound. Her plan is to go ther Sweet Tea and Sympathy Molly Harper Received from Netgalley SWEET TEA AND SYMPATHY is the first book in the Southern Eclectic series. It centers around Margot failing at her job in Chicago and finding refuge at her family compound in Lake Sackett, Georgia. Her family runs the McCready Family Funeral Home and Bait Shop. This is her father's family, who she hasn't seen in decades. She doesn't know any of them even though when she was younger, she actually lived at the compound. Her plan is to go there, regroup and let all the media attention die down. Then she will actively look for another event planner job and continue on with her career. Well, at least that's what she thinks is going to happen. Her family welcomes her with open arms, even though she feels like they are complete strangers to her. Her family is very large and very nosy and I found myself giggling out loud over and over again. Margot knows nothing about the south and their customs and southern ways and it is hysterical as she learns them. SWEET TEA AND SYMPATHY is a very entertaining read and once I started reading it was very hard to put down. It is total culture shock for Margot and she plans to run to her next job in a big city as fast as she can. I devoured every single page of SWEET TEA AND SYMPATHY and when I finished I found myself wanting more. I loved all of the characters and wish I had a crazy and funny family like Margot does. The tender moments in the story really pull at the readers heart strings. I loved how her dad tried to build a relationship with her even though he has been absent for most of her life. Then the romance between Margot and Kyle, the widowed elementary school principal is sweet but also frustrating at times. Both of them agree that they aren't in the right place in their lives for a relationship and agree to just be friends. Well, you know how that is going to go right? SWEET TEA AND SYMPATHY is southern charm at its finest! I can not wait to continue this series.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Debbie Oliphant

    Molly Harper, you have a new fan!! This book had the southern comfort charm and whimsy with a little bit of Green Acres (ish) eccentricity. I loved it and the characters were so memorable, especially Aunt Tootie. She was the glue for the entire McCready clan and her type of lunacy kept it all together. The story centers around Margot who has just been fired from her dream job as an Elite event planner in Chicago. She's humiliated and running out of money. She received a call from her Aunt Tootie, Molly Harper, you have a new fan!! This book had the southern comfort charm and whimsy with a little bit of Green Acres (ish) eccentricity. I loved it and the characters were so memorable, especially Aunt Tootie. She was the glue for the entire McCready clan and her type of lunacy kept it all together. The story centers around Margot who has just been fired from her dream job as an Elite event planner in Chicago. She's humiliated and running out of money. She received a call from her Aunt Tootie, who offers her a job to help work in the the family business, a bait and bury business that's been in the family for over 100 years. She accepts the offer because it's the only offer. She arrives in the little lake community and is exposed to the family she barely knows on her father's side. Her newfound family is warm and loving and welcome her with open arms. Margot feels like she has culture shock as her big city lifestyle seems to conflict with the small town, everyone knows your business, no filter banter way of life. Margot is also estranged with her father and doesn't know if the pain can be healed. She tried to carve out a life for her but is unsure where she is closed to be. She meets an interesting man that seems to have his own pain to resolve and the two realize they have similarities that bond them together. Kyle is trying to have a normal life and believes by compartmentalizing parts of his life, he can have a semblance of normalcy but Margot changes that and the two navigate there way to each other while working through the craziness of the small town community. This book was a great and I swear, I probably gained a pound or two just from the food descriptions. Southern comfort food is like no other and it was like a character in itself. Everyone would benefit with have g an Aunt Tootie who was playing chess when everyone else was playing checkers. This story has me laughing out loud and will continue to smile for days.

  21. 5 out of 5

    ☕️Kimberly

    We first meet Margot Cary at the height of her career as an elite event planner in Chicago where everything goes spectacularly wrong. With a tarnished reputation and at the end of her lease Margot accepts an offer of employment from her estranged father's family the McCready's. The McCready family owns a Funeral Home and Bait Shop located on the shore of Lake Sackett. The tale delivered a delightful tale as Margot gets to know the family she and her mother left behind. As her father tries to rebu We first meet Margot Cary at the height of her career as an elite event planner in Chicago where everything goes spectacularly wrong. With a tarnished reputation and at the end of her lease Margot accepts an offer of employment from her estranged father's family the McCready's. The McCready family owns a Funeral Home and Bait Shop located on the shore of Lake Sackett. The tale delivered a delightful tale as Margot gets to know the family she and her mother left behind. As her father tries to rebuild their relationship, Margot soon finds herself spending time with her cousins, helping out the elementary school and finding herself attracted to the school principal Kyle Archer. I had to laugh at the family run business and stories emerging from it. Harper provided its history, and it made perfect sense! I enjoyed the McCready family from the cousins to the dog loving Aunt. Margot has some issues with her Dad, and it takes her a little while to shake off the city in her. In the meantime, Harper welcomed us to the town, introduced us to the locals and shared PTA drama. Harper understands small-town politics and their inner workings making the setting and characters feel genuine. We are treated to a subtle, realistic romance that is served on the side as Margot comes into her own, makes career decisions and tries to find her slice of happy. Harper allows the reader to experience an array of emotions from laughter at one-line zingers to emotional moments that had me completely caught up in its thread. The characters are unique and we meet a rather large cast of them.  You will adore the McCready family as they open their arms wide and welcome Margot. They were authentic and loved each other flaws and all. If you love small-town tales featuring family, character growth, humor and heart with a dash of romance, then grab a tall glass of sweet tea and enjoy SWEET TEA AND SYMPATHY. Copy provided by the publisher. This review was originally posted at Caffeinated Reviewer

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    I've written this review for Really Into This Check out all of our reviews at https://reallyintothis.com Happy Reading, friends! SWEET TEA AND SYMPATHY BY MOLLY HARPER BOOK REVIEW Laughs, heartwarming family time, hilarious scenes, memorable characters with a huge helping of small town & Southern twang. BROWSE THE BOOKSTORE In my college years, I was ALL ABOUT the cute romances (Sophie Kinsella), chick-lit (Good In Bed) & mysteries with some fun (Stephanie Plum). Somewhere between graduate school & ki I've written this review for Really Into This Check out all of our reviews at https://reallyintothis.com Happy Reading, friends! SWEET TEA AND SYMPATHY BY MOLLY HARPER BOOK REVIEW Laughs, heartwarming family time, hilarious scenes, memorable characters with a huge helping of small town & Southern twang. BROWSE THE BOOKSTORE In my college years, I was ALL ABOUT the cute romances (Sophie Kinsella), chick-lit (Good In Bed) & mysteries with some fun (Stephanie Plum). Somewhere between graduate school & kids, I lost my love for these books. As I branched out to include other genres, my standbys were lost in the shuffle. While browsing Barnes & Noble, which I’m prone to do weekly, I spotted Sweet Tea & Sympathy on the 3 for 2 table. As soon as I read about the McCready Family Funeral Home and Bait Shop I smiled. I’m from the South & my dad & I played a game driving. We were continuously on the lookout for the weirdest business combinations. In the past, one of our winners was a propane & porcelain dolls sign spotted in Southeast Texas. So the combo of the bait shop & funeral home was my in & I bought the book immediately. SO MUCH TO LOVE Thankfully, my friend Tamara from Traveling With T was up for a buddy read. We both loved this book so much! There is something so charming and so real about Lake Sackett, Georgia. Yes, some of the characters & the situations are a little wild, but it’s still believable. I’m all in on this town & all in on the McCready family. The only thing I want from this book is MORE! LET’S GO TO LAKE SACKETT, GEORGIA I’m in luck! Sweet Tea & Sympathy is Book 1 in Molly Harper’s Southern Eclectic Series. Book 4 is Aint She a Peach & Book 6 is Gimme Some Sugar. While writing this review, I’m thrilled to learn Molly has novellas in this series as well. Book 2 is Save a Truck, Ride a Redneck, Book 3 is Peachy Flippin’ Keen & Book 5 A Few Pecans Short of a Pie. THE VERDICT I am Really Into This book! I am so in love with this town, these characters & with Molly Harper’s writing. Read this if you’re looking to fall in love with a new series. Expect laughs, smiles & an overwhelming sense of family & love.

  23. 5 out of 5

    ☆Dani☆ ☆Touch My Spine Book Reviews☆

    I want to thank NetGalley and Gallery Books for providing with an e-ARC in exchange for a honest review. Title:Sweet Tea and Sympathy Author: Molly Harper Page count: 320 pages Publication Date: 11/21/2017 Synopsis: Margot is a city girl who just got fired from her fancy event planning job. She was due for a promotion and instead she was fired for something that was out of her control and completely embarrassing. While she is at the end of the rope financially, she gets a random and strange job offe I want to thank NetGalley and Gallery Books for providing with an e-ARC in exchange for a honest review. Title:Sweet Tea and Sympathy Author: Molly Harper Page count: 320 pages Publication Date: 11/21/2017 Synopsis: Margot is a city girl who just got fired from her fancy event planning job. She was due for a promotion and instead she was fired for something that was out of her control and completely embarrassing. While she is at the end of the rope financially, she gets a random and strange job offer from her biological father's company in small town in Georgia. She has no memory of her father and was adopted by her stepfather at an early age. Reluctant Margot takes the job offer because no one will hire her because of her embarrassing termination even though shes's talented and highly experienced. When arriving in Georia Margot is blown away by her wild and southern family. She lives on her family's compound and is working for the family business, The McCready Family Funeral Home and Bait Shop and yes it is in the same building! Margot tries to adjust to southern living while discovering her family history. Margot and her father seem to bump heads and both are stubborn people. Admist all of the family stuff and searching for her true self Margot meets elementary school principal Kyle. Unfortunately Kyle is a gem to the single ladies of Lake Sackett. Can Margot survive the society change? Can she make amends with her father? Will she make Lake Sackett her home? Will she be able to have a relationship with Kyle or will she have to set him free? Read Sweet Tea and Sympathy by Molly Harper to find out! Review: I give this book 5 out of 5 stars! This book warmed my heart and made me feel right at home. As being a South Carolinian and a Southern Belle this book was a breath of fresh air. I felt like I could relate to so much in this charming story. This book really shows society status and how different living in the southeast can be. I highly recommend this book if your looking for something light and sweet as tea!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Arlena Dean

    Title: Sweet Tea and Sympathy Author: Molly Harper Publisher: Gallery Books Series: Southern Eclectic #1 Reviewed By: Arlena Dean Rating: Four Review: "Sweet Tea and Sympathy" by Molly Harper My Thoughts..... This was quite a interesting read with some really humorous scenes that will have you laughing out loud. The memorable characters were all for the most part well developed, portrayed and believable that will definitely keep your attention. What will happen when Margot's long lost family reaches o Title: Sweet Tea and Sympathy Author: Molly Harper Publisher: Gallery Books Series: Southern Eclectic #1 Reviewed By: Arlena Dean Rating: Four Review: "Sweet Tea and Sympathy" by Molly Harper My Thoughts..... This was quite a interesting read with some really humorous scenes that will have you laughing out loud. The memorable characters were all for the most part well developed, portrayed and believable that will definitely keep your attention. What will happen when Margot's long lost family reaches out to her? The story is about Margot Cary who was a elite event planner from Chicago but after being humiliated she leaves town and excepts a offers to working in the family business [a Bait and Mortuary business] in Lake Sackett, Georgia. It was quite a interesting read as Margot gets to know of her recovering alcoholic father that she never knew. How will Margot do in this small town community especially after she meets Kyle [the lumberjack] who seem to have problems of his own? Get ready for a 'fun, sweet and sexy story, family lost and found, heartbreak, mystery and some heartwarming moments.' The characters for the most part were a complex group of individuals that could have their own story that will definitely keep your interest as you read through this story of southern traditions. So, if you on in for a read that deals with a 'journey of self discovery, forgiveness finding love' embracing who you are, and accepting change' then you have come to the right place for one interesting first series. Thank you to NetGalley for the opportunity to read an Advanced Reader Copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

  25. 5 out of 5

    ✨Susan✨

    I love Molly Harpers believable characters and her hysterical sense of humor. Somehow she makes the strange combination of a bait shop and a funeral parlor work as the backdrop for this story. A close, quirky family can be overwhelming to any outsider but boy is it fun watching them try to bring one of their own into the fold. Amanda Ronconi is, as alway, fantastic. She has a way of making each characters personality pop. Onto the next.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay

    3.5 stars

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kirsten "keep calm there are only 5 days left"

    This book is absolutely hilarious!! Bless its heart! I really enjoyed it. The main character was a lot of fun. Snooty at the start but gets into the swing of things soon. I really enjoyed the undertakers/bait shop and her whole extended family. I can't wait to read the next one! Only one drawback for me is you didn't see inside the man's head, but not every author does that and the humor was just so good that it made up for it. This book is absolutely hilarious!! Bless its heart! I really enjoyed it. The main character was a lot of fun. Snooty at the start but gets into the swing of things soon. I really enjoyed the undertakers/bait shop and her whole extended family. I can't wait to read the next one! Only one drawback for me is you didn't see inside the man's head, but not every author does that and the humor was just so good that it made up for it.

  28. 4 out of 5

    S.M. West

    This was such a fun read. With the right mix of funny, sweet, melancholy and downright southern goodness!

  29. 5 out of 5

    RoseMary Achey

    Author Molly Harper has an extensive collection of published work to her credit and throngs of passionate admirers. I picked up Sweet Tea and Sympathy because of it's attractive cover. Not sure how to categorize this title, but I would place it in the New Adult Fiction group...not my typical genre. There are several very funny lines in the book but overall the story line was quite predictable. Probably better suited to a 20 something than this old lady. Author Molly Harper has an extensive collection of published work to her credit and throngs of passionate admirers. I picked up Sweet Tea and Sympathy because of it's attractive cover. Not sure how to categorize this title, but I would place it in the New Adult Fiction group...not my typical genre. There are several very funny lines in the book but overall the story line was quite predictable. Probably better suited to a 20 something than this old lady.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    This was such a fun book to read! Margot was an event planner at the top of her game in Chicago. She was ready to nail the latest event and cement her chances at a partnership in the company. Unfortunately, thanks to a rogue chef, some shrimp, and some flamingos, her crowning event went spectacularly off the rails. To top it all off, a number of the cellphone videos of the incident went viral, causing an immediate loss of her job. Unemployed and blackballed in her chosen field, Margot was gettin This was such a fun book to read! Margot was an event planner at the top of her game in Chicago. She was ready to nail the latest event and cement her chances at a partnership in the company. Unfortunately, thanks to a rogue chef, some shrimp, and some flamingos, her crowning event went spectacularly off the rails. To top it all off, a number of the cellphone videos of the incident went viral, causing an immediate loss of her job. Unemployed and blackballed in her chosen field, Margot was getting close to being broke and homeless when she received a call from a woman who claimed to be her great-aunt Tootie. Skeptical, because really, who has the name "Tootie," Margot discovered that she had an entire family unknown to her in Lake Sackett, Georgia. She was invited to come to Georgia and work for the family business, McCready Family Funeral Home and Bait Shop (aka the Bait and Bury). Out of options, Margot accepted. Talk about culture shock! Margot's mother took her and left Georgia when Margot was a small child, remarrying and moving to Chicago. Mom and stepdad were not exactly the demonstrative type, and appearances were important to them. Margot was a bit uptight, entirely out of her element, and counting the days until she can get another job in a city. She was welcomed with open arms and (gasp!) hugs. I loved the enthusiastic welcomes, from Aunt Tootie and her motley collection of dogs to her aunt and uncle to the cousins who are determined to be friends whether she wanted it or not. I loved the scene where they took her to the local bar and introduced her to moonshine. It was great fun to see Margot attempt to adjust to a place where food is pork-based and/or deep-fried, and fruits and vegetables are nearly impossible to find. I loved the small town atmosphere and quirky characters. The town itself has fallen on hard times because the drought has further lowered the level of the lake, leaving many tourist-based businesses struggling. Small town politics, especially in the PTA, are alive and well. When Margot was guilted into helping to straighten out the plans for the PTA-sponsored town festival, those politics created some hilariously funny moments. The current PTA president and the former principal do not want to relinquish one bit of control, and their passive-aggressive actions get on Margot's last nerve. But Margot is used to much tougher opponents, and I loved watching her work her magic. I loved her final confrontation with Sara Lee, as the Chicago event planner merged with the newly minted Southern woman. It was a grand thing to witness. Neither Margot nor Kyle expected the romance that grew between them. Their first meeting was unusual. The night that her cousins introduced Margot to moonshine, she encountered a big, bearded "lumberjack" with the saddest eyes she'd ever seen. An impromptu hug of sympathy turned into a hot makeout session in Kyle's truck before Margot panicked and ran. Imagine her dismay when she discovered that her "lumberjack" was actually the elementary school principal and a single dad. Margot was determined to keep her distance, but it was a small town, and frequent encounters were inevitable. Kyle was a widower who still grieved for his late wife and had no plans to enter any new relationships. His occasional dates were kept far away from his family. Kyle was very good at keeping each part of his life separate - family, work, and social each had its place, and they didn't overlap. I loved seeing the relationship between them grow. Though both claim they don't want a relationship, they can't stay away from each other. Margot is especially wary because she has no experience with kids and doesn't want to do something wrong. In spite of her fears, she is actually very good with them, and I enjoyed seeing them together. Then an unexpected offer meant that Margot had to make some decisions. I ached for her and for Kyle as she struggled with those decisions. Margot's big moment at the end was fantastic. The epilogue was great. One of the things I liked best about the book was the family theme. I loved how the McCready side was so ready to embrace Margot, in spite of the events that had kept them apart for so long. It took a while for Margot to loosen up enough to appreciate each person's unique traits. That was especially true of her father, Stan. Margot only had her mother's side of the story when it came to their relationship, so her attitude seemed especially harsh. I ached for Stan, who was honest about his mistakes and regrets. There were times I was a bit irritated with Margot and her unwillingness to bend a little. However, time and exposure helped. I loved Margot's reaction to Sara Lee's comments about Stan, and the progress it showed in their relationship. I can't wait to read more in this series.

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