Review: As Good as the First Time by K.M. Jackson

Posted November 6, 2018 by Nima in Contemporary Romance, Rating B, Reviews Tags: , , ,

As Good as the First Time
K.M. Jackson
Reviewer: Nima
Rating: B

What I’m Talking About:

As Good as the First Time is the first book in the Sugar Lake Series.  Sugar Lake is one of those wonderful small, southern towns full of quirky characters that are sometimes more fun than the main characters.  Aunt Joyce is one of them. Joyce Goode never married, but rather is married to her business, the Goode-n-Sweet Bakery.  She is old enough that she should be thinking about retiring, but no one is going to tell her that. When she falls and injures her hip, the extended Goode family sends in reinforcements in the form of three nieces.  One lives locally, and two others, Olivia and her sister Drea, come down from New York to help the tide of cakes, pies, and cookies continue to flow.  The sisters spent every summer growing up in Sugar Lake and Olivia loves to bake, especially pies.  She has a talent and a love for it which Aunt Joyce doesn’t miss and puts her to work right away.  For Olivia, after losing her high-powered marketing job, her jerk of a high-powered boyfriend, and even her new high-end flat screen television, returning to Sugar Lake is a welcome low-key change.

Olivia is a control freak.  She likes lists, order, and predictability and the pace of Sugar Lake pulls her from that mindset.  Mostly, it’s a defense mechanism.  When she was eighteen, she lost her heart and her virginity to Clayton Morris, literally the boy next door.  After promising her the world, Clayton got another girl pregnant, married her, and left town without so much as a word to Olivia. Needless-to-say, Olivia was definitely not expecting to see Clayton and his daughter back living next door, employed as the Fire Chief, and divorced. Olivia is not about to make anything easy for him, including a long overdue apology.

Clayton, really has no good excuses for what he did.  He offers them, but if it hadn’t been over a decade, Olivia may have not entertained them at all.  The whole book attempts to rebuild the relationship they lost as teenagers and does so with only moderate success.  The story arc was fairly predictable, including the subplots with other family members and townsfolk.  For me, this was not a pager-turner where I had to see if they would or would not get back together, if his apology was any good, or if she could let go of her life in New York for small town living.  I did, however, come to enjoy Sugar Lake.  For Aunt Joyce’s sake, I’ll return to this series to check in on the townsfolk and romances that are yet to come to fruition.  I’m keeping my eye on Clayton’s reclusive big brother Caleb.

Now you can’t have a book about a bakery with prize-winning pastries and not offer up a couple of recipes.  In the back there are three recipes for Peach Pecan Cobbler for One, Quick and Handy Blackberry Pockets, and Berry Lovely Swirl Pie.  All three are beginner baker-friendly.  Being a semi-professional baker myself, I couldn’t let a new recipe pass me by untried.  Pictured below are the Handy Blackberry Pockets.

My Rating: B, Liked It

About the Book:

True to its name, the small southern town of Sugar Lake is a sweet place to visit—and you might even want to live there . . .

With her big-city career and relationship in sudden free fall, Olivia Gale isn’t sure where she belongs. So when her help is needed at Goode ʼN Sweet, the family bakery in Sugar Lake, she jumps at the chance to indulge her pie-making hobby while getting her life back on track. Olivia’s not looking for any distractions. Even if the boy who once left her without a word is now a grown man with intriguing secrets—and the same tempting hold on her heart . . .

A firefighter and single dad, Clayton Morris is trying hard to fix his past mistakes. He thought he was doing the right thing by leaving Olivia—and now he’s sure he has nothing to offer the accomplished woman she’s become. But ignoring the sparks between them is impossible. And as unexpected surprises and hard choices endanger their fragile reunion, they’ll have to decide which direction to take if they want to find the road back to love . . .

Release Date: October 30, 2018
Sugar Lake #1
Contemporary Romance
paperback (336 pages), e-book, audiobook
Book Source: Publisher/NetGalley

Purchase Info: