Review: Too Sweet to be Good by K.M. Jackson

Posted August 6, 2019 by Nima in Contemporary Romance, Rating B, Reviews Tags: , , ,

Too Sweet to Be Good
K.M. Jackson
Reviewer: Nima
Rating: B

What I’m Talking About:

Too Sweet To Be Good is author K.M. Jackson’s second offering in her Sugar Lake series. I welcomed the opportunity to visit the tight little lake community that thrives on southern hospitality and gossip. The “outside world” is slowly discovering Sugar Lake’s charm and looking to cash in on resort real estate development around the lake. Mr. Henry and Mrs. Betty Kilborn have accumulated quite a healthy real estate portfolio which, now that Henry has passed away, their grandson Kellen manages from Atlanta.  Part of that portfolio is the beloved, vintage Redheart movie theater. Mrs. Betty wants to renovate it, turning it into a center for the arts.  Kellen wants to sell it to a large real estate conglomerate, forming a relationship which will propel their interests into the big league. Kellen, more than anything, wants to improve their holdings and leave a legacy of which his grandfather would be proud.

Jackson does characters well.  I didn’t especially like Alexandrea “Drea” Gale in the first book, As Good as the First Time. She came across as self-centered, frustrated, and skating by on her good looks, but with no real direction in her life.  Drea does some much needed growing up in this book which makes her much more likable.  Probably the single thing that makes us like her most is that Mrs. Betty has decided she likes Drea. Her recommendation goes a long way with me.  Frankly, the “little old ladies” in Sugar Lake are some of my favorite characters in the series so far.  What Too Sweet To Be Good lacks, in my opinion, is the family meddling by aunts and cousins and “little old ladies” who proliferated the first book.  

Then there’s Kellen Kilborn, Mrs. Betty’s grandson and country club stuffed shirt. Jackson tries to paint him as an aloof, all about the bottom-line kind of guy AND loving grandson. He’s more one than the other and clearly, he’s conflicted.  The way Drea gets to him only adds to his confusion. They do exchange clever banter and it’s nice to see Kellen soften as the story goes.  Poor Kellen doesn’t really have a choice.  The reader is left waiting to see him figure it out, not worried if he will. 

Unfortunately, even while there is a designated “bad guy” in this story, she is entirely peripheral.  The threat never feels real.  In that sense the reader is never stressed or worried about the outcome of the story.  It comes off as a little flat. This is an easy poolside read that you can pick up and put down, not a keep you up at night page turner. Now that the Goode sisters, both New York “yankees,” have both been dispatched, I hope the next book in the series will concentrate on some of Sugar Lake’s more longtime and interesting characters—like Caleb Morris, Drea’s sister’s elusive brother-in-law. 

About the recipes:

Jackson doesn’t claim to be a great pastry chef, but she does enjoy baking.  Like the first book, there are two new pie recipes in the back.  She’s included Oh Honey Yes You May Pie made with apples, plums and peaches, and Honeyed Peach, Pear, Black and Blueberry pie which is self-explanatory.  Even though she’s used labor-saving ingredients like canned fruit, the directions are not beginner-friendly—lacking the details a beginner would need.  An experienced baker will be able to fill in the blanks, so I put the difficulty level at intermediate.  I made the Honeyed Peach, Pear, Black and Blueberry Pie. (Pictured) My rule is the first time I make a recipe, I make it as written. As you can see, it’s soupy. I knew there would be too much liquid for the amount of thickener. Even though I added fifty percent less, it was still swimming after cooling entirely.  However—it tasted really good!  I am kind of a fresh fruit snob and didn’t have high expectations, especially after scooping a piece out with a spoon. I was very pleasantly surprised, and my family made similar comments. I’ll make adjustments next time, and the rest of this pie is going to be ice cream topping.

My Rating: B, Liked It

About the Book:

Alexandrea Gale put her acting career on hold to help keep her family’s bakery in business–and gave it a few eye-catching updates while she was at it. To earn money to return to New York, she puts her designs skills to work with a job renovating a once thriving local vintage theater. But Alexandrea didn’t bargain on the owner’s business-minded grandson fighting her every step of the way–or proving so unexpectedly irresistible . . .

As the new president of his family’s real estate business, Kellen Kilborn feels that selling the theater is the only way to do right by the grandmother who helped raise him. He just can’t take a risk on Alexandrea’s inventive ideas–but he also can’t walk away from her warm-hearted free spirit. As troubling decisions threaten to tear them apart, can they create a way to turn their dreams into the sweetest of futures together?

Release Date: June 30, 2019
Dafina Books
Sugar Lake #2
Contemporary Romance
paperback (352 pages), e-book, audiobook
Book Source: Netgalley

Purchase Info:

Reviews in the Series:
As Good as the First Time by K.M. Jackson (Sugar Lake #1)