The Sugarhouse Blues – book review

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The Sugarhouse Blues
by Mariah Stewart
Release Date:  May 15, 2018
Publisher: Gallery Books
Book #2 of the Hudson Sisters series
Number of pages:  384
Kindle Edition
Source: ARC from Net Galley
Chick Lit/Contemporary Romance M/F
Rating: PG
Read 5/6/18 – 5/11/18

If you read the first book in this series, The Last Chance Matinee, you may know already that this book isn’t going to end with a neat bow tied around it and everything resolved.  The Hudson Sisters series is almost like a saga.  The first book was mostly about Cara, but the reader gets a lot of back story and also learns a lot about sisters Des and Allie.  Well, this story mostly focuses on Des with more pieces of Allie’s story getting filled in.  Although, I have to say, this one is much more focused on the one sister than the first book was.

I have to preface the remainder of this review by saying that I think the book should only be read if you have read The Last Chance Matinee.  I have read a few reviews of those that haven’t read the first book and still enjoyed this story.  But since I know the depth and idiosyncrasies of the relationships involved that you’ll be missing if you skip ahead to this one, I strongly urge you to read these books in order.

Des was my favorite of the sisters from the very beginning.  I can’t tell you exactly why.  Maybe because I can relate to the misunderstood middle child…even though she had no idea she was a middle child until recently.  I also quickly fell in love with Seth from the first book so it was wonderful to follow the path Des and Seth take to finding what they really want.  You can’t help but to root for these two.  And honestly, is there anything Seth can’t do?  Mayor, veteran, farmer, photographer, etc., etc.  He’s truly a jack of all trades!

Although this story is mostly about Des, I can’t help but be intrigued by Allie.  I by turns loathe her and want to give her a hug.  The chip on the woman’s shoulder is bigger than the sun.  I am chomping at the bit wondering what went down between her and Ben on the 4th of July and cannot wait to read the next story, which I’m sure will focus more on her.  The other plus to Allie is her daughter.  Nikki is so much fun and the way her mom feels about her helps to humanize Allie.

This book was a bit slower for me than the first book, but it was still amazing.  I can’t help but think the first book was more rounded since, of course, the author had to give us more info on everyone to set the groundwork.  I only hope the next book is either not the last book, or it’s a bit longer to give us a true ending to the Cara/Joe and Des/Seth stories.  While I understand why these individual books are not neatly wrapped up at the end, I hope for the series to be wrapped up to the extent there are no danglers left over.

4 stars

**I received an ARC of this book courtesy of Net Galley and the publisher. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and given freely**

About Cheri

I'm the mom of two boys and wife to my high school sweetheart. Our oldest, Josh, is living at home while working and paying off student loans. Our youngest, Griffin recently left his active duty Army job and is now National Guard here at home. He moved back to Michigan with his wife Kirsten and our beautiful granddaughter Hazel. I work part time and try to fit as much reading into my life as possible.
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