Sweet Pea Summer is the second book in Alys Murray’s Full Bloom Farm series, and it features my very favorite romance trope: second chance romance. If you haven’t read the first book, The Magnolia Sisters, check it out and then snag this second book before the third, The Perfect Hideaway comes out later this month.
This book follows May Anderson, the youngest of the Anderson sisters. In The Magnolia Sisters, we learned that May’s high school boyfriend, Tom Riley, broke up with her the night of their high school graduation when they were supposed to be leaving town together. But…that was his sister Harper’s perspective. Now, we learn that it was actually May who broke up with Tom! *gasp*
The result of May’s years of lying about what happened has caused the entire town of Hillsboro to turn against Tom, which has nearly put his family winery out of business. May feels guilty…but not guilty enough to fess up and tell the truth.
When May and Tom reluctantly take over planning for the upcoming North West Food and Wine Festival, which could catapult the success of each of their own business and benefit the whole town, they’re forced to face what happened in the past. And, of course, they’re fighting all those old feelings bubbling to the surface.
I like how this book highlights family dynamics so well. As someone who doesn’t have sisters, it’s always seemed from the outside looking in that sisters tell each other everything. This book disproves that, tackling why May lied to her family–and the whole town–all those years ago and why she fears the truth coming out now. It’s also really interesting to see how May’s perception of her family and the town differs from Harper’s we saw in the first book. That’s part of what I love about a series is getting to examine how people in the same town and amongst many of the same people can have such a different perspective on things.
If you liked the first book, you’ll get plenty of the other characters in this book as well. My personal favorite is Annie Martin (whose Sweet Pea Summer so you’re ready to go when The Perfect Hideaway comes out on August 14.
Love small town romances? Find more here.