🎧 Just a Few Southern Eclectic Books I Read

Posted November 11, 2021 by Berls in Just a Few Books I Read, Review / 2 Comments

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This feature is for short reviews, reviews of books in a series where it might feel repetitive, or (as Michelle suggested) books I was too lazy to write a “real” review for. Today’s books are all from the Southern Eclectic Series by Molly Harper and narrated by Amanda Ronconi. I really need to get back  to this series, I was enjoying the heck out of it!

🎧  Just a Few Southern Eclectic Books I ReadSweet Tea and Sympathy by Molly Harper
Narrator: Amanda Ronconi
Series: Southern Eclectic #1
Published by Audible Studios on November 21, 2017
Genres: Humor, Romance, Contemporary
Length: 9 hours 27 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Borrowed
Goodreads
four-stars

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...

I really enjoyed Sweet Tea and Sympathy! It was different, to me, than a lot of Molly Harper reads – but in a good way. Still plenty of humor and small town hijinks, but it also felt somehow deeper to me. You’ve got our main character, Margot Carey, who starts the story off in typical Harper fashion – an party snafu involving flamingos that will leave you laughing so hard you cry. But it leads her down the road of desperation and reuniting with her long lost Georgia relatives and blundering through a strained relationship with her absentee, alcoholic father. That relationship dynamic, along with all the new family, went a bit deeper than I expect from a Harper book. And then, she meets this handsome lumberjack of a guy and… Again this is where dependable Harper (sexiness and hilarity combined) meets the unexpected. I don’t want to spoil things, but that relationship has elements to it that were deeper than usual (but also allowed for some funny moments). I really enjoyed this one a lot and hope there are more to come from this small town! As always, Amanda Ronconi’s narration was fantastic! I can’t imagine not listening to a Harper book narrated by Ronconi!

4 stars Pretty Great

🎧  Just a Few Southern Eclectic Books I ReadPeachy Flippin' Keen by Molly Harper
Narrator: Amanda Ronconi
Series: Southern Eclectic #1.5
Published by Audible Studios on April 9, 2018
Genres: Humor, Romance, Contemporary
Length: 2 hours 19 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Borrowed
Goodreads
four-stars

A prank war erupts in Lake Sackett, Georgia and coroner Frankie McCready has to turn to the gorgeous but surly new sheriff for help in Molly Harper’s newest Southern Eclectic novella, perfect for fans of Kristan Higgins and Amy E. Reichert.
The McCready Family Funeral Home and Bait Shop has crickets running rampant in the store and hot sauce in the Snack Shack’s ketchup bottles. But as the county coroner, Frankie has enough on her plate without worrying about the increasingly mean pranks being played at her family’s business. And the arrival of Sheriff Eric Linden, both devastatingly attractive and painfully taciturn, is enough to push her over the edge.
Linden, who didn’t seem to get the memo about men in uniform and Southern charm, is condescending and cold, revealing absolutely nothing about his past as an Atlanta police officer, while also making Frankie’s job as coroner as difficult as possible. And with the town’s Fourth of July celebration coming up, it’s essential for McCready’s to be cricket-free and in good working order. Strangling the sheriff will make her job even harder. Can Frankie hold off the threats to preserve her own sanity?
With her trademark “clever humor, snark, silliness, and endearing protagonists” (Booklist), Molly Harper invites fans to return to the family they first met in Sweet Tea and Sympathy. Y’all sit down and stay a while, won’t you?
Listening Length: 2 hours and 19 minutes

A really fun short and I’m very much looking forward to more of the story! I was not happy that it ended when it did, but that’s a short for you, right?

I really love the characters and Frankie is probably my favorite so I’m loving having her story and I sure hope the next one is a continuation!!

Love Amanda Ronconi’s narration as always. There’s a part where she makes a dog noise that was so perfect, I could swear it was a real dog! I think I’ll be continuing this series immediately.

4 stars Pretty Great

🎧  Just a Few Southern Eclectic Books I ReadAin't She a Peach by Molly Harper
Narrator: Amanda Ronconi
Series: Southern Eclectic #2
Published by Audible Studios on June 12, 2018
Genres: Humor, Romance, Contemporary
Length: 6 hours 51 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Borrowed
Goodreads
four-stars

An Atlanta ex-cop comes to sleepy Lake Sackett, Georgia, seeking peace and quiet—but he hasn’t bargained on falling for Frankie, the cutest coroner he’s ever met.
Frankie McCready talks to dead people. Not like a ghost whisperer or anything—but it seems rude to embalm them and not at least say hello.
Fortunately, at the McCready Family Funeral Home & Bait Shop, Frankie’s eccentricities fit right in. Lake Sackett’s embalmer and county coroner, Frankie’s goth styling and passion for nerd culture mean she’s not your typical Southern girl, but the McCreadys are hardly your typical Southern family. Led by Great-Aunt Tootie, the gambling, boozing, dog-collecting matriarch of the family, everyone looks out for one another—which usually means getting up in everyone else’s business.
Maybe that’s why Frankie is so fascinated by new sheriff Eric Linden...a recent transplant from Atlanta, he sees a homicide in every hunting accident or boat crash, which seems a little paranoid for this sleepy tourist town. What’s he so worried about? And what kind of cop can get a job with the Atlanta PD but can’t stand to look at a dead body?
Frankie has other questions that need answering first—namely, who’s behind the recent break-in attempts at the funeral home, and how can she stop them? This one really does seem like a job for the sheriff—and as Frankie and Eric do their best Scooby-Doo impressions to catch their man, they get closer to spilling some secrets they thought were buried forever.

So fun! I love Frankie. She’s a funny character, with lots of quirks and snark (in true Molly Harper fashion). The family in this series is pretty great and the number of times I literally laughed out loud made it the perfect read for before and after work. Looking forward to more in this series. Definitely to be listened to, with Amanda Ronconi nailing the narration as always.

4 stars Pretty Great

🎧  Just a Few Southern Eclectic Books I ReadA Few Pecans Short of a Pie by Molly Harper
Narrator: Amanda Ronconi
Series: Southern Eclectic #2.5
Published by Audible Studios on February 26, 2019
Genres: Humor, Romance, Contemporary
Length: 2 hours 49 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Borrowed
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Sexy school principal Kyle faces the biggest challenge of his career: getting his (pregnant) event planner girlfriend Margot down the aisle before the baby arrives!
Readers first fell in love with big city event planner Margot in the first Southern Eclectic novel, Sweet Tea and Sympathy, as she discovered a long-lost branch of her family—the McCreadys, of McCready's Bait Shop & Funeral Home. To Margot’s surprise, she's taken a liking to life in small-town Georgia...helped along by a romance with the hot elementary school principal.
The two of them have been taking it slow—or they were until Margot gets pregnant! Kyle wants to make an honest woman of her, but Margot's still trying to proceed with caution. After all, she was the best event planner in Chicago before she ever came to Lake Sackett—her wedding has to be perfect, and perfect includes not having the baby halfway down the aisle.
With her trademark witty prose and warmhearted storytelling, Molly Harper’s newest glimpse of the McCready family will be perfect for fans of Christina Lauren and Amy E. Reichert.

I continue to really enjoy this series from Molly Harper (what have I not enjoyed of hers?!?).

It was fun coming back to the original couple, further down the road in their relationship. I think it was also particularly fun for me to read about a pregnant heroine while also being pregnant. She’s having a harder go of it than I am though lol 😉

I like seeing the developing relationship between Margot and Kyle’s girls and the complications of stepping into a step-mom position when their mother has passed away. And, of course, the humor was totally on point.

I would have loved to see this continue on as a full-length, passed the wedding to the birth of the baby, but I’m sure we’ll get that from some character’s point of view eventually, so I’m okay waiting.

And of course, love Amanda Ronconi’s narration. That’s always perfect for me !
3.5 stars pretty good

About Berls

Michelle adopted me as part of her blog when I decided to close down my blog, Fantasy is More Fun. The blog was dying, but my love of reading and the blogosphere was still strong as ever - so I found my new home here at Because Reading!

I'm not just a book lover, but a one time author (that hopes to be more in the future), wife, mom to the cutest, happiest, best 1 year old and step-mom to the craziest, sweetest 20 year old on the planet. My family mean everything to me and they appear frequently in the Sunday Post with Berls. So grab a glass of wine and chat books, blogging, and family with me!

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