Thursday, January 16, 2014

SUNNY: BOOK REVIEW "Sweet Southern Betrayal" by Robin Covington

Privileged and ambitious attorney Teague Elliott is on the fast-track to getting everything he wants. All he has to do is stay on the straight and narrow and a high-profile political career is his for the taking. Until he wakes up naked with a Vegas showgirl...

Risa Clay has worked hard to put her showgirl past behind her and start fresh. But she owes ten grand to the wrong people, and to pay off her debt, she agrees to betray a stranger. . .but she ends up with a husband and guilty conscience.

Savvy and determined, she double-crosses the mob, goes on the run, and turns up on Teague’s doorstep armed with a dangerous secret, a marriage license, and the power to ruin his well-planed future. She thought using Teague again would be easy, but the passion that exploded between them in Vegas didn’t stay in Sin City and betrayal is the last thing on her mind.

Now Teague has to choose between the future he’s planned for all his life, or the one with Risa that he can’t turn away from

Sweet Southern Betrayal is book 3 in the Boys Are Back In Town series by Robin Covington.  Being a fan of the series, I was thrilled at the release of book 3.  However, I had a reservation - how could the author get all of Teague's goodness in a mere 161 pages? It cannot be enough!  

After reading the book, my response is:  Small packages, big bang.  Holy Smokes! Is my Kindle on fire?

In a good romance novel sometimes it's about the relationship between characters, sometimes it's about whether or not we like the characters, and sometimes it just about how the story evolves, then sometimes we get the the Perfect Storm when all three happen in the perfect mix of hot, sweet and suspense.  I love virtually everything about this story.  I love the playful writing ("apocalypse sex", very appropriate label), the emergence of serious themes, and the nod to one of my favorite books, Jane Eyre

We often talk about whether the characters have chemistry in a book.  I think there is also chemistry between the reader and the writer.  This reaction happens when the material the author writes resonates with you on a deeper level. One aspect I enjoyed is the author raising issues about privilege and meritocracy without being preachy.  Teague and Risa come from opposite backgrounds.  This idea of being able to see and understand each others experience and perspectives and not assume to understand is important.  This holds true not only from a class perspective but also from all aspects of diversity.  I have often used the question, "when does a fish notice the water she is in?" The answer: "When she is out of the water".  

It takes interactions with Risa and his friends for Teague to realize his struggles as the town's favored son is both unique and shared.  Teague lives a life of privilege and although he does not flaunt it, he does not realize at first, that it colors the lenses in which he sees the world.  At the same time, he and Riza both share a struggle with expectations based on their upbringing. Maybe they have more in common than they first realize. 

All of this important stuff in the context of a spitfire, hot romance - Robin Covington, you outdid yourself.

Yes, I am gushing because I simply could not get enough.  This book has all the right ingredients to keep you glued to the pages.  

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