Southern Charmed by Melanie Jacobson
Lila Mae Guidry is a Southern girl through and through. As a fourth-generation Latter-day Saint in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, she’s proud of her heritage as both a Southerner and a Saint—and she doesn’t take kindly to people who disparage either. Ten years ago, Max Archer was just that kind of jerk. As the mission president’s son, Max spent his entire three years mocking the South . . . and teenage Lila. After Max’s family moved away, Lila forgot about her sworn enemy. Almost.
When a new job brings a grown-up Max back to Baton Rouge, Lila is less than thrilled with his reappearance, especially since everyone seems intent on throwing her together with this old adversary. Yet fight as she may, Lila soon realizes resistance is futile—their connection is undeniable. Max embodies everything she wants in a man—except perhaps the most important thing—her life is rooted in the city she loves, but his dreams are bigger than Baton Rouge. With such mismatched visions of the future, Max and Lila are faced with a life-altering decision: jeopardize their aspirations or risk losing love.
This was a fun, enjoyable book to read. I really like Melanie Jacobson's books, and this one did not disappoint. I do have to say that it wasn't my favorite, but it was still good. I think this book was missing some of the snarky humor that I love from her other books.
Lila and Max's relationship is intriguing from the get-go. I love how her mother keeps trying to throw the two of them together, even though Lila is less than enthusiastic to begin with. It was really nice to see how their relationship grew, especially after Lila learns that Max has changed and she can trust him, as well as trust her feelings about him.
One thing that was kind of hard for me to swallow was Lila's insistence that no matter what, she would not leave Baton Rouge. I guess I've never lived anywhere that I loved that much, but I can't imagine choosing a place to live over someone you love.
Such a fun read. I devoured it in no time, and I can't wait to read it again. I loved the Southern culture. I loved Lila passion and talent for her job. Her mom is the best lady ever. Max is a sweetheart, and it has a beautiful cover :)
I'm not sure I totally loved the ending. I mean, I liked the happiness and everything, but without giving away anything it just seemed that the stubbornness that caused all the problems made one person compromise. I guess the other person was willing to as well, but I guess since I've never loved a place or a job like these two did, I couldn't really relate.
I would definitely recommend this LDS fiction to my friends. (If you have no background in the LDS culture, you might be a little lost sometimes). I will be re-reading this one again soon.
I'm a big fan of Melanie Jacobson's books, and was very excited for the chance to review her latest novel, Southern Charmed. Just before receiving my review copy I saw a post by the author about how part of the proceeds from the sale of the book through Seagull Book were going to help with flood relief in Louisiana. This helped me appreciate the book even more knowing that it was helping a great cause.
This had a bit of a different feel from a lot of Melanie's other books. It wasn't bad different, but I wasn't totally sure how I felt about it.
The premise was fun-enemies (of a sort) meeting again, and then seeing if they could overcome their past to be friends (or more) with mom pushing for a relationship. The first re-meet was awkward for Lila but very enjoyable as a reader.
I got a bit caught up on how a lot of focus went toward what had happened at a dance many years before. When the details finally came out, I was surprised that Lila had already forgiven Max. Of course, that was good, but it was strange since it seemed like she still dwelt on it and then the matter was suddenly over.
The ending was very sweet. I liked Lila's role as a teacher. She was very good and definitely went the extra mile. I'm not sure that I liked Max. He did make up for his career driven-ness at the end though.
About the Author:
Melanie Bennett Jacobson is an avid reader, amateur cook, and champion shopper. She lives in Southern California with her husband and children and a series of doomed houseplants, and is currently pursuing a Masters degree in writing for children and young adults.
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Title: Southern Charmed
Author: Melanie Jacobson
Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc.
Published: September 2016
Source: We received copies from the publisher in exchange for a review.
Purchase: Amazon | Seagull Book | Deseret Book