Life for Amy Warren in North Fork has lost its small town charm. Her ex-husband provides little support financially and is not available for their young children when theyneed it the most. Amy needs to sell the McMansion they had bought together, since she can no longer afford it. She wants to buy a historic cottage, but even that may not work out if she can't find more income than her job running the kitchen at her sister's cafe. Amy's best hope is to help find someone to buy and revive the closed textile mill.
Jacques St. Etienne arrives in town with an entourage and his own plans for the mill. Amy is wary of Jacques, even though she is obviously charmed by his European manners. Jacques seems to form an almost instant bond with Amy's two young children. The town warms to Jacques and he becomes "Zack" to them. Zack/Jacques is torn between his own business considerations and his growing attraction to Amy and her town. Jacques has to deal with some tragic events from his past before he can move on into a future for any of them.
Amy is a formidable heroine. She is a "take charge" woman who is afraid to give into her passions. Jacques is an alpha male on the exterior, but his vulnerable interior makes him empathetic and engaging. The author uses crisp dialog to bring all the characters alive. Her vibrant narrative give a true sense of place to the setting. Amy and Jacques' story is one of hope, redemption and second chances, which will strike a chord in all romance readers.
If you enjoyed Ms. Rice's early novel, SMALL TOWN GIRL, you are sure to be charmed by SWEET HOME CAROLINA. The author has added another wonderful warm book to her growing body of work.