Blog Tour: Jed Had to Die: Tara Sivec

Tara Sivec
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Release Date November 1, 2016

The happiest day of Payton Lambert's life was the day she graduated high school and watched Bald Knob, Kentucky get smaller and smaller in her rearview mirror. She wanted more for her life than a tiny town where everyone knows your business and you can’t find a decent cup of coffee for at least forty miles. Twelve years later, an unexpected phone call in the middle of the night has her packing up her life in Chicago and racing back home to the one person she ever regretted leaving behind.

Wait, one person?? Make that two. When the hell did Leo Hudson become sheriff of Bald Knob and get so hot? The scrawny Future Farmer of America who followed Payton around like a puppy and could recite cow insemination facts in his sleep is long gone. Leo is still hot on her heels, but now he's wearing a badge and dead set on solving a murder that may or may not involve Payton...along with half the town.

You steal a few wine coolers in high school and make one little comment about cutting off a man's balls when you come home, and suddenly, you're suspected of killing him.

In a town where the biggest crime happened the day Jethro Snell kicked a few of his cows (an honest mistake when you've had a few jars of homemade moonshine), people are pointing fingers, rumors are spreading like wildfire, and Payton swears she's only making out with the sweet-talking, studly sheriff to distract him from the secrets she's keeping.

When you've been tased, peed on by a yippy dog named Bo Jangles, and can't stop picturing what Sheriff Hudson looks like naked, it will be a tough job making everyone agree that...Jed had to die.

Payton Lambert escaped the small town of Bald Knob, Kentucky to live in Chicago and start her own coffee business. She's unfiltered, bold, judgmental, and likes things her way. She is who she is and everyone else just has to deal with it. She's in the process of making some positive changes in her life.

She has not been home for twelve years, but when she unexpectedly gets called back to Kentucky to help a friend in need, she has no idea how much her unfiltered mouth and reputation is going to get her in trouble.

She finds out that her best friend, Emma Jo is in one big mess. Payton just wants to help her, but before they know it things are getting more and more complicated and they keep digging themselves in deeper. Payton finds herself having volatile reactions towards the town's Sheriff, Leo Hudson. The nerdy, scrawny guy that used to follow her around like a puppy has grown into a big, bold alpha hottie. And he still has a thing for Payton.

Tiny town, nosy neighbors, big mouths, past mistakes, old crushes, hot deputies, murder, mayhem, wine, coffee...lots of coffee...and pie...

This book went in so many frantic directions right along with the spastic leading ladies. Payton, Emma Jo, and Payton's city bestie, Bettie, are wacky, wine guzzling, coffee addicted, outspoken women who are covering up so much that they are burying themselves in secrets and lies. But this girl pack is determined to stick together and get out of the mess they might have helped create with hopefully the least amount of fall out.

Who killed Jed? Are they responsible? They are not even sure through their own wine haze. And who else could have motive?

And how is Leo so hot? So bossy? So sweet? And so determined to get his chance with Payton. Their chemistry is scorching and he irresistable. But Payton escaped this place once, will she be saying happy trails again once the investigation is done? Or perhaps be behind bars?

This is a wild, hilarious, and mysterious romp. But it also is sweet, swoony, and has good messages about true friendship and home. I was totally caught up in the story and how it progressed and changed directions, and the addition of the investigation interviews from the townspeople added an extra touch of fun.

This is Tara Sivec's quirky, over-the-top, funny, sarcastic style built around a small town murder with plenty of odd characters, humorous situations, mystery, secrets, lies, and a hot, second-chance romance. Murder and death really shouldn't be this fun...but it was. Too bad Jed had to die...but not really. I need coffee now...but I think this may have ruined wine and blueberry pie for me...

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review. 

Payton left her small town life behind as fast as she could after high school and never looked back, until one phone call had her packing her bags to help the one person who could make her return. Her best friend needs her, and though Payton hasn’t been a good friend in the 12 years she’s been gone, she is determined to change that.

What Payton fails to take into account is that small towns have long memories, and her teenage antics have not been forgiven. Even though Emma Jo needs her help, Payton will have to ignore the gossip, the side-eyes, and the baited breath the town holds while waiting for her to screw up again.

When Jed winds up dead, Payton is the prime suspect, after all, she did threaten him publicly. And stole wine coolers once in high school.

While Payton struggles to piece together the events surrounding Jed’s death, she is also caught off guard by the handsome sheriff. He is sweet, protective, and easy on the eyes. Maybe some things do change in small towns? Because he sure wasn’t this handsome in high school! I loved watching the two of them skirt around each other and then give in to the attraction. What started as an attempt to distract the sheriff quickly morphed into something that had Payton wondering if she’d finally pushed things too far. Their history was perfect and the inside jokes/revisits made me laugh at the perfection.

This was a hilarious chase with antics that kept me in stitches. Payton and Bettie, and to a certain extent, Emma Jo, pull no punches as they lean on each other, keep each other’s secrets, and try to get through the town speculation.

Payton narrated most of the story, though there were chapters of the official investigation interspersed through the story that showed just how much of a witch hunt the town turned the investigation into. I loved the deputy’s attempts at real interviews and the townspeople’s long memories about Payton’s high school hijinx.

While the actual events surrounding Jed’s death were not a surprise by the time the big reveal happened, I loved the journey to get there. From Payton and the sheriff to the town’s people’s responses and suspicions, every bit had me laughing and grinning. This is yet another example of why humor is Tara Sivec’s thing -- a little bit slapstick, a little sarcastic, and a lot hilarious.

Tara Sivec

Tara Sivec is a USA Today best-selling author, wife, mother, chauffeur, maid, short-order cook, baby-sitter, and sarcasm expert. She lives in Ohio with her husband and two children and looks forward to the day when all three of them become adults and move out.

After working in the brokerage business for fourteen years, Tara decided to pick up a pen and write instead of shoving it in her eye out of boredom. She is the author of the Playing with Fire series, the Chocolate Lovers series, the Chocoholics series, the Fool Me Once series, Burned and Watch Over Me. Her novel Seduction and Snacks won first place in the Indie Romance Convention Reader's Choice Awards 2013 for Best Indie First Book and she was voted Best Indie Author in the Indie Romance Convention Reader's Choice Awards 2014.

In her spare time, Tara loves to dream about all of the baking she'll do and naps she'll take when she ever gets spare time.


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