Review and Excerpt Tour: Anin't He Precious: Juliette Poe

Ain't He Precious (Sex and Sweet Tea#1)
Juliette Poe
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Release Date April 11, 2017

Welcome to Whynot, North Carolina, population 3,872. It has one stoplight, one bar, and the one-and-only Trixie Mancinkus.

Eleven years ago, Trixie graduated Harvard Law, turned down a job offer from one of the most prestigious law firms in Boston, and headed home to Whynot to open her own firm. Not only did she leave behind the big city, but she also left her boyfriend of three years. And just so we’re clear… that would be me.

So what am I doing in Whynot at this very moment? It seems Trixie needs help with a legal case and for some insane reason, she called on me for assistance. I’ve been in town for five minutes, and I’m every bit as out of place as I feel. Trixie is all sweet, southern curves to my tailored suits and high-priced haircuts. It’s a culture clash of north versus south and about the only thing we have in common is our physical attraction to each other.

But I have a new motto since coming to Whynot: When life hands you lemons, all you need is a little sex and sweet tea to make things better. 

I am a big fan of Sawyer Bennett and she tends to write various genres and I usually just blindly follow along. I am still not totally sure why she felt she wanted to write this series under a pen name since I think it does fall into her normal writing realm, but with that being said, this is definitely falls under her lighter, sweet, funny, and swoony side.

Trixie Mancinkus is the only lawyer in her tiny small Southern town of Whynot, NC. She is a bit unconventional, but she fits right into her quirky home town. She is smart, sassy, sweet, and patient, but can drink, curse, and fish as well as her brothers. She went to law school in Boston and was planning on staying there with her boyfriend, but she really felt the need to return to her roots and help people who needed it. So she left him in Boston, came home, broke both of their hearts, and never looked back.

Eleven years later, she is asking her old love, Ryland Powers, to come to Whynot to help on a case. He is now everything they planned on being in Boston...a successful, high-powered attorney with a tough reputation and a big income. And he is still handsome, charming, witty, and sexy.

It's North meets South again...Big city man vs. small town girl...and just like when they were in school, sparks are flying. There are also a lot of unresolved feelings under the surface. Their professional pairing leads pretty quickly to other kinds of pairing off. These two still have strong chemistry and a connection. They reopen all of the feelings and issues after all this time.  But bottom line, they never really got over each other. Their feelings are strong, but their problems are still the same--he's a city boy thriving in Boston and she's a small town girl surrounded by love and support in NC. They are inherently different people with different lives. And they are both entrenched in their careers and locations. So really everything has changed, and nothing at all.

This is about both of them facing their pasts, but it is also an eye-opening experience for the work-a-holic, Ry. His explorations of  Whynot are humorous and the vivid descriptions truly paint a picture of the small town and community. The town is full of quirky, strong-willed, and interesting characters with southern drawls and hospitality...well, if they are not wielding shotguns to protect their own. Whynot felt real. The characters made me smile. It made me want to sit out on the porch and drink sweet tea laced with moonshine with them.

This was a short, witty, sweet, and charming second-chance love story about family, home, and true love. It is low on angst and full of flirty banter, but not bogged down by lots of sex scenes. It is told in the points of view of Ryland, Trixie, and Pap. Her grandfather, Pap, is her best friend and he adds some comic relief and tough love. Trixie has a brood of brothers and sisters--Colt, Lowe, and twins, Laken and Larkin. Lowe's story has been teased a bit so I am looking forward to reading more about him and the other siblings. This is a delightful start to a new series oozing Southern charm, humor, romance, and a strong sense of community. 

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review. 
Trixie and Ryland had been making plans for their future, until something changed, sending Trixie back to the small town of Whynot, North Carolina to set up a practice, while Ryland remained in Boston as he had always planned.

But after 11 years apart, Trixie needs the big city name and reputation that Ryland has built in order to help one of her clients. When they are in the same room once again, sparks fly as if time hadn’t passed. But will they face the same problem that ultimately pulled them apart before?

This is such a sweet story. I love the blend of sweet Southern charm and sharp Yankee bluntness, blended perfectly for an entertaining read. It was an easy one to pick up and read. The drama was fairly smooth, with enough to keep me interested and reading, but not enough to overwhelm and drive the story.

Trixie and Ryland have a chemistry that is obvious to everyone around them. As they kick up gossip just from Ryland’s arrival, people who have known Trixie all her life start to see a different side of her.

Ryland has a bit of culture clash, as his suits and ties don’t fit with the laid back atmosphere of Whynot. He isn’t used to seeing Trixie in that same light, and has some adjusting of his own to make in the short time he is in town. 

This whole town was filled with charm and character. From the small shops, to the single bar on Main Street run by Trixie’s Yankee grandfather. Pap Mancinkus offered a humorous addition to the Southern charm, keeping a bit of his Northern roots even as he settled in a Southern town to be near his son. The final chapter gives a little clue as to the direction Pap is turning his matchmaking concerns and should make for yet another engaging read.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Over lettuce wraps, I let her vent more about her brother but I only let this go on during the appetizer. Once our entrees arrive, I insist we change the subject. She’s not calming down, only getting more worked up, and diversion has always worked best with Trixie.

“Raleigh seems to be a nice town,” I say conversationally in an effort to get her relaxed.
She rolls her eyes at me because as much as I know how to “handle” her when her temper is spiked, she recognizes the fact that I am indeed handling her. Apparently, she finds it adorable. She cuts a piece of her orange chicken and gives in to my attempt to switch the conversation. “It really is. It’s spread out so you don’t have that overwhelming big-city feel, but you have all the luxuries a big city affords like museums, professional sports, fine dining, etcetera.”
“Overwhelming is an interesting choice of words,” I observe. “You didn’t feel that way in Boston, did you?”
I’m surprised when her cheeks turn a bit red. Her voice is reluctant when she admits, “Yeah… it was a bit too much for me.”
My mouth hangs open as I stare at her. How could I not know that? We had made plans to live in Boston, and there was a time when she was completely on board.
“I’m sorry,” she blurts out. “I know what you’re thinking… Why would I have even considered all those plans we’d made if I felt that way?”
“Got to admit… this is a bit surprising to hear.”
Trixie puts her fork down and levels her gaze on me. “Ry… I loved you. And I loved Cambridge. It was small and well… comfortable. It wasn’t small like Whynot, but it reminded me of home a bit. But honestly, I was only considering staying there in Boston because of you. I didn’t like it at all. Too many people. Too much concrete and glass. Too much noise. It’s just not me.”
“You should have said something a lot earlier than you did,” I reprimand her quietly. I can’t help feeling a bit angry over this revelation, because who knows what would have happened had we had some honest discussions about where we wanted to go that could suit both of us.
“Would it have changed anything?” she asks me bluntly. “You were set on Boston. You wanted that job at Hayes Lockamy. You worked your ass off at Harvard and the clerkships to get that job offer. It was everything to you.”
“It wasn’t everything,” I tell her sharply. 
“Maybe not,” she retorts. “But it clearly meant more than me. As I recall, I asked you to come to Whynot to practice, and I got a resounding ‘no’ to that offer.”
“You sprung that on me at literally the last minute, Trixie,” I say angrily. “After I’d accepted the job offer at Hayes Lockamy. You didn’t give me any time to process any of it.”
“And you didn’t bother to try to talk me into staying,” she snaps.
“Seriously, Trix,” I say in exasperation. “I’ve been here two days, and I’ve watched you in your element. You were born to live here. This is where you’re supposed to be. Being a small-town lawyer in Whynot surrounded by your close-knit, if not nutty, family is what brings you joy. Are you seriously trying to infer that you would have left all of this to stay in Boston with me if I’d just tried to talk you into staying?”
“No, what I’m saying,” she sneers at me as she leans across the table but I don’t miss the light sheen of tears in her eyes, “is that you and I clearly weren’t meant to be, and we’re both better off for making the choices we did.”
Now that hits me hard, right in the middle of my chest, and I have to resist the urge to rub my knuckles over my breastbone to ease the pain.
Trixie merely pushes up from her chair, grabs her purse, and practically runs out of the restaurant.
“Shit,” I mutter as I stand up. I grab my wallet, take out enough money to cover the meal and tip, and toss it down on the table.
I jet out of the restaurant, scan the area, and see Trixie walking quickly toward her car. I wouldn’t put it past her to jump in it and drive off without me, so I break into a fast trot to catch up with her. My hand latches onto her elbow just as she reaches her car, and I spin her to face me.
“What the hell, Trix?” I ask her with frustration, anger, and a little bit of self-loathing that I let the conversation get so out of hand. I’ve always been the mild-mannered one between the two of us, knowing how to deftly control and sidestep her temper so it doesn’t get the better of her.
Or me.
I brace, expect her to rail and rant some more. Instead, she launches herself right at me, making a tiny hop to throw her arms around my neck. Her mouth comes to mine hard as one of her hands grips into my hair, fisting it tight.
Jesus Christ… stars wink in my vision at the feel of her mouth on mine, so long forgotten and yet completely familiar all at once. I don’t think—just act. My arms band around her tight, hauling her body to mine. I push her back into the side of her car, tilt my head, and I kiss her back with every bit of longing and regret that she seems to be mutually feeling in this moment.

AuthorPhotoJuliette Poe is the sweet and swoony alter ego of New York Times Best Selling author, Sawyer Bennett.

A fun-loving southern girl, Juliette knows the allure of sweet tea, small towns, and long summer nights, that some of the best dates end sitting on the front porch swing, and that family is top priority. She brings love in the south to life in her debut series, Sex & Sweet Tea. 

When Juliette isn’t delivering the sweetest kind of romance, she’s teaching her southern belle daughter the fine art of fishing, the importance of wearing Chucks, and the endless possibilities of a vivid imagination.




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