Sultry with a Twist by Macy Beckett
Published: October 1, 2012 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Received: purchased e-book via B&N
When Mae-June July Augustine hightailed it out of Sultry Springs, Texas, with her heart in pieces, she swore she'd never return. But nine years later, one thing stands between June and her dream of opening an upscale martini bar: a month of community service under the supervision of the devilishly sexy Luke Gallagher, her first love and ex-best friend. As lust turns to love, June must decide where she belongs: in the glorious anonymity of Austin or back in Sultry Springs with the man who intoxicates her like no other. [goodreads]
This adult contemporary novel captured my interest from the first few pages when Texas was mentioned. Being a Texas girl myself, I love reading stories that are set in my home state. Macy Beckett portrayed a story around a fictional town of Sultry Springs that captured the essence of what a Texas small town is exactly like. I didn't have to wonder what this place looked like, it was right there on the page, line after line, posing as just another character in this devouring tale.
June left Sultry Springs nine years ago after being brought up by her stern Christian grandmother. She was seeking release, and she found it in the city of Austin, Texas. For nine years she worked on building her own bar, full of night life and class. She also spent nine years running from her past, and a warrant she forgot to take care of back in Sultry Springs.
Luke is the boy who grew up just down the hall from June. He came to live with June and her grandmother when his dead-beat Mama up and left him one day. He sought after not just a home, but a family as well. What he ended up with was a cold heart and the urge to shut out anyone who dared to love him. June and Luke became more than just childhood friends. But what began as a hot, steamy fling between two teenagers, quickly fizzled out as a mistake and regret for the following nine years.
June is forced to return to Sultry Springs and take care of her warrant so that she can continue on with her bar in Austin. But there's one catch, and his name is Luke. These two strangers are forced to work with another while June pays off her debt. In the process they start to rekindle what was left nine years ago. But they soon realize that even time doesn't heal all wounds. If anything, time has just brought these broken hearts to the surface and forced them to either break once again, or possibly be mended back together.
This story has a wonderful balance of both fun, quirky elements, as well as deeper emotional roots. One minute I was laughing at the hysterical situation June or Luke got themselves into. And then the next I was either swooning for these two childhood sweethearts, or on the verge of tears for a love that may be forever lost. Between the setting, the storyline, and the unforgettable cast of characters, I was smitten with this novel by Macy Beckett.