Ain't She a Peach

Ain't She a Peach

by Molly Harper

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Overview

An Atlanta ex-cop comes to sleepy Lake Sackett, Georgia, seeking peace and quiet—but he hasn’t bargained on falling for Frankie, the cutest coroner he’s ever met.

Frankie McCready talks to dead people. Not like a ghost whisperer or anything—but it seems rude to embalm them and not at least say hello.

Fortunately, at the McCready Family Funeral Home & Bait Shop, Frankie’s eccentricities fit right in. Lake Sackett’s embalmer and county coroner, Frankie’s goth styling and passion for nerd culture mean she’s not your typical Southern girl, but the McCreadys are hardly your typical Southern family. Led by Great-Aunt Tootie, the gambling, boozing, dog-collecting matriarch of the family, everyone looks out for one another—which usually means getting up in everyone else’s business.

Maybe that’s why Frankie is so fascinated by new sheriff Eric Linden...a recent transplant from Atlanta, he sees a homicide in every hunting accident or boat crash, which seems a little paranoid for this sleepy tourist town. What’s he so worried about? And what kind of cop can get a job with the Atlanta PD but can’t stand to look at a dead body?

Frankie has other questions that need answering first—namely, who’s behind the recent break-in attempts at the funeral home, and how can she stop them? This one really does seem like a job for the sheriff—and as Frankie and Eric do their best Scooby-Doo impressions to catch their man, they get closer to spilling some secrets they thought were buried forever.

With Ain’t She a Peach, Molly Harper proves once again that she “never lets the reader down with her delightfully entertaining stories” (Single Titles).

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781501151330
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication date: 06/12/2018
Series: Southern Eclectic Series , #4
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 166,112
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Molly Harper is the author of two popular series of paranormal romance, the Half-Moon Hollow series and the Naked Werewolf series. She also writes the Bluegrass ebook series of contemporary romance. A former humor columnist and newspaper reporter, she lives in Michigan with her family, where she is currently working on the next Southern Eclectic novel. Visit her on the web at MollyHarper.com.

Read an Excerpt

Ain’t She a Peach




  • FRANKIE McCREADY CAREFULLY dusted Maybelline blush in Light Rose on the curve of Eula Buckinerny’s cheek.

    “Now, Miss Eula, I know you’ve never been one for makeup. You’ve always been blessed with such a nice complexion, you’ve never needed it,” Frankie murmured over the strains of the Mount Olive Gospel Singers’ rendition of “How Great Thou Art.” She liked to play her customers’ favorite music in the background while she made them up, so they would feel at home. “But every now and again, a girl needs some help from a good foundation and blush.

    “Do ya think I wake up every morning with this fabulous Elizabeth Taylor lash already in place?” Frankie gestured to her own carefully framed violet-blue eyes. “No, this is the result of a steady hand and some indecently expensive mascara that I splurge on every six months. But don’t tell my mama. You know her. She gets downright indignant at the idea of spendin’ more than ten dollars on anything you’re just going to wash off your face every night.”

    Frankie studied her makeup kit and chose a lip color that, while just a bit pinker than beige, was still more risqué than anything Miss Eula had ever worn, even at the annual Sackett County Homemaker Society Awards Dinner. She painted a thin, careful coat across Eula’s lips. “This will be our little secret.”

    Frankie dipped a smaller brush in a dark brown contouring powder called Hot Chocolate that would give Eula’s features shadow and dimension. After a few strokes, Frankie leaned back and admired her handiwork.

    “There. You look beautiful. And I really think that lipstick pops with your pretty pink suit. Trudy Darnell will spend the month trying to figure out how ya managed to go out looking better than her, even in your casket.”

    Smiling down at Eula one last time, Frankie bowed her head in a solemn gesture of farewell. She closed the frosted pink casket lid just as a loud knock sounded on the mortuary room door. “Frankie! Is it all clear?”

    “Sure, Margot, I’m all finished up with Miss Eula.”

    Frankie’s cousin stuck her blond head through the door. Margot Cary was just as sleek and polished as she’d been the day she stepped off the plane from Chicago a few months ago to take what was supposed to be a temporary job at the McCready Family Funeral Home and Bait Shop. And while her slick designer suits were still very much out of place in semirural Georgia, Frankie and the rest of the McCreadys were working like ants on a discarded Blow Pop to make her feel like part of the family.

    “You comin’ in?” Frankie asked.

    “Nope.”

    Frankie snorted. Her cousin took no crap from the local PTA-based social terrorists, but she was still pretty creeped out by the concept of embalming. Frankie tried not to judge. After all, she was creeped out by the concept of gluten-free cupcakes and juice cleanses.

    “Sheriff Linden is here for you, Frankie,” Margot said, training her eyes on a spot over Frankie’s shoulder, away from the form of Benjoe Watts, lying under a pristine white sheet on table two. “They’re bringing in Bobby Wayne Patterson.”

    “Oh, that’s a shame.” Frankie sighed, frowning deeply.

    “Yeah, my dad said that y’all—you all had been expecting this one for a while,” Margot said, clearing her throat.

    Frankie’s momentary sadness over Bobby Wayne gave way to warm internal fuzziness over her cousin’s casual use of my dad, something that wouldn’t have happened just a few weeks before. After a lifetime of separation from the whole family, Margot wasn’t quite ready to call Stan McCready “Daddy.” But the two were able to stay in the same room and make pleasant conversation on a regular basis, which was a considerable improvement over when Margot had arrived.

    Also, Margot had started to say “y’all,” which made Frankie perversely proud.

    “Could you tell my dad that Miss Eula’s coming up on the elevator?” Frankie asked. “All prettied up and ready for her party.”

    “Will do,” Margot said, the corners of her slick coral lips lifting. “Your mom left your lunch in my office and said to remind you that you have to eat at some point. I believe the exact phrase she used was ‘No excuses or I’ll give her a whooping, just like when she was little.’?”

    “She’s all talk. I never got whoopin’s.”

    “I’d still eat the freaking sandwich, if I were you,” Margot told her. “Your mother is a culinary genius, and bacon is her medium of artistic expression.”

    “Yeah, yeah,” Frankie said, rolling the closed pink casket toward the elevator that led to the west chapel. She called after Margot, who was already halfway up the stairs to the funeral home proper. “Remind Daddy that Miss Eula ordered a full spray of white roses! She wanted them in place for her visitation. And she wanted to make sure Trudy Darnell saw them. She actually wrote it in her preplanned funeral paperwork: ‘Make sure Trudy Darnell sees me covered in white roses.’ They had a long-standin’ feud over some pie-related incident at the 1964 county fair.”

    “The roses are already here. I’ll place them myself,” Margot promised from the stairwell. “Also, for the record, I did not expect the old church ladies to be this cutthroat. It’s like Game of Thrones with less nudity and more denture cream.”

    “Just be grateful for the ‘less nudity,’?” Frankie yelled.

    “Trust me when I say that I am.”

    Frankie snickered and then heard Margot say, “She’s ready to see you, Sheriff,” before click-clacking her way up the stairs on her scary ice-pick heels. Frankie had no idea how Margot walked in those things, much less did stairs.

    Frankie turned to see a tall man in a dark green Sackett County Sheriff’s Department uniform duck through the door. She kept her lip from curling in disdain, but it was a near thing. “Sheriff.”

    Blessed with a thick head of dark-blond hair and eyes the color of new moss, Eric Linden wasn’t handsome in the classical sense. Frankie knew enough about bone structure to see that his sharp cheekbones and slightly crooked Roman nose didn’t quite coordinate with his high forehead and square chin. His lips were oddly full and opened over white, but certainly not orthodontia-perfect, teeth. His top canines in particular were slightly off-kilter, which shouldn’t have been charming but somehow was.

    And damn, did that man know how to fill out a uniform. The fit of Eric’s shirt alone was enough to make Frankie more than a little self-conscious. She liked to think that her sense of style made up for her own pale, under-toned physique. For instance, today’s ensemble of a black tunic over tights printed with galaxies and comets lent her a certain air of quirky elegance. It would help her self-esteem considerably if she didn’t turn to lady jelly in a lab coat every time she made eye contact with those big green eyes of his, while he seemed to remain unaffected. He was supposed to have been a fun highlight to an outstanding “self-care” weekend—a highlight she would never have to see again. But here she was, enduring regular awkward interactions with a guy who seemed to think she was some heartless sex marauder, all because she hadn’t stuck around for postcoital pancakes a few weeks before.

    “Ms. McCready,” he drawled, his eyes catching on Mr. Watts. He seemed to blanch, and his speech faltered for a second. “I—Y—Your cousin was supposed to tell you Bobby Wayne Patterson is coming in. I think it’s a possible homicide. Since you’re the county coroner, I need you to give him the full workup before I can send him along to the state crime lab.”

    Jesus Herbert Christ. Not this again.

    Eric Linden seemed to think that anybody who didn’t die in intensive care surrounded by a circle of great-great-grandchildren was the victim of foul play. This was the second body he’d brought in as a “possible homicide” in the couple of weeks since he had taken over for the recently retired Sheriff Rainey. The first was Len Huffman, a poor tourist from Ohio who’d had no idea how to operate a fishing boat near a dam and ended up drowning. Sheriff Linden had insisted the boater’s pretty and much younger wife had something to do with his untimely demise and refused to release the body to the family until he had evidence. While Frankie could see the motive in a woman forced to spend her precious vacation driving to Georgia for fishing, ultimately overconfidence and poor boatsmanship were the only killers in this case. It took Frankie’s autopsy report, a statement from the bass boat’s manufacturer, and affidavits from the man’s sons regarding his poor swimming skills to convince Sheriff Linden.

    Her relationship with Eric had suffered several episodes of tragic dickheadery in the short time she’d known him. What had been a very pleasant encounter that they’d both enjoyed—several times—on one of Frankie’s lost weekends in Atlanta was ruined when Eric was introduced to her as Lake Sackett’s new sheriff. Eric did not appreciate Frankie’s no-nonsense approach to anonymous short-term relationships and was not pleased to find he’d moved to her hometown. He’d proceeded to act like an asshat every time their jobs brought them together. He’d managed to make her feel unattractive, unprofessional, and unwanted without really trying. And when she’d thought they’d finally reached some sort of understanding after resolving Len Huffman’s case, he’d stomped all over it by accusing her of securing her evidence by inappropriately using her connections and natural charms.

    Frankie considered herself a nice person, but she would dearly love to see Eric ugly-cry.

    The buzzer by the back bay rang, letting Frankie know that a “delivery” was coming into her mortuary. She crossed the gray-tiled room and punched in the key code to electronically open the double doors. Naomi Daniels, the local day-shift paramedic, wheeled a gurney through the sunlit doorway. Poor Bobby Wayne was safely tucked inside a standard-issue black body bag. Frankie’s heart ached for his long-suffering mama.

    “Hey, Naomi,” Frankie said, a note of finality in her voice, as if she’d been expecting this delivery.

    “Hi, Frankie.” Naomi’s voice was resigned as she handed over the clipboard. Her messy brown hair hung limp around her cherubic face as she bent over the body. “Unresponsive at the scene. No breath, no pulse, cold to the touch. Pretty sure the cause of death is that big ol’ missing spot in the back of his head, but you’d know better than me.”

    “Who found him?” Frankie asked, taking the state paperwork that assigned her official stewardship of the body.

    “The Clay boys. Poor things skipped school to squirrel hunt and found a dead body for their trouble.”

    “Well, they’ll never play hooky again,” Frankie muttered. She checked over the paperwork one last time before signing and handing it back to Naomi. The paramedic used her considerable upper-body strength to transfer the body bag onto Frankie’s central treatment table. Frankie noted that the sheriff hadn’t even offered to help her.

    “No, they will not,” Naomi said, shaking her head. “Little Brody Clay threw up so much I thought I was going to have to drop him off at the ER before I brought Bobby Wayne in.”

    Frankie grimaced. “Sheriff, this sort of thing can be pretty traumatic. You might make sure the boys get referred to the county’s mental health services for follow-up counseling. You’ll have to talk their daddy into it, because Allan Clay doesn’t buy into that sort of thing.”

    “Already done,” the sheriff said, his square jaw stiff. “I know my job.”

    Frankie pressed her poppy-bright mouth into a thin line, exhaled through her nose, and counted to eight. He didn’t deserve ten.

    Naomi saw the grim set of Frankie’s normally cheerful mouth and took a step back. “Okay, then. I’m going to head out. Sheriff, you have my statement. If you need anything else, let me know.”

    Sheriff Linden offered her a curt nod and Naomi carefully wheeled her gurney out into the sunlight. As she closed the double doors behind her, she mouthed the words Good luck at Frankie.

    Frankie took the necessary report forms out of the filing cabinet by her desk. The little Funko Pop! versions of the Avengers, plus half the Lannister family, standing sentinel over her desktop monitor didn’t cheer her up like they normally did. She wanted Eric Linden and his big-city cop attitude out of her work space, yesterday. He was a condescending ass in a town that had already met its condescending-ass quota. They didn’t need to go importing them from Atlanta.

    Frankie cleared her throat and turned carefully on thick-soled sneakers printed in cosmic blues, pinks, and purples. She thought they were a nice complement to the purple and blue streaks in her hair. “Can you explain to me why you think that Mr. Patterson’s death is a homicide?”

    The sheriff cleared his throat and several beads of sweat appeared on his brow. “If you would open the body bag, I’ll show you.”

    Frankie shook her head. “After the deceased come through my doors, I don’t like to let other people see them until I’ve prettied them up for their services. It’s a little more dignified.”

    Eric frowned at her. “Do you understand how police investigations work? This isn’t optional. I’m the sheriff. You’re the coroner. I don’t want to use the phrase ‘chain of command,’ because it’s too damn early and I’ve spent my morning up to my ass cheeks in chiggers. So please, just open the damn bag.”

    “I might, if you would explain to me how you could possibly think this is a homicide investigation.”

    “The gunshot wound to the head doesn’t seem suspicious to you?” he drawled.

    “Not when you consider that Bobby Wayne Patterson drank at least a twelve-pack of Bud Light every day and he was an avid hunter who built his own deer stand about twenty years ago. Also while drunk. And he called the safety on firearms ‘the sissy button.’ So no, when I add all of those factors up . . . I’m not seein’ homicide.”

    “Just because the man had a reputation as a drunk doesn’t mean he couldn’t have met with foul play!” the sheriff exclaimed. Frankie noticed that he’d gone oddly pale. “Every case deserves our full attention.”

    “I absolutely agree. But how many times have you pulled Bobby Wayne over for DUI in the weeks you’ve worked here?”

    Sheriff Linden grimaced, which was answer enough for Frankie. He fumed, “So you’re just going to sign off on it as an accident without even looking into it? Is that how you normally handle things around here, Ms. McCready?”

    “No, I’m going to do my due diligence, just like I do with each and every body that comes through my doors. But I’m not going to waste the county’s limited budget on expensive, unnecessary tests when we need to save it just in case there’s an actual murder in our town . . . for the first time in more than twenty years.”

    Sheriff Linden glowered at her with those icy green eyes of his and she rolled her own in response. “Okay, do you have pictures of the scene?”

    The sheriff took a mini tablet out of an oversize pocket in his cargo pants, tapped in an access code, and handed it to her without looking at the screen. She scrolled through the photos of the body, the deer stand, and the ground surrounding the scene, until she found one that featured the dry-rotted wooden steps Bobby Wayne had nailed into the broad oak tree when he was in high school. Frankie noted that the fifth step up was broken and dangling from the trunk by a loosened nail.

    “That broken step’s, what, eight feet off of the ground?” she said, manipulating the screen to zoom in on the step. Sheriff Linden frowned at the screen and nodded. Frankie snapped on a pair of sterile exam gloves.

    “Excuse me, Bobby Wayne,” she said in a polite but brisk tone. “I just need to take a quick look.”

    “You talk to the dead bodies?” Eric asked.

    “I was raised well. Just because they’re not breathin’ doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be polite,” she shot back as she opened the body bag and gently extended Bobby Wayne’s hand. The sheriff took a rather large step back and she showed him the dark brown material packed under Bobby Wayne’s ragged fingernails. “And this looks like tree bark, doesn’t it? And those stains on his sleeves?” Frankie sniffed delicately at the green camo jacket. “Smell a lot like beer.”

    The sheriff nodded, his lips going the color of day-old oatmeal. “McCready, don’t sniff the body. I gotta draw a line somewhere.”

    “From that height, given the scratches on the tree trunk and the bark under his nails, and what looks like a Bud Light can at the base of the tree, I think it’s pretty safe to say that Bobby Wayne was trying to climb into his rickety old deer stand while holdin’ a beer, because I’m pretty sure Bobby Wayne was born holdin’ a beer. The step gave way under his foot, he dropped the beer, tried to keep hold of the trunk, but fell onto his back, with his rifle barrel right under the base of his skull, and the rifle went off. It’s a terrible tragedy, but these things happen. Haven’t you ever heard of the Darwin Awards?”

    Sheriff Linden shook his head. “How would that even happen?”

    Frankie took the sheriff’s tablet and opened the photos from the crime scene. She noted the way he instinctually turned his eyes away from the images. She tapped the screen. “Bobby Wayne always used his granddaddy’s rifle. He thought it was good luck.”

    “Okay.”

    “Well, modern firearms have that firing pin block thing that prevents a gun from firing accidentally if it’s dropped.”

    “I’m familiar with the concept.”

    “Bobby Wayne’s granddaddy’s rifle didn’t have that. So . . . not good luck after all.” When he shot her a disappointed look, she added, “But just to make you feel better, I’ll run tests on the back of Bobby Wayne’s jacket to show the patterns of gunshot residue and determine how the rifle was situated against his back when it was fired. And I’ll send the bullet to the state lab for comparison to his rifle.”

    “You can run GSR tests here?” Sheriff Linden asked, eyeing her work space.

    “As I’ve told you before, Sheriff, this is technically the county morgue. There’s no major hospital for fifty miles. I’ve been the county coroner since my uncle, the last coroner, died. I know what I’m doin’.”

    “You ran unopposed,” Sheriff Linden shot back, a tiny bit of color returning to his cheeks.

    “No one else wanted the job,” she told him. “Because people around here enjoyed dealin’ with Sheriff Rainey about as much as I like dealing with you.”

    “Well, that’s hurtful.” He placed his hand over his heart. For the first time since he’d entered the basement, Sheriff Linden offered a hint of a smile and she saw a glimpse of that charming, adventurous soul she’d spent quality naked time with all those nights ago.

    “I’m not tryin’ to be hurtful. Just honest.” Frankie carefully tucked Bobby Wayne’s arm back in the bag and zipped it. The sheriff took a deep breath and his shoulders relaxed. Frankie rounded the table and he took several steps back toward Mr. Watts’s table.

    “I get that you’re used to murders by the hour, but you’re going to have to pump your brakes just a little bit. This is Lake Sackett. Not every non-natural death is going to be suspicious. Sometimes alcohol and outdoor sports are going to combine in awful, permanent ways.”

    “Look, I’m an interim sheriff. I took the job knowing I would only have it until the special election in November. That doesn’t make it any less demoralizing to campaign for the job I have. And difficult, since, as you like to point out at every possible opportunity, I’m an outsider. I have to make a good impression with voters or there’s no hope of me getting elected.” He pinned her with those frank, incredibly dilated green eyes. “Besides, I saw what happened to the last sheriff. I would like to retire without the words ‘gross incompetence’ written on my cake.”

    “Well, don’t let your evidence room become a hoarder nightmare and you’ll already be way ahead of Sheriff Rainey.”

    Eric wiped at his sweaty brow. “So, what, you’re saying I should relax? Take up a hobby?”

    Frankie opened a mini-fridge she kept near her desk and handed him a bottle of water. “No, I’m sayin’ you’re going to burn yourself out if you’re not careful. And you’re going to become the ‘boy who cries murder,’ which will make people laugh at you when you walk into the Rise and Shine. They’ll pretend it’s something else, but it will be you. Not to mention, it doesn’t look great to the tourist trade if every hunting accident and drowning is investigated as the possible work of a serial killer.”

    The sheriff sagged against the autopsy table behind him. “You’re right. But for the record, I want to do a good job, not just ’cause I want to be elected, but for my own reasons. I have to do well here.”

    “Um, I really appreciate this new level of emotional openness between us, but maybe you shouldn’t touch Mr. Watts like that,” Frankie said, timidly gesturing to the table he was leaning on.

    The sheriff turned, saw the covered body on the table, and stumbled away, dragging the sheet with him in his haste. The barest hint of Benjoe Watts’s gray hair became visible. And then Eric Linden did the last thing Frankie would have expected.

    His eyes rolled up like window shades and he fainted dead away on the tile floor.

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    Ain't She a Peach 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
    gaele More than 1 year ago
    A Favorite! Let’s start with the easy part: this isn’t your ordinary rom com – with plenty of romance and just a little comedic relief, it’s full of laugh out loud moments, plenty of family and one feisty (if occasionally frustrating) mortician named Frankie and her ongoing feud with local spoilt-brat teenaged nuisance, the new cop in town and plenty of growth. Frankie, after a childhood battle with leukemia, is the mortician and county coroner based in the McCready Family Funeral Home and Bait Shop. Prone to wild rainbow-colored hair, speaking her mind, a collection of Funko Pop figurines and a novelty t-shirt collection that would put any self-respecting geek to shame: she’s also deeply rooted in the small town of Lake Sackett, determined to give all of her “customers’ the best treatment, including moments spent in conversation thanking them for the joy they brought in life, and how their presence will be missed. A conundrum for sure, she’s also nearing 30, still living at home with her mother and father, and uses her outrageous behavior to push limits and boundaries everywhere. Of course, if you’ve read (and why haven’t you – go get the others and start them first) earlier books in the series, you’ll know that the town has hired Eric as interim chief of police – the one remaining officer Landry is “not ready for that sort of responsibility. Maybe he should start with a nice ant farm.” Eric and Frankie shared one athletic and memorable night in Atlanta while she was on one of her weekend forays into adulting without parental or familial interference, and neither was quite prepared to see one another again, let alone work together. Especially since Eric is suspicious and sees every death as a potential murder. But, again little Lewis is determined to wreak havoc at the funeral home- and Frankie is ‘on the case’ – despite Eric’s protests. With the big “Trunk or Treat” Halloween event approaching, Frankie knows that the stakes are even higher with Lewis and his attempts to break into the mortuary, and plenty of steam arising between she and Eric despite his inability to be around death, the story is laden with mishaps, laughs and plenty of revelations for Frankie: including one large show-down for Lewis, an election for Sherriff and Lewis’ mother being in the middle of the mayhem with a write in candidate and a smear campaign, the story never stops giving. Of course, there is Aunt Tootie and her motley collection of dogs, a swear jar, Margot and her budding relationship with Kyle, the elementary school principal and his daughters, the youngest prone to exclamations in ALL CAPS, the story and the characters draw you into Lake Sackett, “working like ants on a discarded blow-pop” with their charm, heart and loyalty. A favorite as Harper’s trademark snarky humor and clever twists keep the laughs coming, but as she does with each book I’ve read from her, it’s the characters: those flawed humans that work into your heart and head, and make you want to find this little corner of Georgia to call it your home. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
    KimHeniadis 6 months ago
    Loved the first full book in the Southern Eclectic series, Sweet Tea and Sympathy. This series appears to have a novella, then a full book, novella, repeat, so Ain’t She a Peach is the second full book in this series. You don’t need to read the novellas, but I’m sure they would only enhance your enjoyment of the series. In this book we get to know Frankie, Margot, and the rest of the cousins even more. Duff, the only male cousin, really amused me in this book, especially when he had to be included in a girl’s talk. We also get to know the Aunts and Uncles more, but there isn’t a lot with their grandma, who is a riot. Maybe they’ll be more of her in the next book in the series, Gimme Some Sugar. The romance in this one was sexy and sassy. I had a small issue with their relationship in regards to some of the police procedurals. It’s a small town, and fiction, but the way the Sheriff, Eric, handled some of the situations with break-ins at the mortuary, was a bit far fetched for me. But it did not ruin the story. I didn’t laugh as much as I did with Sweet Tea and Sympathy, but I still chuckled a couple of times, and loved the wackiness of the end funeral home scene. Another fun book in the series, and I’m looking forward to Gimme Some Sugar.
    Ireadergosum 10 months ago
    First of all, I loved Sweet Tea and Sympathy (the first book in the Southern Eclectic Series), so I was really excited to read this one. You get a glimpse of the weird and wonderful Frankie in the first book, and I just really wanted to know more about her. This book did not disappoint. I love a book where I can kind of want to smack the main characters, but still be so invested in them that I can't wait to see how they figure it all out. Not to mention the LAUGH OUT LOUD moments of this book that had me smiling like a loon. "Why do you look like you're about to tell me that all of the abs in the Marvel Cinematic Universe are airbrushed on?" That being said, Frankie annoyed me a couple times, but it really just made her more human. She's just so kooky--let's just say she talks to dead people, and not in a supernatural way. She just seems to be navigating what life has handed her, and slowly owning her own narrative while learning life lessons that lead to maturity. Eric on the other hand, is so serious. I kind of wish we got his point of view, because I really wanted to know his thoughts as all the hilarious and annoying situations came about. He seems like a great guy that's just trying to navigate his own bumps in life. While we did learn some of his back story, I really would have liked to know more about him. Overall, this story was fun and just left me with good feelings. The McCready family is too fun, and I always enjoy diving into their world. Another character we meet in both books is Duffy, one of the cousins. His ex is a real piece of work, and he hasn't exactly cut her off. Luckily, the next book in the series is about Duffy and I'll be reading an advance reader's copy of Gimme Some Sugar ASAP thanks to Gallery and NetGalley. It comes out April 2nd, 2019!! I'm so excited to see Duffy get an HEA!
    BooksnKisses More than 1 year ago
    NUMBER OF HEARTS: 4 1/2 Let the games begin!! Frankie McCready is determined to win this battle of wits against her nemesis Lake Sackett’s resident teenage creep Jared! Yes, I said it Frankie is going to war against a teenager. With the help of the smexy, surly sheriff Frankie will get her man and prove that Jared is guilty all at the same time!!!! Eric Linden had hoped coming to a small town would be the perfect place for him to lay low and enjoy the quiet life. Neither of those thing will happen if the super adorable coroner keeps asking him for help. But what is a guy suppose to do when the girl he is crushing on asks for his help? I loved this book. It was a lot of fun to watch Frankie run around like a crazy person trying to catch Jared in his tricks while trying to not fall for Sheriff Linden. As always Molly insuses her story with wit, snark and a little creative laugh! I love reading/listening to Molly’s books they always make me laugh out loud (I should remember that next time I am in the airport). Again the amazing Amanda Ronconi lends her talented voice to bring Molly’s characters and world to life. You just can’t go wrong with this pairing!!! Can’t wait to see what is next for the McCready family!!! I am hoping that Duffy will finally get a HEA and dump his crazy ex for good!!! Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley & Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books in exchange for an honest review. This review is my own opinion and not a paid review.
    jmchshannon More than 1 year ago
    As the second novel and fourth book in the Southern Eclectic series, there is not much that is a surprise with Ain’t She a Peach. It is as charming as the other novels and novellas in the series with the same quirky family members and town politics that fans have come to love. This time around, we finally get Frankie’s story with its darker history, unusual professional career choice, and eccentricities, alongside her potential love interest with his own mysterious past. One of the reasons I love Ms. Harper’s novels so much is how she portrays relationships. They are so much fun. These are friends with no secrets and no shame between them. In Frankie’s case, they are her family members, which I find even more exceptional. The banter between them is highly entertaining, but moreover I love how each and every one of Frankie’s family will defend her or the rest of the family with its life. Perhaps I enjoy this because it is so different from my own experiences with either friends or family, but I find their interactions not just amusing but also hopeful. Too many people I know have strained relationships with at least one family member, and I know too many introverts like myself struggling for adult friendships that are meaningful. If Ms. Harper’s characters can find either one, there is hope for us all.” Another element of Ms. Harper’s novels I enjoy is the fact that no matter how silly or simple the stories are, there is always some element of character development to her stories. Sometimes it is becoming more self-aware, sometimes it is letting go of old ideas, and sometimes it is taking a stand. At no time is the development forced. It occurs naturally through the action and dialogue within the novel. In addition, not only does this make the characters much more likeable, it makes them more realistic as well. These are not glamorous characters with no major faults. These are characters who are just like you and me, with money problems and jobs that force them to make tough decisions and keep them busy. Ms. Harper’s stories are meant to lighten your heart, entertain your mind, and provide food for thought. Ain’t She a Peach does just that with the McCready clan and Frankie’s growing maturity. Even better, Frankie’s position as embalmer and coroner allows Ms. Harper to explore the trappings of death in a manner that is not macabre or disrespectful. The overall effect is a novel that exudes southern charm without any pandering or gross stereotypes. If you have not yet read anything by Ms. Harper, I strongly encourage you to do so. They are a balm to my soul in these trying times, something I know we all could use.
    twhitehead More than 1 year ago
    Frankie is the town coroner in Lake Sackett, Georgia. She has her own personality, dresses funny, and colors her hair but she has her reasons. She also works at the family funeral home preparing people for their funerals in which she talks to them like they are alive. Eric Linden is the new sheriff in town. He brings every case in like there is a murder to solve. Considering he is a transplant from Atlanta, that could be a good reason or is the reason the quirky coroner? With the break-ins at the funeral home, the cases the sheriff continues to bring in, the two bump into each other quite often. Frankie and Eric get along like oil and vinegar. Between their constant bickering and the McCready family, this one will keep you laughing. Another great book in the Southern Eclectic series and I cannot wait for the next one. Who will it be about?
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This is the third book in the series "Southern Eclectic" by Molly Harper. After hearing the stories of the older two cousins in the McCready family we finally get to read about little cousin Frankie who is the strangest of the lot. I found her to be funny, and not just in the odd version of the word as a side character in the first two books. In this book we get a deeper sense of why Frankie does and says the things that she does and why being the town embalmer is her calling.
    BuriedUnderBooks More than 1 year ago
    Once again, the McCready family of Lake Sackett, Georgia, is back in fine fettle with their McCready Family Funeral Home and Bait Shop and, also once again, they’ve captured my heart. This time the focus is on Frankie, the youngish coroner/embalmer who considers herself well past the age of independence but her parents don’t know how to even begin to think of letting their precious only child spread her wings, so to speak. Sure, she sneaks off to Atlanta occasionally for a night of satisfying rowdiness but she can’t make herself move out (although she has disabled the location service they use to track her). There are very good reasons for this helicopter parenting but, really, she needs to grow a pair! There’s a new Sheriff in town, Erik Linden, and while Frankie has a few, or a lot, of philosophical differences with Erik, including his queasiness around her dead customers, she’s finding it very hard to resist the man. Meanwhile, the rest of the McCready bunch are around and about and the town’s Halloween Trunk-R-Treat festival is coming up while a teenaged desperado has it in for Frankie for some reason. The whole rambunctious McCready clan is a family I’d love to be part of and this fourth book in Molly Harper‘s series is just as much fun as all the others. Oh, I do hope there will be more!
    jeann89 More than 1 year ago
    This is the second full-length installment in Molly Harper's Southern Eclectic series, but could be read as a stand-alone. There have also been two novellas, but again, those don't need to be read to understand and enjoy the story. Harper does a good job of catching the reader up on any important information from the other stories, although that comes off as a little repetitive if you've read the novellas. I've read all of Harper's other books, and was a little skeptical about picking this series up, since I didn't like her complementary novels nearly as much as I've enjoyed her paranormal books, and was starting to wonder if her style only worked for me in a paranormal setting. I am pleasantly surprised to say that that appears to not be the case, as I've enjoyed this entire series. Ain't She a Peach is full of quirky characters, funny story-lines, and at it's heart, a family that truly loves each other. It is billed as a romance, and that element is there, but I felt the more compelling relationship was between Frankie, the heroine, and her parents, and how they've all dealt with her childhood illness. This was a a fairly quick and easy read, but extremely entertaining. I hope that Harper will write at least one more novel in the series, because I'd love to see Duffy settled. If you like a lighthearted story filled with quirky characters, be sure to pick this one up when it's released 6/12/2018. Thank you to NetGalley for a complimentary copy of this book.
    beckymmoe More than 1 year ago
    Full disclosure: I love Molly Harper's quirky--dare I say eclectic?--style of writing. Her Jane Jameson, Half-Moon Hollow, and Naked Werewolf books rank up there among my favorite go-tos for feel-good reads. Even though there's not a supernatural in sight here (people dressing up don't count), I still had such a good time reading this book. The romance is extremely slow moving--Frankie's got a plethora of issues to work through, several of them having to do with her relationship with her parents; Eric's still got that new-guy-to-a-small-town thing working against him and has an election to (hopefully) win--but everything else that's going on in the meantime is just so darn amusing you barely even notice that they're not moving much beyond a slow burn. (Until Eric goes swimming late at night in his birthday suit, of course. That was verrrrry noticeable, thankyouverymuch.) Ms. Harper definitely has the small-town, close-knit family thing down, you guys. So many things in this story seemed kinda crazy and over the top, but at the same time I was thinking, yeah, that could totally happen. (Especially all those meetings with the moms over the trunk-or-treat thing...that was spot on. Obviously Ms. Harper has been at her share of parent meetings.) The ending is absolutely adorable, and given how much Margot and Kyle showed up here, I can't wait to see Frankie and Eric make their own guest appearances in future books. Please tell me Duffy's getting a book :) I haven't yet read the first book ( Sweet Tea and Sympathy ) or the related novellas (the description of Peachy Flippin' Keen seems awfully similar to this one...a prequel, I guess?), though they're absolutely on my list. It worked okay as a standalone, but I have a feeling you'll be a but more comfortable with the slightly crazy family dynamic here if you've at least read the other novel first. I did have a few who is that character again? moments from time to time (50% of the time the answer was "Frankie's cousin") but it didn't really take away from my enjoyment at all. I always figured out who they were...eventually ;) Book one, here I come! Rating: 4 stars / B+ I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I love Molly Harper books
    Esss More than 1 year ago
    Personal Manifest Observation: I enjoyed only the first and last chapter of Molly Harper’s Ain’t She a Peach. These bookend chapters contained discernible dialogue and improvement of character. As I gamboled through every chapter following Chapter One I became increasingly frustrated and annoyed. Main characters Frankie McCready and Sheriff Eric Linden contributed directly to this full-blooded combination of frustration and annoyance. The amount of angry dialogue exchanged between these two so fervently came across as pressing hatred, not sexual chemistry, as Frankie’s cousin Margot emphasized on multiple occasions. Sheriff Eric Linden did not view Frankie as a mature professional who took her job seriously, even though she put her entire self into her work. Eric was narrow-minded and never put himself in Frankie’s shoes as a lone female coroner who respects her deceased clientele— townsfolk who she knew her whole life. He did not see Frankie as serious, and therefore blundered integral situations in which a Sheriff should take his own job seriously. Instead, Eric threw Frankie under the bus and never fully came across as being on Team Frankie. More frustration ensued: Frankie did not deal with issues as they arose, instead fomenting in her resentment towards her parents until the end of the book. This device is what people in the book industry call Combustible Drama. This is when authors who do not have a dedicated plot arc create an issue that could be dealt with during conversation when the issue abounded, but instead save it for a blow-up argument for the very end of the book. I.e. Combustible Drama. There were also bizarrely random moments of cancer bashing, occupation bashing, and appearance bashing to mellow out the already discordant storyline. In essence, Eric was a stilted, mean, one-dimensional character who Frankie seemed to be practicing having a barely-casual sex relationship with but should now try finding someone who actually likes her. Ain’t She a Peach was meant to be an amalgam of light-hearted comedy, romance, and family driven; however it came across as rambling, confused and anti-romance driven. While it may not be my cuppa peach tea, it may wet someone else’s whistle. I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
    ljsb More than 1 year ago
    good story line. easy reading but not worth $11.99 for 73 pages wont buy next one
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Love the series. The characters are great & the dialog is funny. Awesome!
    ReadingLlama More than 1 year ago
    I’ve read the other Southern Eclectic novels, and found them ridiculously hilarious. They’re funny, sweet, and light, a bit like biting into one of those eponymous Georgia peaches, but there’s also a good dose of snark to add to that southern charm. While I think you could pick this up as a standalone, the amount of secondary characters (including Frankie’s enormous family) may be overwhelming if this is your first visit to Lake Sackett and the McCready Family Funeral Home and Bait Shop. Frankie, the mortician at her family’s funeral home, was one of my favorite side characters from the other books, so I was excited she was getting her own book. Eric’s the new sheriff, though not a stranger to Frankie – they had a one-night-stand on her last visit to Atlanta. Why, exactly, he’s gone from being a big city cop to rural Lake Sackett’s sheriff and chief pain in her butt (she’s also the county coroner, and he seems to see foul play everywhere) is a mystery, but Frankie eventually realizes she needs his help to deal with a series of escalating pranks. She’s certain she knows who the perpetrator is, and that his end goal is to break into the funeral home on Halloween – something unthinkable to Frankie, who greets each of the earthly remains trusted to her care by name every morning and has conversations with them. Frankie is a childhood cancer survivor, and her parents, well, still haven’t quite adjusted to the fact that she’s an adult now. Part of it may be that she had a funky sense of style (dyed hair and nerdy T-shirts), part of it may be that she does still act younger than her age, like engaging in arguments with a snotty teenager. She’s in her late twenties, and looking around at her happily paired-off cousins, she’s starting to yearn to move out of her parents’ house and get a bit more autonomy, though she’s afraid of hurting them. Some of her behavior was seriously juvenile, but as the book went on and she gets a little more honest with herself and others as to why she still sometimes acts like a spoiled brat, I found her a lot less annoying. “You like this boy. And that means something. You don’t let yourself get involved. You are, as Duffy would say, a ‘hit it and quit it’ girl.” “Never let those words leave your mouth again,” Frankie told her. While I liked the romance, it did feel like it wasn’t as prominent in this book – it seems to lean heavier on the women’s fiction scale than the previous book. So while I liked the development of Frankie and Eric’s relationship, I was more ambivalent about the plot revolving around the pranks. It just felt weird that she’s a woman in her late twenties and her big nemesis is a jerky teen boy. I did find the resolution of that plot line pretty hilarious, though, so I guess I can’t complain too much. I especially love the small town feel of these books, and how something as simple as a Trunk-or-Treat turns into a giant to-do complete with months of planning meetings where people with competing opinions nearly come to blows. I also liked that we got to see a bit more of the couple from the first book’s story as it played out alongside Frankie’s. Overall, I’d give this 3.5 stars, rounded up to 4. It’s an enjoyable light read, perfect for relaxing lakeside with a glass of sweet tea! I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
    Sandy-thereadingcafe More than 1 year ago
    sweet, spirited and delightful AIN’T SHE A PEACH is the second full-length instalment in Molly Harper’s contemporary, adult SOUTHERN ECLECTIC romance (woman’s fiction) series focusing on the McCready family of Lake Sackett, Georgia. This is Lake Sackett Sheriff Eric Linden, and mortician/coroner Frankie McCready’s story line. AIN’T SHE A PEACH can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Any important information from the previous instalments is revealed where necessary. Told from several third person perspectives including Eric and Frankie AINT SHE A PEACH follows the building relationship between Lake Sackett Sheriff Eric Linden, and mortician/coroner Frankie McCready. Frankie and Eric have an acrimonious relationship in that Eric eyes every death as a potential murder forcing Frankie to go above and beyond the necessary requirements. When a local teen known to Frankie, begins terrorizing the McCready Family Funeral Home & Bait Shop, Frankie must prove to our hero that it isn’t her imagination. What ensues is the slow building romance between Frankie and Eric, and the potential fall-out as Frankie disobeys Eric’s demands, placing herself in the line of fire. Eric Linden is a former Atlanta police officer who’s hoping for a slower paced lifestyle in Lake Sackett, Georgia. From town drunks to mischief, bar fights and kittens caught in trees, the crime wave in Lake Sackett is the ideal situation for our story line hero. Frankie MCready is an only child, a little bit spoiled, but a woman determined to prove that sixteen-year old Jared Lewis is intent on doing damage to the family owned business. The relationship between Eric and Frankie is one of immediate attraction but our heroine doesn’t believe there is a happily ever after in her future. A one-night stand, with Eric, months before, found Frankie walking away without looking back. The $ex scenes are all implied. The secondary and supporting characters are colorful and fun as the town begins preparations for the annual Halloween Trunk R Treat. We are reintroduced to Frankie’s cousin Margot, and elementary school principal Kyle Archer (Sweet Tea and Sympathy #1), as well as Carl and Marianne (Save a Truck, Ride a Redneck .5). There is plenty of back and forth, snark, humor, quirky idioms, and southern charm. AIN’T SHE A PEACH is an entertaining, sweet, spirited and delightful read. Clean romance, energetic characters, and an optimistic look at life in a small town.
    book_junkee More than 1 year ago
    I liked Frankie in the previous book I read in this series and was eager to see her get her story. Frankie is fun. She’s snarky and sarcastic and I love all of her fandom things. She’s super loyal and yet yearning to break out on her own. Eric is a good man and has strong convictions. And of course there’s loads of family members Plot wise it was just okay. This book didn’t seem to focus on the relationship of Frankie and Eric as much as it presented a slice of time and in some scenes, it felt like I was missing something I was expected to know. I didn’t see any of the chemistry between them and would have liked to see more conversation. Overall, it was a quick read with a fairly satisfying ending. I’m not sure if I’ll be reading any more books in this series. **Huge thanks to Gallery Books for providing the arc free of charge**
    gaele More than 1 year ago
    A Favorite! Let’s start with the easy part: this isn’t your ordinary rom com – with plenty of romance and just a little comedic relief, it’s full of laugh out loud moments, plenty of family and one feisty (if occasionally frustrating) mortician named Frankie and her ongoing feud with local spoilt-brat teenaged nuisance, the new cop in town and plenty of growth. Frankie, after a childhood battle with leukemia, is the mortician and county coroner based in the McCready Family Funeral Home and Bait Shop. Prone to wild rainbow-colored hair, speaking her mind, a collection of Funko Pop figurines and a novelty t-shirt collection that would put any self-respecting geek to shame: she’s also deeply rooted in the small town of Lake Sackett, determined to give all of her “customers’ the best treatment, including moments spent in conversation thanking them for the joy they brought in life, and how their presence will be missed. A conundrum for sure, she’s also nearing 30, still living at home with her mother and father, and uses her outrageous behavior to push limits and boundaries everywhere. Of course, if you’ve read (and why haven’t you – go get the others and start them first) earlier books in the series, you’ll know that the town has hired Eric as interim chief of police – the one remaining officer Landry is “not ready for that sort of responsibility. Maybe he should start with a nice ant farm.” Eric and Frankie shared one athletic and memorable night in Atlanta while she was on one of her weekend forays into adulting without parental or familial interference, and neither was quite prepared to see one another again, let alone work together. Especially since Eric is suspicious and sees every death as a potential murder. But, again little Lewis is determined to wreak havoc at the funeral home- and Frankie is ‘on the case’ – despite Eric’s protests. With the big “Trunk or Treat” Halloween event approaching, Frankie knows that the stakes are even higher with Lewis and his attempts to break into the mortuary, and plenty of steam arising between she and Eric despite his inability to be around death, the story is laden with mishaps, laughs and plenty of revelations for Frankie: including one large show-down for Lewis, an election for Sherriff and Lewis’ mother being in the middle of the mayhem with a write in candidate and a smear campaign, the story never stops giving. Of course, there is Aunt Tootie and her motley collection of dogs, a swear jar, Margot and her budding relationship with Kyle, the elementary school principal and his daughters, the youngest prone to exclamations in ALL CAPS, the story and the characters draw you into Lake Sackett, “working like ants on a discarded blow-pop” with their charm, heart and loyalty. A favorite as Harper’s trademark snarky humor and clever twists keep the laughs coming, but as she does with each book I’ve read from her, it’s the characters: those flawed humans that work into your heart and head, and make you want to find this little corner of Georgia to call it your home. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
    gaele More than 1 year ago
    A Favorite! Let’s start with the easy part: this isn’t your ordinary rom com – with plenty of romance and just a little comedic relief, it’s full of laugh out loud moments, plenty of family and one feisty (if occasionally frustrating) mortician named Frankie and her ongoing feud with local spoilt-brat teenaged nuisance, the new cop in town and plenty of growth. Frankie, after a childhood battle with leukemia, is the mortician and county coroner based in the McCready Family Funeral Home and Bait Shop. Prone to wild rainbow-colored hair, speaking her mind, a collection of Funko Pop figurines and a novelty t-shirt collection that would put any self-respecting geek to shame: she’s also deeply rooted in the small town of Lake Sackett, determined to give all of her “customers’ the best treatment, including moments spent in conversation thanking them for the joy they brought in life, and how their presence will be missed. A conundrum for sure, she’s also nearing 30, still living at home with her mother and father, and uses her outrageous behavior to push limits and boundaries everywhere. Of course, if you’ve read (and why haven’t you – go get the others and start them first) earlier books in the series, you’ll know that the town has hired Eric as interim chief of police – the one remaining officer Landry is “not ready for that sort of responsibility. Maybe he should start with a nice ant farm.” Eric and Frankie shared one athletic and memorable night in Atlanta while she was on one of her weekend forays into adulting without parental or familial interference, and neither was quite prepared to see one another again, let alone work together. Especially since Eric is suspicious and sees every death as a potential murder. But, again little Lewis is determined to wreak havoc at the funeral home- and Frankie is ‘on the case’ – despite Eric’s protests. With the big “Trunk or Treat” Halloween event approaching, Frankie knows that the stakes are even higher with Lewis and his attempts to break into the mortuary, and plenty of steam arising between she and Eric despite his inability to be around death, the story is laden with mishaps, laughs and plenty of revelations for Frankie: including one large show-down for Lewis, an election for Sherriff and Lewis’ mother being in the middle of the mayhem with a write in candidate and a smear campaign, the story never stops giving. Of course, there is Aunt Tootie and her motley collection of dogs, a swear jar, Margot and her budding relationship with Kyle, the elementary school principal and his daughters, the youngest prone to exclamations in ALL CAPS, the story and the characters draw you into Lake Sackett, “working like ants on a discarded blow-pop” with their charm, heart and loyalty. A favorite as Harper’s trademark snarky humor and clever twists keep the laughs coming, but as she does with each book I’ve read from her, it’s the characters: those flawed humans that work into your heart and head, and make you want to find this little corner of Georgia to call it your home. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
    gaele More than 1 year ago
    A Favorite! Let’s start with the easy part: this isn’t your ordinary rom com – with plenty of romance and just a little comedic relief, it’s full of laugh out loud moments, plenty of family and one feisty (if occasionally frustrating) mortician named Frankie and her ongoing feud with local spoilt-brat teenaged nuisance, the new cop in town and plenty of growth. Frankie, after a childhood battle with leukemia, is the mortician and county coroner based in the McCready Family Funeral Home and Bait Shop. Prone to wild rainbow-colored hair, speaking her mind, a collection of Funko Pop figurines and a novelty t-shirt collection that would put any self-respecting geek to shame: she’s also deeply rooted in the small town of Lake Sackett, determined to give all of her “customers’ the best treatment, including moments spent in conversation thanking them for the joy they brought in life, and how their presence will be missed. A conundrum for sure, she’s also nearing 30, still living at home with her mother and father, and uses her outrageous behavior to push limits and boundaries everywhere. Of course, if you’ve read (and why haven’t you – go get the others and start them first) earlier books in the series, you’ll know that the town has hired Eric as interim chief of police – the one remaining officer Landry is “not ready for that sort of responsibility. Maybe he should start with a nice ant farm.” Eric and Frankie shared one athletic and memorable night in Atlanta while she was on one of her weekend forays into adulting without parental or familial interference, and neither was quite prepared to see one another again, let alone work together. Especially since Eric is suspicious and sees every death as a potential murder. But, again little Lewis is determined to wreak havoc at the funeral home- and Frankie is ‘on the case’ – despite Eric’s protests. With the big “Trunk or Treat” Halloween event approaching, Frankie knows that the stakes are even higher with Lewis and his attempts to break into the mortuary, and plenty of steam arising between she and Eric despite his inability to be around death, the story is laden with mishaps, laughs and plenty of revelations for Frankie: including one large show-down for Lewis, an election for Sherriff and Lewis’ mother being in the middle of the mayhem with a write in candidate and a smear campaign, the story never stops giving. Of course, there is Aunt Tootie and her motley collection of dogs, a swear jar, Margot and her budding relationship with Kyle, the elementary school principal and his daughters, the youngest prone to exclamations in ALL CAPS, the story and the characters draw you into Lake Sackett, “working like ants on a discarded blow-pop” with their charm, heart and loyalty. A favorite as Harper’s trademark snarky humor and clever twists keep the laughs coming, but as she does with each book I’ve read from her, it’s the characters: those flawed humans that work into your heart and head, and make you want to find this little corner of Georgia to call it your home. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
    gaele More than 1 year ago
    A Favorite! Let’s start with the easy part: this isn’t your ordinary rom com – with plenty of romance and just a little comedic relief, it’s full of laugh out loud moments, plenty of family and one feisty (if occasionally frustrating) mortician named Frankie and her ongoing feud with local spoilt-brat teenaged nuisance, the new cop in town and plenty of growth. Frankie, after a childhood battle with leukemia, is the mortician and county coroner based in the McCready Family Funeral Home and Bait Shop. Prone to wild rainbow-colored hair, speaking her mind, a collection of Funko Pop figurines and a novelty t-shirt collection that would put any self-respecting geek to shame: she’s also deeply rooted in the small town of Lake Sackett, determined to give all of her “customers’ the best treatment, including moments spent in conversation thanking them for the joy they brought in life, and how their presence will be missed. A conundrum for sure, she’s also nearing 30, still living at home with her mother and father, and uses her outrageous behavior to push limits and boundaries everywhere. Of course, if you’ve read (and why haven’t you – go get the others and start them first) earlier books in the series, you’ll know that the town has hired Eric as interim chief of police – the one remaining officer Landry is “not ready for that sort of responsibility. Maybe he should start with a nice ant farm.” Eric and Frankie shared one athletic and memorable night in Atlanta while she was on one of her weekend forays into adulting without parental or familial interference, and neither was quite prepared to see one another again, let alone work together. Especially since Eric is suspicious and sees every death as a potential murder. But, again little Lewis is determined to wreak havoc at the funeral home- and Frankie is ‘on the case’ – despite Eric’s protests. With the big “Trunk or Treat” Halloween event approaching, Frankie knows that the stakes are even higher with Lewis and his attempts to break into the mortuary, and plenty of steam arising between she and Eric despite his inability to be around death, the story is laden with mishaps, laughs and plenty of revelations for Frankie: including one large show-down for Lewis, an election for Sherriff and Lewis’ mother being in the middle of the mayhem with a write in candidate and a smear campaign, the story never stops giving. Of course, there is Aunt Tootie and her motley collection of dogs, a swear jar, Margot and her budding relationship with Kyle, the elementary school principal and his daughters, the youngest prone to exclamations in ALL CAPS, the story and the characters draw you into Lake Sackett, “working like ants on a discarded blow-pop” with their charm, heart and loyalty. A favorite as Harper’s trademark snarky humor and clever twists keep the laughs coming, but as she does with each book I’ve read from her, it’s the characters: those flawed humans that work into your heart and head, and make you want to find this little corner of Georgia to call it your home. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
    gaele More than 1 year ago
    A Favorite! Let’s start with the easy part: this isn’t your ordinary rom com – with plenty of romance and just a little comedic relief, it’s full of laugh out loud moments, plenty of family and one feisty (if occasionally frustrating) mortician named Frankie and her ongoing feud with local spoilt-brat teenaged nuisance, the new cop in town and plenty of growth. Frankie, after a childhood battle with leukemia, is the mortician and county coroner based in the McCready Family Funeral Home and Bait Shop. Prone to wild rainbow-colored hair, speaking her mind, a collection of Funko Pop figurines and a novelty t-shirt collection that would put any self-respecting geek to shame: she’s also deeply rooted in the small town of Lake Sackett, determined to give all of her “customers’ the best treatment, including moments spent in conversation thanking them for the joy they brought in life, and how their presence will be missed. A conundrum for sure, she’s also nearing 30, still living at home with her mother and father, and uses her outrageous behavior to push limits and boundaries everywhere. Of course, if you’ve read (and why haven’t you – go get the others and start them first) earlier books in the series, you’ll know that the town has hired Eric as interim chief of police – the one remaining officer Landry is “not ready for that sort of responsibility. Maybe he should start with a nice ant farm.” Eric and Frankie shared one athletic and memorable night in Atlanta while she was on one of her weekend forays into adulting without parental or familial interference, and neither was quite prepared to see one another again, let alone work together. Especially since Eric is suspicious and sees every death as a potential murder. But, again little Lewis is determined to wreak havoc at the funeral home- and Frankie is ‘on the case’ – despite Eric’s protests. With the big “Trunk or Treat” Halloween event approaching, Frankie knows that the stakes are even higher with Lewis and his attempts to break into the mortuary, and plenty of steam arising between she and Eric despite his inability to be around death, the story is laden with mishaps, laughs and plenty of revelations for Frankie: including one large show-down for Lewis, an election for Sherriff and Lewis’ mother being in the middle of the mayhem with a write in candidate and a smear campaign, the story never stops giving. Of course, there is Aunt Tootie and her motley collection of dogs, a swear jar, Margot and her budding relationship with Kyle, the elementary school principal and his daughters, the youngest prone to exclamations in ALL CAPS, the story and the characters draw you into Lake Sackett, “working like ants on a discarded blow-pop” with their charm, heart and loyalty. A favorite as Harper’s trademark snarky humor and clever twists keep the laughs coming, but as she does with each book I’ve read from her, it’s the characters: those flawed humans that work into your heart and head, and make you want to find this little corner of Georgia to call it your home. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
    In_My_Humble_OpinionDA More than 1 year ago
    OMG! I LOVED THIS STORY! Ain't She a Peach? is a sweet sometimes silly sometimes sad small town romance that will leave you believing in possibilities. Eric is a big city cop who has moved to tiny Lake Sackett and runs into a one night stand he hasn’t been able to forget. Franky is a quirky character in her small town. With rainbow hair, eclectic clothes and attitude to spare Frankie takes her job as mortician and coroner very seriously. Now she has to work with the hunk she ran out on. Can the big city cop and the country mouse put their differences aside and learn to get along. I can tell you it won’t be easy but it can be done. Well done.