The Sweetheart Secret by Shirley Jump (Sweetheart Sisters #3)

The Sweetheart Secret by Shirley JumpAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Berkley

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Pam

The Sweetheart Sisters are ready for some good ol’ matchmaking… Colton Harper, Rescue Bay’s resident physician, gave up his wild ways years ago, in exchange for a straight and narrow life. But then a one-night stand comes back to haunt him when the intoxicating woman he left behind shows up in Rescue Bay.

Once upon a time, fiery Daisy Barton was Colt’s wife—and still is, thanks to a paperwork glitch. Now she’s here in Rescue Bay, with a once-in-a-lifetime chance at a fresh start—renovating a crumbling B&B. The catch? The loan she needs requires her husband’s financial backing. Colt wants to turn Daisy away, but when he sees her coax a smile from his cantankerous grandfather, Colt realizes maybe she can help him, too. It’s the perfect arrangement—until the sparks start flying. Suddenly Colt realizes he’s still head over heels in love with Daisy, and that he’ll have to risk everything…or risk losing her forever.

I adore this series, the humor, romance and characters bring this small town community to life. I love how the straight lace doctor has his past wild side revealed, very humorously.

Colt Harper is Rescue Bay’s general practitioner, he very proper without a dent in his reputation, that is until Daisy Barton comes bursting into his office while he is with Greta, the town meddler. Daisy proceeds to inform him that he is not getting his divorce yet since she is not ready to dissolve the marriage. Greta is speechless, which is unheard of.

Colt does not need any new problems in his life, he lives with his grandfather Earl who has some health issues, but is too stubborn and angry to take any help. But when Daisy reappears in his life wanting something from him, he believes he can capitalize on this and asks Daisy to help.

Daisy Barton spent one summer in Rescue Bay helping her aunt run the Hideaway Inn, she felt like she was part of a family for the first time with her cousin Emma by her side. She has come back to town on her aunt’s request to reopen the Inn, she just needs help with a loan, and it is something Colt can help her with, since they are still married. She has been flighty most of her life, not settling down, and when they met that summer she was a breath of fresh air to Colt, they took off on a motorcycle and got married, it only lasted six weeks before he was called home because of his brother, he straighten up his act and never looked back, until now.

This third book in the series is so enjoyable, there are parts that I would laugh out loud and parts that brought tears and sadness.

I adore Colt, yes he seems uptight in the beginning and does not back down from giving out advice even if no one listens but he is lonely and hurting and I just want to hug him. The relationship he has with his grandfather is heartbreaking, there is so much hurt between them that it comes out as anger, especially for Earl who has the added issues of poor health. I like how the author addresses their issues and how things progress throughout the book. Colt does not want the world to know his problems but I love how they come crashing into his life and the witness from the beginning is Greta, the perfect person to know secrets (at least if they are not about you). This funny scene that had me smiling, the look on Greta’s face must have been priceless, and how often is she speechless?

Daisy is a kick, she is not a planner and usually takes life as it comes but she is tired of always looking in on other’s happiness. She wants the family, to belong to something and has always looked back on the summer she met Colt as one of the happiest moments, when she lived with her aunt and her cousin Emma. Her mother was always off somewhere on an adventure and Daisy is afraid she is becoming her mother. When she stays with Colt and Earl she likes how she feels, part of his family but she is scared, afraid things can’t stay this way forever. Yet she is here and making the Inn work so somewhere in her she believes in something long term.

There is definite chemistry between the two, they try to avoid each other as much as possible but when you live together and have the common goal of taking care of Earl, and things are bound to get dicey. The scenes with the two are hot and fiery, and I like how they go down memory lane several times, they do not hide from their attraction in the past, just any future commitments.

And of course the secondary characters are perfect for additional drama and fun; especially those ladies at the center that want to help things along. In this book, Greta seems to be the main meddler while Pauline and Esther are more on the sides this time, which is fine as I think Greta is the bomb, she is extremely funny, still running from Harold but seems to know what is best for others in the town. There are two side stories that I enjoyed, of course Greta and Harold are amusing but the one featuring Emma, Daisy’s cousin and best friend, the sadness that encompasses her about the failure of her marriage is disheartening, but I love the outcome and I was so happy when she came to Rescue Bay to help Daisy and in the end herself.

The pace is perfect, there is the first rush of adrenaline as Daisy bursts on the scene and causes ripples but things slow down as the two come to terms with their dilemma and work through it, the side stories add much to the already enjoyable story and the plots progress decently. This is the third on the series and can easily be read as a standalone, since this is a small town and several characters are related, they come and go throughout the series, but the author does a great job of keeping the reader in the loop, so you know all the secrets. I am not sure if there are more to the series, there are several characters that could be featured and I would happily read about each one. This is highly recommended for those that love small town series with engaging characters that bring some angst and laughter to the story.

I give The Sweetheart Secret by Shirley Jump 4.25 stars!

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