Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Review: Now Leaving Sugartown by Carmen Jenner

Series: Sugartown #4
Release Date: March 11, 2015
Publisher: Carmen Jenner
Genre: New Adult
Source: Copy provided for honest review
Rating: ★★★★ ½


Pepper Ryan grew up the troublesome, spoiled child of a rock god. With her less-than-stellar parentage, and the bipolar disorder that has plagued her existence, to say this little firecracker is a handful would be the understatement of the century.

Sammy Belle spent more than half his life saving Pepper. He’d been her strength, her sanity, and the protective brotherly figure she never wanted to have.

They were never meant to be together.

They gave in anyway.

And just when Sammy thought he had everything he wanted, Pepper ran.

Now twenty-three, Pepper returns to Sugartown, a failed tattoo artist with one too many screws loose who’s down on her luck, wielding an ice cream van as beaten up as her heart.

Sugartown’s most coveted bachelor has always been content with the quiet life he leads until Pepper, the hellion from his past, returns to test his strength, his patience, and perhaps even his sanity. But two can play at that game, and Pepper is about to learn that Sam can give as good as he gets.

Can this good country boy survive Pepper’s cruel city world, or will the whole thing be put down to a bout of temporary insanity?

One thing is for certain:

He’s crazy about her.

She’s just crazy.

Warning: Intended for an 18+ audience. Contains sexual content, oodles of profanity, a firefighter so hot you may need a very cold shower, and one pink-haired crazy Harajuku girl. May also contain traces of nuts. Some scenes within this book may be a trigger for certain readers.

Fucking Jenner.

She got me with this one, I have to admit.  I shed a tear. Damn it all.

I went into Now Leaving Sugartown knowing I would love Sammy and being extremely apprehensive as to how I would feel about Pepper, she was raised by Holly after all - and her mothering skills were something I questioned.

I came out of it really loving them both.  Which is something, because Pepper isn't the easiest to love, on the surface.

Pepper has issues. In spades. But they aren't really frivolous or manufactured. For the most part anyway.  She has real problems and she never learned how to deal with those problems.

She never had to. Sammy was always there to take them away, to make things better. Until Pepper realized that staying in Sugartown and being with Sammy - wasn't what she could do.  Thus beginning years of 'getting by', maintaining, but not really living and never loving.

Pepper's ass landing back in Sugartown leads to hard decisions, big mistakes, epic breakdowns and the possibility of happily ever after. But not after one hell of a long, tough struggle.

That struggle is what did me in.  The moments of complete and utter despair. The minutes spent in a dark, sad and lonely mind.  The times when you feel there is no hope for this girl, for the love of her life or their future. That struggle is scary and broke my heart, for both Pepper and Sammy...the man that just wants to love and save her...just like he always has.

Love isn't always enough to fix every problem and Sammy has to endure some pretty horrible things in an attempt to help the only girl that has ever mattered. His trials were no less heartbreaking.  I felt all the turmoil right along with him.

This is not just a sad tale of a broken girl though. In signature Jenner style, she sprinkles in some witty remarks and crazy hijinks to balance it out. 

Now Leaving Sugartown is an emotional end to the series and I was happy to see Sammy get to tell his story, it's a good one - an important one - one that teaches you that life isn't always rainbow farting unicorns.  Sometimes you're handed a shit deal but that doesn't mean you don't deserve better...sometimes it just takes extra effort and a whole lot of love.

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