Elijah Cade never wanted anything more than a hot meal, a side of hot arse and a soft place to lay his head at night where he could forget about his past.
But you know what they say about wanting: you always want what you can’t have.
Nineteen year-old virgin Ana is about to discover that’s not quite true because a six foot three, hotter than hell, tattooed, Aussie sex god just rode into town. He’s had a taste of her pie and he wants more–no really, Ana bakes pies for a living, get your mind out of the gutter.
She’d be willing to hand over everything tied up in a big red bow, there’s just one problem; Elijah has secrets dirtier than last week’s underwear. Secrets that won't just break Ana’s heart, but put her life at risk, too. When those secrets come to light, their relationship is pushed to breaking point.
Add to that a psychotic nympho best friend, an overbearing father, a cuter than humanly possible kid brother, a wanton womanizing cousin, the ex from hell, and more pies than you could poke a ... err ... stick ... at.
And you thought small towns were boring.
Welcome to Sugartown.
*Content Warning. Intended for a mature 18+ audience. Contains explicit sex, oodles of profanity and a crap-tonne of AWKWARD.
“You want me to beat him up?”
I laugh. “No Elijah, I don’t want you to get arrested for beating up some moron from my past.”
“You wanna make him so fucking jealous he can’t see straight?” he asks in all seriousness. It’s absurd. I shouldn’t give a crap about what Scott and his brainless goons think of me, and yet the idea of shoving someone as hot – and yeah, okay, pretty damn scary looking – as Elijah under his nose sends a thrill through me. I find myself nodding, though the way Elijah’s smiling at me makes me realise that I’ve no idea what I just agreed to.
“Then kiss me.”
“What? How do you even know he’s looking?”
“You, in this outfit? Trust me, he’s looking.”
“What’s wrong with this outfit?” I say, but the words peter off with the way he’s looking at me. I know that look. That’s the way he looks at my pies when he comes in for lunch, like he hasn’t had a meal in days. I want to be the meal.
He leans in so close I can feel his warm breath brush my lips. “You gotta kiss me back.”
“I’m going to kiss you now, and despite the fact that you don’t like me, if you wanna make this dickhead jealous, you gotta kiss me with all you got.”
I can smell the whisky on his breath. I haven’t touched whisky since I was seventeen and got so sick I just narrowly escaped having my stomach pumped. I swore I would never touch the stuff again, and even the smell usually has me dry reaching, but suddenly I’m finding it a very welcome scent, and the fact that I’m hyperventilating has nothing to do with alcohol of any kind.
“I never said I didn’t like you. In fact, I don’t know anything about you.”
“Shut up,” he says, and mashes his lips to mine. His mouth is hot on mine, and at first, it’s awkward. I have no idea if I’m kissing Elijah because I want to make Scott mad with jealousy or if I’m kissing him simply because I want to. He pulls back to study my face. I try to rein in my bemused expression, but frankly, I don’t think I’m fooling anyone. I probably look like a stunned mullet. Elijah looks kind of intense. Intense and a little angry.
“That’s all you got? Seriously? Are you even trying to make him jealous? ‘Cause I gotta say, I think your method sucks.” I pull his face back to mine and take him with my mouth. I force my tongue inside while his eyes are still on me. He’s surprised, but when I clasp my hands behind his neck and push myself against him, his arm snakes around my back, his fingers tangle in my hair and he kisses me so hard and deep we’re practically consuming each other.
Elijah walks us back a step until I’m pushed up against the wall. He’s found his way between my thighs and the pressure of his erection against my pubic bone elicts a moan from me. “You wanna get outta here?”
If you’ve already read this book then I just can’t express to you enough how amazingly awesome you are! Seriously, you’re amazeballs dipped in awesomesauce!
If you’ve bought it and haven’t started it as of yet, then stop what you’re doing (yes, that includes reading this review) and get to reading! Do you have any idea what you’re missing?! Just don’t get too attached to Elijah. He’s mine. He and Ana just haven’t gotten that memo yet!
As I’m sure you can already tell; I absolutely love this book! Welcome to Sugartown was an absolute surprise as it managed to make me feel so many different things during the course of the story. I laughed, cried, and even got angry enough to want to throw my kindle across the room. Luckily I managed to control that urge.
The first half of this book had me laughing so much that I could no longer read it while I was at work. The characters are sarcastic, funny, loyal to one another, and just so damn personable that you actually feel like you’re a part of the group. You can’t help but form a connection to them. This is the first book in a long while where even the side characters - the over-protective Father, Bob; the crazy best friend, Holly; the sexy hot cousin, Jackson; and the adorably cute brother, Sammy - all keep you coming back for more too! It’s not JUST about the hero and heroine, and I thoroughly enjoyed that!
However, this book is not all rainbows and butterflies. Around the midway point of the novel things take a turn and nose dive off a cliff into oh hell-no-ville. Events go from bad to worse and the story gets a bit dark for a while. There is some violence in this book as well as a scene dealing with rape. I just felt the need to disclose that since it can be a very sensitive subject for some. Yet I found myself thoroughly enjoying the story, even when it shook hands with a hard limit of mine. I’m always grateful when a novel doesn’t follow suit with all of the others, and that was definitely the case with this one!
I give this book 5 Oh. My. God. I LOVE it stars! It had my attention from start to finish, and I didn't want to put it down. This was a fantastic debut novel from the lovely Carmen Jenner. I love the voice that she gives her characters, and the way that she can draw me into her world quite quickly. I really can’t wait to see what she has in store for her next book!
I was lucky enough to be able to sit down with Elijah and Ana for their FIRST interview ever, and I've got to tell you, they were such sweethearts!
We met in the lobby of the hotel and the following is their unedited, uncensored responses. I just couldn’t bear to cut a single thing out. I know I enjoyed everything they had to say, and I’m sure you will too!!
Ana: Hi Sarah, thanks for having us.
Elijah: Hey Sarah. *leans in and whispers to Ana* I thought this thing was catered?
Ana: *Rolls eyes* There'll be food at the hotel.
Elijah: But I'm hungry now.
Ana: *rifles through handbag before fishing out a takeaway container containing pie and handing it to Elijah.*
Elijah: Damn baby girl, you always know just what I want.
Ana: Elijah, there's only ever two things you want: pie and er ... my pie. *blushes* Where were we? Right, our story. It's kinda complicated.
Ana: *shoots Elijah dirty look* Sex? Really? That's what you took away from this whole damn experience? Just sex?
Elijah: *shrugs and shovels more pie in his mouth* There was pie, too.
Ana: Yeah, and pain, heartache, lies and bikers.
Elijah: Recliner sex. *shoots Ana a wink*
Ana: Well, there was that.
*Shakes head laughing* Ana, when you first met Elijah, you decided to have some fun at his expense. Not that I blame you, it WAS a good joke after all, but what were you hoping to accomplish with your antics?
Ana: Honestly I don't really know. I don't think I was thinking He just came strutting through the shop in all his leather, flashing his dimples and expecting us to fall all over ourselves. That ego had to be knocked down a few pegs.
Elijah: Ha! Liar. You told me it was because you wanted to see me parading around without a shirt.
Ana: *winces* Guilty.
Elijah: You know you only had to say the word, Darlin', and I could have skipped making a complete tool outta myself in front of your dad.
Ana: I know, but where's the fun in that?
Elijah: The fun would've been in taking you out back and getting beneath that sexy uniform you wear.
Ana: *eyes widen* You know my dad is going to be reading this, right?
Ana: Yeah. So much for not making a complete tool out of yourself.
*Sigh* Ana, I hold nothing against you for wanting to see him parade around without a shirt. Actually I don't think ANY of us blame you.
Elijah: *smiles wide enough that the dimples come out swinging*
Ana: Please do not encourage him, Sarah. He's like a dog with a bone.
Ana: See, what I mean? Calm down, Cade, or I'm putting a muzzle on you.
Elijah: *waggles brows* Kinky.
*Smiling* Now you two had such a good time in the beginning of your story. I mean, I couldn't read a bit of it without laughing or smiling. Then things turned kind of dark. Elijah, I don't know how you did it, but you managed to NOT make me hate you through it all. *Narrows eyes at Elijah* Don't get me wrong. I still wanted to punch you for what you did to Ana, but it would have been a punch that I would have felt bad about later. Anyway, if you could go back ... would you have been up front with Ana about everything? Or do you feel that you would have chosen the same course that you did? That this was really the only way things could have played out?
Elijah: Er... *rubs back of neck* Yeah, looking back, there's a lot of things I would have done differently. I fucked up bad. For a while there it seemed like I couldn't breathe without fucking up left right and center and doing the wrong thing by Ana.
Ana: *squeezes Elijah's hand* I think we both made a lot of mistakes and we've both paid accordingly for it. Who knows what might have happened if we'd both done things differently? I do know we're both still healing from all we went through and we're probably closer because of it.
I don't doubt that for a second. Sitting here, watching the two of you together ... it's obvious how much you two truly love one another.
Elijah: Yeah, she's alright. I might have to trade her in when things start saggin' though. *winks*
Ana: *punches Elijah's arm* So NOT funny, Cade.
Elijah: Jesus, woman. Will you stop trying to beat the shit outta me please?
Ana: Only if you stop being an arse.
Elijah:: *to Sarah* No matter what I do I'm always in the bloody dog house.
Ana: True. But at least it gives you more time to play with your bone-r.
Elijah: Yeah, but it's only fun if you watch, baby girl.
Oh my God. You guys are too much! Let's talk about Holly for a second. Elijah, you had quite a few interesting run-ins with her in the beginning. Obviously things started to change as more time passed. What did you think of her then, and what do you think of her now?
Elijah:: She's still a crazy ranga midget.
Ana: You know she'll be reading this too, right?
Sarah: Haha. Not helping yourself here!
Elijah: Damn it! What the hell good is getting out of Sugartown if everyone's still bloody breathing down our necks?
Ana: They don't get to read about what goes on in the hotel room.
Elijah: *chokes on a sip of beer, clears throat and shifts uncomfortably* What was the question again?
Sarah: Holly, how do you feel about her now?
Elijah: Still a crazy ranga midget.
Ana: They actually get along really well now.
Elijah: Yeah, now she's just hulkin' out on Jackson, poor bastard.
Ana: In her defense, he does kinda deserve it.
Jackson seems like he can take care of himself, but thank you for bringing him up, Elijah! There's definitely plenty happening between those two crazy kids! I also hear that they're working on sharing their story with everyone too! Is that true? If so, what should we expect from them?
Elijah: *rolls eyes* I don't know why the hell they want to go through all that. You'd think they wouldda learned from us, right?
Ana: *shoots Elijah a hard glare* What's that supposed to mean?
Elijah: *gulps* Nothing ... It means nothing. I just don't know who's going to read that shit. I mean it's Holly and Jackson, there's nothing to them but fighting and fuc-
Ana: Friendship! *shoots daggers at Elijah* They're just friends.
Elijah: yeah, friends that like to fu ... *bulks at Ana's expression* fun. Friends that like to have fun. *in an aside to Sarah* And make one another's lives as miserable as possible.
Ana: *to Sarah* Holly's kind of intense these days with all that she has going on. Sometimes Jackson's sympathetic to that, and other times he needs reminding that men need their family jewels intact if they ever want to have children of their own someday.
Elijah: *laughing* Crazy ranga midget.
They seem like a whole lot of crazy, in a fun way of course, and you two are living with them! What's that like?
Elijah: *shrugs* It's true.
Ana: He does kind of have a point.
Elijah: It's like a lucky dip, you shove your hand in the bowl, thinking you're gonna get something awesome, but it all ends in tears cause you wind up with some piss poor piece of crap toy that no one's ever heard of instead of the GI Joe you thought you were gonna get.
*Ana and Sarah glance at one another before laughing*
Ana: Aw, poor baby. Do you need me to buy you an action figure, Cade?
Elijah: Baby girl, I need to put you over my knee the second we get back to our hotel room.
Ana: *laughter dies abruptly*
Elijah: Then you can buy me an action figure *winks at Sarah*
Ana: *shakes head* Next question.
*Smirks* Whatever. We all know that once you go back to your hotel room, you're not coming out for quite some time; especially not for some toy. *Looks at Elijah* I know I left that open, don't go there!
Ana: Yes Elijah, don't go there.
Elijah: *holds hands up in surrender* wasn't gonna.
Anyway, I'm sure everyone wants to know what lies ahead for the two of you. Any plans??
Elijah: You mean aside from seeing nothing but the inside of our hotel room for the next few days?
Ana: She means the future, Cade. You know, marriage, babies, swapping your bike for a minivan in order to take the kids to school.
Elijah: *sweating* NEXT QUESTION!
Ana: Boys are so ridiculous. *shakes head* For now we're just making up for lost time and enjoying being with one another.
Elijah: Speaking of lost time *waggles eyebrows*
Ana: Of course, I might just get tired of your sorry arse and kick you to the curb the next time you make inappropriate comments in an interview. *winks at Sarah*
Elijah: Baby girl, even then you'd never be rid of me.
Ana: That's true, It was kinda hard avoiding you when we lived in the same house and you worked right across the street.
Elijah: Hard. *sniggering* Yeah, that's exactly what it was.
Ana: You are such a child.
Haha. Ana, you certainly do have your hands full with this one! *Turns to Elijah* Don't go there either!
Ana: *to Elijah* No.
Elijah: But she was wide open, come on.
Ana: Zip it, Cade.
You two have been so wonderful in meeting with me, and I don't want to take up too much more of your afternoon. So why don't we play a little word association game before we go? I'll say a word, and you two tell me the FIRST thing that comes to mind.
Elijah: Shit! Where?
Ana: *laughs* Teddy bear
Elijah: *smiles* Yeah, home
Ana: *laughs* Elijah
Elijah: How do I remind you of pie?
Ana: Oh please, every second word that comes out of your mouth is about tasting my pie.
Elijah: True. It's a nice pie.
Elijah: Fucking crazy!
Elijah: Still kicking my arse in video games.
Elijah: Er ... *clears throat*
Ana: As in I want four of them.
Elijah: Jesus woman, how many husbands are you having again?
Ana: Just the one. *smirks* But think of all the times you'll get to do that "thing" you love.
Elijah: Four, it is.
**Pulls out a bag and hands it to Ana** I almost forgot! Here's something you can use for your pie. *Looks at Elijah* Like the kind she bakes. In the shop. Those pies. Not, umm, her pie. *Laughs while looking at Ana* I just figured I'd make it clear before he got excited.
Ana: *laughs* Yeah, it's best to nip it in the bud early!
Elijah: *whispers in Ana's ear* I'll nip your bud.
Ana: *shakes head* See what I mean? Thanks so much for having us, Sarah! Oh, and thanks for the goodies, too! *pulls out can of whipped cream*
Elijah: *snatches can from Ana and swings her up over his shoulder*
Ana: Cade, put me down!
Elijah: Babe. Hotel room. Now. *runs for the door before turning back to Sarah* See ya, Sarah. It was swell, sweetheart! *smiles so wide those dimples come out swinging*
Carmen Jenner is a thirty-something author, doctor, pilot and CIA agent. She's also a compulsive, flagrant prevaricator who gets to make things up for a living.
While Sugartown may not technically exist, Carmen grew up in a small Australian town just like it, and just like her characters, she always longed for something more.They didn't have an Elijah Cade, though. If they did, you can be sure she would have never left.
Her debut novel,Welcome to Sugartown, was released on November 3, 2013.
Catch up on all the news from the Sugartown Series at: www.welcometosugartown.blogspot.com.au
Keep a look out for the follow up novels in the Sugartown Series:
Enjoy Your Stay (Sugartown #2)
Now Leaving Sugartown (Sugartown #3)
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