I recently read Sherryl Woods's Home in Carolina, part of her Sweet Magnolias series. The story is set in the fictional town of Serenity, South Carolina and the main characters are the children of some of her Sweet Magnolias characters. Ty and Annie had been best friends since childhood and destined to be together, until he cheats on her with a baseball groupie. Devastated, she cut Ty out of her life, until he comes back to Serenity to recover from a sports injury and to win her back.
Seems like a straight-forward romance novel plot. There's the deception, the trust issues, and the happy ending. But the book is filled with subplots and too many ancillary characters.
1. Ty and his injury
2. Ty and the custody issue over his son from his groupie relationship
3. Annie's friend Sarah and her divorce
4. Annie's friend Raylene and her abusive situation
5. Helen, the divorce attorney, and her mother's relationship
6. Is Annie's anorexia coming back
The story is told from too many points of view, though primarily Ty, Annie, and Helen. Everyone has their two cents to put in. Annie's parents, Ty's parents, the other Sweet Magnolias... there's an awful lot of talking in this book and very little action. Every one tells Ty to cut Annie slack, he betrayed her, she's delicate, she has a point... but the entire book comes off as an Annie pity party. Yes, Ty screwed up. But sheesh.
I really have no desire to read the other five books that are in the series, especially if the others are as convoluted and "talky" like this one. D.