Sunday Salon: Spring Fever by Mary Kay Andrews

Annajane Hudgens is finally moving on. After a life spent in her hometown in North Carolina,  she’s engaged to a new man and on her way to a new job in Atlanta.  She’s leaving behind her complicated history with the Quixie soda company and its owners, the Bayless family. What further proof does she need that she is over Mason, the eldest Bayless son, than the fact that she is attending his wedding to new wife-to-be Celia, a tiny goddess who is sure to be successful where Annajane herself failed five years earlier?

Except that Mason doesn’t look as radiant as his bride; in fact, he looks sick.  And Annajane may be the only one who knows and loves him well enough to save him from making one big mistake.

I had read an earlier book by Mary Kay Andrews, Savannah Blues, so when I saw this new book available as a review copy on NetGalley, I snapped it up.  I wasn’t disappointed, as it provided exactly the kind of read I was looking for.  Spring Fever is a fun, touching beach read that features interesting characters in a small town Southern setting.

I found the beginning a bit confusing, as many characters are introduced at the outset, and they all have pretty original (i.e. hard to remember) names.  Once I got everyone straight, I started to enjoy the novel more.  Annajane is a strong female character, although she has a very sentimental side.

I liked the novel’s secondary characters, particularly Annajane’s best friend, Pokey, a fiesty pregnant woman who is endlessly loyal to Annajane.  The small town itself is almost like another character, and the way the history of the town is tied to the Quixie company and the Bayless family made for a charming, familiar world to get lost in for a few hours.  It’s obvious why Annajane would have a hard time leaving it behind, even as it seems impossible for her to stay when reminders of her romantic history are around every corner.

The relationship between Annajane and Mason was believable, and I liked the way that they both remained so fond of and connected to each other despite the fact that they didn’t make it as a married couple.  It was evident that they had matured in the five years since their divorce, particularly Annajane, and their earlier failure was understandable given her youth and their lack of communication.

Warning: Spoiler ahead!

The one part of the book that I had trouble accepting was how quickly Mason changes his mind about Celia.  I can see how he might have gotten caught up in the frenzy of wedding plans, but to let someone who he doesn’t even really like railroad him into doing whatever they want with him and his company seemed a bit far-fetched.  If he can so suddenly realize who she really is, there had to have been earlier hints for him to pay attention to, rather than handing over his whole life to this woman without a fight.

-End of spoiler-

I really enjoyed Spring Fever and would recommend it to anyone who’s a fan of beach reads, Southern literature, or fun family sagas. Happy reading!

Thanks so much to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for providing me with a review copy of this book.

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*THIS IS AN AFFILIATE LINK, SO IF YOU PURCHASE AN ITEM USING IT, I WILL BE PAID A SMALL PERCENTAGE OF THE PURCHASE PRICE.

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