Spring Fever by Mary Kay Andrews (Tweet!)
Publication Date: June 1, 2012
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Target audience: Adult
Keywords: romance, small town, family businesses, divorce, family secrets
Format read: ARC from Netgalley! Thanks!
Summary: Annajane is totally okay with her ex-husband, Mason, remarrying. In fact, she’s engaged and about to move out of the small town she has always called home, which is why she’s all decked out in a vintage dress and sitting in a pew waiting for their ceremony to start. But after an incident halts the wedding, she can’t help but start reminiscing about their courtship and the pain of their divorce. Is it possible she’s not as over him as she thought?
Just imagine living in the same town and working for the same company as your ex-husband, a man you have been in love with since your teens. Never in your wildest dreams did you think your marriage would end after a few years and somehow, despite the hurt, you are co-existing. And then he goes and gets engaged to a beautiful woman who has usurped your job at the company. Oh wait, he also fathered a child during your separation who you have fallen in love with.
The hits just keep on coming too because there is a complex sub-plot that involves the future of the Quixie, the family cherry soda company. Mason and his brother, Davis, have run the company since their father’s passing but it seems like they have two different ideas of what it should become. This twisty storyline involves Annajane’s career, the entire Bayless family, and the economy of small town Passcoe.
There are secrets and strategies and secret rendezvous and much devious behavior.
In fact, Spring Fever is heavier than the turquoise cover and a bunch of flip flops. It definitely had small reminders of The Notebook or Sweet Home Alabama films, but there’s a lot more at stake than an old relationship and moving forward. The underlying ‘business’ plot intensified the entire story, and left me guessing until the very end. I’ll admit… this story is soap opera central in its entirety (could have done without the typical Celia scenario) but that didn’t stop me from connecting with Annajane who cannot for the life of her decide what to do about Mason. To me, it seemed they divorced much too soon but she couldn’t decide if they could really make it work again if given another chance. She didn’t exactly fit in the ‘rich wife socialite’ box that Mason’s own mother belonged to. And that misunderstanding and lack of communication led them down a wrong road in the first place.
But ooh, the romance… the longing. It was good. Really good. Andrews can certainly write a tender love scene but also the fun ones where everyone is a teenager again. With mix tapes! And hot cars.
Why do small town books always have the most intriguing characters? (I actually saw that Andrew’s book, Summer Rental, is set in Tybee Island, South Carolina and I have immediately added it to my to-read list.) I loved the gossip, little mimic Sophie, the ridiculously adorable men who own a neighborhood hotel, and the friendship and scheming between Annajane and her bestie, Pokey (who also is Mason’s sister). Spring Fever was fast paced and majorly addicting (yes, I hid this one under my desk) and it would make the perfect companion on a bus ride or a beach trip.