Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Review: The Pickle Queen by Deborah Smith

Rating: ★★★★★ stars
Date published: November 15th, 2013
Publisher: Bell Bridge Books
Synopsis: The Pickle Queen 
A Crossroads Cafe Novella 
Book Two of The MacBrides 
Pickles are mentioned in the Bible. Cleopatra ate them as a beauty regimen. Shakespeare put them in his plays. Mason designed jars for bottling them. So did Ball. Did Mason and Ball fight over the King of the Pickle Jars title? I don't know. I did know this much: I used pickles to keep fear, pride, and my love of Jay Wakefield behind a door I would not risk opening again. Even now. 
Wakefields take what they want. MacBrides never surrender. For nearly a hundred years, a battle of wills between these two deeply-rooted Appalachian families has ended in defeat and heartache-most often, for MacBrides. Now the MacBride name is barely more than a legend, and it's up to Gabby MacBride to deal with the pain of her childhood memories and also the challenge of a MacBride legacy she's only beginning to understand. 
That will mean coming to terms with her bittersweet love for Jay Wakefield, the lonely rich boy who became her soul mate when they were kids, before the dark demands of his own legacy forced him to betray her.

What I Thought:

I read this book in May of 2014.  I held off reading this book as long as I could.  Usually people devour books by their favorite authors, but I like to wait until I have time to savor them as much as a speed reader like myself can. I still have no idea how to put into words how beautiful this story is.  This is a novella yet has everything a perfect novel needs.  I would have loved to have a longer book, especially since all of Deborah's stories are so intricate and detailed oriented.  She has this way of using all of your senses to pull you into a story.

I was eagerly looking forward to Gabby and Jay's story.  There's so much history between their families and most of it's not good.  I was devastated by what happened to both of them in their childhoods. DEVASTATED.  I mean as in curl up into a ball, ugly cry, and rail at the cruelty of the world.  I wanted the freeze around Jay's heart to thaw and the protective walls Gabby had built around her heart to come down. I wanted them to fall in love with with each other and make everything be okay in Free Wheeler.  I understood why it'd be so difficult, but that doesn't mean I wanted it any less.

It was great to see the denizens of the Crossroads.  I don't just mean Cousin Delta with her biscuit witchery, but also everyone else.  The thing about genuine people is you want to be around them and just about everyone in this book is genuine.  You can tell who isn't almost right away.  There were some moments when I didn't know if Jay was one of the good guys or not.  To find out for sure, you're just going to have to read the book.   And just so you know, this book can be read as a stand alone.  There is a novella that precedes it, The Biscuit Witch.  That's another great book and I'd highly recommend you read it first.  

I can not wait to read Gus's story.  He's Gabby's brother, and will hopefully have his own novella or novel.  I'm not picky. :p  Deborah Smith has written a story that is a veritable feast for the mind and soul.  She tempts you with characters you love and kitchen witchery, like Gabby with her pickles.  Let me tell you, I craved pickles something fierce as I read the book! So make sure you have some on hand to satisfy them when you pick up this book.  Deborah's story telling is seamlessly going from present to past and back again.  She incorporates Southern style and history into a modern contemporary tale that will you wanting more. There's magic in every word and page she writes.  You'll have to experience it to see what I mean.

Purchase Links:

Amazon US Amazon UK Barnes & Noble  Kobo 

About the Author
Bestselling Author
Co-founder, co-publisher
Vice-president, Editor in Chief
BelleBooks, Memphis, TN 

Deborah Smith is the author of 35 novels in romance and women’s fiction, including the New York Times bestseller, A PLACE TO CALL HOME, and the Number 1 Kindle bestseller, THE CROSSROADS CAFÉ.    RT Magazine named A PLACE TO CALL HOME one of the Top 200 Romances of the 20th Century. In 2006, Library Journal  named THE CROSSROADS CAFÉ one of the top romances of the year. Since 2000, Deborah has been a partner in BelleBooks, a small publishing house that now includes the imprints Bell Bridge Books and Imajinn Books. As a writer, Deborah is currently working on novellas and short stories spun off from THE CROSSROADS CAFÉ. The newest story is THE  YARN SPINNER, January 2014. She lives in the mountains of north Georgia with her husband, six cats and two dogs; all rescues. (Not her husband.) 

Deborah's newest books are the Crossroads Cafe novellas: THE BISCUIT WITCH, THE PICKLE QUEEN, THE YARN SPINNER, and THE KITCHEN CHARMER (2014). She released a mini-short story, SAVING JONQUILS, in March 2014. A sexy romantic novella, A HARD MAN TO FIND, is scheduled for later in the month.

* I purchased a copy.  All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for them in any manner.*

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