by Mariah Stewart
Series: The Hudson Sisters #2
Genres: Women's Fiction, Romance
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Mariah Stewart's second novel in the Hudson Sisters series...
Allie, Des, and Cara, each having her own reasons for wanting a share of their father's estate, meet in the grand Victorian home in which he grew up, only to be greeted by another secret he purposely hid from them: his sister Bonnie. The women reluctantly band together to take on Fritz's challenge, working with a local contractor to begin the renovations financed by an account Fritz had set up for the task. While the restoration appears to go smoothly at first, it soon becomes apparent that the work will be more extensive than originally thought, and Des, elected to handle the money, needs to find ways to stretch out the remaining savings while searching for new sources of funding.
As strangers linked only by their DNA try to become a family, the Hudson sisters also try to come to terms with the father they only thought they knew. In the process, each woman discovers her own capacity for understanding, forgiveness, love, and the true meaning of family.
The Sugarhouse Blues by Mariah Stewart is the second book in the Hudson Sisters series and it was delightful to return to this small Pennsylvania town as the sisters Allie, Des, and Cara, work to restore the Sugarhouse theater. Cute dogs, wicked banter, and family gave way to growth and bonding.
While I would classify this as Women’s fiction each of the sister’s develops a relationship but the romance is served on the side as the focus is on the theater and the personal growth and familial ties of these three estranged sisters and their Aunt.
The overall premise of the story stems from conditions made in their late father’s will. In order to receive their inheritance, the three sisters must reside in their Aunt’s Victorian home as they restore the family-owned theater. They’ve been given a stipend to get the job done, but they must be creative as the funds aren’t nearly enough. Setbacks, discoveries and a growing love for the building help the girls to bond.
The first book while featuring all of the Hudson sisters offered a romance between Cora and their contractor. In The Sugarhouse Blues, it’s Des’s turn. But first, she has to face demons from her past. Des has two suitors, one who feels like her type and one who curls her toes and scares the heck of her. While one is very nice I had no trouble swooning over the other. I kind of wish she had been a little more forthcoming with the one she decided against but it fit Des’s personality.
We continue to learn more about the sisters and what makes them tick. They become closer to their Aunt who is simply adorable from her car to her antics. Alie is keeping secrets, but we so see her slowly begin to transform and something near the end of the book was an ah-ha moment for her.
I loved the research, old movie references and updates on their renovations of the theater. We also get to attend a couple shindigs and witness the back and forth banter and snark between Allie and a certain law enforcement officer. I am excited to get their story. There is an overall arc about a lost necklace which has me intrigued.
Stewart does a wonderful job of developing these characters and endearing me to them. While none are perfect, she has allowed me to understand them. Of course, the dogs, Allie’s daughter, and secondary characters added to the tale as they brought the town to life.
[bctt tweet=”The Sugarhouse Blues by Mariah Stewart offers a low-key romance and small-town story about sisters that is perfect to pack in your tote for the beach. ” username=”kimbacaffeinate”]
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
Oooh, this sounds so delicious. A book I will fall in love with. Thanks for sharing, Kim! Hope you’re having a read-laxing weekend 😉
Happy to share Lisa 🙂
Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library
I really enjoyed this one too but I did like the first one more. I think it’s maybe because I didn’t like how iffy Des was? Regardless I’m excited for #3!
I am really looking forward to the third book as well,
Loved this book! Nice review, Kimberly.
So glad you loved it too.
I really like the fact that the relationship between the sisters takes priority throughout this one – as well as old movies… Sounds like my kind of book for this hot weather.
Agreed, this is a perfect summer read.
I love series like this that revolves around a family. And old movies? I’m in!
They reference old ,movies and posters which is kind of neat.
Carole @ Carole's Random Life in Books
For some reason, I haven’t read any of Mariah Stewart’s books yet. I do like the sound of this series. It sounds like a fun group of characters.
Right. I like the overall arc.
Aleen @ Lampshade Reader
Goodness, I love stories like this. I’ve become more interested in Women’s Fiction lately, so this was a “perfect timing” type of post for me. Great review!
Yay. Happy to share 🙂
Mariah Stewart is one of my favorites! Thanks for the post!!!
Glad to hear you enjoy her work.
I love Mariah Stewart and just read her latest arc of Dune Drive last week. Do you read her Chesapeake Bay Series? And I used to read all her romantic suspense as well. I haven’t read these yet. Probably should.
I have read some of her Chesapeake Bay series, I did not know she wrote romantic suspense.
Lots and lots of it. Romantic suspense was pretty much all I read before I got into paranormal.
Family , small town, great characters and an intriguing story line that arcs over the series, sounds wonderful!
It is and and a nice between my UF reads/listens
I love stories with sisters so def interested in this one myself
I like sibling stories too.
Awww, it sounds very lovely 🙂
It was. Thanks 🙂
Tyler H. Jolley
I hope you had a wonderful Fourth of July, Kimba! Happy reading.
I did, but sadly I have a summer cough and feel miserable.
This is one of those series, that even though I am not a huge women’s fiction romance, I think I would enjoy. Great review, Kim.
I enjoy weaving them in now and then Sherry.
I vaguely remember hearing about this series when book one came out- maybe it was even your review that set me onto it. It’s more appealing to me now. I must add these to my towering list. 🙂
It might have, I did review it 🙂
I’ve never read anything by Mariah Stewart before, I think maybe I should fix that because this sounds like a good one. Thanks for the review, Kim!
Happy to share Rowena.
I always like stories with dogs, it’s usally sweet
That is so true.
I have this on my shelf Kim. I love sister stories having two of my own. Thanks for sharing the review.
I am glad you have these.
Tanya @ Girl Plus Books
Having two sisters, I’m usually a sucker for stories that focus on sister relationships. So glad you enjoyed this one!
I have two younger sisters. We are all 18 months apart, me being the oldest. We have a brother who surprised my parents when I was 11.
awww, so this is more like all 3 sisters bonding book, rather than a romance? The way this looks, like this is a family type of book
Yes, with each developing a slow-burning romance.
Jenea's Book Obsession
Oh my, does this sound wonderful. Especially the old movie references!
I am having a good time with these sisters.