by Mariah Stewart
Series: The Hudson Sisters #2
Genres: Women's Fiction, Romance
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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.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. Click To Tweet