Sunday, May 24, 2020

Review of The Sugar Queen of Emerson Pass by Tess Thompson



True love requires commitment, and many times unending sacrifice. . .

At the tender age of eighteen, Brandi Vargas watched the love of her life drive out of Emerson Pass, presumably for good. Though she and Trapper Barnes dreamed of attending college and starting their lives together, she was sure she would only get in the way of Trapper's future as a hockey star. Breaking his heart, and her own in the process, was the only way to ensure he pursued his destiny. Her fate was the small town life she'd always known, her own bakery, and an endless stream of regret.

After a decade of playing hockey, a single injury ended Trapper Barnes' career. And while the past he left behind always haunted him, he still returns to Emerson Pass to start the next chapter of his life in the place his ancestors built more than a century before. But when he discovers that the woman who owns the local bakery is the girl who once shattered his dreams, the painful secret she's been harboring all these years threatens to turn Trapper's idyllic small town future into a disaster. Will it take a forest fire threatening the mountain village to force Trapper and Brandi to confront their history? And in the wake of such a significant loss, will the process of rebuilding their beloved town help them find each other, and true happiness, once again?

Fast forward to the present day and enjoy this contemporary second chance romance set in the small town of Emerson Pass, featuring the descendants of the characters you loved from USA Today bestselling author Tess Thompson's The School Mistress.


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**My thoughts**
I've read almost all of Tess Thompson's books, and this series is quickly becoming my favorite. There's an ethereal poetry to them that you don't often find in current books. I'm especially in love with the strong connection this modern generation of characters has with their ancestors from the same town. The modern characters rely heavily on the wisdom of the past generations and strive to emulate their values. It's a light of hope and a breath of fresh air in these crazy times right now.

I appreciate Tess telling us right from the start that a stillborn birth is a part of the story. This can be triggering for a lot of people. I am mentioning it again now in case that would dissuade someone from wanting to read this story. But please note that it is handled quite delicately and lovingly.

I'm sad that Brandi and Tanner were broken up at such a young age. And I am also glad at the same time. I think that their time apart actually helped them to grow and become stronger in who they actually are in order to make this second chance even stronger than it would have been otherwise. Perhaps they try to work things out too quickly, but when you know, you know, right? And there is some serious baggage that they will deal with for a long time.

I'm very angry with Brandi's parents, but am grateful for the other friends and family, plus the predecessors still sharing their wisdom years later though the letters and journals that were left behind. (Does anyone else want to keep a journal now for future generations?) 

You do not need to read the first book in order to understand this one. But you will better appreciate the legacies if you do.

I loved this second installment of the series and am so looking forward to its continuation.

Thank you to the author and publisher for honoring my review request. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


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