The Sunnyside Series #1
by Jacie Floyd
THE FAST LANE WAS GOING NO WHERE…Despite growing up the glitzy world of fashion models and rock stars, that lifestyle holds no appeal for librarian Harper Simmons. She craves small-town normalcy and a place to call home. With a philanthropic grant in hand, Harper sets out for Sunnyside, IL, eager to reopen the town library. But the locals aren’t very welcoming to the woman in designer clothes—once again showing her she doesn’t fit in.
GROWING UP IN A SMALL TOWN…Wasn’t all it was cracked up to be for Dr. Zach Novak. Yes, Sunnyside had given him security and self-confidence—but now he’s smothered by their constant scrutiny and inevitable matchmaking. Longing to view the world from a less-restrictive stage, he’s making plans to head out of town…until he meets the enchanting new librarian.
WHEN TWO WORLDS COLLIDE…There’s bound to be trouble. Harper and Zach’s physical and emotional connection has them steaming up the nights with a secret affair. When Zach leaves on a humanitarian mission, their relationship becomes public knowledge and Harper is blamed for driving him away. Allegations about her past further alienate the town, and she questions her desire to remain where she isn’t wanted. Even if Zach returns to Sunnyside, will he be lost to her forever?
It’s fantastic fun being there while Zach and Harper fall in love. The great part is that it took half the book before they hooked up so that allowed for plenty of time for them to get to know each other better (and for us as well).
Zach has good guy syndrome. He feels like he owes the town and does all he can to be everything to everybody, regardless of what it costs him. But he’s getting close to getting out of town, too bad Harper comes into his life at the wrong time. She’s sassy, caring, and tries hard to win over the town (but of course they don’t cooperate all that much). And while Harper might be a fish out of water in Sunnyside, she’s got such a positive outlook on life that she can’t be bowed for long. And spending time with Zach is enough to brighten anyone’s day – of course she finds him as wonderful as everyone else does. He’s strong, compassionate, diplomatic, and has a solid head on his shoulders. Unfortunately he’s so perfect that every woman is looking to get him hitched so he does everything he can to ignore his attraction to Harper … yeah, that goes as well as you’d expect 🙂
My only complaint is that I would have loved to see a little more development between Harper and her step-dad. They don’t have a bad relationship but she hasn’t embraced him as he appears to want, not until the end anyway. A little more attention could have made that moment even more heartwarming. I’m hoping that we get more of Harper’s sister in a future book and that maybe that means more of her mom and step-dad as well. Plus there are some interesting side characters that add a little extra oomph to this story and who are sure to be delightful if they get their own book.
As the first story in a new series, Everybody Knows is a great introduction to Sunnyside. And while not all of the residents are appealing, there is great promise to what they could be and I can’t wait to see if Floyd delivers on it.