Review is now up.
There are only two seasons in Tuscaloosa – football and waiting-for-football. When Lewis Heart, football announcer and voice of the Crimson Tide, vanishes after an impromptu romp with Vivi Ann McFadden at the Fountain Mist Motel, Vivi does what any Southern woman would do: call her best friend, Blake O’Hara Heart, attorney-at-law.
With the town gossip swirling around them, Vivi and Blake are determined to find out what happened to Lewis and clear Vivi’s reputation. Because after all, men may come and go, but the Sassy Belles are forever.
The blurb suggests that the book is a mystery but I found it to be much more of a character piece. The Sassy Belles is perfect as an introduction to Albright’s world of saucy Southern women – it practically drips in magnolia blossoms and mint juleps and has a perfect rich Deep South setting. In this first book, readers get to hear Blake O’Hara Heart’s voice as she helps us get to know her best friend Vivi and all of their miscellaneous friends and family.
The characters are as syrupy sweet and full of spunk as you would hope for a group called the Belles. Their thick drawls practically come alive through Albright’s talent and you can almost imagine modern day Scarlet O’Haras running around. It can get a bit soap operish and, even though I wouldn’t want anything less from this group, I’m sure that is not everyone’s style.
As the first of a series it is great, but I don’t know that I would have liked it as a stand alone story. The prose, while entertaining, might have been a little verbose if I hadn’t welcomed Albright setting the stage for future books. Plus, I’m not sure I understood the whos and whys behind the disappearance of Lewis, although I’m hoping that we get more on it in the next story, Wedding Belles.
Make sure you have the time to devote to more books, because while The Sassy Belles is fantastically fun, it really needs to be viewed as the start of many … the characters are addictive enough though that you’ll be looking forward to what comes next.